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Transcoding Media in Final Cut Pro X

This Final Cut Pro X lesson will teach you the critical fundamentals transcoding non-optimized media into Final Cut Pro X.

fcpx_training.png When importing media into Final Cut Pro X, you will notice that you also have options for transcoding your media.

Final Cut Pro supports a variety of video formats. 

However, some formats such as AVCHD can be processor intensive. 

Therefore, it may make sense to check the box for creating optimized media. 

This will tell Final Cut Pro to transcode your media into the Pro Res 422 codec.

The Pro Res 422 media format is a high quality format that is optimized for editing within Final Cut Pro X.

Choosing Create Proxy media will tell Final Cut Pro to create proxy files inside the events folder on your hard disk.

So, by checking either of these options you will see a Transcoded Media Folder that contains your High Quality Media and/or your Proxy Media.

A proxy file is a low quality version of the Pro Res 422 codec. 

Choosing this option will allow you to work with Proxy files during the editing process. 

This will speed up the editing workflow by reducing required processing and render times while editing. 

The idea here is you can edit with the lower quality files, and then automatically tell Final Cut Pro to link to the higher quality Pro Res 422 files when you are finished with your edit.

To make my point, if I click on a clip inside the high quality media folder, you can see that this clip is roughly 63 megs.

If I go to the same clip in the proxy media folder, the same clip is roughly half the size, coming in at only 29 megs.

You tell Final Cut Pro which media to use by navigating to the Final Cut Pro menu and choosing preferences.

In the playback preferences you will see the option to use the proxy media.


When you are done editing, just go back to the playback preferences and choose use original or optimized media.

A quick note:  If don’t see a high quality media folder after checking the Create Optimized Media option, it means your media is already in a format that has been optimized.

This means Final Cut Pro X will continue pointing to the original folder location of your media.

For this reason, if you are going to use the Create Optimized Media option, I recommend that you always leave the option to copy files to the Final Cut Events folder checked. 

This way, your media will always end up in the events folder, even if it’s already optimized.

And don’t forget, GeniusDV also offers flat rate onsite Final Cut Pro training.

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Referencing Media in Final Cut Pro X was the previous entry in this blog.

Symbolic Links in Final Cut Pro is the next entry in this blog.

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