Faster Render Using the View Port

August 27, 2021
Sarah Corner
Designer & Animator

After Effect's view port gives animators several options to improve render time. We've made a video detailing all of the tools associated with the view port and how and when to utilize them.

Many of these preview settings decrease the resolution of your previews, but this does NOT affect your final export. Lower resolution previews can speed up rendering and save you time. Tools such as Fast Preview Region of Interest, and Preview Resolution all help with render time. Here are a few notable tools to check out:

Adjust Exposure

This allows you to increase and decrease exposure of your preview and does not affect the final export of your video.


The view port's flowchart visualizes all layers and compositions in a map of sorts. It collapses and expands pre-comp contents so you can view all of your layers in one single view and navigate to specific objects.

Toggle Pixel Aspect Ratio Correction

When importing assets, the aspect ratio can sometimes be distorted. This can come with low resolution files or videos saved from the internet that were uploaded in the wrong aspect ratio. If you notice that your video is squished or stretched, toggling Pixel Aspect Ratio Correction can automatically fix this for you.

Preview Resolution

If you're spending five minutes waiting for a 3 second clip to render, Preview Resolution can help! Viewing your project at half the resolution may reduce the preview resolution, but you'll be able to view it faster. Think of it like a YouTube video when you're on vacation with minimal data. Watching a video in 1080P will take far longer to buffer than a video at 480P.

Region of Interest

Yet another time-saver, Region of Interest allows you to focus on a single part of your composition and render just that piece. Say you only made an adjustment to a corner of the composition and wish to only preview that. Region of Interest allows you to cut out the extraneous corners of the composition just for the preview and render just that selected area. If you find that you prefer this selected area, you can Crop to Region of Interest and it will permanently be cropped to the size of your Region of Interest.

Mask and Shape Path Visibility

Can't view the controls for your shapes? Unable to see the frames around your After Effects objects? This might be the reason why! Toggle your "Mask and Shape Path Visibility" to re-enable these controls. This will also help if your paths and easing handles have vanished from the view port.