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Managing Render Files in Final Cut Pro is like housecleaning; it can be a tedious job, but needs to be done on a regular basis, and once it is done, your "house" runs better.  You have more space to work and play, you are able to find things easier, and it's like starting with a clean slate again.  So what is managing Render Files all about?  Well let's start out with a little background on what the actual Render Files are.

Render Files are files that Final Cut Pro creates when you render transitions, effects, and multilayer composites in a sequence.  They are stored on your hard drive automatically based on your scratch disk settings.  Separate folders are created for both video and audio renders.  Render files can accumulate quickly, so it's important to manage or delete these files in order to maximize your disk space.  Usually it is safe to delete all of the render files when you are finished with a project, since they are just sitting there taking up space.  If you do delete them all without meaning to, worst-case scenario is, you'll just have to re-render everything.

Ok, so where are these Render Files kept?  Final Cut Pro stores them in a folder named Render Files.  By default this folder is kept in a folder named Final Cut Pro Documents, located and specified on the scratch disk.  Inside the Render Files folder, Final Cut generates a folder for each project with render files in it.  To see your Scratch Disk settings, you can go to System Settings under the Final Cut Pro menu bar, and click on the first tab labeled Scratch Disks.


Now we know what Render Files are, why we have them, and where we find them.  Let's talk about managing them or deleting them now.  Think of managing Render Files as decluttering your hard drive.  They take up a lot of unnecessary space and in the end leave behind these piles of junk.  It's important to know that you can manage your Render Files in 2 different ways:  Manage them within the Finder in Mac OS, or you can manage them in Final Cut Pro using the Render Manager.  What is the difference?  Well, there are pros and cons for both ways.  Deleting render files using the Render Manager deletes all video or audio renders associated with a project.  Deleting render files within the Finder allows you to selectively delete render files.  The Final Cut Pro user manual suggests not using Finder to delete render files, but instead to use the Render Manager, although some professionals prefer to delete them that way.

To find the Render Manager, we go to the Tools Menu


Once in the Render Manager window, you will see each render folder is broken down based on individual projects that they belong to.  The Render Manager displays render files from both open and unopened projects.  Here you will see the Name of your project, which can be twirled down to see what types of render files you have for that project.  You will also see the Type, and Size columns that describes that file or folder.  You can use the modification dates for files displayed in the Render Manager to help you determine which files you no longer need.  The Last Modified Date column shows the last time a render file was saved.

To delete rendered files, simply place a check mark in the Remove column for each folder you want to delete.  Clicking an item that includes other items, such as a project, automatically includes all those within it.  Clicking a sequence selects all the render files for the sequence.  The sum of the total Render files or amount of disk space that will be freed is displayed at the bottom of the window.  Once you're ready to delete render files, click OK.  All of the files you have checkmarked, will be deleted from the scratch disk.

rendermanager.gifOne last note:  Deleted Render Files cannot be restored with the Undo command.  Now, go and declutter!


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Using Vector Shapes in Final Cut Pro was the previous entry in this blog.

Using the Superimpose Feature in Final Cut Pro is the next entry in this blog.

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