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Forums Apple Final Cut Pro Legacy mp4 to ProRes generates MASSIVE file size

  • mp4 to ProRes generates MASSIVE file size

  • Eric Ben

    February 3, 2015 at 5:17 pm

    Need to edit an mp4 in FCP7. The file is a 22 min. HD vid, 1080×1920 and 760MB in size.

    Knowing that ProRes 422 is most stable, I dropped that into compressor and rendered it out in LT. It turned my 760MB file into a 13.8g file!

    So I tried the using proxy setting… the audio sounded sped up and the file size wasn’t much smaller.

    What am I doing wrong? Any advice on another stable codec for FCP? This isn’t for broadcast, doesn’t have to be to full spec, so maybe ProRes is overkill?

    Thanks kindly.

  • Todd Gillespie

    February 3, 2015 at 6:36 pm

    Hi Ben,

    I tried a handful of different codecs over the years to see if there was any other codec that would be close to the quality, but with a smaller size as ProRes was, unfortunately I never found one. ProRes was always the best choice and the easiest to work with. Especially when dealing with HD footage, I don’t think you have a choice. I usually never dealt with LT because the little savings in space wasn’t worth the time to deal with.

    Yes, ProRes is about a GB per minute. Welcome to the world of quality HD footage. Hard drive space is cheap. You’ll spend more time and effort trying not use ProRes, than to accept the larger file size issue.

    Sorry there wasn’t more options,
    Good Luck,

    Todd at UCSB
    Television Production

  • Eric Ben

    February 3, 2015 at 6:41 pm

    Thanks kindly for the advice.

    Yeah in the time since posting this I’ve dug around the web and come to the same conclusion. So to highjack the initial topic, do you know anything better/faster than compressor? I downloaded the trial of Brorsoft and I think it may be faster. I also like the interface better. I have Sorenson Squeeze and Streamclip, but got the impression it was better to use Compressor because it’s native to the OS and FCP (?) but not sure that has any bearing…

    Thanks again.

  • Todd Gillespie

    February 3, 2015 at 6:55 pm

    Yes, the rendering is the real time killer. I haven’t used Brorsoft, so I have no idea of the quality. Chances are there’s not much of a time savings, but it depends on what output you are trying to render to. I’ve found some compressors that work great with one codec (like MPEG-2) but not be any quicker with others. So you might find one compressor that works better with the favor of video output that you are looking for. As to the quality, it shouldn’t matter which compressor software you use. The output codec should dictate the quality. You will be fine using Sorenson or Streamclip, Compressor is great if you want to access some of the features like the Frame Conversion or setting up chapter markers for DVDs, but if you don’t need it, then there’s no benefit.

    Good Luck,

    Todd at UCSB
    Television Production

  • Eric Strand

    February 3, 2015 at 7:40 pm

    Hey Eric, not sure if you have Compressor 4 or 3.5.3, but you could try setting up a cluster to export multiple files at the same time. You have to uncheck Allow Job Segmenting in Compressor 3, as seen in this video:


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  • Mark Suszko

    February 4, 2015 at 7:06 pm

    The other work-around is to spend money on hardware-based compression, but it’s not any cheaper.

  • Eric Ben

    February 4, 2015 at 8:31 pm

    I’m running Compressor 3.5.3 which I believe is most up-to-date for FCP 7. I know there is a v.5 for FCPX but there’s no way I’m touching that… 🙂


    I’ve been happy with the Brorsoft over the last few days. It output the same ProRes 422 (LT and Proxy) as Compressor 3 in less time and at a third the size. Not trashing compressor, I realize I’m using an older version that’s trying to handle newer codecs.

    I guess a lot of the leg work is finding stuff that works for your workflow too, as above poster pointed out.

    Thanks again!

  • Eric Strand

    February 5, 2015 at 2:37 am

    A third of the size?? That doesn’t seem right. ProRes’ bitrate settings are set by Apple, it should be coming out around the same size unless you’re down-scaling or changing frame rate.

    Hopefully someone else can either corroborate or explain why there would be such a discrepancy in the file size.


  • Eric Ben

    February 5, 2015 at 6:59 pm

    Yeah the 780m file rendered by compressor to 422 ended up as 13 gig! When I used Brorsoft it was like 4+ gig. Yes there is a slider on the brorsoft that lets you reduce the quality but I didn’t touch that. But points to them over compressor for the interface: very user friendly.

  • Shane Ross

    February 5, 2015 at 7:15 pm

    If that file works well in FCP, at a third the size…I’d be amazed.

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