Join Jason Osder for an in-depth discussion in this video Understanding rendering, part of Premiere Pro Guru: Mastering the Timeline.
One fundamental thing to understand about the timeline is rendering. So let's see how it works, but also I want to really explain whats going on behind the scenes when you render. First you've probably seen these red and yellow marks on the timeline and they should be your first indication that something needs to be rendered. But I really want to talk about this and break it down, because it's one thing to know where the command is, it's another thing to really understand what's happening behind the curtain. What's really happening goes back to the idea of this being visual instructions. We are always with our timeline, telling the computer what to do to make the image. And in some of these red areas, it's getting kind of complex. Let's zoom in a little. We see that that's a title element, over a B-roll element, and then we have two transitions working at the same time. Let's look at it in the Program viewer and see what we're looking at. So there, you see that the background's moving, things are fading out and transitioning. And the meaning of the red color is the computer saying that these instructions you've given me are too complex to actually execute in real time. Now, it's a computer and it's just math, so it can figure out what this all looks like. But what the red is saying is that it can't do it at 24 frames a second. That it can't actually do the math in a timely enough way to show the viewer full quality when we're playing it. And so it's an indication that it needs to be rendered. And the meaning of rendering something is for the computer to do the math in advance.
To go ahead and figure out what every frame looks like, save it in a separate file called a render file, and then when it reaches this complex effect. Rather than trying to do all that math on the fly, it just references the render file. So that's what's really going on, now let's see exactly how it works and how to manipulate it. All of your choices for rendering are up here under the Sequence menu, and there's a few of them. Render Effects from In to Out. Render from In to Out, Render Selection, Render Audio. We also have the option to delete certain render files, and that just clears out old render files that may exist.
Our choices are to select something or to mark it with in and out, depending on what we want to render. And that gives us the opportunity to be selective. So let's just say I don't want to mess with the stuff further down in the timeline, I don't need to figure that out yet. I can quickly go in and mark an in, and an out, around the effect I want to work with, and then the command will just be, Render Effects In to Out. This is a fairly quick render. Partly because I marked the in and out points to render not that much, and partly because of the speed of my computer. Be aware that depending both on what you need to render and on the speed of your computer, render times will be different. But now you see that the red has turned to green. And it might be difficult for you to see this on your screen, but it's now playing back at full quality, or it exists at full quality.
So if I set my viewer to full size, and I set my quality setting to full, I will now see the final full effect because I've rendered it. So that's the principle behind rendering. And the idea with these different choices is it lets you micromanage the process, so you can set in to out wherever you want. You can render only effects, or you can render things besides effects. That's usually when you have different types of footage that may be playing okay, so you might want to wait until the end to render it. And then you can do by selection. Or only audio, if you have some audio that needs to be rendered but you don't want to spend the time rendering the video.
But again, these are all about time and efficiency, these choices. They let you micromanage what you render when, so that you can spend your time in the most effective way. There's a little bit about rendering. I suspect that a lot of people watching this have rendered, but maybe you didn't know some of the why's behind rendering. So hopefully now you've got a full understanding of both why and how to use the different render commands.
- Understanding how the Timeline "thinks"
- Creating and adding new content to sequences
- Controlling the Timeline: snapping, locking, linking, and more
- Saving and managing track presets
- Adjusting timing with Timeline markers
- Achieving precision with traditional three-point editing