Honestly, I find the feature's usefulness dubious at best on a modern system.
For starters, it's a fairly standard practice to only render when something can't play back real time on it's own and you need it to. Using the 64 bit CS 5.5 on a modern i7 CPU with hardware acceleration, that's a LOT less frequently than it used to be when CS3 was around. Second, hard drives have gotten larger and less expensive, so performance degradation from a drive filling up with preview files isn't really a major concern these days. And even when things do get out of hand, you can just delete all those (mostly) unused previews and make new ones for only the segments you need.
My guess would be the feature went away because it just didn't serve a very useful purpose. That's even more so today than it was then.
So, what's the advantage over just normal previewing by hitting the play button? The video you linked to did not show any performance benefit.
I think it might be better to turn off your 3rd party color grading while trimming.
yeah that's just it when you have multiple clips with 2 or 3 effects per clip on your timeline of about 100 edits, then you would have to manually turn each one of them off, versus the CS3 feature you could disable the effects with one action and play the edits as if there were no effects added. If you are familiar with Avid you could do the same with that program as well.
So being a person who converted to Premiere from Avid i was excited to see the CS3 feature, and even when they broth nesting that was cool, I say this to Adobe if you are going to compete with Avid or Discreet finishing programs. I'd say add some of those robust features to your program now that 64bit is available.
I didn't get the impression from the video clip you linked that the process disabled any effects, it seemed that he actually tweaked a motion effect and previewed it. So from what I've seen, I still don't get the advantage over just normal previewing by hitting the play button?
I agree that having an effect nullifying toggle could be handy, however disabling all effects may hide some essential bits, like composites and motion.
It sort of leads to workflow, where the more common practice is to color grade the locked edit master. This is often done by a 3rd party, in-house or subbed out.
On you specific issue where you already have grading done, and I'll assume that each grading effect is different because having them the same values would be just make things too easy..
I would duplicate the sequence as it is now, and make changes to the duplicate. First go through to each clip with effect then uncheck the FX box next to each applied effect. This nulls the effect without changing values. It should take 12 to 15 minutes to apply that action across 200 or so clips.
Then I would note what edit timing changes need to be made. It should play smoothly now. Make the edits, Then go apply the same edits to the original sequence.
versus the CS3 feature you could disable the effects with one action
Are you sure about that? What I saw was a disabling of rendered previews, not effects. The clips still played back with the unrendered effects in place.
According to the original request, all that was wanted was a method of disabling "render preview". I would have thought it quite simple -- don't press the enter key when in the timeline.
Ok yes like a effect nullify button. But understand this was 4k footage which in it's native format is very difficult to run in full uncompressed mode with out blackmagic or mojo. yes with regular DV or HDV footage it's quite easy to playback RT, based on the adobe CS 5 new features list that was presented prior to the release of CS5 it mentioned mercury playback could play 4k with ease or accurate stated in RT.
Here is my workflow PPRO edits, dynamic link for CC in AE so that i could have the option of fixing a shot as a requested from director if need be...
If you drop the Playback Resolution down to 1/2 or even 1/4, your RED footage should play back more easily in real time.
However, adding Looks and Colorista can slow that down, even for simple DV. Those effects are dependant on the GPU, and they're a real bear for even a strong card.