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After Effects - Animated Infographic Video & Data Visualisation

Exporting AFX infographic video for TV, Websites, Youtube & social media

Daniel Walter Scott

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Hey guys, this video is going to be about exporting mp4s, in particular. The universal sharing video file. We're going to do a really super-duper high quality version, and then we're going to do one that is really low in file size but still really good quality. All right, let's go and do it in this video.

So, first up, go to '10 Exporting', and open up 'Export Line Graph'. And this is the thing we're going to be working with. We've made most of this earlier on, I've added on a few extra bits. So to export it, you got to make sure you export the Comp. You don't export the Project. For some times, you go up to here and we're going to go to this one that says "Add to Adobe Media Encoder'. If that's grayed out, it just means you've got no Comp selected. So you got to say I want this one, the Line Chart one. Select it down here in my Timeline, I want you to go to Adobe Media Encoder, click on that. Now in the background, Adobe Media Encoder is going to open up. It's a separate program. And there he is there, there's my Line Chart. And hopefully by default, it might not, but we're going to pick 'H.264'. This is the really common Codec. It's going to give you the most common play on all devices at the moment. It's going to create an mp4. Everything else, to be honest, isn't used.

We're using mp4s, it's the main 'go to' thing at the moment. And by default it's just going to work, we're going to hit 'Play'. And that's going to start the Render, you're going to watch it down here. My one's belting along because it's not that complicated animation. Now you might have an animation that's got a bit of camera work, and Motion Blurs, and Blurs going, Gaussian Blurs going on, effects. And that exact same animation might take 10 minutes. Because there's so much to do. So, if you are doing something like "Man, Dan's been quick, why is mine taking so long?" it might just be that actually there's lots to do. I've got lots of animations on here that are really short, and I'm doing for my own personal work, and they just take a long time. It's go off, get a coffee time. It can take 30 minutes, if it's really long, it can take hours. It's an overnight job. But to be honest I've got nothing now that goes overnight. They're all kind of short little things for the internet.

So, let's go figure out where to put it. So in my Exercise Files, this didn't exist a second ago. That's the thing we opened up, and this thing's being created. It's the same name as my Project but it's added this 'ame' extension at the end of it, it's Adobe Media Encoder. I don't like it, it does it anyway though. I'm going to open it up, and there's my mp4. So generates that folder, and puts it inside of here. It's really small in terms of file size. Mainly because it's only a few colors, and not much is happening. And it's only 5 seconds. So I'm going to preview it. And that is a HD quality, ready for the internet, awesome video thing. That's the quick way, and 99% of your work is going to be exporting mp4, uploading it to YouTube, Vimeo, your website, or to your WordPress site, or whatever. It can go to TV, there's no reason it can't go to TV, it's HD. So that was nice and simple. And pretty much, that's what's going to work most of the time.

I'm going to show you a couple of little things you can do to get the file size down. Let's say yours is quite big, mine is 1.5MB, I'm going to open up another file and see if I can do something a little bigger. So I've found this one, one we did earlier. We've got a camera going now, things are moving around, there's a video background. Let's have a little look at the difference, same length. Basically the same animation. Let's have a look at exporting it. So we're going to go to 'Composition', 'Adobe Media Encoder', and I'm going to have to switch to Media Encoder, here it is. So this is the first one it's done. It's kind of darkened out, and it's ticked, it's finished. So this one here is going to go into the same place.

We're going to do two Renders, we'll do one at High Res. We'll see what the file size is, and see how long it takes. And we'll do another one, and try and get the file size super small because we might be using it on our website, that needs to load fast, or you're emailing it to someone, let's click 'Play'. How much longer is this one going to take? It's not going to take a huge amount longer. It's estimating around, it started at 2 minutes, it's dropping down quickly. What you'll find is, as long as something is moving it kind of guesses wrong, as soon as the thing stops, this line's going to start moving again. And it's going to go back up. So you might have pauses in it, and it speeds along for chunks. And then it kind of slows down for any bit of animation, or Star Burst we made.

