Starting with Compressor

Here is a post for getting started with Compressor. In most cases, you have the software and have no idea what it does or how it could save you a lot of time or you just never learned it. That’s okay. I am surprised how many people use Final Cut Studio, but don’t take advantage of this huge timesaver. The best part about FCP7, to me, is that you can render using compressor in the background while you continue to edit in Final Cut Pro.

However, for this post, let’s talk about getting started. You have an AVI or MPEG file and you want to make it editable in Final Cut Pro.

Open Compressor.

Click on the “Add File” button on the top left corner of the window. You can also drag multiple files into the Project window (normally on the top left).

Also, this isn’t necessary, but I found that if you close the “Preview” window, things move a lot faster.

Now that you have a file in the project window, you can assign it a compressor setting and then a destination.

First assign a compressor setting. Apple has plenty of default ones available. To get it to work best in Final Cut Pro, I would recommend using either an Apple ProRes 422, ProRes 422 HQ or ProRes 422 (Proxy). That’s just my opinion, but I have found it to work fairly well.

Take that setting and drag it up to your file. If you click on the setting that is now on your clip, you will see some other options appear in the Inspector window. There are options in windows labeled summary, encoder, filters, etc. You can add a timecode generator, letterbox, etc. I think Geometry is a good one to play with too. You can change the sizes of your file there.

Now right click on your file and choose a destination. Hit submit and you should see the time of export in the history panel or you can click on the batch monitor option in the top right of the project window. That will open up the Batch Monitor utility and you can monitor multiple compressions.