Every designer who has worked on video editing has had to face the slow and painful process of rendering videos. Once you start the rendering process, you pretty much cannot work on that computer and even the fastest computers need time to render. To add to this, the more creative you are with the video editing, the more likely it is that you will need more rendering time! Ultimately, we don’t want to compromise creativity because we want to cut down on how long it takes to render the files.
Here are some tips on working more efficiently to achieve faster rendering time if you have only 1 computer to work on!
#1. Use SSDs (Solid State Drives)
Using this type of hard drive can significantly make rendering faster, since there are no moving parts unlike the traditional hard drive. SSDs have approximately between 200 Mbps to 500 Mbps read and write speed compared to the maximum of 120 MBps for 7200rpm HDDs. That’s a significant difference in speed we simply cannot ignore!
#2. Allocate sufficient memory - This will depend on your usage.
Adobe applications allocates RAM depending on what you reserve for the application. You can adjust the RAM you need for your Adobe Applications by editing your preferences. Simply go to Edit > Preferences > Memory.
The application will try to maximize its allowable memory and this will slow down your system. To determine how much RAM you should allocate, study your memory usage by accessing your task manager (Windows) and Activity Monitor (Mac). Based on that, you can allocate the necessary memory to meet your needs.
#3. Optimize your Preview Settings!
The usual preview resolutions are Full, Half and Quarter. The preview quality lessens accordingly. The lower the resolution, the faster the previews. Change the preview resolution based on what you need. This can be handy if you just want to have an overview of what’s happening on your video workflow.
#4. Allocate RAM and disk cache!
In After Effects, you can leverage on disk cache. This is a temporary storage of previews that are pre-rendered so that when you preview the composition. It will be faster as there is no additional work for the application to render it again. You can access it via Media & Disk Cache in the Preferences dialog box.
In Sony Vegas, if you want to have a smooth full resolution preview of a certain part of the video, you can select a loop region and then build a dynamic RAM preview by hitting Shift+B.
Above are best practices you can leverage on if you have only one computer that you can work with. If you do have more than one computer, you can explore these alternatives:
#1. Use a separate fast hard drive to render your files.
It would speed things up if you have a separate hard drive, preferably an SSD, on which you can save your rendered files (this would also be good as a disk cache). This way, you are not over-using the hard disk (where the application runs) and the disk cache (where the files are being rendered and saved). On the computer you are working on, it is also highly recommended to upgrade it into an SSD since there are no moving parts, it will significantly be faster.
#2. Upgrade your system.
You will find significant changes on your computer’s performance if you upgrade your computer parts from time-to-time. Upsize the RAM capacities, I suggest at least 8GB. If possible, upgrade your CPU and invest in a video card if you use 3D on your video workflow.
#3. Use Proxies!
Proxies are low resolution counterparts of high resolution files which enables faster preview in After Effects. You can add a proxy by right clicking a footage from the project pane and hovering the Create Proxy then choosing between still and image. It will re-direct you to the render page.
Click Render to finally produce the proxy. After that, the footage will have a square checkbox on the left which would activate or deactivate the proxy. The proxy is used only in playback but fully ignored when it’s render time.