The following is an excerpt from the SLR Lounge Lightroom Workflow System Workshop on DVD, a system designed to increase your post production speed by 5 to 10 times. Click here to learn more.


Prior to beginning any culling or developing work, we always render 1:1 previews. Rendering these detailed previews before developing allows you to flip through and zoom into imported images much quicker than trying to render as you develop. As long as you render during “down” times in your schedule, such as overnight or lunch breaks, this method should help your studio workflow to be more efficient. In this article, we will discuss why it is generally best to render 1:1 previews before beginning the developing process and a few tips for managing time for rendering for your workflow.

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Watch the tutorial in video format, or read the written article below.

How to Render Previews

To render 1:1 previews, simply open the ‘Library’ menu and select Render > Render 1:1 Previews.

Make sure you build full previews for all of your photos and not just the one selected when the prompt pops up.


Now all you need to do is wait for the images to render, which is why we recommend you do this overnight or during a lunch break.


Tips for Rendering Previews

1. Almost always render 1:1 previews after importing.

When you tell Lightroom to render 1:1 previews, Lightroom does three things at once: it renders standard size previews and thumbnail previews in addition to rendering the 1:1 previews. Because they are all rendered together, as you are going through and developing your images, you will be able to move quickly from image to image. Although 1:1 previews are only necessary when zooming into images within the Develop Module, zooming into detail is needed on a very frequent basis in order to check sharpness of an image and various other detail issues.

2. Render images for large projects overnight.

The only reason you may not want to render 1:1 previews is time. On a fast machine, a few thousand images may still take a few hours to render. The amount of time it takes depends heavily on the speed of your computer, mainly the speed of your processor, how much RAM is available, and hard drive speed. With smaller projects, they can usually render within a half hour, so we recommend starting the process right before your lunch break or something. For larger projects, we find it is most time-efficient to render projects overnight so they are ready to develop in the morning.

Even though Lightroom has the option to render 1:1 previews during importing, we usually don’t select that option because it slows down the import process. In the Import dialog, we generally leave the rendering selection at “minimal” to allow importing photos to be a much quicker process, especially when importing from multiple cards.


3. From a single card, import right before your lunch break and change the import render setting to “1:1”.

If you are importing images from just one source for any given project, and you are going to be away from the computer for a while, it may be more time efficient to render 1:1 previews during the import process. If the project isn’t too large, you may be able to do right before your lunch break. All image previews should be rendered by the time you get back so you will be ready to start the developing process. This is the only time that we would select Render 1:1 Previews when importing images as it will slow down the computer significantly if you do indeed have multiple cards or image sources for importing.



By importing images and rendering previews this way, we find it provides maximum efficiency for our studio workflow.

To learn more about the SLR Lounge Workflow System Workshop on DVD or to purchase it, click on this link.