What would be the best file format for exporting my animations to be edited in After Effects?


  • 1
    $\begingroup$ The best one? OpenEXR multilayer. Keep all of your data linear, with a proper Alpha channel and undistorted Z-depth. You can save different render passes. $\endgroup$
    – user1853
    Commented Mar 20, 2018 at 20:25

1 Answer 1


Bringing an animation into AE can be done in at least two primary ways: As an animation file -- avi, mov, etc -- or as a series of images -- 001.jpg, 002.jpg, 0003.jpg.

Blender allows you to render your animations in either way: You can select to render a complete and finished mov file, for example, or you can tell Blender to output each frame independently in many different file formats (JPG, PNG, TGA, etc.).

The "right" way depends upon what you want to do in AE, but outputting your animation as individual series of files gives you the ability to apply AE edits and effects to specific image sequences.... You can output image series for shadow, AO, gloss, difuse, depth, transparency, etc as individual files -- so each single frame of your animation will be output as 1, 2, 3 or many more distinct files. This gives you incredible control, and AE makes is as easy to import an image sequence as it does an mov.

When you then render in AE, it will assemble your shadow, AO, gloss, difuse, depth and so on into a single animation and apply your effects and edits as created in AE.

You can also use single still images in AE to add titles, lower thirds and other content... whether you are importing an mov file or a series of images, a single image an easy way to get a lower third.


Fastest way to export files multiple passes into folders?


  • $\begingroup$ If I am exporting a series of images and not breaking my renders into passes, which file format will be the highest quality to bring into AE? png, tiff, tga, etc? Thanks again! $\endgroup$
    – user46544
    Commented Mar 20, 2018 at 20:42
  • $\begingroup$ Sorry... away from PC. EXR and TGA would be good. If you want to have somewhat smaller files, PNG is OK and allows an alpha. But even jpg may accomplish what you want. Anything on stack exchange by blender.stackexchange.com/users/213/troy-s may have more info, as he is a wiz at color and file issues... $\endgroup$
    – rcgauer
    Commented Mar 21, 2018 at 17:56

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