Does iMovie create render files?

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by Siderz, Jun 18, 2013.

  1. Siderz macrumors 6502a

    Nov 10, 2012
    I've always wondered how iMovie plays back without any kind of rendering indicator.

    Either the things you can apply just aren't big enough that it needs rendering, or it renders in the background like FCPX, but without any indicator.

    I assume the former. I know that some of the older versions had to render.

    I don't actually use iMovie though, can't quite remember how limited it biggest problem with it is that the timeline isn't accurate, it's horrible to use.
  2. Siderz thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Nov 10, 2012
  3. talmy macrumors 601


    Oct 26, 2009
    It has always seemed to me that it renders on export since export time seems to vary on the complexity of content. Judging by the processor usage, it doesn't seem to do anything in the background.
  4. Siderz thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Nov 10, 2012

    Did you check the processor activity during playback?

    Once again, not urgent, just curious, don't worry if you can't be bothered to do it. I don't actually have iMovie installed anymore which is why I can't try it out.
  5. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
    It is probably due to all the effects being real-time with the machines they are supported on due to the iMovie version.

    FCP and FCE and even Avid Media Composer and Adobe Premiere Pro have many real time effects, which do not need to be rendered before playback and thus not create any render files somewhere.
  6. kohlson macrumors 68000

    Apr 23, 2010
    IIRC, iMovie uses an intermediate codec that enables essentially realtime for the available effects. When you "share" (export) then then this is rendered into the final format/resolution. This usually takes some time.
    Older versions of iMovie did not have realtime effects. When they were applied, a progress bar appeared in the frame to show you how soon you could see the effect. When the current version came to market, it required Intel processors, annoying those Power Macs who wanted to move beyond iMovie 6.

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