Adobe’s popular video editing program Premiere Pro makes it easy for video creators and editors to generate captivating videos with audio components. Adobe Premiere Pro enables users of just about any experience level to cut and merge videos, do color correction, as well as include components like titles and text. While the software is relatively easy to learn for beginners—and can be explored in depth with a free seven-day trial—it is notorious for slow rendering times.
Rendering in Premiere Pro is the process of creating preview files prior to exporting the video in the desired format.
Photo by Tranmautritam from Pexels
Many first-time users may find themselves asking, “Why is Premiere Pro rendering so slow?”—and the answer often lies in their hardware.
Adobe Premiere Pro mostly utilizes the computer’s central processing unit (CPU) for rendering, which means it’s often necessary to invest in a powerful CPU to cut down on wait times during the rendering process.
Whether you’re a beginner at video editing or a pro with years of experience, it helps to know a few tips on how to make Premiere Pro render faster without having to go out and upgrade your hardware. So, let’s look at a few suggestions on how to do just that.
Tip #1: Use Media Encoder
If you’d like to continue working on Premiere Pro while rendering your video project, you can opt to use Adobe’s Media Encoder, which will encode the sequence separately.
To do that, simply save your project and open it up in Media Encoder. By outsourcing the rendering process to another program, you can get back to creating in Premiere Pro—saving you precious minutes or even hours on your project.
Tip #2: Turn On GPU Acceleration
One of the most important factors that affect the speed of rendering is undoubtedly the speed of your computer. However, some adjustments you can make without changing your computer may increase your rendering speed.
GPU needs to run at high performance to create and play many effects and plugins in Premiere Pro. Otherwise, you may face higher rendering times and much slower playtimes.
GPU Acceleration in Premiere Pro allows the GPU and CPU to run together to facilitate difficult and complex operations ( like many things done in Premiere Pro ) on the computer easier and faster.
Accordingly, to increase your rendering speed make sure that GPU Acceleration is turned on.
You’ve turned this feature on File > Project Settings > General. You will see “Renderer” dropdown under Video Rendering and Playback. From this dropdown, you should select “Mercury Playback Engine GPU Acceleration.” For macOS, you will select OpenCL or Metal. For PC, you should have CUDA option.
Tip #3: Increase Memory Allocation
When you run other software on your computer during editing, this process uses RAM on your computer.
This feature allows Premiere Pro to take up more energy than other running software. It can significantly increase the performance of Premiere Pro in editing. So, your rendering time may be faster.
Premiere Pro basically allows you to determine the amount of RAM on your computer according to the right requirements you need.
Through, you can adjust settings that how much RAM you want to use for other applications and how much are reserved for Adobe Premiere Pro. To do this, go to Premiere Pro > Preferences > Memory and from here you can increase the memory allocation for Premiere Pro.
When you increase memory allocation, because your project will try to use a huge portion of the resources in your device, please be careful about possible crashes in Adobe Premiere Pro to prevent unintended losses.
Tip #4: Run Premiere Pro Alone
If you’d like to do a Premiere Pro export without Media Encoder but still cut down on rendering time, you can turn off all the other programs that are open on your computer. Although this idea is a relatively simple one, it is often overlooked.
While this method essentially prevents you from using your computer during the rendering process, it does give you some time to get a fresh cup of coffee…
Tip #5: Speed Up Your Rendering with Vagon
Now that we’ve covered few local optimizations, let’s move to the cloud for faster rendering. With Vagon, you get access to powerful cloud PCs that make rendering in Premiere Pro much quicker.
Got a tight deadline or lots of rendering work? Vagon’s remote desktops are here to help. Experience faster rendering and let your creativity flow without waiting around. Switch to GPU rendering, and harness the power of 4 x 16GB CUDA activated Nvidia GPUs, instead of relying on your CPU.
Tip #6: Render & Replace Dynamically Linked Components
Working with multiple software while creating a project is business as usual. After Effects, Photoshop, Media Encoder and others, we are all linked with multiple apps. However, if you are gathering too many components in your project from different sources, it will also affect your project rendering times in Premiere Pro.
Before starting your project output, be sure that all your essential components like fonts, effects, videos, music, etc. are working fine and without any sync issues to your project.
If everything is alright and good to go, you can also Render & Replace your dynamically linked components to speed up your project.
Right-click on the component, and click to the ‘Render and Replace’ button to enable it.
Tip #7: Reduce Rendering Time by Optimising Imports
One of the undoubted advantages of Premiere Pro is the support for numerous native codecs with which to edit without the need for transcoding. The downside to this approach is that camera codecs are often not optimised for editing. For example, the h264 allows you to obtain good quality files at a relatively low data rate, recent computers handle it well but, to decode it, they make intensive use of their resources. This means slowdowns during editing and long export times, especially when using effects.
