The Best Way to Export HAP Codecs from After Effects

by Antoine on March 6th, 2020
Full tutorial to export Hap / Hap Q from your Render Queue and explanation of AfterCodecs benefits and features
AfterCodecs is a new native plugin for the whole Adobe CC Video suite, working on both OSX and Windows. It brings fast and efficient codecs to After Effects’ render queue and a new "format" choice in Premiere Pro and Media Encoder's "Export" Window. It supports HAP codecs, in any resolution, with Snappy lossless compression and CPU chunks for multi-threaded decompression.

How to find AfterCodecs in After Effects

Render queue

Download and install AfterCodecs (both trial and full version) with the installer provided here. It will install AfterCodecs for Premiere Pro, Media Encoder and After Effects.
Close any Adobe app running before launching the installer. Launch again After Effects and add your composition to the After Effects render queue. In the render queue tab, click on the button shown on the right to bring up your output module settings.
Render queue
Once the settings panel is open Select the AfterCodecs.mov format (HAP codecs only support .mov and .avi containers).

Output Module : alpha channel, bit depth

Depending on whether you want to export the Alpha Channel or not, there are four different types of HAP codecs to choose from : HAP, HAP Alpha, HAP Q and HAP Q Alpha. HAP Q flavors have improved image quality, at the expense of larger file sizes. HAP flavors have the lowest data-rate and a reasonable image quality.
Note : VLC player does not currently support HAP Q Alpha.
If you would like to include an Alpha channel in your export, simply switch from “RGB” to “RGB + Alpha” in the channels drop down menu and you can choose between HAP or HAP Q in the AfterCodecs settings. Choosing “RGB + Alpha” will export HAP Alpha or HAP Q Alpha depending on which one you chose.
As HAP is an 8 bit codec there is no use selecting more than “Millions of colours” in the depth dropdown as it will just increase render times without any quality improvements. If you would like to select a different resolution from your composition you can select it now by ticking the “Resize” box and entering your desired resolution. Unlike other HAP plugins, AfterCodecs has no resolution restrictions. This means you don’t have to worry about only being able to export resolutions that are multiples of 4, for example.
Output module settings

Selecting your AfterCodecs settings

Open the AfterCodecs Settings by clicking on “Format options” button. Now you can select more advanced encoding settings.
Video codec
Once the AfterCodecs popup is here, select your desired HAP flavor from the video codec drop-down menu, the alpha channel will only be included if you selected “RGB+ Alpha” previously :
  • If you select HAP / HAP Alpha from the menu and you picked “RGB + Alpha” it will export HAP Alpha otherwise HAP
  • If you select HAP Q / HAP Q Alpha from the menu and you picked “RGB + Alpha” it will export HAP Q Alpha otherwise HAP Q.

HAP Algorithms

Algorithm
If you are exporting HAP (not HAP Q), AfterCodecs also lets you select a different algorithm that suits your needs.
  • Vidvox / Squish Accelerated : This an optimised algorithm created by Autokroma that encodes HAP the slowest but will deliver the highest quality available.
  • Original FFmpeg : This is the original algorithm, it will render faster and deliver acceptable quality but the Vidvox algorithm does look better.
  • JMP Preview : As the name states this will deliver low quality files quickly, so it should only be used for previews that are needed fast.

Snappy

Chunks
Select the number of cores you would like to use for multi-threaded decoding. 1-2 cores is recommended for HD.
You can select more cores for 4K+ content but they should never exceed the number of CPU cores on the computer used for playback. Above the chunks slider you have the option of disabling snappy compression, this is not recommended without testing as it can result in choppy playback. Without snappy compression multithreaded decoding is disabled so you will be unable to select your desired number of cores from the “chunks” slider.

Export !

Once everything is configured to your liking, click OK on both popup (AfterCodecs Settings and the Output Module popup).
Click render in the render queue and you’re done!
For more information on HAP codecs, please consult https://hap.video/

Install and try for free AfterCodecs from here ! 500 Frames trial included as well as the full version if you have a license