As theatrical projections shift from film to digital, it has become increasingly easier and more affordable to bring an editing suite into the theatre (especially considering that an editing system these days can consist of a laptop computer and Final Cut Pro or After Effects).

The days of waiting to develop film are long gone and results are more-or-less instantaneous. While we no longer have to wait up to 24 hours to get a set of slides developed, we still have to wait for manipulated footage to “render.” Rendering is how a computer takes raw video ingredients and “bakes” them into a usable product for suitable for playback.

Gridiron Software’s Nucleo Pro rendering plug-in for Adobe After Effects aims to make editors more productive by moving the task of rendering away from After Effects, therefore allowing users to keep working while the video renders in Nucleo Pro’s separate application. Besides background rendering, Nucleo Pro also continuously fills in the AE RAM Cache. When Nucleo Pro notices that there’s been a change to a project, it drops the affected cached frames out of the timeline and re-previews.

In my tests, I found Nucleo Pro a little confusing to set up. But once set, it worked as advertised. Once the render was shifted to Nucleo Pro, After Effects ran without any lag. The advanced cache features also worked well. Overall, I would say it is a great addition for any After Effects user in a hurry.

It retails for $395 and is available to purchase by download.