Saving a Composer Animation in MP4 Format

This article walks through the steps necessary to export an animation directly from Composer in MP4 format.

Currently, there is no native way for Composer to export an animation in MP4 format. If you would like to see this functionality added to the software in a future release, you can vote for SPR 658461 in the "Enhancement Requests" area of your Customer Portal account. 

To obtain an animation that is in MP4 format, third party tools such as HandBrake can be used to convert the standard AVI exports to MP4. Alternatively, by installing the x264vfw encoder, Composer gains the ability to directly export animations in MP4 format. 

The x264vfw encoder can be downloaded by navigating here.

Please note that Hawk Ridge Systems does not provide support for any third party program.

Utilizing the x264vfw Encoder

Once the x264vfw encoder has been installed, you should be able to use it to export an MP4 animation by following the steps listed below.

1. Navigate to the "Video" Workshop in Composer after opening a file that has an animation.

2. In the "AVI Output" tab, mark the option for "CHANGE WINDOW RESOLUTION".

3. Change the "width" and "height" fields to a resolution that is in line with a standard aspect ratio, such as 4:3 or 16:9. For this example, a resolution of 1920x1080 will be used. 



Any other desired changes can also be made in this Workshop.

4. Click on "Save Video As..." to open the "Save Video" window. This first file can only be saved in AVI format, and the file itself will not contain any data after the following steps are completed.

Once you have chosen a name and location for this empty AVI file, press "Save".

5. In the "Video Compression" window that appears, select "x264vfw - H.264/MPEG-4 AVC codec" from the drop down menu.

6. After selecting the option mentioned in step 5, click on "Configure", as show below.



7. A new window titled "x264vfw configuration" should appear. In this window, set the "Output mode" drop down menu to "File", and ensure that the "VFW FourCC" drop down is set to "H264". An example of both of these options is shown below.



8. Change any other options to meet your needs. As a note, we have found that changing the "Rate control" drop down to "Singe pass - bitrate-based (ABR)" and setting the average bitrate to around 5000 results in good quality videos. If you would like to change these settings, the illustration below demonstrates where they are located.



9. Press the "..." icon to open a new "Save Video" window.



10. The video that will be saved in this second "Save Video" window will be the MP4 animation file. After setting the desired name and save location, press "Save" to close this window.

11. After you are taken back to the "x264vfw configuration" window, press "OK". This should close this window as well.

12. Lastly, press "OK" in the "Video Compression" window to start the animation export process.



13. Once the export is complete, Composer will automatically attempt to open the AVI file that was saved in step 4 with your default video player. Exit this video and manually open the MP4 file that was saved in step 10 to test the export.

By following these steps, you should have a functional MP4 of your animation.

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