A question I get asked frequently is how to improve export speeds from Final Cut Pro X. This varies, depending upon a variety of conditions, but here are five tips you can use to speed things up.
1. Optimize media. Renders and exports are significantly faster when using optimized media (which means it is converted into ProRes 422), rather than editing camera native formats (like H.264 or AVCHD).
2. Finish rendering. When the time comes to export, if rendering is not complete, Final Cut will render all remaining clips during export which slows things down.
3. Export using ProRes 422. This format matches the format you used for optimizing – FCP X doesn’t allow you a choice. By exporting in the same format, you avoid wasting speed in transcoding from one format to another. And, from an image quality point of view, you won’t be able to tell the difference when looking at ProRes 422 vs. ProRes 422 HQ.
4. Export a Master File. I always want to view my exported file to make sure it looks and sounds OK before compressing it. This allows me to verify that everything is good. So, I always select Share > Export Media to export my files.
NOTE: Here’s an article with details on how to export a Master File.
5. Export to a different hard drive. When you export to a different hard drive than the one containing your Event folder, the computer can copy the media from one hard drive and record it on a different drive which is much faster than reading and writing to the same drive.
Yes, it is easier to share everything with one click, but it isn’t faster, and you lose the ability to spot problems with your file before wasting time compressing then.
This is the system I use and it works well for me.
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