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  • Smart rendering in Premiere

  • John-Michael Seng-Wheeler

    May 15, 2012 at 4:21 pm

    Did anyone notice the little mention of “Smart Rendering” in the update to AME?

    As I recall “smart rendering” is how the adobe reps on the cow have referred to FCP’s method of exporting.
    (for those who don’t know what I’m talking about, FCP exports without re-rendering any frames that 1) haven’t changed from the source footage, or 2) have been rendered in place on the timeline during editing, kinda like PP’s preview, but more robust since the renders are used in the output. This way FCP exports can be very, very fast since everything can already be rendered. Very nice when you’re in a hurry.)

    Apparently the smart rendering feature defaults to off, but it is there. It isn’t in PP yet though.

    I can’t really dig into it because when I turned on my computer to install CS6, my RAID controller exploded, so have fun without me…

  • Nevin Styre

    May 15, 2012 at 4:52 pm

    This isn’t new or isn’t 100% new, in CS5.5 as long as I checked “use preview files” in the settings dialog when exporting my timeline, the sections already rendered with a green bar on the timeline were used for creating the exported file rather than re-rendering(sometimes the difference between a 20 minute export and a 1 minute export). That’s basically the same thing final cut is doing with rendered sections of timelines.

  • Vince Becquiot

    May 15, 2012 at 4:53 pm

    Hi John,

    I think this works with FCP because of Prores.

    Most of our exports are now H.264, and our export settings are almost always different in resolution and compression settings depending on the client. I’m going to assume that this is the case for the vast majority of Pr users.

    The only exception would be if you were to background render to uncompressed, otherwise you would lose quality to an intermediate format. That would work, but you’ll need that solid RAID that just exploded…

    Vince Becquiot

    Kaptis Studios
    San Francisco – Bay Area

  • John-Michael Seng-Wheeler

    May 15, 2012 at 5:03 pm

    [Nevin Styre] “as long as I checked “use preview files” in the settings dialog when exporting my timeline, the sections already rendered with a green bar on the timeline were used for creating the exported file”

    That’s not quite the same thing. The frames are still re-encoded, so unless you use an uncompressed preview codec, you’re incurring a generation loss. “Smart Rendering” as adobe calls is means using the frames (or GOPs) wholesale without touching them, something that until now, Premiere was unable to do except with DV.

  • John-Michael Seng-Wheeler

    May 15, 2012 at 5:14 pm

    Perhaps I should have posted in the FCPX forum… 🙂

    This isn’t a big deal for me ether as, like you, I tend to export H.264, but for anyone doing broadcast it’s potentially humongous… as long as Adobe adds support for enough codecs, and lets you use preview files as a source. Being able to render as you go does save a bunch of time when last minute revisions pop up.

    The FCP switchers keep trying to use “use previews” as a replacement for the functionally of FCP, but it isn’t a replacement, and they’re losing quality in their exports.

  • Nevin Styre

    May 15, 2012 at 5:55 pm

    Considering you can use AVC intra 100 as a timeline option, the extra generation doesn’t really mean a whole lot in over 99% of the work I do(non-broadcast). Going from DSLR h264->avc-intra->h264 or DVCPro->Avc-intra->H264 is fine with me for almost everything I do. Especially considering on average 20% or less of the public actually use HD stream options when viewing online video. If a project negates I need highest quality export I save that process it until approval & my final render, all my proofs I will do with previews. But for most things that will be watched online then forgotten after a week or 2(ie event promos), shaving 90%+ off the time exporting is worth it for my bottom line & my clients’.

  • John-Michael Seng-Wheeler

    May 15, 2012 at 6:03 pm

    AVC-intra is one of the codecs currently supported,
    so, in your workflow, the Ability to smart render will give you a slight quality boost, and a slight speed increase…

    What’s wrong with that?

  • Nevin Styre

    May 15, 2012 at 6:14 pm

    Nothing wrong with it, but most of the time my source footage in any given timeline isn’t usually the same format(or even sometimes framerate-ugh), so I will select a format for my timeline that is higher quality than my source footage, like AVC-I, so preview files I render when editing are high quality & re rendering at the end is not necessary(for me). If I have a longer form project where most all of my source footage is all one of the supported formats then yeah I’m sure it will help, but in my mish-mash format AE roundtripping heavy workflow it’s not going to be the biggest deal to me.

  • Dax Roggio

    March 7, 2013 at 5:01 pm

    [John-Michael Seng-Wheeler] “Being able to render as you go does save a bunch of time when last minute revisions pop up.”

    That’s very true and well said. I’m surprised the lack of smart rendering and background rendering in Premiere doesn’t get more attention. I switched from FCP7, where I was used to being able to save to QuickTime in the rendered ProRes format much more quickly than I can export to it in Premiere.

    The main upgrade I was hoping for in FCP8 was background rendering. Well, FCPX does have background rendering, but I won’t get into all the reasons why I have chosen Premiere over FCPX (for now).

    I think a lot of Premiere Pro users don’t see background rendering as a must-have feature precisely because they are not used to utilizing smart rendering as FCP7 users are. Therefore, the idea of rendering as you go doesn’t make much sense in their view if you have a really fast system that can play back any combination of codecs and effects without rendering. But that doesn’t take into account other advantages.

    Also, the “Use Preview Files” option causes a lot of confusion, because it does use smart rendering in a few rare circumstances (DV, some forms of XDCAM), but generally, it still re-encodes with a generational loss and marginal speed increases.

    I go into much greater detail in my recent blog post: Why Adobe Premiere Pro needs background rendering

    But to summarize the benefits of smart rendering as well as background rendering:

    — Faster exports in many circumstances
    — What you said: “Being able to render as you go does save a bunch of time when last minute revisions pop up.” And I mean, a BUNCH of time.
    — On my iMac, I still need to render just to play clips that have effects applied to them. Waiting for clips to render to be able to continue working should be a thing of the past.
    — Higher quality previews: I like to render to ProRes for higher quality full-screen previews, but it seems like a waste of time and hard drive space if the render files aren’t going to save me time in the export process.

  • mikael Bellina

    April 12, 2013 at 1:09 pm

    It would be just a dream if Premiere Pro could render with the GPU in background…. A DREAM !

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