Those who work with Final Cut or Avid Media Composer, on the other hand, know how advantageous it is to work with optimised files. Typically, the two software use ProRes and DNxHD respectively, have the ability to work immediately with the native file and the transcoding / optimisation takes place in the background or can be started manually when you leave for lunch or during the night.
With Premiere Pro, one of the approaches to working with optimised files is to transcode the video in advance instead of directly importing the h264, or other compressed, format files. We can use one of the many variants of ProRes (if we are working on Mac), or the Avid DNxHD codecs, which are downloaded for free for both Mac and Windows, or the Cineform codecs, perhaps less popular but available free for Mac and Windows as part by QuickDesktop.
To transcode the files you can use Prelude, Media Encoder, or other third party software that keeps the metadata intact, such as Edit Ready (Mac only).
From Premiere CC 2015.3 onwards, the assimilate function is also available in the Media Browser panel, which gives us the ability to copy files to a specific destination by transcoding them into a format of our liking. In this way, Premiere works in a similar way to Final Cut or Media Composer: it imports native files, which you can start working with right away while, in the background, Media Encoder transcodes them. Eventually, the native files will be automatically replaced by the optimised version, without having to manually relink them.
Tip #8: Use Less Effects in Your Project
Effect and plugins are crucial parts of video & post-production. However, they can also affect the rendering performance of your projects. If you have a chance to reduce the number of effects you used in your project, it will dramatically reduce your rendering times.
Tip #9: Set Up and Use Previews
If transcoding the files allows us to better manage the machine resources, setting the previews correctly, it allows us to save a lot of time during export.
When we apply an effect to a clip and render the timeline, we are creating previews. Premiere writes new files to the hard disk, which are used to play back the video without having to calculate the effect in real time. In short, they are portions of files that have already been exported. By default, the previews use mpeg2 as a codec, which produces files that are light and easy to decode, at the expense of quality.
We can’t use the default previews to speed up the export but we can make Premiere generate high-quality previews. In the sequence settings, just set a custom editing mode that reflects the characteristics of the source material we are working on.
This will allow us to manually set the type of codec we want to use for the premieres. We choose a high quality codec (for example ProRes) at the same resolution as the sequence. The settings can be saved as a personal preset and reused for other sequences in the future.
At this point, we can render the montage when we leave for lunch or for the night. The timeline will be characterised by the usual green bar at the top of the timecode line but the previews generated will be of high quality and we can exploit them when we export the file, by enabling the use previews option.
If we have to export the file in the same format as the previews (in the example ProRes 1920 x 1080) we can enable the match sequence settings option and the export will be even faster.
Tip #10: Adjust Playback Resolution
Playback resolution affects the decoding speed of your project. You can easily switch between playback resolutions to adjust your experience. Once you lower the playback resolution, your decoding speed will be increased according to your preference.
Tip #11: Activate the All GPUs
Rendering on GPUs is always more efficient than rendering on CPUs, however sometimes even you buy the most expensive GPUs, Premiere Pro couldn’t detect it and block your project to be rendered on it.
Here is the solution, Adobe has an integrated tool in their software files called GPUSniffer.exe
When you launch GPUSniffer, it will run some bunch of commands from command-line, and when the process is completed, you are good to go to use your computer GPUs. Don’t forget to restart your Premiere Pro to see the results.
Tip #12: Use the Two Methods at the Same Time
Transcoding files and taking advantage of high-quality previews to speed up rendering in Premiere Pro are methods that allow you to work easily without waiting hours and hours to finish the job or suffer slowdowns while editing.
Using the two methods together we get the best result. Time is wasted in the beginning, for transcoding, but it is all time gained while working. The biggest drawback could be the use of disk space. An hour of ProRes 422, perhaps HQ, will take up much more space than a H264 shot from a DSLR.
If you don’t have much space available, you could also mount in the native codec and take advantage of the previews for rendering and export. It would take up less space (the previews will still be larger files than the original ones), but at least we will have optimised some of the work.
Tip #13: Make use of Smart Rendering
Another great way to reduce your rendering times in Premiere Pro is by using smart rendering. Smart rendering is used with certain formats and avoids compressing data to create a better-quality export. Unfortunately, smart rendering only works with specific source codec sizes, frame rates, and bitrates. You can find all this information in the sequence settings. You can find the supported codecs here. You can find these settings in the sequence settings.
