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Which version of my composition or sequence is used for export using Adobe Media Encoder?

When you send an After Effects composition or Adobe Premiere Pro sequence to the Adobe Media Encoder (AME) encoding queue, you may not be sending the version of the composition or sequence that you intended. There are some subtle but important differences in how the applications behave under various circumstances.

The essential difference is in whether the version of the composition or sequence that is used for creating the output file is a) the current version within After Effects or Premiere Pro or b) the version stored in the project file most recently saved to disk.

In the case of the After Effects render queue, the version of a composition that is used for creating output files is the version of the composition current within the After Effects application at the time that the render operation begins, regardless of what has been saved to disk.

Here’s how it works within Adobe Media Encoder (AME), depending on various circumstances:

  • After Effects; all cases involving AME: uses the version of the composition stored in the project file most recently saved to disk
  • Premiere Pro; using File > Export > Media commands: uses the version of the sequence current within the Premiere Pro application at the time that the Export command is clicked
  • Premiere Pro; dragging sequence to AME queue or importing Premiere Pro project into AME: uses the version of the sequence stored in the project file most recently saved to disk

If you try to drag a composition or sequence from After Effects or Premiere Pro into the AME queue but the composition or sequence doesn’t exist in the project saved to disk, this message appears: “An error occurred while trying to add the selected project to the batch.” If you see that message, save the project and then try again.

In general, to get the most predictable behavior, save your project before sending a composition or sequence off to AME to be rendered and exported.

You may think of these differences as a bug, as bad design, or—once you’ve learned how to use them—as a useful feature. If it’s either of the first two, I encourage you to submit a bug report or feature request.

For more information about rendering and exporting from After Effects and Premiere Pro, see these pages:

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