So I'm kind of just filling now while it goes along. You get the idea. Or get the editor to speed it up, go. So it's done, and guess, it took a long time. That little seconds counter meant nothing. Kind of took about double that. I went and got a glass of water, I'm back. Let's go and check out the file size. So back to my Exercise Files, under 'Exporting', 'Big Files. ame'. In here, can you see is-- and now it's only 6.7MB, but it is like a lot bigger than the 1.5. So a good few multiples bigger. So let's go and look--

Let's say we need to get this-- it's going to be on our website, and we want to keep the file size really low. Let's look at a little bit of that. So what we can do is, instead of having to go back into After Effects and re-export it, we can actually just grab this one, and say make a Copy. And the cool thing about using Media Encoder is that After Effects doesn't really do anything. You can just go back in here and start working, and you can close it down and Media Encoder doesn't need it to be open. So what we're going to do is, we’re going to use 'H.264'. And where it says 'Match Source', I'm going to click on this. And what we're going to do is, we're going to look at how to get the file size smaller. We can untick 'Export Audio' because there's no audio in this one. I got no audio going on. So the main thing you can do is actually reduce the actual physical size of the file.

You can see here, on the Video tab at the moment, it's full HD, I'm going to untick that. And I might put it down to 'Standard' definition, '720'. It's not kind of half the size, but it's going to be a lot smaller, but let's say I can't do that. It needs to stay the same size. So what I'm going to do is, I'm going to come down, and the main thing you can do is, I'm scrolling down here, this Bitrate settings, this is the magic potion. So the way to think about this is, if you know sort of other design products, this is the Quality Slider. And you can actually go particularly low. And you got two options here, you got the Target Rate, and that's just saying that, when it goes through every frame it's going to try and make it about 10, but if there's complex work going on you're allowed to go to a maximum Bitrate of 12.

So you're giving it some boundaries, you say, try 10, but go up to 12 if you need to. What we can do is we can get it quite low. So we're going to go down to 2, maybe at a height, maybe at 5. So you can go low on to Target around '2' quality but actually you can go up to '5' if you have to. And the other thing up here is Bitrate Encoding. This is going to go through it once and try and work out what needs to be 2, what needs to be 5, even do it twice. And the file size goes down, and the quality goes up. But the processing of the rendering takes longer. It's up to you whether you've got the time to do it. If I'm honest, I just leave it at one pass because I can't see the difference, that's not the word. What I mean to say is that these Infographics are not going to be-- nobody’s going to go "Oh, that was pretty bad because that little bit of quality wasn't there." You might disagree. Let's click 'OK'.

So we got a custom one now, so it's going to go into a similar sort of place. But I'm going to call this one at the end here, I'm going to call this one 'Low Res'. Click 'Save', kick back, hit 'Play'. It's going to take a little longer in the encoding because I've gone into two parts. And yes, we'll speed this one up properly now, let's go. So that one took forever. Let's go and check out. Bigger files, there's two in here, Low Res one. You can see the Low Res one is a lot low in size, let's check the quality. It's going to be a little hard to do because you're probably watching it somewhere where-- all places kind of have their different quality options. I'll be your eyes and ears.

So Low Res at the bottom, this one at the top. I'm getting him real close, wait there. They are exactly the same. I can't see the difference. So you can save a lot of file size by going in, and playing with the Bitrate, and that's the main thing I do if I need the file size to be nice and small. If you're going up to something like YouTube you probably want to keep it as high quality as you can. And if you're going out to Social Media, and you're not too worried about like, they're going to see it on a phone, or something quite small, and you got to dump loads of them up there, you probably want it as small as you can, so that it's not taking forever to upload. More than anything, guess I'm just giving you skills to go on and be awesome in After Effects. All right, that's going to be the end of exporting mp4s. Let's get on to a couple of the other export options before the end.