What Does it Mean to Render a Video?

By Rooney Buckland

Today, more than ever, it is easier to apply several different effects to video. Most editing programs come with a vast assortment of effects. However, without the process of rendering, it would prove to be a frustrating experience to work with those effects.

What is Rendering

Rendering is the computer's way of taking effects, such as color correction or transitions, and adding them to the actual video in order to make the video playback smooth. Without the rendering process, the video playback would be choppy because the computer would have to compute the video and the effects separately.

Gaming, Compositing, and Computer Animation

Outside of editing video, rendering plays an important role in gaming, 3D compositing and computer graphics animation. Video rendering works in these applications as it does with video. Because these are computer-intensive processes, real-time rendering has become a necessity. Real-time rendering is the process of rendering the video or game as it is played.

More About Rendering

Whenever a video, animation or composite has been manipulated in some way, it must be rendered in order for smooth playback. Because rendering takes a lot of time, most video, composite and animation editing software have a feature that allows for a somewhat smooth playback without rendering. This allows you to see your adjustments without having to render every time.