What Is Pre Render in Video Editing?

Video editing is a complex process that involves combining multiple clips, adding effects, transitions, and much more. One of the essential techniques used in video editing is pre-rendering. In this article, we will discuss what pre-rendering means in video editing and why it’s important.

What Is Pre-Render?

Pre-rendering refers to the process of rendering a sequence or part of a sequence before final output. It is a technique used to speed up the playback of your video footage in the timeline. During pre-rendering, the frames are rendered and stored in memory so that they can be quickly displayed during playback.

Why Is Pre-Render Important?

Pre-rendering is crucial because it allows you to preview your work quickly without any lag or stutter. When working with high-resolution footage or complex effects, real-time playback can be challenging to achieve. Pre-rendering helps to alleviate these issues by rendering the frames beforehand.

For example, let’s say you have added multiple layers of effects on top of your footage. You may find that the playback becomes choppy or stuttery when playing back in real-time. By pre-rendering that particular section, those frames will be rendered beforehand and stored in memory, allowing for smoother playback.

Types of Pre-Render

There are two types of pre-render: Smart Render and Dumb Render.

Smart Render only renders parts of a sequence that have been edited or changed, resulting in faster render times. It’s an efficient way to render only what needs to be rendered without wasting time on unchanged parts.

Dumb Render, on the other hand, renders every frame in a sequence regardless if it has been changed or not. This type of render takes longer but ensures every frame is correctly rendered.

When Should You Use Pre-Render?

Pre-rendering should be used when working with complex sequences or effects that cause playback to stutter or lag. It’s also helpful when working with high-resolution footage that requires more processing power to play back in real-time.

For example, if you have added multiple layers of effects, color grading, and transitions, pre-rendering can help you achieve smooth playback without any lag.


In conclusion, pre-rendering is an essential technique used in video editing to achieve smooth playback and faster rendering times. It involves rendering a sequence or part of a sequence beforehand so that it can be quickly displayed during playback without any lag or stutter. By understanding the types of pre-render and when to use them, you can improve your video editing workflow and create high-quality videos.