Changing Settings in the Render Control Tab

Each sequence has its own render and playback settings, located in the Render Control tab of the Sequence Settings window. These settings allow you to turn on and turn off processor-intensive video filters and frame blending. This is useful if you want to apply filters and speed changes to clips but temporarily turn them off to avoid rendering while you edit. You can also use this tab to reduce render quality while you work and then return to full quality for your final render.

Note: The Render Control tabs of the User Preferences and Sequence Settings windows have identical settings. Changes made to the Render Control tab of the User Preferences window only affect the default settings for new sequences, whereas changes to the Render Control tab of the Sequence Settings window affect individual sequences.

Figure. Sequence Settings dialog showing the Render Control tab.

Render & Playback Settings

The Render Control tab provides the following render and playback settings.

  • Filters: Selecting this option allows filters to be processed during rendering or playback. If this option is not selected, all filters are ignored.
  • Frame Blending For Speed: This option only affects clips with speed settings applied. If this option is selected, frame blending is processed during rendering or playback. If this option is not selected, frame blending is ignored for all clips in your sequences.

Render Settings

The Render Control tab provides the following render settings.

  • Frame Rate: You can use this pop-up menu to reduce the frame rate of rendered effects, dramatically speeding up rendering at the expense of playback quality. For example, if you’re editing at 29.97 fps and you choose 50% from the Frame Rate pop-up menu, rendered effects in your sequence will play back at 15 fps.
  • Resolution: Choose a percentage from this pop-up menu to reduce the resolution of rendered effects, speeding up rendering at the expense of lowering playback quality. For example, if you’re editing with a frame size of 720 x 480, choosing 50% lowers the resolution of rendered effects to 360 x 240 and does not display interlacing. Rendered effects play back at full frame size despite having lower resolution; however, they look less sharp and are not interlaced.
  • Codec: This pop-up menu affects rendering of native HDV and XDCAM HD sequences. Choose whether render files are created in the native codec of your sequence segments or using the Apple ProRes 422 codec. Because Final Cut Pro supports mixed-format sequences, you can play back the entire sequence, including the Apple ProRes 422 codec render files, in real time. For more information, see Professional Formats and Workflows, available in Final Cut Pro Help.

    Important: These options don’t affect real-time playback. To change the frame rate and resolution of video playback, use the RT pop-up menu in the Timeline instead. For more information, see RT Pop-Up Menu in the Timeline.

    Many of these settings can also be assigned to keyboard shortcuts or buttons in the button bar using the Keyboard Layout window, if you need to make frequent changes. For more information, see Customizing the Interface.

Changing Render Settings for Sequences

If you change render settings for new or existing sequences, you will affect real-time playback, rendering, video output, and the quality of export to QuickTime movie files.

To change the default render control settings for all new sequences
  1. Choose Final Cut Pro > User Preferences.

  2. Click the Render Control tab.

  3. Select the settings you want, then click OK.

    The settings in the Render Control tab of the User Preferences window are applied to all new sequences you create.

To change render control settings for an existing sequence
  1. Open the Sequence Settings window for a particular sequence by doing one of the following:

    • Control-click a sequence in the Browser, then choose Settings from the shortcut menu.

    • Select a sequence in the Browser or Timeline, then choose Sequence > Settings.

  2. Click the Render Control tab.

  3. Select the settings you want, then click OK.

    The new settings are applied to the selected sequence.