After Effects

I’m sure if you’ve made a couple projects in After Effects (AE) you’ve used Photoshop to edit an image to be used in your AE project. What I think a lot of people don’t think of is creating an image in AE for Photoshop. With all the tools AE has, if you’re looking to create a mind blowing image and you’re stuck, why not turn to AE and create something to add onto your current Photoshop project. I’ve always thought about doing something like this and I just so happen to glance at Video Copilot’s web site today and saw an article about this exact topic. Also Video Copilot has made a plugin that makes it extremely simple to take a frame from AE into Photoshop. Link for plugin COPY and PASTE. It copies the frame to your clipboard so you can paste it into Photoshop. This is the Video Copilots ARTICLE.

In this day and age there is an abundance of settings and codecs you can choose for your video and audio exporting. What I usually aim for is good quality while trying to keep the file size relatively low. For this I usually export my videos in H.264 (aka. MPG4). This is a great HD compressor for saving space on your computer and keeping your videos in great quality. If you’re producing your going to want HD quality, meaning you’ll want a resolution of 1280×720 or 1920×1080, both considered HD resolutions. As for frame rate, 24 fps (frame per second) is the most used and widely adopted frame rate. Most online video hosting websites like YouTube and Vimeo have a top fps of 30, so if you’re using a fps over 30 it will be reduced down when you uploaded your video to the video streaming website.
Audio is the other part in the exporting process. AAC is a great quality format that a lot of software will default to when you are exporting. WAV is known as a great, if not the best, quality format, but WAV files are huge and will take up a lot of space on your computer, for an almost unnoticeable difference compared to AAC, so I choose AAC. Two other audio settings to look at are Data rate, and Sample rate. The Data rate is the bits per second that will be used to make up the audio file. So the more bits there are, the better the playback quality will be. The standard data rate is 320 kbps (kilo bits per second), compared to mp3s that use 128-192 kbps, where a lot of quality is lost. I therefor don’t recommend mp3s if you want a quality production. The last audio setting to look at is the Sample rate, which is the amount of samples the exporter takes per second to reconstruct the audio. The sample rate used almost everywhere is 44.1 kHz (kilo hertz), which is chosen based on how humans hear sound. There are plenty of long articles to read on this without making this explanation much longer.
To sum up, what I normally choose is:-

H.264 1920×1080 at 24 or 30 fps. AAC 320kbps, 44.1khz.