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Exporting from Final Cut Pro

Exporting from Final Cut Pro can sometimes be frustrating.  This is especially true if you run into video interlace problems.


I had originally intended to write this article for Final Cut Pro X users.  However, this article will also benefit users who are using Final Cut Pro 7 along with Compressor 3.0.  So please, forgive me a ahead of time if you are not a Final Cut Pro X user.

I was inspired to write this article, because GeniusDV has received support calls from frustrated customers who are having issues exporting high quality video that looks clean on a progressive display.

Don't worry, the steps in this tutorial are identical for Compressor 3.0 and 4.0.

(Click on the title of the blog to continue reading the full article)
If you are a seasoned editor, I'm fairly certain you have encountered the dreaded 'shredded video' that occurs from interlaced video being played back on a progressive screen. 

Before I move on, if your video camera supports a progressive mode (i.e, 24p, 30p), it is in your best interest to always shoot in a progressive format.  This will eliminate having to read through the following convoluted steps to fix your video.

That being said, your eventually going to encounter the millions of users who have mini-dv or hdv tape cassettes that were recorded in 30i.  So what do you do with those old video formats that were recorded in an interlaced format?  The answer is to de-interlace the footage.

Yes, Final Cut Pro 7 does have a De-interlace filter, but it's limited to removing or duplicating fields.

Good news:  If you are a Final Cut Pro 7 user, you will have a copy of Compressor 3 that is included in the Final Cut Studio suite of applications. 

Bad news: If you are a Final Cut Pro X user, you will need to purchase Compressor 4 from the App Store. 

App Store.png

Compressor 4.0 is a download purchase only, and It's $50.00.

purchase compressor 4.0.png

Final Cut Pro X Users:  Unfortunately, for Final Cut Pro X users, it is an absolute necessity that you purchase Compressor 4.0 if you plan on using Final Cut Pro X in a professional environment. Without Compressor 4.0, your export options will be extremely limited, and you will not have the ability to de-interlace footage.

Now, I'm being serious, this screen shot below shows the only export options available within Final Cut Pro X.  For the most part you are limited to a QuickTime movie encoded as ProRes or DV at full resolution. That's it!

This is a real bummer if you are used to all the export options that were available directly from Final Cut Pro 7.0. The fix is to purchase Compressor 4.0.  Then you'll have all the export options that you have been used to.


Final Cut Pro 7 Users: Even though FCP 7 has all the export options, Compressor is still useful for advanced compression techniques.  This includes the ability blur interlaced fields, instead of simply removing one of the fields.

Compressor Tutorial for Dei-nterlacing Media

The following steps are the same for both FCP 7 and FCP X.

* Quick Side Note: While I'm on the subject of adjusting presets in Compressor, you might want to check out this short tutorial on creating a droplet in Apple Compressor.  This will allow you to use your preset for processing media outside of Final Cut Pro.

Step 1:  Launch Compressor, and look for settings window.

settings window.png

Step 2:  Duplicate one of the available settings within the presets that are listed.  For example:  Since Apple ProRes 422 has become one of the industry standards for exporting video, that might be a good starting point.  In Compressor 4.0, It's located under the Apple / ProRes group of folders.

That being said, you won't be able to make any adjustments to the parameters in Compressor unless you either duplicate an existing setting, or create a new one.  Trust me, It's much easier to duplicate an existing setting than to create a new one from scratch.


Step 3:  After you duplicate a setting, Final Cut Pro will create a custom setting that you can make changes to.

custom preset.png

Step 4:
Select the preset within the custom setting.  Then look for the inspector window.  First, you may want to give your new preset a name.  In this, I've named it FCP X De-interlace.

Click on filters button which is the fourth button to the right. Scroll down through the filter list and activate Deinterlacing.  Then choose your algorithm.  I've found that Blur seems to work best in most cases.

Important: At the bottom of the settings window (not shown here), press save after you've adjusted your preset.

Step 5: Export your content from Final Cut Pro.

Final Cut Pro X users: Navigate to the share menu, and choose export using Compressor Settings.  Then press the next button (not shown) to export the final movie.


Final Cut Pro 7.0 users: Navigate to the file menu and choose share.  Within the share window, pull down the menu that says 'other'.  From there you'll see your Compressor Preset.  Then press the export button.

So, here's the Final Result of the preset to de-interlace footage.


I hope you found this short tutorial useful.  If so, be sure to check out GeniusDV's classroom training and on-site training services for learning Final Cut Pro.


cschwier said:

I'm trying to export my feature film using Final Cut Pro for a movie theater premier. I really don't want to go the standard DVD route, as it never looks that great in the theater and doesn't go through the surround sound system.

To project through the "Hollywood" projector and sound system, the theater requested JPG2000 format at 1920x1080 for their Sony 4k projector. They said that they will need 3 files in the JPG2000 format: an MXF for audio, an MXF for video, and an XML file to sync audio and video. How do I get this out of Final Cut Pro?

And also, as my film is currently in 720p, what is the best/cleanest workflow to upscale my film to 1920x1080p from 720p during this process?



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Free Final Cut Pro 7.0 Tutorials was the previous entry in this blog.

Apple Updates Final Cut Pro X is the next entry in this blog.

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