Explore issues related to playback and performance in Premiere Pro. You learn what the yellow and red line Timeline indicators mean, and you look at how to reduce the video resolution in order to play back more streams in real time. You also learn about the main render options, including Render Selection, Render Effects in to out, and Render in to out.
- [Instructor] As we continue learning about all types of effects, it becomes inevitable that we need to discuss system playback and rendering options, especially as we begin to study some of the more complex effects. I'm going to load my render sequence here, and I've built three composites. This one's very simple, we just have three clips playing. And then here we have six, and then here we have nine, and there's a lot of effects applied to each one of these clips, yet it took this much before Premiere even started to blink.
Simply put, if you've got a good computer with a fast processor, and plenty of RAM, and a high quality graphics card, you'll really reap the rewards in terms of realtime playback. But let me back up a bit. When I start adding video, and layers of material, and lots of effects, the computer does have to work harder to play everything in realtime. And occasionally, if there's too much to play back, and if the computer can't keep up, then you'll drop frames on playback. Obviously that's not a desirable outcome, so you need to be aware of what's happening so that you know when you need to render and when you don't.
When you render, you create a standalone video file that is comprised of everything that is happening at a certain point in your sequence. So instead of making the system take all of the video, and effects, and do all the mathematical algorithms to play everything back, instead you're just writing a file that contains all the layers and effects mixed together as one entity. So when you play your rendered file, everything plays back smoothly. How do you know when something needs to be rendered? Let's take a look at these lines here.
And just so you know, you may not have the same color lines as me, and you may not have the same performance as me, since this all depends on the capabilities of each, individual system. You can use these exercise files as a starting place, but just know that our results may differ. A yellow line indicates that Premiere Pro will have to do some processing on the fly, but it won't drop any frames, and a red line indicates that it may playback without dropping any frames, and in many cases, it probably will playback without dropping frames, but it's not guaranteed.
So that's a bit more of a clue, but let's keep going. We know that this part of the sequence is going to playback fine. I'll go ahead and play it. (techno music) We have a yellow line, which essentially means realtime playback. Here I have a mix. I don't have any guarantee, but let's go ahead and play, and see if it drops frames. (techno music) Alright, well it may have, but I couldn't say for certain, so if I want to know for sure, I can show the drop frame indicator.
I just come to this wrench and say show dropped frame indicator, and you can see that we have a little, green light. And as I play over a sequence, if I ever drop frames, this is going to turn yellow, so let's play over this middle composite again. (techno music) Alright. We didn't drop any frames. We stayed green. Everything's in good shape.
But let's come downstream, where we have our nine video streams, each with effects, and see how it does here. Again, we're watching the dropped frames indicator. (techno music) I think it was very obvious that we dropped frames there. It certainly struggled. If I hover my cursor over the light, it'll tell me how many. I dropped 111 frames during playback. What do we do with this information? Depending on who needs to see the playback, you may or may not want to render this section of the timeline.
The reason for this is that, if I'm just exporting the sequence, then Premiere Pro is going to render everything that needs rendering anyway, so you don't actually need to pre-render your sequence in the timeline before exporting a file. However, if you're screening the sequence for a client, or a producer, within the software, then you'll definitely want to make sure that you're not dropping frames. One way that you can try to make that happen without rendering is by changing this menu here. I actually cheated a little bit in order to make this drop a lot of frames.
Normally in Premiere Pro you're on half resolution, and I changed it to full. If I change it to half, I'm going to play over it again, and let's see how much it improves our performance. (techno music) I would say that helped out a lot. We didn't notice it visibly struggle, but we see that we did drop some frames. If I hover over this, only two frames were dropped during playback, so by dropping our resolution from full to half, we basically took care of the problem.
And of course, I also have the option of going down ever further as well. But if dropping your video resolution isn't what you want to do, then you'll need to render. The render commands are in the sequence dropdown menu here, all in this upper section, and I want to talk about the ones you'll probably use the most often. If I wanted to just render this section of the timeline, I could select all of these clips, and then come up to render selection. And it's only going to render what I actually have selected. If you know that you need to render just a certain moment within the timeline, you can certainly do this.
Most of the time, though, you're going to set in and out points, and choose a different option. If I set an in and an out around a certain part of the timeline, and then I come up to sequence, the ones I want to look at are render effects in to out and render in to out. What's the difference here? Render effects in to out is only going to render parts of the sequence that have a red line, that non-guaranteed realtime playback. It's going to leave the yellow line areas alone. I'm going to do this. In fact, I actually already have done it to save us a little bit of time.
This is not in your exercise files, but you can feel free to go ahead and render effects in to out. Here is a render effects in to out sequence. As you can see, any area that had a red line is now green. I've written a render file, and when I play over this very complex composite, it's not going to be a problem. It's not actually going out and searching for all of these video streams. Instead it's just playing back the render file. I'll even switch it to full resolution and it'll be just fine. We'll play.
(techno music) No problem at all, and as you can see, zero dropped frames. What if I would've chosen render in to out? Render in to out renders the areas with both yellow and red lines, so it produces a very smooth playback because it renders everything. But, to be honest, it's usually pretty unnecessary to render these yellow portions of the timeline because Premiere Pro guarantees playback on those regions anyway, even though it's sometimes working hard to do so.
I'll just do it right now, just so you can see how everything looks. I'm not going to go back to this original one, otherwise it'll need to re-render the red sections. I'll go ahead and just render in to out here, and then I'm going to choose render in to out. And again, it's just doing the yellow line here, and now everything is green. Premiere knows enough to not re-render the areas that you've already rendered. Sometimes render effects in to out is a good solution. You can actually just put an in and an out on your 30 minute documentary, and then it's going to find all of the areas that are red, and render those, and leave the yellow ones alone.
I'll often do that if I need to play back in the software for my client. As computers have gotten faster and faster, the number of must-render items continues to drop. However, you will sometimes run into items that do need rendering for realtime playback, and now you have the tools to determine how that works.
This is the first part of a two-part series. The second installment explores more intermediate techniques.
- Touring the Premiere Pro interface
- Asset organization and project management
- Basic editing
- Trimming and refining
- Basic audio editing
- Working with stills and graphics
- Basic effects
- Manipulating clip speed
- Using automatic and basic color correction tools
- Working with titles
- Sharing and exporting