FCP X Render/Share Time: crazy?

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by GSPice, Aug 7, 2013.

  1. GSPice, Aug 7, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2013

    GSPice macrumors 68000


    Nov 24, 2008
    I have a 90-minute project, with about 20 title generators and maybe 100 or so cross dissolves. Pretty simple - 2 sources of audio (multicam) throughout, video imported with optimized and proxy media. Background rendering was disabled. (for faster editing, but slower export time?)

    I have a 2008 24" iMac - 3.06GHz, 4GB ram, 512MB NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GS, OS 10.8.4, FCP 10.0.9.

    Usually my projects are 5-10 minutes - this is my first long project. It's been rendering for 17 hours (720 HD, high quality h.264), and progress is at 10% :eek:

    The activity monitor is showing the CPU at a constant 100%, and obviously all the memory is being used up (no other programs running).

    Is this expected? Does this mean it's gonna take a week to render? lol! :eek: I don't mind waiting, It'd just be nice to know that nothing abnormal is going on. It's possible that there's a couple settings I did or didn't use (not necessarily by design) that are really stacking up the render time, such as the format/resolution I'm rendering to, (scaling?), etc.

    edit: oh and project files are on an external firewire 800 drive. Lol I probably sound like I'm trying to use a setup from 1992 to do something in 2013.

    Thanks in advance!
  2. infinitech macrumors member

    Oct 1, 2012
  3. marshzd macrumors newbie

    May 11, 2011
    What are your export settings exactly? Were they set up with Compressor? Are you using an Apple Default? What format were the original files that you're editing in?
  4. Zwhaler macrumors 604


    Jun 10, 2006
    I would do the following:

    1. In Final Cut enable background rendering. Go into your project, and let the whole project render.

    2. Export Master File ProRes 422

    3. Use that file as the target for your Compressor project, make the h.264 High quality automatic quality with Multi-pass, and make sure you go into audio and make it 320kbps AAC or something high quality.

    Render that and viola you'll have a beautiful video file!
  5. Borntorun macrumors member

    Nov 15, 2011
    Perth, Australia
    Very good advise.

    I can just add that turning background rendering off will make no difference to the speed of your editing. Background rendering is stopped automatically by FCPX as soon as editing tasks are undertaken, freeing up the CPU to smoothen your user interface experience. As soon as it detects that you are idle, it will recommence rendering again; stopping when you start to edit again.

    It is a great feature and should be left on.

    FCPX does use those render files to compose the final product. The implication is that should your default settings be to use "proxy files", you will get a final product based on the quality of the codec settings of proxy files, irrespective of what your final export settings are.

    So, by all means, edit in proxy (keep background rendering on), this is the quickest way to edit. But, just before you are ready to render your final product, change over to "high quality media", let it re-render and then export.
  6. Borntorun macrumors member

    Nov 15, 2011
    Perth, Australia
    A very good article on this subject:

  7. GSPice thread starter macrumors 68000


    Nov 24, 2008
    Original files were h.264, not set up with Compressor, using Apple default. I've learned that this was severely increasing export time (transcoding, not rendering).

    Excellent - this is what I was slowly gathering from my research, you've made it clear. Thank you!

    Interesting. I'm gonna have to look this up. Thanks for the tips!

    Thanks! I've read a lot of Larry's stuff, and since I'm relatively new to editing, I haven't absorbed everything yet. This article is just what I needed.
  8. MacBookProzak macrumors regular

    Nov 16, 2011
    Considering the machine you have, this experience sounds about right as compared to the 2008 iMac I once had.

    The MacBookPro you see in my profile hooked up to a Thunderbolt drive, I am do 720 HD at a minute of content to take a minute to output with as much titling and transitions as you described in your project.

    The other trick I found is that it will be a faster output time if you use the "Share" within FCPX instead of sending it to Compressor.

    I produce videos all day long that range from 30 minutes to and hour and the MBP eats through everything I throw at it.
  9. GSPice thread starter macrumors 68000


    Nov 24, 2008
    I'm assuming you mean the "send to Compressor" option, vice creating a master file and opening it in Compressor?

    And your MBP is why I am as giddy as a school girl about the next MBP keynote. And Christmas. :D
  10. GSPice thread starter macrumors 68000


    Nov 24, 2008
    Ok so this is the setting in Preferences>Playback, where the radio buttons allow you to select "proxy media" or "original or optimized media," with the latter allowing you to select "High quality" or "high performance".

    You're saying to select "proxy media" for editing and background rendering, then select "original or optimized media" for final render and export to a master file. Correct?

    Larry Jordan's site seems to say this as well, and that while "proxy media" will definitely result in low quality exports, when using "original or optimized media," selecting "high quality" or "high performance" won't make a difference in export quality, just playback.

    And of course this workflow seems to be intended for slow, slow machines, otherwise I'd probably not even worry about working with proxy media.

    My original H.264 files were optimized on import, so I'm also interested to learn about FCP X vs. Compressor regarding getting from ProRes 422 to H.264 again. Is FCP X just slower than Compressor with that conversion, is it converting original H.264 to H.264, or optimized ProRes 422 to H.264, etc.
  11. Zwhaler macrumors 604


    Jun 10, 2006
    In my experience... generally Compressor will render faster when you export a ProRes file and compress that as opposed to "Send To Compressor" within Final Cut. BUT for regular projects with minimal effects your wait time will be about the same. For some reason when I throw in Neat Video Noise Reduction (takes extremely long to render) doing Send To Compressor makes it re-render all of the NR which takes so long. When you export out a Pro Res file and compress that, Compressor doesn't know the difference between footage that took a long time to render out to ProRes and just plain old fast rendering footage or generators... and therefore it compresses the ProRes file much quicker.
  12. mcnallym macrumors 6502a

    Oct 28, 2008
    I have to start off by saying that only recently started using FCPX, and has mainly been with Elgato Recordings, however they are typically all over 2 hours long.

    This is what I have found works best (for me anyway) from Research and Trial and Error

    Background Rendering Off

    1.) Export from Elgato to Quicktime using ProRes422 for the Video and AAC for the Audio.
    2.) Import the File as an Event, and Create Optimized Media
    3.) Create Project and Edit
    4.) Manually Render the Project
    5.) Export as a Master File
    6.) Use a Batch to process the Master Files out to H264, using a QuickCluster on my Mac Pro in Compressor.

    Manually Starting the Render Process is much faster then letting complete on the Background Process.
  13. talmy macrumors 601


    Oct 26, 2009
    Most of the year I produce 3 hours a week of videos of my lectures from multi-cam sources (1080p ACVHD camera and 1280x1024 screen capture with an occasional second camera for close-ups of demos). I do no transcoding on import. I could never get export to Compressor to work reliably -- it almost always would hang. Instead I export "Master File" in ProRes 422 (LT) -- for my use I couldn't see any difference to the standard ProRes 422 and LT is faster to generate and smaller. The resulting videos are encoded with X.264 in 720P, 10FPS to keep the file sizes small. The export + Compressor time is about 3 hours (basically "real time") on my i7 MBP.

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