APPLE FINAL CUT PRO: Apple Final Cut Pro X FCPX Debates FCP Legacy FCP Tutorials

Can I export the file right away without waiting for thumbnail and waveforms to finish their tasks?

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Sam Lee
Can I export the file right away without waiting for thumbnail and waveforms to finish their tasks?
on Mar 6, 2019 at 6:58:22 am

I have hundred of hours of edited materials that need simple trim in and out, changing PsF from interlaced scan video to true progressive, and audio level re-adjustment. When importing into FCP 10.3.4 to 10.4.5, I noticed it can take half a day or more to finish the thumbnail and waveform generation. I send it to Compressor to have it remastered. Do I need to wait for the background render process to finish or I can start sending to Compressor right away? Worried that audio may not get processed or something may be corrupted when the re-mastered Pro Res 422 HQ file is done.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Can I export the file right away without waiting for thumbnail and waveforms to finish their tasks?
on Mar 6, 2019 at 1:07:15 pm

Yes you can export right away.


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Joe Marler
Re: Can I export the file right away without waiting for thumbnail and waveforms to finish their tasks?
on Mar 6, 2019 at 6:01:32 pm

[Sam Lee] "hundred of hours of edited materials...When importing into FCP 10.3.4 to 10.4.5, I noticed it can take half a day or more to finish the thumbnail and waveform generation."

As already stated you need not wait for this to finish. The problem is it's not "half a day" -- it's totally unpredictable based on how you scroll the Event Browser. IOW if you don't scroll down through every page of thumbnails, it may never finish generating them.

This is apparently a UI and performance design issue. After import, Apple wants to show a populated screen in the Event Browser ASAP and provide good performance for marking ranges, ratings and keywords on that first page.

To achieve this they shut down thumbnail and waveform generation of subsequent pages. Only when you scroll down does the generation resume.

They could have provided a config option (like Lightroom) to go ahead and generate them all, whether displayed or not. They likely wanted to avoid an additional user preference and background processing mode. Most of the time you don't need this, but for large imports of new media it can be frustrating.

You can expedite the process by putting the cache on a fast drive like an SSD, then minimizing the viewer, turning off Inspector, turning off the library sidebar (CMD + ~), pick one thumbnail per clip (CMD+Z) and reducing thumbnail size. This fits the most possible thumbnails on a single screen, reducing the number of page down steps to walk through all the thumbnails. Once generated you normally don't have to do it again. However there are cases if the thumbnail size is changed sufficiently they will be regenerated.


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Joe Marler
Re: Can I export the file right away without waiting for thumbnail and waveforms to finish their tasks?
on Mar 6, 2019 at 8:13:45 pm

Sorry, I meant SHIFT+Z in the Event Browser to show one thumbnail per clip.


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