Join Todd Kopriva for an in-depth discussion in this video Lowering resolution for previews, part of After Effects and Premiere Pro: Optimizing Performance (2011).
If you ever find that you're not getting smooth playback within Premier pro, consider setting your playback resolution to something other than full. I'll show you how to do that. With the mouse pointer over the program monitor, press the Accent key to expand the panel to fill the entire monitor. Now, from the panel menu, which is up here, click, Choose Playback Resolution, and set to 1/4. So now, when I hit Play, we see a very blocky 1/4 resolution playback. When I hit Pause, we go back to Full Resolution.
That's because my Pause Resolution, I still have full set. I don't tend to move my Pause Resolution off of full. But I usually have my Playback Resolution set to one half or one quarter. For very demanding formats. So again, press play. (audio playing) And then pause. (audio playing) And I'll show you that at one half. (audio playing) Press Play. (audio playing) Then press Pause. Even at half-resolution, I see plenty of detail. I can certainly do my editing work. And if we make the panel its regular size again, notice that when I have my movie so that I can see it all on my program monitor, I'm already at essentially one-quarter resolution because of my zoom level.
So by setting my playback resolution to one quarter here, I'm actually not missing anything. To have it set to full would in fact be rendering all of the pixels and then throwing many of them away as the zoom supplied to put things in the program are. Similarly, in After Effects, you can change the resolution value. So ALT+Tab, you go to After Effects. And here, we have, auto, or, various other settings. Auto, tells After Effects to use a resolution, that smartly matches the zoom value.
So for example, if we're set to 100 percent here, we're set to full here. If we're set to 50 percent here, we're set to half here. This means that After Effects isn't rendering lots to pixels, and then throwing them all away as the movie is zoomed to fit into the Composition panel. If I turn it off of auto, and set resolution to full, and then I have the magnifications at 50 percent, all of the pixels in the movie are being rendered. And then half of them vertically and half of them horizontally are being thrown away as we go down to the 50 percent magnification.
This is wasteful. So, go back to auto there. And let's press the spacebar to see how fast this renders. So each of the frames is being rendered and payed back to the screen after I've hit the Spacebar to do a Standard preview, not a Ran preview. That's a little bit slow, I want to see something faster. I don't really care about the image quality as much right now, because I want to see the overall motion. So hit the Spacebar again to pause, then I'll go down to a quarter. Now notice the image degraded somewhat, because we're throwing away alot of pixel information, or rather not rendering it in the first place. But when I hit Space Bar, the rendering and playback happen much faster. And I can even set this to a more extreme value, by going to Custom, saying render every ten pixels horizontally and every twenty pixels vertically. Which looks terrible, but renders very, very quickly back in real time. Let's not do that.
That's just awful. And go back to full, and put this at 100 percent, and hitting the spacebar again, we see how slow it was without those settings. So, overall, if you want to increase the smoothness of your Playback but you're willing to sacrifice a little bit of image quality. Use the resolution settings in both After Effects and Premier Pro.
- Planning your work, updating, and auto-saving
- Learning and customizing keyboard shortcuts
- Optimizing hard disks and CPUs
- GPU: CUDA and OpenGL
- Using "Render Multiple Frames Simultaneously" multiprocessing
- Pre-rendering and proxies in After Effects
- Lowering resolution for previews