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This chapter is from the book

Rendering Effects

As computer processors become faster, more real-time effects are possible. But in FCP, as in Avid, there will still be times when you need to render your effects. FCP has a Render Manager that helps you manage your render files. It also has a unique way of handling render quality settings. Rendering is covered in detail in Chapter 17, "Render Management."

Figure 29 Avid Render icon.

Figure 30 Avid render indicator.

Here we will look at FCP's render indicators. Avid uses colored dots to convey render need; FCP uses colored lines.

Render Indicator Locations

The render track or bar lies just above the timecode reference in the Timeline. The upper portion of the bar represents video render need, and the lower portion represents audio render need.


Empty Render Bar

No clip exists in this part of the Timeline.


Dark Gray Bars

There is a clip in the Timeline; neither video nor audio needs rendering.


Red Upper Bar

Video needs rendering.


Red Lower Bar

Audio needs rendering.


Two Red Bars

Both audio and video need rendering.

Figure 30 Render indicator locations.

Render Colors

The colors on the render indicator mean the following: Red A transition or effect needs rendering.


A transition or effect can be played in real time.


A transition or effect can approximate real time but must be rendered before output.


Already rendered.

Render Commands

FCP's render commands are on the Sequence menu. To render selected items, press CMD+R. To render everything in the Timeline, press OPTION+R. You can also use the Range Selection tool to isolate just the portion of a clip or clips you want to render.

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