Instead of rendering to QuickTime or AVI, you might consider going to an image sequence. After Effects allows you to write your render to s series of consecutive PICT, PNG, TARGA, or TIFF files. The benefits of this method include.
You can use QuickTime to spot-check the render partway, without interrupting the render. Thus if the thing doesn't look how you want, you don't have to wait till the entire render is finished to find that out.
Crashes, power outages, etc. don't hurt so badly , because you just pick up where you left off.
Nearly all video and 3D applications can import an image sequence; hence you can get around the issue of codecs and such.
You can specify which can of image sequence you'd like in an output module. Just be sure to create a new folder to hold the rendered frames , otherwise your desktop or drive will get pretty cluttered.
Tip idea by Mark Simpson, Jam Digital, Redondo Beach, California, USA