Premiere Pro attempts to play back all sequences, clips, effects, transitions, titles, and any other unrendered elements in real time without first rendering them.

However, it's sometimes necessary to render media files, especially VFX-heavy sequences, to enable smooth playback. Also, rendering any unrendered media elements of the Timeline reduces the dependence on the available system resources.

The Render and Replace feature in Premiere Pro lets you flatten video clips and After Effects compositions, speeding up the performance of VFX-heavy sequences. At any point, you can revert to the original clip using the Restore Unrendered feature.

Render and replace media in a sequence

  1. Open the sequence containing the media to render in a Timeline panel.

  2. With a Timeline panel active, select Clip > Render And Replace.

  3. In the Render And Replace dialog, you can choose the format and settings based on which the sequence is rendered.


    Match the settings of the rendered media with the sequence settings, individual clip settings, or presets.


    Uses the frame size, frame rate, field type, and pixel aspect ratio of the selected sequence, and renders the matching clips to these settings.

    For clips that are larger than the frame size of the selected sequence, portions that are not visible within the boundaries of the sequence frame are cropped. If the codec does not support alpha channels, transparent areas appear black after rendering.

    Individual Clips

    Uses the frame size, frame rate, field type, and pixel aspect ratio of each individual clip in the sequence, and renders them using their individual settings.

    When the source cannot be matched, the clip is not rendered.


    Uses the frame size, frame rate, field type, and pixel aspect ratio of the chosen preset and renders all clips to these settings.

    When the sources cannot be matched, the clips are not rendered.


    Select a file format that gives the best quality playback while keeping an optimal rendering time and file size.  

    You can choose from MXF OP1a files, MXF OP1a files in DNXHD format, or QuickTime format.


    Based on the format you choose, select an available preset.


    The only preset that supports alpha is the GoPro CineForm With Alpha preset. All other presets flatten any alpha channel.


    Specify the path to the save the rendered file. You can save the rendered file alongside the original media, or, click Browse to navigate to a location other than the default.

    Include Handles

    Specifies the number of additional frames to retain before the In point and after the Out point of each rendered clip. You can set a value from 0 to 100 frames.

    For example, a value of 30 means that 30 frames are retained before the In point, and 30 frames are retained after the Out point. Handles function as extra frames that allow for additional minor adjustments to the edits in the new project.

  4. Click OK. The rendered file is created in the selected destination.

Replace rendered clips with original media

After rendering and replacing a clip in your sequence, at any point you can revert to the original unrendered clip or After Effects composition.

  • Select the sequence containing the rendered clips in a Timeline and choose Clip > Restore Unrendered.

If changes are made to the original file while the rendered and replaced clips are being used, reverting to the original clips includes those changes.


When you render and replace clips, or revert to the original unrendered media, the rendered clips as well as the original media are stored on your hard disk.


Can you render effects while rendering and replacing video clips?

Both intrinsic and non-intrinsic effects are typically not rendered when you use the Render and Replace feature; effects are unrendered and editable in the replaced clip.

The only exception is when you apply the intrinsic video effect Motion and select the Match  > Sequence option. In this case, the Motion intrinsic effect is rendered in the replaced clip. That is, the Motion intrinsic effect is still applied in the replaced clip but disabled for editing. Use the Restore Unrendered feature to revert to the original unrendered effect.

Can you render and replace audio in AV clips?

For AV clips, you can render audio by using a suitable preset. However, if the selected preset doesn't support the clip's audio type, the AV clip cannot be rendered and replaced.

For audio-only clips, or if you select the audio portion of an AV clip, Premiere Pro renders the audio clip into audio files in .wav format. For audio-only clips, you can revert to the original unrendered media.

Can you render still images?

No, but you can render image sequences.  

What are the types of clips that you can render and replace?

You can render and replace most of the clips including After Effects compositions except for the following:

  • Special clips or synthetics
  • Nested sequences
  • Adjustment layers


This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License  Twitter™ and Facebook posts are not covered under the terms of Creative Commons.

Legal Notices   |   Online Privacy Policy