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After Effects Template Tutorial: Resize a project


In this tutorial video you can see a quick solution for exporting a project in different resolutions.

After Effects Text Tutorials of the video

Welcome to In this tutorial, I will show you how to customize the size of a template, or any project, in After Effects. For example, we have our Boxes slide template here. If you open it up, you will see the Main Composition, and we also have a folder called Other Resolutions. Open this up, and you’ll find three pre-set compositions. The original composition size is Full HD: 1920×1080. In case you want a smaller composition, or a different size, you can select one of these. The first one is HD 720; double click and you’ll see this. You’re ready to render: this is at 1280×720. It’s good to set this project to Quarter resolution when editing, so it works faster. You also have NTSC DV and PAL. In case you want to render a composition in a different size, you can try resizing the main composition when rendering – but only when rendering. If you try to resize this composition here, like Composition—Composition Settings, and then Resize, if you change this to 640×360, let’s see what happens: You scaled down the composition, but the layers are still the same size, so you’d need to scale down all the layers. That would be complicated, so let’s Undo it.

I’ll show you the easier way. Select the main composition, go to Composition—Make Movie, and here, select QuickTime, select the format you would like. I recommend Photo JPEG. Click Stretch, and here you can adjust the render size. So for example, our main composition is 1920×1080, and we would like to make it smaller – 640×360. We just change the resolution here, and we also select Audio if we have it, click OK, and we’re ready to render. When you render, the video will automatically be rendered in the resolution you have selected in the Scale option.

I hope this was useful for you, and if you have any questions, please leave a comment.

Comments (17)

  1. swannyee February 12, 2012 at 2:53 am Reply

    I want to a movie with small or medium size in aftereffect.
    After rendering my movie ,it is so large about 2–7 GB
    So , How to decrease the video size in aftereffect rendering AND how to become fast rendering in aftereffect video production .
    Thanks for your Video AND , good luck!

  2. swannyee February 12, 2012 at 2:59 am Reply

    Oh! I know You teach me in another video.
    Rendering in After Effects sorry for my Question above.

  3. Tyrone March 21, 2012 at 6:41 am Reply

    Very useful video. Exactly what I needed. Thank you! 🙂

  4. Idzi November 19, 2014 at 11:59 pm Reply

    Thanx man that was very helpfull

  5. AD Wheeler May 27, 2015 at 6:03 pm Reply

    A better solution is to make a new comp at the size that you want to render… Drop the Main comp into it and resize. Works well and quick when scaling down. You never want to try and scale up.

    1. Gyorfi Szilard May 28, 2015 at 10:26 am Reply

      Thanks for the suggestion AD, yes that is a good way of scaling down a comp.

      Impressive photo work, I have seen your video on your website.

      1. A.D. Wheeler May 28, 2015 at 1:05 pm Reply

        Great video btw! I came here looking for a solution and your video ultimately led me to the one I posted. Thanks for that inspiration.

  6. Cristian M July 8, 2015 at 11:49 am Reply

    Great tutorial, but what if I want to change the video from a widescreen video to a square video (For social media EX: Instagram) can i do this without it looking like it has been stretched out.

    1. Gyorfi Szilard July 13, 2015 at 3:23 pm Reply

      Thank you. Yes you can, but only if you cut off from the margins of the video.

  7. Dan Hargrave August 27, 2015 at 3:33 am Reply

    Scaling it down this way does not reduce the render time. 4 hour renders are not acceptable. I only want SD resolution. Theoretically that should render in about one quarter of the time. One hour may be tolerable. Is there any way to do this smaller and faster? I’m doing the same project as the tutorial. Do I need to purchase HW//SW?

    I have:
    AE CS3
    Windows 7 Professional SP1 64-bit OS
    CPU: AMD FX(tm)-4100 Quad-Core Processor 3.60 GHz
    Ram: 8.00 GB
    Video Adapter: ATI Radeon HD 4300/4500 Series (1920 X 1080)

    Dan Hargrave

    1. Gyorfi Szilard August 27, 2015 at 9:54 am Reply

      Hi Dan

      I understand the issue, yes sometimes rendering in After Effects takes more than expected.
      The render time is not reduced considerably because After Effects still has to calculate the project size that it was built in.

