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Creating Droplets in Apple Compressor

Here is a great tutorial that shows how to create a Droplet in Apple Compressor:

Apple Compressor is a great tool to convert media files to other formats. A great way to use Compressor, is to create droplets. Droplets are automated Compressor shortcuts that make using Compressor drag and drop easy.

To create a droplet in Compressor, first, select the setting you wish to create a droplet of, second, click the Save selection as droplet button, next give the droplet a name, select the location where you would like to save it, and last of all where you want the files created by the droplet to be saved. Leaving this set at SOURCE will send the created files back to the folder that the file you sent to the droplet came from. I suggest designing your droplets with the Destination of the droplet results as SOURCE, because you can always change it later.

I like to keep a COMPRESSOR folder in my User Folder, and keep in it droplets of all the frequently used settings, and more importantly combinations of settings. When I say combinations of settings I refer to a droplet that has multiple settings assigned to it.

 A perfect example is duplicating the DVD Best Quality 90 Minutes setting folder, and then duplicating both the Apple TV, and the iPod settings. Once all these settings are in the Custom folder, you can rename the DVD best quality 90 minutes setting folder, add the AppleTV & iPod settings to the folder, and make a droplet.

To use a droplet simply drag the files, or files on top of a droplet, and release. This will bring up the Droplet editor window, and this is when you can reassign the destination of the droplet results, as well as change what name the file will be saved as, or even add more settings to the batch.

When ready just click submit twice, and the files will begin to be processed. In the Compressor preferences, you can set the Batch Monitor to auto launch as soon as a batch is submitted. Now just wait.

A perfect time to use a droplet is when bringing media off of a file based recording system. From a Flip video camera to Cannon 5D and 7D, the recorded media is not what we want in Final Cut Pro, so we need to convert it to something else. Typically one of the Pro Res flavors. Here I have the media from my new Flip camera, highlight all the clips, and drop them on the Apple Pro Res 422 Droplet, and let Compressor go to work.

Introducing Droplets into your workflow will only make life easier.  In our 4 day Final Cut class we cover Compressor as well as other applications in the Final Cut Studio.  Also, be sure to check out this quick article about compressor droplets for multiple settings.
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