How to Skip frames while rendering in After effects ?

I know a lot of Motion Graphic artists  and over the year i have realised that not many of them are using a real gem of a tool in After effects i.e. command line based program  “aerender” which can be used to automate rendering.

You can access the ‘aerender ‘ program by entering the command aerender on the command line (or in a batch script), followed by a series of optional arguments. Some of the arguments are simple options that take no arguments of their own others might need some extra information.

For eg : aerender -project c:/folder/projName.aep -comp “CompName” -output /Output path /OutputFileName.extension

In the example above -project , -comp & -output are arguments with some values assigned to them. Click Here to get a detailed explanation about the aerender & its arguments from the Adobe Website.

Ans : One great use of this Automated Renderer is the possibility to render out quick previews of huge projects by skipping frames. So how do we do this ? Access the command prompt and type :

aerender -i 2 -project c:/folder/projName.aep -comp “myCompName” -output /Outputpath/myOutputName.mov

If you notice, this example is similar to the earlier command except for the additional argument  -i . This argument defines the number of frames AE will advance forward while rendering. A value of 1 (the default) results in a normal rendering of all frames. Higher increment values result in skipped frames that results in faster renders but choppier motion. In our example as we have set the -1 value to 2 it will skip to every second frame cutting our render time in half .

This technique can be very useful if you intend to get some quick test renders out for those big comps.

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