      A couple of ways to speed up the render time in your case:
      -Upgrade to After Effects CC 2015, if possible. The CS3 version was built in 2008, a lot of the rendering process has been upgraded since then
      -Enable multiprocessing
      -If possible use a Solid State drive, this speeds up rendering as the data can be written faster on the harddrive
      -The video format that you are rendering to is also affecting the speed, Use quicktime Photo JPEG

      We are releasing an entire course on how to render fast in After Effects, if you are interested in testing this course out, please email me at

      Szilard Gyorfi

  8. Dan Hargrave August 28, 2015 at 12:02 am Reply

    -I have installed a trial version of AE CC that has about 2 weeks left. I tried it and it was in fact slower than AE CS3… at least at the beginning… I only let it run for about 5 or 10 minutes and saw that the progress was less than CS3 so I stopped it.

    -Multiprocessing has always been enabled on my installation of CS3. I think multiprocessing is permanently enabled on CC 2015.

    -I was a software developer for many years and I’m pretty sure this not an I/O (disk) issue. Input – all of the input files for this project are less than 15MB… 12MB project size and my pictures are 2MB. This easily fits in memory so I think it is safe to assume that the processor is not waiting for input from the drive. Output – the output file is 1.8GB. I can copy this file to the same drive in less than 2 minutes, but the render took 4 hours. Clearly the render process is not waiting for the drive to be ready for output, but the drive is waiting for the render process for output data. Since I/O is apparently not and issue I think that a solid state drive will not help this issue.

    -I rendered using QT Photo JPEG. It took 4 hours to render 40 seconds of video (BlueFX Action Slideshow). Is this reasonable for AE? Coming from Premiere Pro, this would be totally unacceptable in Premiere Pro. I usually get render times of one to one. One minute of video will take 1 minute to render.
    I’m guessing that the only solution is hardware and since my video card seems to be the only thing that is substandard, the next thing I will try is to upgrade the video card. What do you think?

    Also if you will I would like to know what you would consider a reasonable render time for the project BlueFX Action Slideshow?

    Thank you so much for your time!

  9. George January 19, 2016 at 12:36 pm Reply

    Hi. How about pixel stretching or any other type of information loss? Example: I have creaged a composition of specific dimensions in order for it to be able to accommodate 13 separate movies (this was meant to protect video quality and prevent losses), but now I’m having issues with the use of a standard HD compressor codecs in AE when rendering out the film. I’m discovering pixel stretches and funny enough the video still does keep the random dimensions of the original composition. But as I need to edit the video in other software still,I’m ending up coming across a number of anomalies ;such as despite editing out part of the movie once played in the viewer it plays the scenes that are not present anymore-when I go frame by frame this shows me the new edit, but once I preview or export the actually removed scenes are composed and visible in the video. It’s a total mess…never came across this kinds of weird video editing anomalies as I usually use the ordinary HD video presets. I’ve been fighting with this for the past 5 hours and actually had to retrieve to Internet for help and advice. Any ideas will be appreciated as I spend 3months of most of my free time making this video (going on 4th month now..) and I think I ran out of ideas when it comes to the successfull export.
    Cheers G

    1. Remus Hosu January 19, 2016 at 6:14 pm Reply

      Hi George,

      Please take the time to watch our rendering tutorial in After Effects. It applies to Premiere Pro too. Regarding the previewing issues, I suggest you clear up all your cache and purge your memory. Here’s the tutorial:

  10. seth May 3, 2016 at 1:09 am Reply

    I have a composition with 4k resolution. I want to convert the composition to 1080p so that I can continue working on the comp in 1080p. I want to do this because I have pictures I want to add that are not 4k resolution. As this video shows, all of the layers stay at the 4k resolution and scaling some effects down causes them to inverse.

    This video/comments and others that I’ve found just deal with rendering the comp. I want to continue working on it. Does anyone have any suggestions?

    1. Remus Hosu May 3, 2016 at 12:34 pm Reply

      Hi Seth,

      Here’s a quick solution for that: edit the template in 4K and when you render it, in the render queue select Resolution Half, under render settings. It will be exactly 1920×1080. Another option would be to create a new comp 1920×1080 and drag the main 4K comp in there, right click on it and select Transform-Fit to comp height. This is will downscale the comp to Full HD. Then just render it

  11. J-Ryze November 8, 2016 at 2:24 pm Reply

    So helpful, ty.

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