To use smart rendering, first, check that all of your settings are correct and in line with the supported codecs. The yellow line at the top of your timeline shows your rendering process. If you go from sequence to render, this will begin rendering everything in your timeline. A bonus is that you can exit the render while it’s busy, and it will maintain your rendering process when you start it again. Once your whole timeline is pre-rendered, you can export, and the heavy lifting should already be done, making your rendering time faster.
Tip #14: Use “Render In to Out”
We touched on how the smart rendering function includes rendering from inside to outside briefly above. But the rendering into our clip can be used separately from that as well. If you go to sequences and click on render in to out, Premier Pro will render your whole timeline. While this will save you time on your final export, you might not want to do it from the start. However, you can set the rendering function to render specific videos that you are editing and save them as previews if they need to be reapplied at a later stage.
To do this, you need to add an ‘in’ on your timeline by pressing I at the start of your clip and an out point by pressing O where the clip ends. Once you have your in and out sets, you can click the render in to out button in the sequence menu to render that clip. To make editing even more efficient, set up a shortcut key to the render in to out option, and you will be able to render individual clips that no longer need editing faster.
Tip #15: Avoid Rendering Multiple Times
As a professional video editor, you will most likely need to render and export multiple times before the final product is accepted by your editors or producers. This can be a lengthy process, especially if you are editing a long video and especially if you have color grading and any special effects added.
To avoid having to render your clip multiple times, pre-render the clip using the In to Out tool. This will save a preview of your clip on Premiere Pro. When you need to render the whole clip again, this will save you time because of Premiere Pro. When you need to export again, go to export settings and click “Use previews”. This will add the previously rendered folder to the export, and it will not have to render the color grading and special effects again. You will, however, have to render clips that have any changes on them.
Tip #16: Consolidate Clips
When you have multiple clips to deal with on different tracks, this adds to your rendering time when you export, as Premiere Pro needs to combine those tracks together. By pressing Alt and down, you can consolidate your clips into one track; this will reduce the amount of separate information Premiere Pro needs to render and will make the rendering process much faster.
Tip #17: Use Proxies
One of the most effective ways to make rendering on Premiere Pro faster is by using proxies. Using proxies makes another version of your clip but in a much smaller format. For example, if you use 4K or 6K, you can create another copy of this clip 1080 by 540 file. You can toggle this while editing, and then when it comes to exporting, you can toggle it off and export it at the original quality and size.
Then do this: highlight all the clips you will be using, right-click, and click on create proxies. Once you have created proxies for all of your clips, add them to your timeline and toggle between them. This will improve the speed of Premiere Pro overall, and if you combine this tip with smart rendering, you will find that the whole process, from editing to exporting, will be much faster.
Tip #18: Clear Media Cache
Premiere Pro keeps your project information and components in its’ media cache to speed up your regular processes, and easily manage existing components in your projects. Every time you create a new project or work on an existing one, your cache will be fulfilled with your project items.
If your available space is not too much in your hardware, it will affect your rendering performance by blocking other hardware acceleration due to lack of memory.
You can easily clear your Media Cache from Adobe Premiere Pro settings by following Edit > Preferences > Media Cache steps. If you have much available space in your computer, probably it won’t affect the overall performance too much, however, if you have the limited capacity it’s necessary for you.
Premiere Pro has its flaws, but thankfully there are ways to get around them. Follow these tips above to make your rendering times faster in Premiere Pro, and you won’t be disappointed. As technology continues to develop, we hope that Premiere Pro will add some more tools to make the process faster as well. If you have any other tips that have helped you render your exports faster, don’t hold back; let us know.
How to speed up my computer when I run Premiere Pro?
There are a few ways to get your PC to become a beast when running high-end apps such as Adobe Premiere Pro. You could improve your computer hardware or buy a new one. In addition to the internal settings of the application, still there are some alternative methods that you can apply to speed up the overall performance of your computer, or you can try using additional resources to run performance demanding applications on your low end device.
Which video editor is the best?
Even Premiere Pro is among the best video editors on the market, Final Cut Pro and Blender are some other well-known video editors in the Video Production industry as well. Of course, the preferred solution can vary according to the unique needs of the projects and requirements of it.
In addition to the listed video editor alternatives, if the project has more VFX components in it, you can use Adobe After Effects to utilize video effects in your project. Or, if it’s a simple one such as a social media video, you can use Premiere Rush with its’ user-friendly design and ready-to-use templates.
How do I get started on Premiere Pro?
Premiere Pro is a video editing program used all over the world and many people have released great YouTube tutorials, created courses for all level of expertises and Adobe published official tutorials on Premiere Pro as well.