To what are you referring when you mention rendering?
Are you referring to rendering the Timeline content to get the best possible preview of the Timeline content as it is playing back in the Edit Mode monitor? Or, are you using rendering to refer to export of your Timeline to a file saved to the computer hard drive or burned to disc?
From what you wrote it sounds like you are talking about rendering the Timeline content to get the best possible preview of what you have at the Edit stage. Four hours does sound a bit excessive for the process. But the process does depend on the complexity of the Timeline content and its duration. Some effects like Video Stabilizer can add many minutes to the rendering time in this case.
And, if we are talking about "rendering" for preview purposes, it is not uncommon to close the project with a rendered Timeline (green line over Timeline content) and reopened the project to find an orange line over the content, indicating need for rendering. This has been a long discussed and unanswered issue from time to time over many versions of the program. You will find that the preview files generated by the rendering process still exist in their hard drive save location, even though you are seeing that orange line.
My recommendation in cases like that is to move on if you have previewed those files previously. And, if you need a preview, then re-render either the whole or a selected segment of the Timeline. To do the selective rendering of the Timeline, set the gray tabs of the WorkArea Bar to span just the segment to be rendered.
Much of this is probably new to you and you may wonder what is that person talking about. If that is the case, please do not hesitate to ask for clarification, and I will rewrite until we communicate and you are comfortable with the information. We can go step by step or at whatever pace you prefer.
But, first we need to be in sync on what type of rendering is being addressed here.
Looking forward to your follow up.
Thanks, AT. Your first instinct was correct. I’m referring to rendering at the timeline to get the best playback quality. I guess I just don’t understand why the rendering is not saved when you save a project. Otherwise, I am enjoying Premiere Elements 12 so far.
Thanks for the update.
Many users using different program versions have been troubled by the issue of the orange line over the Timeline content seen in the re-opened project which was closed with the green line over the Timeline content. Those types of reports seem to have peaked around version 8, faded some after than, but seem to be popping up again with later versions.
No answer has been found. Except..move on if you seen the preview previously...or render again on a selective basis if necessary. Are you OK with selectively rendering the Timeline by adjusting the gray tabs of the WorkArea Bar to span just the segment to be rendered?
Easiest perhaps...move Timeline Indicator to start of segment, and, as you hold down the Alt key, hit the left bracket key [
then move the Timeline Indicator to the end of the segment, and, as you hold down the Alt key, hit the right bracket ]
You will then see those gray tab spanning just your segment to be rendered. The WorkArea Bar is that gray area above the Timeline.
If you need clarfication on anything written, please do not hesitate to ask.