I downloaded and used a template called “History Timeline”, and AE project template. The project itself was simple, easy to use, laid out well. However, the render of the project, even without using a single video (only lower res photos) was unconscionably slow.
I had Adobe review my machine and all settings. Everything was correct as it should be. But this 1-minute animated template, rendering at h.264 or at ProResLT, or really anything at 1920x1080 was on par to take 6 hours or longer. This makes the template, in my opinion, completely unusable.
Most projects I have done have been far more graphically complex and intensive and at full resolution (ProResHQ, .mov/animation, etc) have taken no more than 30-minutes to render at lengths of 9 minutes or with even longer timelines.
I hope authors will consider baking-in and pre-rendering elements within their templates to help this problem. If not, I will certainly not be downloading other AE templates from Elements.