Macworld Masterclass: Exporting in Final Cut Pro X

Exporting to multiple formats using FCP X and Compressor

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  • FCPX Icon Intro
  • Export Media Step 1: Export media
  • Faster Exporting Step 2: Faster exporting
  • Exporting Roles Step 3: Exporting Roles
  • Apple Devices Step 4: Apple devices
  • Sharing Online Step 5: Sharing online
  • DVD Blu ray Step 6: DVD and Blu-ray
  • Background Rendering Step 7: Background rendering
  • Share Monitor Step 8: Share monitor
  • Sharing Inspector Step 9: Sharing Inspector
  • Exporting Stills Step 10: Exporting stills
  • Send to Compressor Step 11: Send to compressor
  • Batch Processing Step 12: Batch processing
  • Exporting Segments Step 13: Exporting segments
  • Chapter Markers Step 14: Chapter markers
  • Compressor Presets Step 15: Compressor presets
  • More stories
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Intro

In FCP X, Apple has made exporting simpler and provided easier ways to output finished projects to multiple formats. Most of the export processes use the Share menu, where you can set up encoding, disc burning and uploading tasks, all within a few clicks. However, you’ll often need to massage the settings when exporting digital video, to balance reducing the file size while maintaining image quality.

Although it’s an additional purchase, Compressor is an essential companion application to FCP X, as it allows access to key compression controls, while also adding extra workflow productivity enhancements, such as batch rendering and distributed processing.

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Next Prev FCPX Icon

In FCP X, Apple has made exporting simpler and provided easier ways to output finished projects to multiple formats. Most of the export processes use the Share menu, where you can set up encoding, disc burning and uploading tasks, all within a few clicks. However, you’ll often need to massage the settings when exporting digital video, to balance reducing the file size while maintaining image quality.

Although it’s an additional purchase, Compressor is an essential companion application to FCP X, as it allows access to key compression controls, while also adding extra workflow productivity enhancements, such as batch rendering and distributed processing.

 

Step 2 of 16: Step 1: Export media

Use Share/Export Media to output your project to a variety of formats. You can choose where to save it, and whether to open the exported file in QuickTime Player or send it to Compressor for batch rendering to multiple file types. To speed things up, FCP X uses GPU acceleration when outputting in the foreground.

 

Step 3 of 16: Step 2: Faster exporting

FCP X automatically processes effects, transitions and filters in the background, and then uses those renders for output. When exporting a self-contained QuickTime master file from a ProRes project, choose Current Settings, from the Share/Export Media dialog box.

 

Step 4 of 16: Step 3: Exporting Roles

Using the Roles feature to tag audio and video elements in your projects, you can output these Media Stems as separate video or audio files for sharing in post-production workflows. Select Share/Export Media and choose from the range of options from the Export drop-down menu.

 

Step 5 of 16: Step 4: Apple devices

To export a video for iPhone, iPad or Apple TV, select a project, and from the Share menu choose Apple devices. File sizes and resolutions are automatically calculated according to which device you choose. Click the Show Details button to configure the settings for multiple devices.

 

Step 6 of 16: Step 5: Sharing online

From the Share menu, FCP X can automatically convert files to the correct format for online sharing, and upload them to services such as Vimeo. Input your account info and the export dialog box will let you add a title and description, and also change the size and compression quality.

 

Step 7 of 16: Step 6: DVD and Blu-ray

You can also burn DVD and Blu-ray discs directly from the Share menu, with the codec and data-rate automatically calculated for you. Although FCP X can author Blu-ray projects to red laser DVD media, it’s better to burn Blu-ray format discs over 20 minutes duration using an external burner.

 

Step 8 of 16: Step 7: Background rendering

When exporting using the Share menu, you can set FCP X to process in the background while you continue editing. Click the Advanced tab and set Background Rendering to This Computer. Choose ‘This Computer Plus’ if you’ve set up rendering across a group of computers using Apple Qmaster.

 

Step 9 of 16: Step 8: Share monitor

One handy feature is that when you use the Share menu to export files, the Share Monitor opens in the Dock and lets you see the progress of your files as they encode. You can pause and cancel encoding jobs, and the icon will bounce in the Dock if there’s an issue during the encoding process.

 

Step 10 of 16: Step 9: Sharing Inspector

Share icons are added to projects after you’ve exported a video, which makes it easy to see if a project has been edited or updated since the last output. Click on the icon to reveal the Sharing Inspector, which has information about the destinations and devices for the exported project.

 

Step 11 of 16: Step 10: Exporting stills

It’s often useful to export reference frames from the timeline as stills. From within a project, move the playhead over your chosen frame, choose Share/Save Current Frame, and select a format. Click ‘Scale image to preserve aspect ratio’ when working in projects with non-square pixels.

 

Step 12 of 16: Step 11: Send to compressor

To export with custom control over codecs, sizes, frame rates and file formats, select a project and choose Share/Send to Compressor. As well as having access to a large range of presets, the advantage of using Compressor is that you can continue to edit in FCP X.

 

Step 13 of 16: Step 12: Batch processing

When using Compressor, you can drag multiple presets from the Settings Window on to a job, to batch process a single project to a variety of file types. If you want to tweak some output controls, click on a preset and adjust those settings in the Inspector. You can save these as a custom preset.

 

Step 14 of 16: Step 13: Exporting segments

When using the Share menu in FCP X, the entire project is exported. To output a smaller segment of your project, send it to Compressor and set in and out points in the Preview window. Only that section of the video will be exported, which is useful for testing compression settings on small clips.

 

Step 15 of 16: Step 14: Chapter markers

When exporting DVD or Blu-ray discs automatic chapter markers are added every 30 seconds, to allow user navigation. To add custom markers to a QuickTime file, use Send to Compressor, and add and modify the markers using the drop-down menu at the bottom right of the Preview Window.

 

Step 16 of 16: Step 15: Compressor presets

If you’ve installed Compressor, you’ll have access to all its presets from within FCP X. Select a project and choose Share/Export Using Compressor Settings. Type in the search field to quickly find a specific preset, and hold down the Command key to select multiple settings.

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