Using Batch Export in Final Cut Pro

I love using batch media programs like Cleaner and Compressor. They allow you to set up a workflow and accomplish a lot of work unattended. What I didn’t realize until just recently was that there was a great little mini-batch processing program built right into Final Cut Pro.

If we select a few items in a project, like so…

Selections in FCP Project

And then select file:Batch Export

Batch Export Menu

We get a dialog, like so…

FCP Batch Export Que

We then select settings, which gives us…

We’ll select Format:IPod(320×240) for our upcoming podcast <subliminal motivation>. And change any other settings we might want to adjust. In this case we will set Recompress All Frames and Make Self-Contained so we have a self-contained Quicktime instead of a reference movie.

Then hit Export and check your Destination:Render Files location when we’re done. Another cool feature is that you can select Batch Export again with different export and format settings, they’ll just be added to your Export Queue.Pretty Cool! You’re still going to need Compressor or Cleaner when it comes to doing compressionist work for your reel, but I can see this feature being really handy for approvals and dailies. It’s funny how sometimes the most useful features are right under your nose forever and you don’t find them until you just start exploring.


  1. Tina Steo said

    I am reaching out on behalf of my husband who works on Final Cut Pro 5.1.2. He is working on an edit where the final video is being shown tonight. He hit a button that took him to a Batch feature, and he pressed “no” when a message came up. After pressing “no,” all of his files became detached from the original program (all files show a red slash through them, though they are all there). Can ANYONE help with this issue. Time is of the essence and we would greatly appreciate some guidance (Final Cut Pros help support line was of no support).

    Tina Steo

  2. Dale said

    Try this.

    Select all of the elements with the red x
    Right click or Control Click and select “Reconnect Media”
    Point the first filet to the directory where the files are located
    Make sure “Reconnect All Files in Relative Path” is selected

  3. Dale said

    You’ll also need to press “Choose” in the steps above. grin.

  4. Joel said

    maybe a silly question, but I am not having luck finding an answer elsewhere, so bear with me. I am actually an engineer, and not in production, so that MUST be the issue! 😉 We have a weekly episodic timeline, about an hour long, which is made up of a whole lot of 15 second promos. We usually just run this entire timeline off to tape, and master control takes it from there and ingests it. we are looking t move to a tapeles workflow, and to do that… (Here’s the question, really!) Is there a way to batch export from that timeline to multiple 15 second files, and specify specific filenames for each clip? (whew!) Thanks! And I’ll keep hunting!

  5. Tom said

    For some reason I get a couple seconds of black space at the end of each video that is exported using Batch Export. Any thoughts?

  6. James said

    Hey there,
    I have FCP HD
    I definately dont have Batch Export as an option in the file menu?
    Can anyone help me with this?
    I am trying to batch export a load of Quicktimes.
    Many thanks

  7. maya Kessler said


    I would like to try and find out what’s the best workflow for making an NTSC DVD;
    My footage is HD originally, but i am not even looking to make an HD DVD but just a regular one.
    My SEQ settings in FCP are: 1280X1080 Aspect Ratio: HD (1280X1080)16:9
    29.97 fps and compressor of DVCPRO HD 1080p30
    All like my original footage shot on my Panasonic (P2)
    So till now all is OK.
    Now, what happens if I wish to make a DVD which might be seen on a 3:4 TV? As i understood i must take my beloved SEQ in and make a new SEQ with the desired settings, and through it into it, choosing “no” when FCP asks if i would like it to change the SEQ settings to the new media.
    This I exported as QT movie in Apple ProRes 422 NTSC 48 KHZ
    and finally could take the movies to my “Great iDvd Project”. After working on the menus etc for a while, when i tried to burn the DVD it stopped in the middle, and didn’t flag anything – Just behaved in a weird way.
    SO. I don’t know if I might have put too much data on the dvd, and can not find out. I had 16 movies each was 2GB, So that’s a lot. If i would compress them down, the quality will be lost. I did try to change them to MPEG-4 in Compressor But the iDVD still didn’t manage to burn a proper DVD and I’m afraid that i am working not in a clever way, which i tend to do.
    1) what is the right workflow for changing the size of the frame at first, from the 16:9 to the 3:4 with all the desirable settings, and afterwards, should i change the format and the size,or is the DVD software (in the case iDVD) would do it for me as i would expect?
    2) What can be the reason for the iDVD not to burn me a proper DVD?
    Is it because i have red-hair? Maybe.

    I would appreciate any answer that will open my eyes about all of this.

    Thank you so much

  8. Dale said

    Hey maya,

    A dvd can hold about 4.7 gigs of mpeg2 material so you seem to have overshot by a bunch. If you have FCP, you probably have Compressor, so instead of batch export to Quicktime. I’d take a look at “Send to Compressor” in the export menu. Compressor has settings which adjust the quality to fit more on disk.

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  10. charlie said

    So Im batching h264 files to dvcpro in Final-cut and for some reason anywhere from 20 seconds to 20 frames get cut off at the end of my clips…
    any thoughts?


    • Dale said

      Sounds like you have a keyframe interval problem. Can you specify a keyframe interval instead of automatic in your authoring app?

  11. meh said

    Yea except. Batch export doesn’t work with exporting quick time mpeg 4’s. What a disaster. Come on Apple – don’t give up on FCP now. Make batch better.

  12. Benjamin said

    What exactly are you doing with this batch export? Could you please break it down? Are we taking several sequences and blending them into one film? Are you taking all your video files and putting them in a sequence and exporting them? That’s what it looks like and I don’t get why you’d do that.

    Are we exporting several sequences into several movie files (which is what I’m trying to do). I am exporting short 1-minute trailers that were converted from .wmv to .mov and the program moves SO SLOW when dealing with these files. I thought converting them to Final Cut Pro movie files would make them faster but that made them slower, it’s like they’ll always be .wmv files.

    But anyway, these 1-minute exports take about four hours. Yes, they’re unrendered. I would love to leave them for the day and get three or four done. Here’s what I’d need to do. Open four sequences and set each sequence to export into its own quicktime movie. Can this be done? I called apple and they didn’t even know.

  13. Dale said

    Hey Benjamin,

    My use case for something like this is usually to get web approval movies ready for client review. I have a batch of Uncompressed or Pro Res movies and want to get something more friendly for client approval. If I was having problems with render time, I would take a look at Compressor. It has the ability to use machines on your network to assist in the rendering.


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