I am completely new to After Effects. I have decided to switch from Sony Vegas Pro 14 to After Effects CC 2018, and I just want to know; how on earth do you prerender your project. How can I see my project in real time without it lagging or the audio distorting. How.
There is not a direct prerender option in AE like in most NLEs.
To ram preview (it renders to the ram memory and holds it there until something else needs the ram space) default key is zero on the numberpad. Spacebar does something different and doesn’t work well for previewing.
To properly prerender, export the element/layer/composition in question (If your drives can handle the size and read/write for uncompressed AVI that seems to work the fastest inside of AE, otherwise ProRes usually works well as an intermediary, I’ve had a decent amount of luck even with H.264 as a prerender, you will ultimately have to find the intermediary that works best for your system and workflow).
Once that export is complete, bring it into AE and replace the element/layer/composition with the prerender (select the element/layer/comp in your Timeline window, click and drag the prerender from the project window, position the cursor over the selected element to be replaced, hold alt (the arrow icon should change), release click).
Prerender is used differently in AE from NLEs. Most typically when one would prerender in an NLE they would ram preview in AE. Prerender in AE is used to reduce render times (both final and for working in a project).
As you may have gathered from what these others have said, After Effects is not a non-linear editor. “Switching” from Vegas to AE is a bit odd since they both do different things. Premiere Pro is much more similar to Vegas. I usually do my editing in Premiere Pro and then use AE for the stuff I need more power for. (That is, complex color correction/grading, visual effects, and motion graphics.)
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