Final Cut, Ultra-High Maintenance Work Horse?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by bpetruzzo, Oct 17, 2010.

  1. bpetruzzo macrumors regular

    Oct 22, 2005
    So I finally broke down and bought Final Cut Pro. And frankly, as powerful as I know it is, I'm somewhat shocked that Apple makes such an unintuitive product. Even Adobe Premiere, which can handle most of the basics that Final Cut does, I managed to pick up in just a few hours. But Final Cut seems insurmountable. From constantly having to render previews for editing (which are constantly being deleted every time a sequence is tweaked), to simply not being able to find basic editing tools, I'm about ready to pull my hair out.

    There are two things I'm hoping someone can help me with.

    First, is there a way to make Final Cut pre-render editing previews of clips as soon as their added to the timeline, or do they really have to be rendered manually, every time?

    Second, can anyone recommend a good beginner's guide? They all seem dive in too fast, and skip a lot of foundational stuff. Like the whole rendering thing, which for some reason the supposedly inferior Adobe Premiere (and iMovie for that matter) never have a problem with. Obviously, transitions and effects need to be rendered, but just ordinary hard-cut footage shouldn't have to do that every time. So a quick-start beginner's guide would be great.

    So, any ideas?
  2. chrono1081 macrumors 604


    Jan 26, 2008
    Isla Nublar
    I can't answer specifics but for a beginner guide I'd suggest picking up a one month subscription to
    It's most likely cheaper than any book you'll find and you will probably take more away from it.
  3. spinnerlys Guest


    Sep 7, 2008
    forlod bygningen
    Yep, don't use videos using H264 or any other compressive codecs. FCP can edit natively with codecs like DV, Apple Intermediate Codec (AIC) or ProRes, the latter often recommended for almost every use. Make sure the sequence and clip settings match in almost every aspect, as editing applications don't like compressive videos, where half the frames are missing, as editing applications need every frame to perform frame-exact tasks. Compressive videos store a whole film in 1 or 2GB, but they don't store every frame and interpolate the rest. The codecs FCP uses store every frame, thus the constant rendering of your compressed videos, as they have to be constantly transcoded.
    You can use MPEG Streamclip to transcode our compressive material into .mov files using either the AIC (SD, NTSC) or DV SD(, PAL) codec or ProRes (SD and HD) for video, and Uncompressed for audio.
    That is another thing, don't import .mp3 or other compressive audio, transcode it to either .wav or .aiff.

    The reason Premiere has no problems with it, is that it constantly uses the CPU at high power during decoding compressed footage.

    Anyway, using MRoogle will find you dozens of threads about this rendering issue in FCP and the solution I posted above. is a good start, also take a look at and its fora and tutorials, and of course the manual of FCP, here you can get the .pdf: Cut Pro 7 User Manual (en).pdf

    Btw, FCP is a professional software, thus it does not cater to beginners, especially regarding the preparation of footage, thus read the manual about what and what is not acceptable as format and codec.

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