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  • Using Media Encoder to encode multiple formats from After Effects

  • Thomas Hannen

    February 6, 2014 at 6:09 pm


    I’m using Media Encoder (Media Encoder) CS6 to batch & background render a load of after effects projects.

    I need to export one high quality ProRes file for broadcast and a lower quality h264 file for vimeo (to allow someone else to check the text etc).

    Here’s what I’m doing:

    • Importing the AE project into Media Encoder
    • Selecting the correct comp
    • Dropping two Presets onto the comp.

    Using this method, is Media Encoder having to re-render the entire AE project twice in order to make the h264 file?

    I could be wrong, but it feels quicker for me to export a ProRes in Media Encoder, then compress the ProRes file to h264 in Media Encoder again. I realise that this is introducing two sets of compression, but the second copy is just for browse quality.

    Is there any way in Media Encoder to set up some kind of pipeline: “when File 1 has been encoded, use it as the source to encode File 2”?


  • Thomas Nord

    February 6, 2014 at 6:22 pm

    There currently is no way to chain your encodes as you describe. It’s a nice feature request though and I would urge you to submit it to the product team. We review all requests that come in through this form:

  • Thomas Hannen

    February 6, 2014 at 6:28 pm

    Thanks Thomas. Would the pipeline method be quicker though? Is Media Encoder having to recalculate everything in After Effects to make the second pass, or does it keep some kind of pixel-perfect cache in order to make the multiple output versions?

  • Thomas Nord

    February 6, 2014 at 6:31 pm

    It is entirely possible, though I can’t say with absolute certainty. My initial suspicion is that you are correct and chaining your encodes (especially if quality is not your primary concern) would be the best way to go here.

  • Ivan Myles

    February 7, 2014 at 6:27 pm

    AME can process multiple output files in parallel rather than sequentially. Import the AE project to the AME queue and set the export parameters for one of the output files. Highlight/select the output file in the AME queue, duplicate it, and then change the export settings for the second file. Upon encoding the files should be processed simultaneously. This technique works well for up to 4-7 files (perhaps more depending on the computer hardware).

    If you plan to encode at different points in time, it might be quicker to create the high quality ProRes file first and then make copies from the ProRes version.

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