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Render the Fat in Final Cut Pro X

What do you do if the render files become corrupt? By Diana Weynand, James Alguire and RevUpTansmedia

Render files are the video files that Final Cut Pro creates when you make adjustments to your video clips. Add a filter or transition, crop the image change the clip's speed, and Final Cut Pro has to create brand new video files using your original media and applying the changes, so that the video can be viewed or exported with the desired effects in place. When the video is played in the project timeline, the render files are played in place of the original video clips, where you have added effects.

But what do you do if the render files become corrupt? Or when projects are completed and you want to back them up without the render files? With legacy Final Cut Pro you only had to look on your scratch disk to quickly locate and remove bad or unneeded render files, but Final Cut Pro X render files are stored with each Event in the Final Cut Events folder and each project in the Final Cut Projects folder.

Final Cut Pro X automatically generates render files for video and audio whenever an adjustment or effect is applied to a video clip. FCPX also generates and stores thumbnail images of video frames and still images in the render folders. Render files can be removed from within FCPX or directly in the Finder. Apple recommends removing render files from within FCPX as the easiest and cleanest method. But if render files are causing problems it may be necessary to remove them from the Finder. Let's look at removing them from within FCPX first.

Use Your Inside Voice

Because Final Cut Pro X generates render files for both Events and Projects you will first need to select the Event or Project whose render files you wish to remove in order to remove them. We'll remove the Event render files first.


Launch Final Cut Pro X.
In the Event Browser, click to select an Event whose render files you no longer need.

From the File Menu choose Delete Event Render Files.

Event render files typically consist of thumbnail images of the various media clips imported into the Event.

The Delete Event Render Files sheet will drop down. The Delete Project Render Files sheet provides options for deleting unused render files only or all render files.

In the Delete Event Render Files sheet click to choose the All Render Files option, then click Okay.

Now we'll repeat the process to remove project render files.

In Final Cut Pro's Project pane click the Show Project Library button to access the Project Library.

In the Project Library, click to select a Project who's render files you want to remove.

From the File Menu choose Delete Project Render Files.

The Delete Project Render Files sheet will drop down. The Delete Project Render Files sheet provides options for deleting unused render files only or all render files.

In the Delete Project Render Files sheet click to choose the All Render Files option, then click Okay.

The Project's render files are deleted.

Cutting to the Outside

If Final Cut Pro X hangs or crashes when you launch it and you suspect the render files may be the problem, then you will have to remove them directly in the Finder. This can be a bit more tedious as you will potentially have to remove the render files from more than one Project or Event.

From the Final Cut Pro Menu choose Quit Final Cut Pro or press the Command - Q keys on the keyboard.

In the Finder, open a new Finder Window by selecting File > New Finder Window, or Pressing Command - N on the keyboard.

In the Finder Window, navigate to your media drive, or the Movies Folder if your Events and Projects are saved there.


Final Cut Pro X stores its Events and Projects by default in the Movies Folder in your user account's Home Folder. But you can store Events and Projects on any hard drive connected to the Mac.

In the Finder Window's Toolbar click the List View icon to view the folder contents as a list.


The Finder provides different ways to view the contents of a folder, using the View buttons in the Toolbar. The four views include, icon, list, column, and Cover Flow.

In the Finder Window, click on the disclosure triangle to the left of the Final Cut Events Folder. Continue to click the disclosure triangles for the Render Folder and its sub folders.

You can now see the contents of and Event's Render Folder, which includes clip thumbnail and audio peak data.

In the Media Window click the Final Cut Events Folder's disclosure triangle to close the Final Cut Pro Events Folder.

In the Media Window, repeat step for the Final Cut Pro Projects folder.

This displays a Project's video, audio peak, and thumbnail image render data.

In The Media Folder click the disclosure triangles to close all the Render Folder's sub folders.

In the Render Folder click and drag to select the Render Folder's subfolders.

In the Render Folder, right-click or control-click to pop up the Short cut Menu and select Move to Trash.

This moves the files to the Trash, and you can empty the Trash to completely delete the files.

Repeat last steps for the Final Cut Events folder to manually delete the Event render files.

Most of the time your render files should be working for you. But now you know how to resolve the problem when good render files go bad.

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Diana Weynand, an Emmy nominated editor, a distinguished educator and Apple Certified Trainer, is the author of several books including the Apple Pro Training Series: Final Cut Pro X, Final Cut Pro 7 and Final Cut Pro for Avid Editors and How Video Works. Diana has been on the cutting edge of technology training for two decades, and is co-owner of Rev Up Transmedia, (Formerly Weynand Training International) an Apple Authorized Training Center and mobile application developer.

James Alguire, an Apple Master Trainer, has been involved in the computer industry for over 25 years. His experience includes digital design, electronic prepress, multimedia, digital video/audio, technical support and training. He is an Apple Certified Trainer, an Apple Certified Technical Coordinator, an Apple Certified Help Desk Specialist and Apple Certified Support Professional. He is a lead instructor for Rev Up Transmedia and was a contributing writer for Diana's book, Final Cut Pro X.
Related Keywords:Fincal Cut Pro, Video Editing, Rendering Files, Post Production, DVE, FCP

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  • Render the Fat in Final Cut Pro X by DMN Editorial at Dec 08, 2012 7:46 pm gmt

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