As one of the most versatile and widely-accepted video formats in the world, there are a lot of reasons as to why you might potentially need to save a video to MP4. If you are reading this article chances are you might be having some trouble exporting MP4 video out of After Effects, and for good reasons.
Why You Can’t Export MP4 in After Effects CC
The reason is simple, MP4 is a delivery format. This means MP4 is used primarily as a video container format when you are finished with your final product and After Effects isn’t a software for delivering finished products. Instead After Effects is a software you use in the middle of the video creation process. It is expected that an artist that is using After Effects would render out their compositions into an intermediate (less-compressed) codec and finalize their video in Premiere Pro before exporting using Media Encoder to export for delivery.
How to Export After Effects Compositions as MP4: Step by Step
To export After Effects composition as MP4 for uploading to the web, or for other usage, you can achieve the goal by using After Effects and Adobe Media Encoder. You can add this page to Favorites so you can reference it in the future.
Step 1: Add to Media Encoder Queue
The first step is really simple, as long as you have Media Encoder installed on your computer, with your composition selected navigate to Composition > Add to Media Encoder Queue. This will automatically start Media Encoder if it is not already open on your machine. You can also use the keyboard shortcut Option+Command+M to send your composition to Media Encoder.
Step 2: Adjust Settings
Once inside of Adobe Media Encoder select the dropdown menu on the far left of your screen. This will open a menu where you can select your output format. Now you might be inclined to simply hit the ‘MPEG-4’ setting, but MPEG-4 is not the same as MP4. MP4 is a video container, MPEG-4 is a codec (more on this below). Instead select ‘H264’ from the dropdown menu. This will export your video in an MP4 video container using an H264 codec (it’s confusing, I know…).
Step 3: Render
Once you’ve adjusted your settings to your liking hit the ‘Export’ button. That’s all there is to it!
In this part, I will share a third-part software with you which is called Pavtube Video Converter Ultimate | for Mac , no matter what format you export from After Effects CC, this software enables you to convert them to MP4. Put it in this way, Pavtube Video Converter Ultimate allows you to load H.265/H.264 MP4, AVI, VOB, FLV, MOV, MPG, Tivo, M4V, AVCHD, even 3D/2D Blu-ray, DVD, ISO/IFO files into it and output MP4, AVI, MKV, M4A, MP3, FLAC, etc any format you can imagine.
What’s better is that, with this software, you can adjust video and audio codec, frame rate, resolution, bit rate, sample rate, channels in its "Profile Settings" window. With this feature, you can reduce the After Effects render files size by lowering the video bit rate to make it easier to transfer, share and edit.
Apart from a Video Converter, Pavtube Video Converter Ultimate is also a video editor with rich video editing functions. It can fulfill basic needs of making a good video before you import in Premiere for further editing. With it, you can merge separate video clips into one, insert external subtitles to video, add transparent text watermark/image watermark to video, crop black bars around the video frame, split large video files into small parts, adjust video color brightness, contrast, saturation, remove audio from a video or replace audio in video, trim video footage, crop unwanted area from video, etc.
Step 1. Load After Effects CC render file in this software
Click "File" –> "Load from folder" and import the After Effects CC render file into this software. After loading, you can preview the file on the far left of your screen. Batch conversion is also available here, it allows you to convert several clips at a time.
Step 2. Define MP4 as output video format
Then enter in the Format list window, here are hundreds of video formats for you. Move your cursor and navigate to "HD Video", in its submenu, select "H.264 HD Video(*.mp4)". There are lots of video formats here, you can browse all of them by scrolling your mouse.
Step 3. Edit video before futher editing
Click the pen-like icon on the UI, and in its "Video Editor" window, there are 7 tabs for you to edit video: Trim, Crop, Text Watermark, Image/Video Watermark, Effect, Audio Editor, Subtitle.
Step 4. Start After Effects CC renfer file to MP4 conversion
When you are here, the last step is to start the conversion. Make sure that you have finished all settings, press the red button Convert to begin the conversion. When the process stops, click "Open the output folder" to locate the generated file – MP4. Now you will be free to load this file into any software or media player apps for playbakc or other usage.