VF48Hours Lockdown Forum

From: New Zealand
Since: Mar 2015
Posts: 1

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FCPX help!

Olay guys im slightly new to this and I thought since this is only my second year doing this I should ask for some help from you guys.... so ill be using Final Cut Pro X this year to edit our film, and I was reading some threads online and people are saying that its gonna take ages to render and then export.. someone even said it took 24 hours to export... and we obviously dont have 24 hours to render and export... Someone said it'll be faster if I just export with the settings ive set it on in the begining and export it as a quicktime file, then put it into HandBrake to change to the specs I need... Will this speed up the time? and is this right? :( Please help someone, wanting to make a decent attempt this year and I dont want to let down the group as editor this year :D Thanks people!! :D

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From: Cactuslab
Since: Mar 2011
Posts: 258

It really shouldn't take any longer to export from FCPX than from any other editor. I have only used FCPX a bit some time ago, and not for a 48 Hours comp, but it always seemed fine to me.

The best piece of advice anyone can give you with regards to your workflow is test, test, then test again. Get the camera(s) you intend to use, and film 20-30 minutes of stuff with it (better if you can records 2 or 3 hours - point it at your TV! :-) ).

Try importing the footage into FCPX, chop it up and move it around until you've got 7 minutes worth. If you plan to do any FX, do some of those. Add music. Grade. Basically whatever you plan/hope to do, with whatever tools you plan to use.

Then export it to see how long it takes to export to the appropriate file format. Make sure the format meets the requirements, and test that it works on a few different computers.

If it does take too long, try exporting to other formats and converting with Handbrake.

Either way, figure out in advance what the best solution is for you, then STICK TO IT. There is always a temptation to change things at the last minute, and it seldom works out well. :-)

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From: Wellington
Since: May 2011
Posts: 78

I agree with tarlen. You're only really going to know how long it's going to take if you test properly. You can't trust anything you read about how long it's going to take. Do a proper test, just as tarlen suggests, then you'll have a much better idea.
One other thing to note is that many cameras record in a format that isn't the easiest for the computer/editing system to work with, which can slow down the editing and rendering time, depending on your system. I've used canon dslrs and sony video cameras and before I start editing I transcode the footage to a format more friendly for the editing system. In my case I use Cineform Neoscene, which you have to buy, but there are others which I think are free. Doing that cut my export time on a 7 minute video with effects from about 45 minutes to under 20, and allowed the system to preview effects in real time much better while editing. If you've got a really powerful system, this might not apply to you, but otherwise it's good to know. I'm not a Mac guy either, so I don't really know what the situation is with those machines.

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From: Cactuslab
Since: Mar 2011
Posts: 258

FCPX has an option to transcode the original footage to a "native" format. If your initial footage is a less supported format (I'm looking at you AVCHD), then transcoding makes your editing/exporting process MUCH faster.

It does take time to, but you can set it up so it transcodes in the background. That way you'll have slow/jerky footage to start with, but silky smooth editing within a couple of hours.

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2009 - "Omnipedia" (Religious - Producer/Editor)
2008 - "The Perfectionist" (Superhero - Producer/Director/Editor)
2007 - "Bane" (Monster - Producer/Director/Editor)
2005 - "Super Boy Meets Girl" (Superhero - FX)
2004 - "House of Raging Women" (Educational - FX)

From: Auckland
Since: Apr 2011
Posts: 442

What I've done is built a compressor preset and then added it to the share menu in final cut pro.
Once that is done unless you've got a really old Macintosh it shouldn't take very long at all to export your film, I think last year it took around 15 minutes and I've got the first generation 15inch macbook pro with retina display.
I doubt that using handbrake would speed it up as you'd have to effectively export the video twice.

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From: Te puke
Since: Mar 2012
Posts: 133

Absolutely go with Tarlens advice. Test all your equipment and test again. Then download 7-8 mins footage with more music,effects, transitions etc than you expect to use and do this several time just to make sure:)) Start doing this now when your not under pressure and have time to play. If not sure about stuff find an expert near you or come on here and ask . Don't get too wrapped up in big effects.


Work out who is doing what. If its just you then hopefully you have a several split personalities
Sort out food and beverages on the Tuesday or Wednesday. Keep it simple and easy but have food.


Alocate someone who likes making lunch/dinner/midnight snacks/ 3am snacks even if its just ham rolls.

DON'T drink too much alcohol. I LOVE wine and have a few when I get home and editing ( i work with primary school and intermediate kids and am so glad that I can't as if i could i would probably fall over - I do that on Sunday evening!

And once you have done all that.


Then have the most CRAZY,PUSH YOURSELF, CREATIVE weekend you want it to be:))

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From: Christchurch
Since: May 2011
Posts: 6

As others have said, play around with it and test it. If you're after some presets, here's a link to some Compressor settings that were posted a few years ago.

I still use these from time to time (pretty sure I used the 1080p one last year). I think FCPX can read them without requiring Compressor, could be wrong though.

Further to what tarlen said, if you find that it's laggy editing then FCPX has two main transcoding options - 'Optimised' and 'Proxy'. Both use ProRes 422. The latter option creates a lower quality copy of your source media for faster editing - you can then switch back to the original media for final preview and export. If your machine's quick enough though you may be able to get away with editing the original media directly.

As stated by the others though, test it lots and check your timings. Then on Sunday give yourself plenty of extra time. I usually do a rough cut export as soon as we've got all the required elements of the film, that way if everything goes sideways later on we have something we can hand in that won't be disqualified even if it's unpolished.


From: Christchurch
Since: May 2011
Posts: 122

in reply to Kendyll_Lowrey:


It normally only takes about 15mins using Final Cut to export to compressor using the 48Hour required coding settings.

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