exporting from Final Cut for sharing

If you are using Final Cut Studio or Final Cut Express to edit your videos for this class, the last step in your workflow is always to export your video for upload to a video sharing service such as YouTube or Vimeo.  If you’re new to digital video, the number of options presented during this process can be a bit daunting.  Here are some settings that have worked well for me:

1) Make sure the sequence you want to export is selected in Final Cut, then go up to the “File” menu and choose “Export” and “Using Quicktime Conversion…” (do not confuse this with the other option “Quicktime Movie…” which is more suited for quick previews than a final product).

2) In the resulting “Movie Settings” dialog box, first choose “Settings” to specify how you want your video to be compressed.

3) In the resulting “Standard Video Compression Settings” dialog box, you will want to specify “H.264” in the topmost dropdown menu labelled “Compression Type.”  Once you do this, the dialog box will take on the appearance below (if you are not using Snow Leopard and Quicktime X, these options may be in slightly different positions but just pay attention to the names and choices).  Choose “Current” for Frame Rate, “Automatic” for Key Frames, “High” for Quality, “Faster Encode (Single-Pass) for Encoding, “Restrict to 5000kbits/sec” for Data Rate and ignore the “Optimized for” dropdown (because it only applies to multi-pass encoding which would be needlessly time consuming in this situation).  Click “OK” when done.

4) Back at the “Movie Setting” dialog box, choose “Size” this time to determine the dimensions of your exported video.

5) You’ll now see a dialog box for “Export Size Settings” and if you’re working with HD video with a widescreen aspect ratio (what most modern cameras shoot) you will want to select “HD 1280 x 720 16:9” from the dropdown menu.  Pay attention as several other options may have similar text labels, but this is the one you will want to use.  If you shot your footage in 1080i or used a 1080i “East Setup” in Final Cut to create your sequence, be sure to select the “Deinterlace Source Video” now (if you’re not sure and your exported video contains “jaggies” go back and be sure to check this box).  Click “OK” when done.

6) Finally, from the “Movie Settings” dialog be sure the “Sound” check box is checked and click the “Settings” button directly underneath it to determine your audio settings.

7) From the “Sound Settings” dialog which appears, first choose “AAC” (the first “AAC” option not the “MPEG-4 AAC” ones further down in the list) and you will see the dialog options configure themselves as seen below.  Choose “Stereo (L R)” from Channels, “44.100” from Rate, “Better” Quality from Render Settings and “128 kbps” Target Bit Rate from MPEG 4 AAC LC Encoder Settings.  When done click “OK” and then “OK” again, and finally choose a filename and location at which to save your file.

Once you choose a location at which to save your file a progress bar will appear.  There may be a considerable amount of time estimated for your export to complete, based on how powerful your computer is and how lengthy or complex your sequence may be.  When the progress bar completes, open your video in Quicktime Player or your video player of choice to test it out.  You now have a file which is suitable for uploading to any of the major video sharing services.  Remember that it may take some processing time after your upload before an “HD” or “720p” version of your video is selectable for viewing.

Drew Wallner


~ by atw17 on March 15, 2011.

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