Using Final Cut Pro and Motion with Compressor

Final Cut Pro and Motion contain a Share menu with many commonly used transcoding options already configured. However, if you need a transcoding option not covered by the preconfigured Share items, or you need to customize one of the options, you can use the Send to Compressor options to open the project in Compressor where you can configure it as needed.

Important: Compressor 4 must be installed on the same computer as Final Cut Pro X and Motion 5 for these options to work.

Submitting a Project for Transcoding

You can send a Final Cut Pro or Motion project to Compressor either with a setting already in place or with no setting applied. In either case, the project appears in a batch that you can configure as you would any other batch.

To transcode a Final Cut Pro or Motion project
  1. Open and select the project you want to transcode in Final Cut Pro or Motion.

  2. In the Final Cut Pro or Motion Share menu, choose and configure an output option.

    See Final Cut Pro Help or Motion Help for information on the available options and their configurations.

  3. Do one of the following:

    • If you chose the Send to Compressor Share menu option, Compressor opens and the project appears as a job in a new batch with no settings.

    • If you chose any of the other options, click Advanced and choose Send to Compressor. Compressor opens and the project appears as a job in a new batch configured with the Share menu option you chose.

      Figure. A Final Cut Pro sequence as job in the Batch window.
  4. Assign settings and destinations to the job as necessary.

    See the following sections for more information:

  5. Click the Submit button in the Batch window.

Compressor begins transcoding the Final Cut Pro project.

Note: Once the Final Cut Pro or Motion project opens in Compressor, you can continue working in Final Cut Pro or Motion on that project or a different project.

Resubmitting a Project

You can use the History window to resubmit a Final Cut Pro or Motion project, the same way as you resubmit any other batch. Compressor resubmits the project as it was when originally submitted; any changes that have been made to the project since the original submission are ignored.

See Resubmitting a Batch for details about the steps in this process.

Optimizing Distributed Processing for Final Cut Pro and Motion

There are two common situations that affect how distributed processing works with your Final Cut Pro and Motion media:

  • Media is on the Final Cut Pro or Motion boot disk: This is the default way the media is handled. In this case, the only distributed processing option you have is This Computer Plus, and Apple Qmaster has to first copy the source media to the distributed processing service computers, slowing down the distributed processing process.
  • Media is on a mountable non-boot disk: Storing your Final Cut Pro and Motion media on a disk other than the computer’s boot disk means that all the distributed processing service computers can directly access the source media, saving Apple Qmaster from having to copy it to the service computers, and allowing you to choose to submit the project to any clusters that are available. This disk can be a second internal disk in the computer, an external disk, or a disk on a local network computer.
To optimize distributed processing for Final Cut Pro and Motion
  1. Make sure all Events used in your Final Cut Pro project are stored on a mountable disk that is configured for file sharing. For details on storing your Final Cut Pro and Motion media on non-default disks, see Final Cut Pro Help and Motion Help.

  2. On each of the Apple Qmaster cluster’s computers, mount the hard disk where the Final Cut Pro events and other media files are located.

  3. In Compressor preferences, choose “Never Copy Source to Cluster” from the Cluster Options pop-up menu.

Final Cut Pro and Motion projects that either use an Apple Qmaster cluster directly or use Send to Compressor and choose a cluster there will no longer need to spend time copying the source files to the cluster’s computers, providing a more efficient transcoding process.