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The default is for Resolution in the Render Settings dialog box to be set to Full. This overrides any settings made for previews.
However, you can choose to set Resolution (or just about any other property in the Render Settings dialog box) to Current Settings, which does use the values that you set for previews.
See the "Render settings" section of After Effects Help for more information.
BTW, it'll help your understanding if you don't get into the very common habit of misusing the word 'render': The word 'render' does not just apply to rendering for final output. Previews are "rendered", too. It will help you conceptually understand what's going on a lot better if you think of rendering as the creation of the uncompressed and unencoded frame, whether for display in the Composition panel or for final output. The main difference between previews and final output/export is that the rendered frame gets handed off for compression and other encoding at the export stage. The rendering is essentially the same in either case. Once you grok that rendering for previews is the same in many ways as rendering for final output/export, you'll more readily see a lot of connections within After Effects.
See the "About rendering and exporting" section of After Effects Help.
yeah i meant for final output!!
thanks again as that made sense!! :)