8 Replies Latest reply: Apr 10, 2012 9:39 PM by Michael Holmes1
Michael Holmes1 Level 1 Level 1

I've navigated through FCP X for the first time and I now have 16 QuickTime movie files I have exported from FCP X. Each file is a song from a live band performance. The files are:

- Apple ProRes 422

- 1920 x 1080

- 24-bit

- Frame rate 29.97 fps


Now I need to share these files with the band members. They will use them for two purposes:

- Watch, as feedback on their performance. In this case, I'd like to preserve the quality as much as possible

- Put some of the movies on YouTube, where quality will be lost, of course. They may post only short clips from the songs.


These 16 .mov files total 115GB. The smallest is 6.5GB, the largest is 13.9GB.

The quality of the movies is fantastic, both video and audio. I cringe to think about degrading the quality............but I have the practical problem of how to get the files to five different band members.

I normally distribute audio files I've mixed in Pro Tools via DVD-R discs, but the files are much smaller.


- Do I need to use Compressor to compress the files (ugh) to get them onto multiple DVD-R's?

- Big quality loss. 

- Are there some common settings for FCP X users to address this problem? I would assume this is a common problem that all FCP X users must deal with.

Final Cut Pro X, Mac OS X (10.6.8)
  • Michael Holmes1 Level 1 Level 1

    I looked over the Compressor manual and the templates are for creating:

    - Audio Podcast

    - Blue-ray Disc

    - DVD

    - File for Apple TV

    - Video Files for Live Streaming

    - Video file for YouTube


    None of these fit what I want to do. I just want to compress/convert to a format that will let me put the files on a few DVD-R discs (5 or less would be nice  ) while maintainly the best quality I can.


    I have already created the QT movies.

    Do I need to go back to FCP X and export media directly to Compressor, then create files for YouTube that balance quality/file size? These could be viewed by the band members and then submitted directly to YouTube, if they choose.


    Just need some guidance on how this common issue is normally handled. Help.

  • Russ H Level 7 Level 7

    To begin, I don't agree with you are on You Tube's quality. I'd put Web videos up against SD DVD's any day in quality comparisons. (Also check out VImeo, which does a great job.)


    So you want to share "best quality" video and sound with the band members on DVD., However, I'm puzzled that you state none of the templates (which include DVD) do what you want. What is it that's missing that you need?


    If you want the best quality audio and video on a video disk (that will play on a player, invest in a Blu-Ray burner and either FCX or Compessor can outpput a simple disk through your device.


    In you want something that will play on your band's computers, compress to h.264 in Compressor and burn the file on to a data disk.


    good luck.



  • Michael Holmes1 Level 1 Level 1


    Thanks for the advice.

    I  got Compressor and have been playing with it, so I now understand better.

    Right now I'm converting the ProRes 422 QT movies I exported from FCP X to standard DVD files, so I can see the difference in quality, for my information. The quality of the ProRes QT movies exported from FCP X are stunning, both video and audio.


    FYI, The format I started with from the Canon camera was:

    AVCHD (using MPEG4-AVC / H.264 compression codec), MTS format, audio @ 48k, 24 bit


    I converted this to ProRes 422 for easier manipulation in FCP X.....now I'm going back to H.264? 


    Regarding h.264 as a suitable format for sending to band members on a data DVD, this is exactly what I have been wondering: What format should I use to provide them with data files (as opposed to DVD video)?



    (1) Is this the format you'd recommend for band members so they can both (a) view on their computers (probably PC, not Mac) and also (b) upload to YouTube?

    (2) These files are that much smaller than ProRes 422 files?


    Thanks again for your help!

  • Michael Holmes1 Level 1 Level 1

    Well, I answered most of my questions.

    I exported an H.264 file from FCP X, burned it to a DVD and played it on my PC.

    The ProRes 422 file size was 9GB, this file size was 1GB. So, I may be able to get all the songs on 3 DVD's, 4 at most.

    The video/audio quality was not nearly as bad as I expected for a file size change 9 --> 1.....it is still quite good, just not dazzling. It will work fine for my purposes.


    If the band members want to edit the files and upload only a short clip to YouTube, I assume they can edit H.264 files w/o any trouble in their normal editing programs.


    Thanks again.

  • Russ H Level 7 Level 7



    Yes, h.264 is great for the sort of thing you need to do. Whether band members who want to edit it will find it easy to work with will depend on a whole bunch of factors, including their editing software and how deeply they dive into it. It's definitely not an editing codec, but if they have problems, they can always convert it to some intermediate codec and work with that.


    Good luck.



  • Michael Holmes1 Level 1 Level 1

    One more question, Russ.

    When I watch the ProRes 422 HD videos, the video quality is stunning..........but any movement is blurry. I assumed this was due to my using a 29.97p frame rate.

    However, when I watch the H.264 videos, I don't see this, the images are well defined even during movement.

    Is this normal?

  • Russ H Level 7 Level 7

    I wouldn't say it's normal. Pro Res files should look at least as good as the more highly compressed h.264 file. The first thing that comes to mind is whether the original footage was shot interlaced and the h.264 de-interlaced.



  • Michael Holmes1 Level 1 Level 1

    Not sure if this helps diagnose the problem:


    The original files from the Canon HF M40 camera were:

    AVCHD (using MPEG4-AVC / H.264 compression codec), MTS format, audio @ 48k, 24 bit, frame rate set @ "30p" (actually 29.97p)

    Note: all the frame rate options (60i, 30p, 24p) "record @ 60i".


    I then set up the Projects at:

    - Format: 1080p

    - Resolution: 1920 x 1080

    - Frame rate: 29.97p

    - Audio channels: Stereo

    - Sample Rate: 48k

    - Rendering format: Apple ProRes 422