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After Effects - Learn Motion Graphic Design

Making your video file size really small

Daniel Walter Scott || VIDEO: 48 of 53

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Hey, in this video we're going to look at how to make our videos nice and small. Good quality still, but nice and small in terms of file size. The reason you do this, there's couple of reasons. One is, you want to email it to somebody and it's coming up really big. Now, videos are the biggest thing on my system, it fills up most of my hard drive. And then, smaller things are in there, kind of like, I don't know, the 10 to 20MB, but then you start getting into like big long renders. They start getting up to half a giga, and a gigabyte, they're really big. And that's fine for final production. It might be that you're uploading it to YouTube, or Vimeo, or going to broadcast, or using it for something, but you want that really good file size a very high quality file size, but there are lots of times when you just want it to be nice and small, stop being so big.

The cool thing about it is that often when you lower things like the bit rate we're going to look at visually, it's very hard to see the difference. A purist would, and there'd be people out there, going… It needs to be as good as it could ever be, but if you've shot it on a crappy camera, not a crappy camera, see this one here, this is at full here, it wasn't a great footage to start with. So, to have it as a gigabyte file, there's no point. It's getting at super high def because it was shot on a crappy camera in low light anyway.

Anyway, let's look at how to do it. Just keep the file size nice and small. So we're going to do the same things. I like this, this was my favorite of all the exercises we do when I'm teaching. Pretty high value, without a whole lot of work, bit of camera tracking. Let's export it. So we're going to go to 'File', 'Export'. We're going to use 'Adobe Media Encoder'. It's going to add it to 'Media Coder'. You'll have to wait some time, just wait, wait… it will open up in the background, and eventually load up. I've got mine in the background there, there he is there. So that's my 'Tracking Camera 1', what I want to do is-- what we did in the first video is we just left it as it is, and that will give you a great quality, one that everyone can use. Perfect, so we're going to leave that one there. What we can do in here, just to make a smaller version, and compare the two, is I can select it, and see this little button here, 'Duplicate'. So the second version, and that means it's got a underscore 1, '_1' at the end. And what we're going to do is, instead of 'Match Source', which is going to match exactly what I had in After Effects, I'm going to click this blue bit of text, it opens this scary window.

If you understand video stuff, codecs, and all sorts of bits and pieces, you can have loads of fun in here. If you're a little scared, all you need to do is, a couple of things to make the video size smaller. The biggest things you can do is under 'Video'. Physically, you could change it. Say it's going to email on to somebody, and they don't need to see it at-- at the moment this is only a standard finish, so 720. It could be that you've got it at, like 4K, or high def, you might want to lower it down, because there's no point. Say you're emailing it to somebody, and you know they're going to be viewing it on a cell phone, just make it a lot smaller.

So if I untick this, you can change the size, you just change one of them. And they're both at that. I'm going to leave mine the same size. 'Frame Rate', it will pick whatever the default was. Now, in this case, this was shot at 50 frames/sec, which is a little higher than normal. That's kind of high speed frame rate. So the real typical one is 25. And what we're looking for is down here, it says 'Estimated File Size', we're looking to change that a little bit. So, changing the frame rate hasn't changed it very much. The big one's going to change, this is the big guy, down here. It's this one here, this bit rate.

So I'm on 'Video', and I scroll down to 'Bit Rate'. Think of bit rate, if you've ever saved a JPEG in Photoshop, or any other program it comes up with a quality slider, and it says, "You can have a 12, or a 10, or 5." The lower you go, the crappier it looks, but the smaller the file size is. What we can do is, it's the same thing in here except that you have a couple of slides. This thing here, we're going to set it to 'VBR'. 1 pass, or 2 pass? One pass is going to give us prettier quality, two passes takes longer, but it's going to give us better quality, and potentially better file size. So, let's just switch it to '2 pass'. Takes longer, but we're okay with that.

And then these two, what are these? There's a 'Target', and a 'Maximum'. So what we're saying is, this one here is the main one. What I like to do is, what happens is, After Effects tries to render every single frame. So literally it goes, you, then the next frame. Carry along, and eventually gets the whole thing, there's lots of different frames in there. So every frame looks at it, and goes. Your target is '10' quality. And that looks really good, but there are some parts of the video where it's not really moving, so it's just kind of uses the '10' but there are some bits that are really complicated, say there's a bit worse. Dan explodes the word, okay? So everything else isf pretty normal, but there's this bit of an extreme animation going on. It will jump up to the maximum.

So right along the target most of the time unless it needs to, jump up to this higher version. Just gives it a bit of a like-- aim for '10', but go up to '12' if you have to. What we're going to do is, in here, we're going to put it down, target of '2', and a bit rate of '5'. You don't have to pick these, these are my ones, and I stole these from other people, because they were using them. It just gives you a really good quality with a really small file size, without any kind of any visual changes. That's my opinion anyway, you might decide to do 3 and 7.

You can see, the file size has changed quite a bit, from '16' down to '3'. Now this is only really a short animation so it's kind of exponential, so if you've got something that's going to be half a gigabyte it's going to get down to something stupid, like 7MB. It's a really weird kind of ratio there. So, that's the big one to do, bit rates. Get it low, go to quality as you can. It takes longer, it does it twice to make sure everything is nice. Then you set your target, and then say, go up to 5 if you want to. Other little things you can do, you might just do bit rate.

The other little things you can do is audio, you might go in here and you can say 'Export Audio', don't need it. This has no audio at all, it's just video, so I don't need it at all. If you do have audio, and you want to switch it, say it's going on to something like YouTube, you might stick it to 'Mono' because there's no need for stereo sound. You shot it in mono, so it's going to stay in mono. So I'm going to turn off audio. We're going to click 'OK', and we're going to hit 'Play', and it's going to run through both of these. We're going to kick back, relax. It's doing both at the same time, that's weird. It's the same video. So it's encoding them at the same time, but different ways.

What we're going to do is speed this up, we're going to go to zoom and you can see over here, time remaining. It never is right, time remaining. It goes up and down, but anyway, let's go zoom zoom. Okay, welcome back, it's done. Let's have a look at what we got. So, 'Desktop', where does it put it? It's going to be wherever we saved it, so I've saved mine, where? There, it's under this one. You're not going to find these files on your machine because I've stored them away on mine somewhere.

Remember, that's my video name and that's the folder, with the '_AME' and there's my two files in here. Don't worry about these, just temporary stuff that will disappear. So there's two files, one is '3.4' and this one here is '19'. Remember, I said 16 and 3, it's always just a kind of a guess, so it has to be the final output that you're checking against.

Now what we're going to do is check them against each other. So, I'm going to toggle between this one, and this one. This one, and this one. Can you even tell which one it is? Depends if you're-- in terms of if you've got your video that you're watching at a high resolution, I can tell honestly, that it looks the same. So that's the good one, that's the bad one. Good one, bad one. I'll get both of them at the end, because it would be easy. So we're starting. Good one, bad one. Good one, bad one. So the file size is insignificant. This is even easily email-able at 3MB. This one here is a bit tough at 19. Lots of email stuff stops when it gets to-- gets that high. So yes, okay, bit rate, frame rate, file size can get your video nice and small for you to use. All right, that's it for this video. I'll see you in the next one.