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Rendering H.264 (mp4) files

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A few versions of After Effects ago, Adobe removed the ability to render h.264 / mp4 files directly from After Effects, and moved it to Adobe Media Encoder.

While Render Boss uses After Effects to render, we added an option to generate the final files in Media Encoder. That way you can still create h.264 files while taking advantage of Render Boss’ multi-machine / multi-threaded renders. In this video, I explain how.

(if you can’t see the video above, you can open it by clicking here)

Video Index:

  • 0:18 – Intro
  • 0:40 – Sending the first render
  • 3:39 – Sending more renders
  • 4:14 – One last note

Sending a Render

Prepare the After Effects Render Queue as normal

Note: The extension you choose in the Render Queue does not matter, as it will be changed by Adobe Media Encoder later. However, choose filename for your final render, and put it in the folder you want Media Encoder to use for your final render.

Find the dropdown menu called  Final Video Processing   

By default this is set to After Effects, but we need to change it to any of the Media Encoder options.

By choosing any of the Media Encoder options, Render Boss will render the frames using all the threads and machines available. When that is finished, it will send the pre-rendered frames to Adobe Media Encoder so that it can convert them into the final format (the h.264 you want).

That’s why the extension you select in the file queue above does not matter.

Auto-Start vs Wait for preset

If you choose Auto-Start, Render Boss will automatically start the Media Encoder render using the last preset that was used.

With Wait for Preset on the other hand, Render Boss will send the frames to Adobe Media Encoder, but Media Encoder will wait for you to choose a preset and hit Start Queue (the green play button)

We recommend that the first time you send a render to Media Encoder you select Wait for preset.

You can change it to Auto-Start on the subsequent renders, so that when a render finishes on Render Boss it’s sent to Media Encoder and started immediately.

You only need to set it Wait for preset again if you wish to change format for your final file.

Important note:

Adobe Media Encoder sometimes has problems recognizing a project when it’s sent before it finished opening. While Render Boss tries to open Adobe Media Encoder as early as possible, the best way to ensure a smooth hand-over is by having Adobe Media Encoder opened ahead of time.

If a render does not get sent to Media Encoder

It is NOT necessary to redo the render from scratch.

Right-click the render and select Set to Render… -> On This Machine (see screenshot below). 

Render Boss recheck all the rendered frames and will send them to Media Encoder again (for best results, try to open Adobe Media Encoder before doing this).

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