You should never, ever, render out any lossy compressed file out of a 3d package. Always render a sequence of images and collate that to your final use. So do not use AVI, MP4 or MOV. The reason for this is simple:
- If you ever need to cancel or restart the job you can do so with individual frames easily.
- If the rendering crashes, you've just lost all of your frames.
- If use something other than uncompressed/lossless then you have lost quality .
(that you spent so many hours calculating).
- You can monitor jobs and preview files on fly (even in batch mode).
- It is trivial to split the job across several machines.
Really don't do it, theres no point. No you cant even save disk space, and even if you would it would be pointless, buy more disk. Use some appropriate lossless single image format such as PNG or EXR. If you find yourself needing to view individual files as a animation then get some frame cycling software.
Since this is so you dont need to worry about the codec.
When time comes for final compression of your work then compress several times with different settings to find the sweet spot (this is way faster than rendering the 3D)