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Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Helpful Final Cut Rendering "Trick"

As I was doing some final editing on a film last night, I found an interesting way around a looooong rendering wait. I was using my 15" Powerbook G4 1.67 GHZ with 1.5 RAM. In this case it was not the fastest computer I had avialable but I had a feeling that a lot of the files I needed may have been on that computer instead of on the ext. hard drive. It had been a long time since I opened the project and had moved a lot of things around since the last time I had opened the movie. In any case, this was the computer I chose to use. When I opened the project - sure enough - a whole mess of files were now offline. I cursed myself for moving things and then reconnected everything. After that, I added the song that I was there to add and changed my rendering settings to the highest possible for final output.

All of this done, huge parts of the film needed to be rendered - some for previw and some completely. I selected all and hit "apple R." I watched the total render time climb from 20 minutes up to well over an hour. I didn't get into this for an hour wait so at this point I considered changing computers for the faster one with more RAM but instead thought I'd try something else.

I started selecting sections of the film a few at a time and rendering them. At most, it took one minute per section but was usually around a few seconds. All in all, the process took less than a half hour! Now, I am not quite geek enough to understand why this was the case - though I'm sure it has to do with Final Cut using RAM to store render data. What I do know is that by putting just a little more elbow grease into it, I saved myself a lot of time for a process that would have otherwise been a slow and helpless experience (any editor knows what that is like - sitting and watching and waiting while the blue bar ever so slowly works its way to the right - noticing all the other things you want to fix but unable to do so until it is done) -- and kept myself occupied at the same time.

I recommend this incremental process for anyone who is working on a non-hyperspeed computer and needs to do a lot of rendering. Good Luck!

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