iMovie: 5 hrs to export simple 7 min video?

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by haaX, Oct 15, 2016.

  1. haaX macrumors member

    Jun 17, 2013
    Is it normal that a very simple 7 min video takes 5 hrs to render in iMovie on my MacBook 2016 fully speced. The video in question contains a few imported vids, some pics, a few simple transitions and some background music.

    Rendering a minute slideshow from Photos is just a short wait, where the animations in ie. Vintage prints, are far more complex.

    Tested multiple options in the export menus, but the five hour one was "to file", 1080p medium quality. I tried 720p with medium quality, and that was 3 hrs. The lowest option got me down to one hour.

    Is this right?
  2. joema2 macrumors 68000


    Sep 3, 2013
    I just exported a 7 min H264 1080p/30 clip from a Canon 5D Mark III on my 2013 MacBook Air using iMovie, and it took 3 min 44 sec. This was using to File, 1080p, medium quality.

    I then exported the same 7 min file on the same MacBook Air using FCPX and it took 1 min 49 sec. This was exporting to a master file, format=computer, H264 1080p, fast encode.

    In both cases all media and output file were on the internal SSD.

    It should definitely not take hours to export a 7 min video. Is all the media on an internal drive or is any on a network drive or slow USB 2.0 external drive?

    If you are using some very CPU-intensive effects such as video noise reduction those can take a while to render before the export phase begins. Can you try turning off all effects and try to just export the 7 min clip by itself?
  3. ColdCase macrumors 68030

    Feb 10, 2008
    You probably have a transition or effect or glitch somewhere in the video that hangs rendering. You may want to try breaking the vido into a few parts to isolate the troublesome spot.

    My 7 minute videos composed of clips and simple transitions share in terms of minutes, not hours.
  4. haaX, Oct 16, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2016

    haaX thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 17, 2013
    Thanks for the replies and tips, guys!

    I'm not using any CPU-intensive effects, the most intensive one is probably the ken burns effect on a couple of stills, and a slide with the pull focus title. Apart from that a few transitions between a couple of imported clips.

    I tried both of your tips, removed all transitions, text overlays, stills with ken burns, even music. It's now down to two hours and 23 mins. Still not minutes as I would've guessed! Tried exporting parts but couldn't figure out how to do it - even after googling.

    No other apps are running apart from Safari, I've rebooted, the files is stored locally on my harddrive with over 200 GB free space, 6.5 GB memory used (out of 8 GB) during rendering.

    I'm running the macOs Sierra beta (latest public version), maybe it's a bug on that end somewhere? Rendering slideshows in Photos works as a charm - I'm thinking that even the MacBook isn't the most powerful machine, it surely can't be that underpowered.

    I also just noticed my project setting is 4K, maybe that could play a part.

    Edit: I tried deleting everything apart from a single 50 sec clip, still at a 22 minutes estimate (after a minute of calculating).
  5. joema2 macrumors 68000


    Sep 3, 2013
    Create a *new* test library and import a single 50 sec clip then try to export it. Is your content 4k or 1080p? 4k content will generally take 4x as long to do most things since there is 4x the data.

    If your content is 4k or a mix, do the above with only one 1080p clip in a new test library and export that. Make sure you pick Share>File>Video/Audio, and pick whatever the native resolution and frame rate was and Quality: Medium, and Compress: Faster.

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