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Exporting a reference file

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Julian Bowman
Exporting a reference file
on Mar 3, 2013 at 4:01:56 pm

Hey.

in FCP7 I could export a reference file in next to no time. I would then create a low res small dimension version using a Quicktime 7 preset to mail to my clients.

I can't seem to be able to do this in FCPX. I have googled and not discovered anything, and the exports from FCPX seem to take an inordinate amount of time. I created a custom compressor setting with 640x320 @ 600kbps .h264 and even that is taking ages.

I am exporting without rendering in the timeline.

1) Is there a reference file like with FCP7?

2) Does rendering in the timeline make a big enough difference to make the entire process quicker than just exporting (these clips are timecoded interviews for clients to paper edit)

Cheers


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Steve Connor
Re: Exporting a reference file
on Mar 3, 2013 at 4:08:30 pm

1) Sadly no

2) In my experience it seems to be a benefit to render first, but not by much.

Steve Connor
'It's just my opinion, with an occasional fact thrown in for good measure"


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Julian Bowman
Re: Exporting a reference file
on Mar 3, 2013 at 4:13:03 pm

Hmmm, bugger.

Ok, cheers for letting me know Steve. This feels a tad frustrating. Exporting is taking ages. Only silver lining is it is happening in the 'background' (unlike rendering :) so at least the App is still usable.

Kind of going to miss the quick and easy export ability of FCP7 to get a draft out of the app though.

Have to say I hope they stop adding things to FCPX that look good on marketing bumph and start addressing a lot of the little quality of life and common sense issues FCPX has. We shall see.

Thanks again.



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Steve Connor
Re: Exporting a reference file
on Mar 3, 2013 at 4:49:45 pm

[Julian Bowman] "Exporting is taking ages."

Sometimes it can yes, however as current NLE's go FCPX's export is one of the fastest!

Steve Connor
'It's just my opinion, with an occasional fact thrown in for good measure"


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Julian Bowman
Re: Exporting a reference file
on Mar 3, 2013 at 4:57:18 pm

That's great and not doubting it, but export reference file was a brilliant and beautiful thing :)



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Steve Connor
Re: Exporting a reference file
on Mar 3, 2013 at 5:17:35 pm

[Julian Bowman] "hat's great and not doubting it, but export reference file was a brilliant and beautiful thing :)"

That it was!

Steve Connor
'It's just my opinion, with an occasional fact thrown in for good measure"


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Mike Drew
Re: Exporting a reference file
on Mar 3, 2013 at 5:32:06 pm

Couldn't you just go to Share and select email as an export option?? You could bypass all that exporting and end up with an email-sized "reference" movie.


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Bob Woodhead
Re: Exporting a reference file
on Mar 3, 2013 at 7:33:15 pm

By reference, they're referring to a Quicktime 7 reference movie; it only contains audio, and has "pointers" for it's video assets. Full resolution & quality at a fraction of the size of self-contained. Veyr handy. Not possible in QT X.


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Andreas Kiel
Re: Exporting a reference file
on Mar 4, 2013 at 1:23:39 pm

It's not totally true.
A QT 7 reference can point to any media, and more references can be added easily, like crop masks or subtitles.
From there you were able to send them to compressor and making different versions and use an end script to upload or email.

- Andreas

Spherico
http://www.spherico.com/filmtools

"He who fights with monsters should be careful lest he thereby
become a monster. And if thou gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will
also gaze into thee." - Friedrich Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil


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T. Payton
Re: Exporting a reference file
on Mar 4, 2013 at 5:04:31 pm

Regarding your OP on getting proofs to clients. I did a quick comparison test:

Project:
1:30 timeline, 55 psd stills over 1:30 of SD video. (i.e. SD timeline)
MacBook Pro 2007, 6GB ram, GeForce 8600M 128MB vram (i.e. a really slow machine, not even qualified for FCP X)

Results:

FCP X
------------
1. FCPX Share non rendered timeline, to email small, faster encode: 1:23
2. FCPX render all of timeline: :52
3. FCPX Share rendered timeline to master file with current ProRes settings :40
4. FCPX Share rendered timeline to Export to email (small fast encode) rendered: 1:09

FCP X could accomplish my little test 1:23 by rendering and h264 compressing at the same time. Less time than the 52+1:09 = 2:01 it would take to render and then share to email size.

FCPX BEST TIME: 1:23

FCP 7
-------------
6. FCP 7 render to ProRes 422: 40.5 seconds
7. FCP 7 export self contained (PR 422): 31 seconds
8. FCP 7 export to reference: 2 seconds (wow!)
5. Quicktime 7. Share the Prores file created in 7 to Mail Large (436x32): 2:34

FCP 7 actually outperformed FCP X in rendering, and the reference export is blazing fast. But it would be 40+2+2:34=3:16 to render, export a reference file and then share via QuickTime 7.

FCP 7 BEST TIME: 3:16

Of course your milage may vary but in my experience it has been much faster to get proofs to clients via FCP X than it was in FCP 7. At my shop we use private YouTube or Vimeo to proof to clients. Secure and very fast.

About those reference files. They are great for quick exports and transcodes, as long as you don't move anything! Move a reference file and you are hosed. We made it a policy at our shop to stop using them years ago because of the problems they created. I think Apple ditched them as a FCP X export to avoid a world of potential hurt. However they are phenomenally useful. I had to show a film in a theater this past fall and was handed an extra video to show after the credits. I grab a the film and extra credits and created a reference file in seconds. Worked great.

