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.

    Choosing the format and settings for rendering the sequence
    Choosing the format and settings for rendering the sequence


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


    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.


    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.


    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.

    Include Video Effects

    Render any effects applied to the clip. Selecting this option further improves playback performance.

    All non-intrinsic effects on clip can be rendered in the timeline. Intrinsic Motion effects are rendered if Source is set to Sequence.

    The following effects cannot be rendered:

    • Intrinsic Opacity and Time Remapping effects
    • Transition effects between clips
    • Audio effects


    Rendered effects cannot be moved or edited in the Effects Control panel.

  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?

Yes, you can enable the Include Video Effects option in the Render & Replace dialog to render all non-intrinsic video effects on a clip.  A list of rendered effects show in the Effects Control panel but their settings are unaccessible.  Use the Restore Unrendered feature to restore all rendered effects to an editable state.  Additional editable effects can be added to clips with rendered effects.  The Include Video Effects checkbox is only available when Match is set to Sequence.


Intrinsic Motion effects are also rendered when Match is set to Sequence even if Include Video Effects is disabled.  In this case, intrinsic Motion effects will show as disabled in the Effects Control panel.  Use the Restore Unrendered feature to return intrinsic Motion effects to an editable state.

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