It’s no secret that Premiere can be a computer hog. We’re all pretty aware of that. You spend twice as long trying to watch thirty second clip and even then it’s shaky and your dropping frames left and right. It really makes editing frustrating. Learning to pre-render for smoother playback in Premiere is the key out of this frustration.

When I discovered the pre-rendering features in Premiere, it changed my life. A little disclaimer though, you will still have to deal with some rendering times before you can actually watch the project.

First let’s start with a few details.

When should I pre-render?

If you look above your timeline you will see one of the following colored lines: green, yellow, or red.

Green means the clip is rendered and will play in real-time. This usually shows up after a pre-render.

Yellow means that clip will play back in real-time but will likely drop frames but it likely drop frames. Pre-rendering is often but not always needed.

Red indicates a clip that is too much for your system to handle. This is most likely due to effects like Warp Stabilizer, Optical Flow, or heavy color grading. A pre-render is a must in order to watch these clips back properly. Just beware that any changes you make will likely cause you to require another pre-render.

How Do I Pre-Render?
To Pre-Render you simply select the sequence tab and select the option that you feel works best for your situation. I personally like to use the render in/out feature. You can speed this process up by storing your preview files/scratch disk on an external SSD. This is a vital step to achieving a smoother playback in Premiere.

Learning to pre-render for smoother playback in premiere is a massive time saver and a creative pain-reliever. We couldn’t work without it.

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