How to Export Video in After Effects

Updated on: September 19, 2022

One of the basic processes to finish familiarizing yourself with post-production has to do with the moment when you have finished animating your project. 

You've added all your motion effects, and the audio of your composition is on point, but you still don't know how to export your final video in After Effects or even just a part of a sequence. Is this your case? Don't worry. It's easy. But first, let's start with a step-by-step approach.

Using Time Navigation and Work Area to export a part of your sequence

Let's suppose you have finished animating your project and you want to export it. However, you don't want to save the whole sequence but a few seconds. 

Well, to select and export only a part of your Timeline, you have to:

  1. Locate the program's Time Ruler, which is a kind of indicator that will show you how many seconds the footage you are working on within your Timeline lasts.
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  1. Just above the Time Ruler, you will find a thin bar called Time Navigator. This tool zooms in on the length of your video so that you can better position yourself in it. Position yourself at the end and expand or minimize it by clicking and dragging to find the time scale that works best for you. 
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  1. Notice the bar below the Time Ruler: it's called Work Area. Position yourself at the end of it and drag it so you can stop the second you want the video to end, leaving out the rest of the footage you don't want to export. 

Once you start moving this bar, you will see that the software will highlight only the part of the video you want to keep.

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Keep in mind that if you want to export the whole sequence, the Work Area must be expanded from the first second of your Timeline to the last.

Exporting video in After Effects

Now that you have selected exactly what you want to export, go to the Main Menu, click File, and select Export. When the options appear, hit Add to Render Queue. 

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If everything went well, follow the next steps:

  1. Once the Render Queue panel opens, locate the Output Module option and click on Lossless.
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  1. You probably now have a whole new window of settings on your screen. If so, locate the Format option and select QuickTime.
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  1. If you are exporting a normal video, select the RGB option in the Video Output section. If, on the other hand, your composition also has transparent layers, then select the RGB + Alpha option and click Ok.
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  1. Set the output destination of your video in the Render Queue panel by selecting the name of your composition right next to the Output To option. Choose the folder in which you want to save your project and click OK.
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  1. Click Render in the top right corner of the program, to start exporting your video.
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That's it! You now have your first finished project! To play it, go to the destination folder you selected while exporting and play your new creation. 

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Andrea Mercado is a tech-focused journalist and copywriter with over 5 years of experience covering innovation, edtech, AI, and internet trends across media outlets. She is passionate about how technology can democratize access to education and is an avid learner when it comes to emerging tech like AI. Her articles and webinars help readers stay informed on the latest tech developments.
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