About Rendering

Posted on by Larry

[ This article was first published in the April, 2009, issue of
Larry’s Final Cut Pro Newsletter. Click here to subscribe. ]


Randall Brown asks:

I’m getting a red render bar on all transitions, even dissolves. I noticed that you didn’t seem to have this problem in your Lynda.com training. The “option P” command also seems to briefly stop in the middle. RT is set for dynamic.
What’s causing the problem?

Larry replies: Randall, thanks for writing. Your MacBook Pro system is plenty fast enough. My GUESS is that your sequence settings (Sequence > Settings) don’t match your video clips. Check there first.

Note: You can verify what a clip’s settings are by selecting the clip, then choosing Edit > Item Properties > Format.

Don Kates asks:

I’m having a problem with FCP. when I bring images in prepared as you say to do (2.5x the frame size), everything I do in the timeline with those images needs rendering( i.e.. transition, filter or even a change in length of the transition). Could you give me some insight into the problem? If I bring them in at the frame size for the sequence 1920 x 1080, i don’t have the problem.

Larry replies: Don, the simplest definition of rendering is to convert an effect or image from its native format to match the video format of your timeline.

When you create an image that is significantly larger than the video format you are using, Final Cut renders it, or converts it, from that high-quality image into a form that matches your timeline.

When your image size is, essentially, the same as the timeline, Final Cut can do this in real-time. However, if the image is really big, or really small, FCP can’t process it quick enough to play in real-time, so it needs to render.

The benefit of using images with higher resolution (quality) than your sequence is that you will most often end up with a higher quality result in your sequence. However, if time is of the essence and you don’t need to move around the image, then bring it in at exactly the frame size you need for your project.

For NTSC and PAL projects, image sizes vary wildly. Here’s an article that explains this in more detail: Improving the Look of Your Graphics and Text.

Keep in mind that all stills, regardless of image size, will requiring rendering before final output or export.

Also, keep in mind that FCP does not like images larger than about 4,000 pixels, so if you are working at HD resolutions, make your image 3840 x 2160 or smaller.

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