This last week, my team and I spent a lot of time rapidly editing videos for our upcoming Adobe Audition CC training release. The whole series is about 80 movies, and over the last few days, we’ve edited, exported, and compressed more than 40 of them.
My role in this process, aside from the original design and recording, is to review the final edit of each movie, output the file, and compress it for the web. Since spare time was in short supply, I was looking for anything I could do to speed this process.
And that was the genesis of this article.
Because I didn’t want to install a beta version of Premiere Pro CC on my main editing system, we edited the videos in Final Cut Pro X. Here, for instance, are some of the movies in Chapter 2 – Learning the Interface, displayed in the Project Library.
As you may know, FCP X does not have a Batch Export function. However, as I discovered, that’s not a big deal, because it does have background processing for all exports, which, if you know the secret key combination, makes exporting very fast.
Select the first movie you want to export by clicking its name in the Library.
Type Command+E, which is the default keyboard shortcut for exports. (You can set this in Final Cut Pro > Preferences > Destinations.)
This opens the export window. I always export my projects as Master Files, using ProRes 422, which is the default setting. I then compress the files for the web as a second step on a different computer. However, this Export window remembers the settings you used on your last export, so spend a minute customizing this as necessary. The only changes I generally make are to turn Chapter Markers on, or off.
Press Enter to accept all the current export settings.
The File Save screen appears, where the default name is the name of your project. I always name my projects in a manner suitable for exporting, so I don’t need to change anything.
This window also remembers the last folder location to which I exported a file. Prior to beginning this project, I created a folder called, in this case, “Adobe to Compress,” as the single location I would use to store all my exported files.
Since nothing in this window needs to change, I press Enter as soon as it appears. This accepts the default file name and location.
NOTE: When I am not working on large projects that generate lots of files, I normally export to a folder named “Exported Files to Compress.” The key is not the name of the folder, but to have a common destination, so I don’t have to keep wondering where I stored an exported file.
Final Cut starts exporting the file and returns to the Project Library. Press the Down Arrow key to move down the list to the next Project that needs to be exported.
Then, type Command+E to begin the export process again.
I timed myself. One chapter had 11 files to export. I had them all exporting in less than 30 seconds; which is about how long it would take me to create a batch export list in Final Cut Pro 7. Here is the key sequence:
Cmd+E — Enter — Enter — Down Arrow [ repeat as many times as you have files to export ]
Final Cut Pro X exports in the background. This means that, as long as you don’t close the application, you can view other files, continue to edit, or, just let the system run. Any necessary rendering will also be done during the export. There’s no limit to the number of files that can be queued for export.
To monitor the status of your exports, click the small clock to the left of the timecode display in the Toolbar.
This opens the Background Tasks window where you can monitor your exports. When all files are exported, indicated by a value of 100% in the small clock, or no active jobs in the Background Tasks window, you can quit Final Cut Pro X.
I rarely have more than 12 media files to export at one time and this technique makes exporting very, very fast.
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