Render Taxes

The Genesis Project by Dennis Radeke

Today, I’d like to talk about a popular subject… I’d like to talk to about taxes. Or more specifically “render taxes” as it relates to non-linear editors. It’s been said that everyone pays taxes. In the case of video editing workflows, everyone has to render their media at some point, which takes time (tax = time) and hence the concept of a ‘render tax’.

Question: “How do you want to pay your taxes?” Different NLE workflows dictate how and when you will render. You may have to render at the beginning, middle and/or end of your project. And just like taxes in real life, you’d like to pay as little ‘render tax’ as possible.

With many NLE’s, you are paying your render taxes up front. In these cases, the NLE wants you to convert your media into ProRes, DNxHD or some other great codec. While ProRes and the rest are an excellent way to edit footage and deliver your product, it does take time to convert this footage. So, you’re paying a tax in the time it takes to convert. Depending on your system, and the amount of media you need to import and convert this can be anything from an annoyance to “set the render over night and come back in the morning.”

In addition, at some point many NLE’s ask that you pay render taxes during the edit. If you’re doing a promo or a segment in the timeline that has multiple video layers with multiple effects, some products will not be able to play that portion of the timeline back to you and will prompt you to render the timeline. read more...

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