Final Cut Pro 1.0: How To Work Without Rendering

In general, you need to render transitions, effects, and composited layers to play a sequence smoothly. Sequences consisting of cuts only do not require rendering for playback as long as sequence size and frame rate match the original source material.
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To avoid rendering when creating a sequence with cuts only, make sure that the sequence's editing timebase, frame rate, and compression settings are the same as the frame rate, frame size, and compression settings of your source media. If the frame rate, frame size, or video or audio compression settings in your source media are different from those settings in your sequence, those frames need to be rendered before the sequence can be exported or printed to video.

To view the compression settings for source material:
  1. Select the clip in the Browser or Timeline.
  2. Choose Item Properties from the Edit menu.

Item Properties window


  1. Select the clip in the Browser or Timeline.
  2. Choose Analyze Clip from the Tools menu.

Analyze Clip window

Every Final Cut Pro sequence has a set of properties that determines the sequence's editing timebase (or frame rate), frame size, compression settings, and various display options. This set of properties is known as a preset. When a sequence is created, the chosen preset becomes the sequence settings for the new sequence. Final Cut Pro comes with a collection of presets that you can apply to your sequences. The following rules determine the way that sequence presets are used:
  • When you create a new sequence, the default preset is automatically applied to it.
  • If you have selected the "Prompt on New Sequence" box in Sequence Presets, you will be prompted to choose a preset from those which have been previously saved.
  • You can create, delete, and edit presets. Creating a preset doesn't apply it to a sequence. It just saves it for future use.
  • If you want to change the settings for an existing sequence, you use the Settings command in the Sequence menu. This allows you to change everything except the frame rate for the sequence. Changing a sequence's settings has no effect on the preset that was applied to the sequence, and changing a preset does not affect any sequences to which that preset was previously applied.

Sequence Settings window

You can also avoid unnecessary rendering by nesting sequences within other sequences. Refer to the section named, "Using Nested Sequences," on pages 245 and 267 of the Final Cut Pro Manual.

Tip: Pressing the Caps Lock key temporarily disables rendering. This allows you to adjust all of your settings before rendering a preview. It does not speed up final rendering, but allows you to work faster without the processing overhead of background rendering.
Last Modified: Feb 20, 2012

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