Tip: render preview in Blender VSE

Another of the differences between VSE in Blender and a lot of video editors is how they render.

Often, you click “render preview” and it renders a preview of the video, then you alster some bits, and you only have to re-render the bits that you changed.

Well - this can be done in VSE using the scenes:


  • I’m going to assume your main edit is in the scene Scene.
  • Set to render an image sequence, you might also want to reduce the resolution.
  • Create a new scene called something like Preview.
  • In Scene, render your image sequence - this is your first preview render.
  • Go to Preview - import the image sequence
  • Set the length of the scene to the length of the clip - this will be easier if you have this script installed:- http://wiki.blender.org/index.php/Extensions:2.6/Py/Scripts/Sequencer/Jump_to_cut
  • Note that Preview should play smoothly (if not, reduce the resolution and try again). No sound yet though…
  • Import the scene Scene into Preview - put it under the image sequence exacly. This is the sound.
  • Try again. This time it should preview with sound perfectly.

Now - everytime want to preview your video -

  • Set the Start and End sections to the bit of the edit you’ve altered (easier with that script).
  • Click Render
  • Go back to the Preview scene and play!

Unfortunately this does mean that, if you extend or shorten a clip in the centre of your edit, You will have to render everything from that point on.

On the other hand, if you are working it full-resolution, when you’re finneshed editing you can render a full quality video from you’re Preview scene really quickly.

Cool thanks for the suggestion. I notice though that the scene strip doesn’t have audio you can edit or even fade down. I guess you have to go and do that in the source scene.

Great, still trying to figure out how is the Jump-to-Cut script working.