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Thread: Losing mind. How do you export?

  1. Default Losing mind. How do you export?

    I have made a 3 minute sequence from AVI clips in FCE. I want to export it for youtube or vimeo. I try every permutation, in MOV, AVI, WMV, I've read other people's advice. I just get different problems every time:

    - only a tiny section of the thing gets saved
    - pillarboxing of the image (it's 4:3) in widescreen
    - pillarboxing and compressing of the image in 4:3 (it's 4:3!)

    Can anyone tell me the correct way to export a sequence from FCE for web use?

    Would be most grateful.

  2. #2


    I find exporting from FCP a dark art sometimes. In my experience quicktime is not the best at registering and reading the correct aspect ratio flags which often results in the problems you are describing.

    For problem 1, I know that when exporting to wmv, if you haven't paid for a licence for flip4mac it will only export the first 30 seconds. You'll have to purchase a licence in order to export more than 30secs for wmv.

    With the stretching issues, well, for me I have used trail and error in the past. Even though you tell FC to output to X it still gives you Y. Meh. Try the preset options rather than settings the dimensions yourself, in FCP there is a size option under export where it clearly states 720x576 or 720x576 (16:9). The latter you'd chose for widescreen clearly. Although this may be different for FCE, I don't know.

    Last thing, if you're trialing and erroring, only export a 4 or 5 second clip of your sequence, so that way you dont waste so much time in sitting through the whole export only to find out it's incorrect.

    I hope any of that helped. Good luck.

  3. Default

    Thanks for the reply. The fip4mac issue explains that problem. I continue my experiments in MOV. Why is this so bloody tedious? I mean millions of people have to do this, how come it's not figured out?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Blog Entries


    I export as .mov which I find is more than acceptable for youtube (don't know how vimeo deals with it).

  5. Default

    OK here is what I have just found, after much experimentation. I have just stuck to mov. If, when I select the size I choose one of the presets, eg. 640x480 (the correct one) I get various combinations of errors - pillarboxing in a ws frame, squished image in a ws frame, pillarboxing in a 4:3 frame. Anything except what I want.

    However, if I enter a custom size, eg. 640x480 and don't use the preset it comes out correct! No idea why. Next step, get the thing under 100 MB and see if YT can use it.

  6. #6


    The upload limit for youtube video is 2gb these days.

  7. Default

    OH ok didn't realise that. Anyway I spoke too soon. What I describe worked well on a small clip I tested it on. On the big sequence it goes back to cockup territory.

    OK here's a question. In my editing window in FCE the clip is pillarboxed in a ws frame. Why doesn't it recognise the original footage as 4:3 and use a 4:3 frame? If it did that I wouldn't have this issue.
    Last edited by plookster; 06-05-2010 at 03:57 PM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Blog Entries


    Almost certainly you have used a 16:9 easy set-up. The only sure one which is 3:4 is DV-Pal, nearly all the others are 16:9 or 2.33:1

    Try the following. Start a new sequence, then don't do anything except insert your 3:4 clip onto the timeline. It will ask you "Change the sequence to clip settings?" and you agree.

    Don't make colour bars, black start, countdown, nothing. The first thing you do with the new sequence is place your footage on it (you can delete it later) and let FCE set up the timeline to suit the footage.

  9. #9


    Download MpegStreamclip (it's free).

    Export in full res from FCE, then use MpegStreamclip to do your conversions for Youtube etc. You can tweak things to your hearts content and SEE what's coming out before you write the entire file.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Hengelo (Holland)


    You want to make sure you're aspect ratio of the pixels is correct.
    640x480 is 4:3, but if you're pixel aspect ratio is wrong it distorts the video.

    Make sure that you turn of "anamorphic" checkboxes and that your pixel aspect ratio is 1:1,064 or something).

    about saving the whole film, instead of just a part of it:
    when you export to WMV, you'll need flip4mac
    try using quicktime with h.264 codec, that should work.

    Maybe you can post your export settings here by making a print screen of the dialogue box of your export and a dialoque box of your sequence settings.

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