Does iMovie create render files?

Siderz

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Nov 10, 2012
991
1
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 is...my biggest problem with it is that the timeline isn't accurate, it's horrible to use.
 

talmy

macrumors 601
Oct 26, 2009
4,705
266
Oregon
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.
 

Siderz

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Nov 10, 2012
991
1
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.
Thanks!

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.
 
Nov 28, 2010
22,684
27
located
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.
 

kohlson

macrumors 68020
Apr 23, 2010
2,047
553
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.