Final Cut Pro Tip #040

Final Cut Pro Tip #040 – Video Processing

Final Cut Pro supports several different type of video processing depending on which format you are working in. In a nutshell it is going to be the quality of the rendered material. Be careful here though, the high quality is not always going to be better. Different bit rates and color spaces can cause undesired results.

Video processing is sequence specific and can be accessed though the sequence settings (command 0) which can be found in the sequence menu. Make sure that you have the correct sequence open before you access these settings. And also note that any changes made here could cause you to have to re-render your entire sequence.

Video Processing

Here is the detailed explanation of the different types of video processing from the Final Cut Pro manual. It get a little geeky if you are unfamiliar with with color space. My advice is if you don’t know why you are changing the setting then leave it alone. Most easy setups will have an optimum setting already.

Always Render in RGB: Forces codecs that normally process color using the YUV color space to process using the RGB color space instead. If selected, this option may cause subtle changes in color in your rendered material. If the video capture codec you’re using doesn’t support YUV rendering, this option is unavailable.

Use this option if you want to accomplish a specific compositing task and you think color clamping in the RGB color space might give you a preferred result over using the straight YUV color space. For example, if you’re mixing After Effects filters, which only process in RGB color space, with Final Cut Pro filters, which process in YUV color space, choosing this option ensures a consistent look.

Render in 8-bit YUV: Enables 8-bit rendering using the YUV color space. This option is appropriate, for example, with footage captured from DV-25 source material, such as DV and DVCam tape, or with third-party capture cards that capture 8-bit video in the YUV color space using an appropriate YUV-compatible codec.

Render 10-bit material in high-precision YUV: Enables 10-bit rendering using the YUV color space. This is appropriate for footage captured from third-party capture cards that capture 10-bit video in the YUV color space using an appropriate YUV-compatible codec. Third-party capture cards capable of 10-bit, YUV video let you capture clips with much finer color detail, as well as greater latitude from blacks to whites, than do 8-bit sources. Final Cut Pro can capture and output from such a card using this higher level of quality, and selecting this option enables certain effects such as transitions and filters to be rendered at this quality.

Render all YUV material in high-precision YUV: Enables 10-bit rendering even when using 8-bit source clips. In certain situations, such as when applying multiple filters to a single clip, a higher bit depth will improve the quality of the final render file even though the original clip has only 8-bits of color information. The tradeoff is that 10-bit rendering is slower than 8-bit rendering, so you’re essentially trading speed for quality.

Selecting this option does not add quality to clips captured at 8-bit resolution when output back to video; it simply improves the quality of rendered effects that support 10-bit precision.

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1 Response to “Final Cut Pro Tip #040”

  1. 1 J Garcia Apr 30th, 2008 at 6:18 pm

    Good article. Tried these settings and after a few tries (10-bit really does take forever when compared to the other options) there was a noticeable difference.

    What’s unfortunate is the final file size…

    Good job, though.

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