Viewing Your Composition in the QuickView Tab

The QuickView tab provides an alternate way to view your composition outside the Canvas as you work. It takes advantage of the ability of Final Cut Pro to cache frames of your sequence to RAM as you play it. This is useful for fast previews of complex composites and effects. It’s also a good way to see how your final composite looks if you are zoomed in to the Canvas while making adjustments. For example, if you zoom in to the Canvas to build a complex keyframed motion path, you can still view the composition in its entirety in the QuickView tab to see how it looks.

Tip: You can add, delete, or modify a clip’s motion and filter parameters in the Viewer and see the results update automatically in the QuickView tab, even while the clip continues to play back. Unlike other windows in Final Cut Pro, the QuickView tab loops playback until you stop it. For example, you can adjust a color correction filter while you watch a clip play back.

Note: The QuickView tab is for viewing purposes only. You cannot drag clips to this tab to perform an edit. The QuickView tab also has no effect on rendering or output from Final Cut Pro.

To open the QuickView tab
  • Choose Tools > QuickView (or press Option-8).

Controls in the QuickView Tab

This section describes the controls in the QuickView tab (which appears in the Tool Bench window).

Figure. Tool bench window showing the QuickView tab and controls.
  • Play button: Click to begin playback in the QuickView tab. You can also press the Space bar to start and stop QuickView playback.
  • Range slider: Use this slider to define the duration of your sequence that is cached by QuickView, from 2 to 10 seconds.

    Note: If both In and Out points are defined in the Timeline, this slider doesn’t appear.

  • Scrubber bar and playhead: In the QuickView tab, the width of the scrubber bar represents the total duration of video that is to be cached.

Playback in the QuickView Tab

QuickView playback relies, in part, on the amount of memory allocated to Final Cut Pro. Based on this allocation, Final Cut Pro caches to RAM as much of the sequence between the In and Out points set in the Timeline as possible for accelerated playback.

Figure. Timeline window showing part of a sequence selected between In and Out points.

If an In point is set in the Timeline but no Out point is set, Final Cut Pro caches video from the In point through the duration specified by the Range slider for playback in the QuickView tab.

Figure. Timeline window showing the same sequence with an In point but no Out point.

If neither an In nor an Out point is set in the Timeline, Final Cut Pro uses the position of the playhead, caching half of the duration specified by the Range slider before the position of the playhead, and half after the playhead, for playback in the QuickView tab.

Figure. Timeline window showing the portion of the sequence before and after the playhead that will be cached to RAM.

Video is cached to RAM as it’s played. Once the portion of the sequence that you’ve specified for QuickView playback has played all the way through, subsequent loops play much faster because they’re being played back directly from RAM.