This is a silly question:

How do you call the final "render", as used in 3D jargon, of the editing of a video, if any?

I'm searching but maybe I'm not using the right words.

2 Answers 2


When an editor is finished, the edit is said to be "locked," or in "picture lock." Best practice for file-naming, however, is to use a date string at the beginning of the file name (such as YYYYMMDD_ProjectName.mov), and to avoid descriptors like "locked" or "final." Otherwise you end up with files named, "TVCommercial_V7_final_final_forRealthistimeFinalLocked.mov".

A locked edit doesn't mean the piece is complete, either. Usually, sound mixing, foley, and color come after the edit room. The video an editor sends to the sound department isn't usually a high-quality render, and might actually be a low-quality "proxy" designed to conserve system resources for sound. The editor also doesn't pass a render to the colorist; rather, he passes a project file, XML, EDL, or similar, plus an "offline" reference video. The colorist "conforms" or "re-links" the project files to the camera originals for "finishing," using the offline reference to check for accuracy. Once complete, the finished piece is called a "master," but other copies might be generated in tandem for "archival" purposes, and these are usually the highest quality output.

  • great answer! Why put the date before the project name? I've always done project_date
    – stib
    Aug 8, 2020 at 3:10
  • 1
    So it sorts alphabetically with the most recent at the top/bottom. That may or may not be a priority, and probably depends on how you structure your project folders. Aug 8, 2020 at 7:50
  • If the project name is the same for all versions, then the files will sort in the same order no matter if the date is first or last. (-:
    – Jim Mack
    Aug 12, 2020 at 0:56
  • I know, @jim Mack. That was a very simple example, a least common denominator sort of thing (or is it GCF?) I actually use tokens in filenames a lot, built into template project files. So, I might render out multiple formats at the same time, like for YT, IG, & FB, for instance, or maybe it’s a a multi pass render from C4D, destined for compositing in fusion or AE. So, the stuff in the middle usually changes, depending on the client, application, or individual use case. What almost never changes is that design is an iterative process, meaning I want quick, unmistakable access to most recent. Aug 12, 2020 at 1:34
  • Also, I know that most people don’t think to put a long datestring at the beginning because, well, in a way, it’s ugly. But when you do it consistently, because you’ve got templates and tokens to do it automatically, it actually kind of “disappears.” When all of the files in a folder start with the same pattern of numbers, you stop seeing the numbers, but they still remain incredibly useful, and keep your work neat and organized. Aug 12, 2020 at 1:42

In the world of video editing, we don't typically use the term "render" in the same way it's used in 3D graphics. In 3D graphics, rendering refers to the process of generating the final 2D image or animation from a 3D scene.

In video editing, the equivalent of "rendering" is usually referred to as "exporting" or "finalizing" the video. When you've finished editing your video and you want to create the final, watchable version that can be shared or uploaded, you would export or render it. This process converts your edited project into a format that can be easily played on various devices or platforms.

So, to answer your question, you would call the final "render" in video editing either the "export" or the "finalizing" of the video.

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