5 Replies Latest reply on Jun 16, 2016 9:49 AM by Rick Gerard

    Rendering a comp for easier editing? **New to AE**


      Hey everybody,


      I'm still very new to AE (most recent update) and I am looking for a way to render my entire composition so that I can edit quicker. Let me explain:


      Example: In Premiere, when I edit, I can render the whole sequence so that it plays smoother and I only have to render small amounts of video as I edit. I'm trying to accomplish the same thing in AE. I just imported my Premiere project (1min; 30sec) into AE and as I tried playing it back, it could only play 1 frame every 1-2 seconds. It makes it impossible to edit. I'm working on the latest model 27" iMac 5K Retina with 24GB RAM and an AMD Radeon 2GB video card. The comp is 720p. I read something about pre-render, but I don't think it's what I need. I haven't been able to make any changes to the comp yet so all the layers are in use.


      Any advice is appreciated! And I apologize if I left out any important info regarding the project.



        • 1. Re: Rendering a comp for easier editing? **New to AE**
          Mylenium Most Valuable Participant

          You have a major misunderstanding here. Very little in AE is realtime and using DynamicLink where it continually needs to call the Premiere render algorithms isn't making matters better. AE also is not an "editing" program, it's a compositing tool. You can create a cached preview/ RAM preview, but as soon as you change something it will have to be rebuild. That's just how it is. AE always fully decodes your footage, it doesn't have adaptive/ smart rendering. The longer your footage is, the worse it gets. Even trimmed/ editetd footage is accessed as whole clips due to how Premiere handles this stuff. Your workflow therefore is for better or worse unsuitable. If at all, you'd import all clips individually to separate (pre-)comps using the "Replace with AE comp" right-click command in Premiere and then work on them, but generally you will always have to live with some performance issues. It would be good if you took an excursion to the AE help to read up on this stuff.



          • 2. Re: Rendering a comp for easier editing? **New to AE**
            danieljag1 Level 1



            Thanks for the info! Sorry about using the incorrect terminology, still learning. That's really disappointing to hear, because that's such an inefficient way to work. I was expecting AE to be better than that. I'll do some searching and trial and error to find the best workflow. But it seems like working with each individual clips is what I'll have to do. I can't even imagine what long-form editors/compositors have to go through...

            • 3. Re: Rendering a comp for easier editing? **New to AE**
              Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

              Not inefficient at all. AE is for compositing shots and making short sequences. All compositing apps work that way. Spend a boat load more money and build a more powerful system and you still have to render.


              You don't understand the production process at all. Editing, except for short news stories and throw away videos is a process of trimming and re-adjusting everything until the story is actually telling the story you want to tell. A feature film is cut in scenes and the scenes are assembled into acts and the acts are assembled into the movie - all of them on a separate sequence (timeline) in the NLE. It's the only efficient way to work. The best editors in the world rework things all the time.


              Effects shots hare for the most part handled as separate projects. Most of me AE comps are a single shot that is around 7 seconds because in the films that I cut that's actually a pretty long shot. If the film is 100% compositing and effects shots then the editing starts with cutting the shots into sequences, making sure the performance is working and then adding a very basic level of compositing and re-cutting the story. Only when the story is working are the final effects shots on an individual or short sequence basis, sent to the compositing app (AE) for final FX work. When all of that is done there is usually a little more re-cutting in a NLE (Premiere Pro) and then the project is sent to Audition for final sound mix and out for color grading. Shorter, lower budget projects just go through fewer re-cuts, but even a 30 second commercial will go through the process, Edit, effects, re-edit, sound, color grade and deliver. Jumping between apps for each process is actually the most efficient way to work because no one App is "best in class" for the job at hand. It just takes organization and planning.

              • 4. Re: Rendering a comp for easier editing? **New to AE**
                danieljag1 Level 1



                Thanks for giving me a better understanding of a more in-depth overview of the editing/compositing process. I've never edited a feature length film, and I just assumed the compositors worked with one large sequence.


                I've been editing and working in production for a few years now, but here in Nashville there is rarely larger budget productions. Mostly smaller companies producing lots of short videos with minimal graphics work. Currently, I work at a post house as an assistant editor, and we have a couple guys doing all the After Effects work. However, they don't work in AE using smaller sequences. Granted, each video is around 2 minutes in length. They do all the compositing work with one large composition and render it out fully when they are done. They work on MacBook Pros too, not sure how they do it. I could be wrong, I'll have to ask them.


                I do understand that you have to render no matter the system, but I didn't realize AE doesn't have a way to save previews so that I don't have to re-render every time a change is made. I was just looking for an easier way to work with one sequence. But it seems I'll have to get used to opening a new after effects comp for each individual clip.

                • 5. Re: Rendering a comp for easier editing? **New to AE**
                  Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                  I have a good friend that worked on Twister. Take a moment and read his recent post about that experience. The shots he worked on took months.


                  Even in a medium budget feature or made for TV movie you may have dozens or in some cases, hundreds of folks working on one shot. The only reason they know what they need to do is because the main editor and director collaborated on the cut way before the compositing began. In most cases, the collaboration starts when the script id being broken down and storyboards are drawn up.


                  I shot and did the VFX on a very low budget made for TV movie a few years ago. There were about 30 VFX shots in the project, not one of them was started before the director approved the first cut. The FX shots like this one where the ugly silver disk on the front of the train was replaced with a period headlamp were sent to AE with about 48 extra frames at the head and tail (handles) so I could do the effects work.

                  Screen Shot 2016-06-16 at 9.30.06 AM.png

                  The initial goal was to replace the headlamp and turn the smoke white - both doable in AE but the budget allowed only replacing the headlamp.

                  Screen Shot 2016-06-16 at 9.39.56 AM.png

                  That's how you work on projects efficiently. Only spend time polishing things you are actually going to use. BTW, the color grading, notice the vibrance, tone, saturation and contrast difference, was the last step. We used a post house specializing in color grading for that step on a rendered production master. A new final master was rendered and then compressed for delivery. The only color grading done is AE was the color and look of the headlamp so it matched in the original shot.