How to Render Shots in Your Project

The Render Queue is designed to let you manage the rendering of your project any way you like. You can add every shot in the program to the Render Queue in order to render everything at once, or you can add only the shots that were completed that day as part of a process of rendering your project incrementally.

However you decide to render the media in your project, the process is pretty much the same: you check your project and shot settings, add shots to the Render Queue, and then use the Start Render command.

To check your Project Settings and User Preferences before you add shots to the Render Queue
  1. Before you add any shots to the Render Queue, always double-check the Render Directory field in the Project Settings tab of the Setup room, to make sure that you’re using the correct render directory. Otherwise, your media may not be rendered where you expect it to be.

  2. Next, check the following parameters in the Project Settings tab, since they affect how your media is rendered:

    • Display LUT: If you have a display LUT applied to your project, it will be rendered into the output. If you were using the LUT to simulate an output profile (for example, film printing), you don’t want this to happen. Choose File > Clear Display LUT to prevent the LUT from affecting the rendered output. For more information, see Using Display LUTs.
    • Resolution Presets: If you change the resolution preset to a different frame size than the one the project was originally set to, how that frame size affects the rendering of your final graded media depends on whether your project uses ordinary QuickTime media, native RED QuickTime media, or DPX/Cineon media. For more information, see Resolution and Codec Settings.
    • Render File Type: This setting determines whether you render QuickTime media (appropriate for sending back to Final Cut Pro), or DPX or Cineon image sequences (appropriate for printing to film). For more information, see Resolution and Codec Settings.
    • Printing Density: If you’re rendering DPX media, make sure that Printing Density is set to the correct format. For more information, see Choosing Printing Density When Rendering DPX Media.
    • Deinterlace Renders: This setting forces Color to deinterlace all media that’s rendered. Color does not have a sophisticated deinterlacing method, so this setting is inappropriate for high-quality output. For more information, see Resolution and Codec Settings.
    • QuickTime Export Codecs: Choose the QuickTime codec you want to use for rendering your final output. The list of available codecs is limited to mastering-quality codecs including Apple ProRes and Uncompressed. For more information, see Compatible QuickTime Codecs for Output.
    • Broadcast Safe: Turning Broadcast Safe on or off affects whether out-of-gamut values are clipped when the output media is rendered. For more information, see Broadcast Safe Settings.
  3. Lastly, open the User Prefs tab and check the following settings:

    • Internal Pixel Format: Make sure that the Internal Pixel Format is set to the correct bit depth. If you graded your program with Internal Pixel Format set to 8- through 16-bit, changing it to Floating Point may alter how certain Color FX operations work. If you intend to work at a lower bit depth but render at Floating Point, it’s a good idea to double-check all shots with Color FX corrections applied to them prior to rendering to make sure that they look the way you intended.
    • Render Proxy: If you’re rendering Cineon or DPX image sequences, or RED QuickTime files, and you’re delivering full-quality files, make sure that the Render Proxy pop-up menu is set to Full Resolution.
To render one or more shots in your program
  1. Go through the Timeline and, for each of the shots you’re planning on rendering, choose the grade you want to render.

    The grade you select for each shot determines which grade is rendered when you add a shot to the Render Queue.

  2. Do one of the following to add shots to the Render Queue list:

    • Click Add All, or choose Render Queue > Add All (or press Option-Shift-A) to add the current grade for every shot in the project.

    • Click Add Unrendered, or choose Render Queue > Add Unrendered to add only the shots that haven’t yet been rendered.

    • Select one or more shots, then click Add Selected, or choose Render Queue > Add Selected (or press Option-A) to add only the selected shots.

    • Turn on the beauty grade designation for specific shots to indicate which grades are preferred or which shots you want to render, then choose Render > Add All Beauty Grades. (Shots without beauty grade designations aren’t added to the Render Queue.)

      Once you add shots to the Render Queue list, the status of each of the shots that you add changes to Queued in the Shots browser. In the Timeline, each of the shots that you added appears with a yellow status bar over the currently used grade for each queued shot, to show you which of the available grades is being rendered.

      Figure. Render bars shown in the Timeline.

      Note: You can add a shot to the Render Queue with one grade enabled, then choose another grade for that shot and add it to the Render Queue again to render both grades for that shot.

  3. Click Start Render, or choose Render Queue > Start Render (or press Command-P).

    Tip: You may find that your program renders more quickly if you set the Video Output pop-up menu in the User Prefs tab of the Setup room to Disabled.

    The shots in the Render Queue start rendering. A green progress bar appears in the Progress column of the first unrendered shot in the list, which shows how long that shot is taking to render.

    Figure. Progress bar for rendering shot in the Render Queue.

    At the same time, the render bar appearing above the Timeline ruler for the shot being rendered gradually turns green to mirror the progress of the render, while the grade bar that’s currently being rendered turns magenta.

    Figure. In-progress render bar in the Timeline.

    Once the first shot in the Render Queue has finished rendering, the next one begins, and rendering continues from the top to the bottom of the list until the last shot is rendered. All rendered shots in the Timeline appear with a green render bar above the Timeline ruler and a green status bar over the grade that was rendered.

    Figure. Completed render bar in the Timeline.

    Note: To pause rendering, press Escape (whichever shot is interrupted will have to start rendering over again from its beginning). You can click Start Render again to resume rendering.

    All rendered media is written to that project’s render directory, which is specified in the Project Settings tab of the Setup room. The render directory is organized into numbered subdirectories, with one subdirectory corresponding to each shot in your project’s Timeline. The number of each subdirectory corresponds to each shot’s number in the Number column of the Render Queue. Each of these subdirectories contains up to four rendered sets of media corresponding to each rendered grade.

To save and export your program after rendering
  1. After you’ve rendered all of the clips in your project, it’s important to save the project immediately. The rendered status of each shot in the Timeline includes the path of each rendered media file, which is used to relink the media when your project is sent back to Final Cut Pro.

  2. Once your Color project is safely saved, you need to send the project to the environment in which it will be output.

    • In a Final Cut Pro roundtrip: Send the project back to Final Cut Pro using the File > Send To > Final Cut Pro command. For more information, see Sending Your Project Back to Final Cut Pro.
    • If you’re rendering for film output: The next step is to use the File > Gather Rendered Media command to prepare the final image sequence that will be output to film. For more information, see Gather Rendered Media.

For more information about options in the Project Settings tab or User Prefs tab in the Setup room, see The Project Settings Tab or The User Preferences Tab.