------
T. Payton
OneCreative, Albuquerque


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Mathieu Ghekiere
Re: Exporting a reference file
on Mar 4, 2013 at 8:43:31 pm

I think Apple ditched them because a reference movie was a feature of Quicktime, and FCPX isn't based on the Quicktime framework anymore, but on the new A/V Foundation.

That being said, on one hand they could be very handy in times, and having the option would be great.
But rendering in FCPX can be very fast, if you work with Prores Media (it helps a lot), and in combination with background rendering, it makes the pain of missing reference movies a lot less.


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Keith Koby
Re: Exporting a reference file
on Mar 5, 2013 at 2:56:21 am

I think it may have something to do with security... Ref movies can be spoofed. I agree with Mathieu though. Fcpx is very fast exporting a prores master file if you have been working in prores the whole way and have taken advantage of some bkg rendering along the way.

Keith Koby
Sr. Director Post-Production Engineering
iNDEMAND
Howard TV!/Movies On Demand/iNDEMAND Pay-Per-View/iNDEMAND 3D


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Mark Morache
Re: Exporting a reference file
on Mar 5, 2013 at 11:03:08 am

I always used to export QT ref movies on the way to dvd encoding. Yes, it was faster, but I can't tell you how many dead QT ref files I have because one or more renders disappeared. More than once I went back to a retired project and wished I had the entire rendered file.

I expect that the QT ref file becomes a bit less important when your timeline can't match the codec of the clips. I always loved the idea of dropping my clips into a timeline and when I export, any footage with no modification gets exported without any conversion. Same ones and zeros, right?

I often edit xdcam 35 footage, and export out an xdcam clip of my final edit. I gotta think even the footage I don't modify is getting converted and re-converted.

---------
Don't live your life in a secondary storyline.

Mark Morache
FCPX/FCP7/Xpri/Avid
Evening Magazine,Seattle, WA
http://fcpx.wordpress.com


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Keith Koby
Re: Exporting a reference file
on Mar 5, 2013 at 11:15:39 am

Long gop footage edited puts the gops out of order. To lay back, the gops have to go back in order. Thats why you'd get that painful conform with 7 and hdv. I haven't edited in xdcam, I would think it is a similar procedure.

Keith Koby
Sr. Director Post-Production Engineering
iNDEMAND
Howard TV!/Movies On Demand/iNDEMAND Pay-Per-View/iNDEMAND 3D


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T. Payton
Re: Exporting a reference file
on Mar 5, 2013 at 4:17:28 pm

[T. Payton] "I did a quick comparison test:"

A quick correction on my tests. FCP X are FCP 7 are very different animals, and this wasn't a true apples to apples test. For example because the video clips were DV codec, FCP X wouldn't actually transcode them into ProRes 422 until the time of the Share/Export. Hence the FCP X ProRes export being was slower in my tests.

FYI.

------
T. Payton
OneCreative, Albuquerque


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T. Payton
Re: Exporting a reference file
on Mar 7, 2013 at 3:21:58 pm

Just a quick experience to encourage you to use YouTube of Vimeo to post proofs.

Yesterday I started cutting a 40 second promo for an upcoming client presentation. Then I got a call that I had to leave the office right way, so I clicked Share > YouTube, hit return and then I put on my coat, my backpack and as I walked about the door. I locked the office and then pulled up YouTube on my phone. Sure enough the video already uploaded, this was after about 2 minutes passed. I watched it as I walked outside and then texted a link to my fellow creative director for review.

This was all accomplished in a matter of less than 5 minutes. I can understand that your desire is to export a reference movie, or even a finished movie to compressor, and then upload via email. However, I think the existing workflow in FCP X very well thought out by Apple and we should take a bit of moment to try their methods. They have made posting a proof literally 3 clicks and have made what should be a simple thing a simple thing indeed.

------
T. Payton
OneCreative, Albuquerque


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PT Sandiford
Re: Exporting a reference file
on Apr 18, 2014 at 9:53:00 pm

All compressions using the tools from FCPX, Motion, and Compressor fail. Reference movies would allow me to use Quicktime 7 until I can figure out what is happening. But it isn't possible so I get to enjoy 5 failed compressions of a 2 hours product in a row.

Not nice.



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T. Payton
Re: Exporting a reference file
on Apr 18, 2014 at 10:07:34 pm

[PT Sandiford] "All compressions using the tools from FCPX, Motion, and Compressor fail."

Can you clarify this? What are "all compressions"?

[PT Sandiford] "Reference movies would allow me to use Quicktime 7 until I can figure out what is happening. "

How would you use Quicktime 7?

[PT Sandiford] "But it isn't possible so I get to enjoy 5 failed compressions of a 2 hours product in a row."

Are you getting an error when exporting from FCPX? If so are you getting an error on a specific frame? Sometimes you can have one bad piece of media that is causing the trouble, or an old plugin, etc. You might try exporting your project in sections and then recombine in QuickTime 7.

Here are some tips on troubleshooting. http://fcpx.tv/Pages/shareexport.html

Read the entire page before starting your troubleshooting.

Please let me know if I can help you get this figured out.

------
T. Payton
OneCreative, Albuquerque


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David Coiffier
Re: Exporting a reference file
on Feb 6, 2015 at 12:32:31 pm

That might be the missing thing you were all looking for...

App is importing xml from fcpx and can export reference QT !

http://www.clipexporter.com/



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David Coiffier
Re: Exporting a reference file
on Feb 6, 2015 at 1:23:17 pm

Didn't see the price at first...



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