I started the rendering of like a 3-4 minute video, which usually takes less than 30 minutes to render.
It's taken over 11 hours and still thinks it has 5 hours to go. On a 3-4 minute AE project video in Media Encoder.
WTF is going on!?
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After Effects and Media Encoder are only as powerful as the computer we run it on and renders as fast as said computer can render - mostly.
If you're running the lastest version of After Effects, you can use the Composition Profiler to see exactly which layers are taking a long time to render.
Other render time improvements include Speculative Preview and Multi-Frame Rendering, more about that here: Feature summary | After Effects (October 2021) (adobe.com).
If you happen to be rendering to H264, double-check under the Encoding Settings for Video if the Performance pop-up menu can be set to Hardware instead of Software (Hardware should not only be faster, but also be a smaller file).
A general workflow issue to look at is whether or not you're using a CODEC that's good (and fast) for editing. Any of the Smart Rendering options will do. Smart rendering in Premiere Pro (adobe.com)