Optimize playback using RAM Preview

Each time you play a project in the Canvas, Motion performs complex rendering calculations to represent the objects and effects that appear in each frame. The project plays back as quickly as possible up to the frame rate specified in the Properties Inspector. However, with a very complex project, playback quality can be hampered by the limitations of your computer hardware.

To improve real-time playback, you can manually render parts of your project and store the frames in your computer’s random access memory using RAM Preview. With RAM Preview, you can render the play range, a selection, or the entire project.

RAM Preview your entire project

  • Choose Mark > RAM Preview > All.

    The RAM Preview dialog appears, displaying a progress bar that shows which frame is being rendered, how many more frames remain, and an approximation of the time remaining. When RAM Preview is completed, the dialog closes.

    RAM Preview progress dialog

    Note: Because some sections of a project may be more complex than others, the “Time remaining” value may be somewhat inaccurate.

Interrupt the RAM Preview

  • Click the Stop button in the RAM Preview dialog.

    The section that has been rendered is stored in RAM. When a section of your project is stored in RAM, a green glow appears along the bottom of the Timeline ruler and the mini-Timeline.

    Mini-Timeline and Timeline showing RAM Preview indicators

Clear RAM Preview

You can manually delete RAM Preview to make room for a new RAM Preview or to free up RAM for other operations.

  • Choose Mark > RAM Preview > Clear RAM Preview.

RAM Preview the play range

You can restrict which frames are rendered by choosing to preview the play range or a selection. Using RAM Preview on a selection renders all visible layers in the project from the first frame of the selection until the last.

  1. Set a play range in your project.

    For more information, see Define the play range.

  2. Choose Mark > RAM Preview > Play Range.

    The RAM Preview dialog appears and displays a progress bar. When RAM Preview is completed, the dialog closes.

RAM Preview a selection

  1. Holding down the Command and Option keys, drag In the Timeline to select a region to preview.

    A highlight appears over the selected frames.

    Selected region in the Timeline

    For more information on regions, see Make changes to a region (range of frames).

  2. Choose Mark > RAM Preview > Selection.

    The RAM Preview dialog appears. When RAM Preview is completed, the dialog closes.