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FCP X vs. Adobe Premiere, Part 5: Exporting

There are so many options in FCP X and in Premiere Pro for sharing and exporting media that to compare all of them would take several articles. Instead I thought I should look at one of the more popular options: Exporting video to a self-contained QuickTime movie.

Let's start with Final Cut Pro X.

FCP X: Step 1 - Begin Exporting

Select a project from the Project panel and choose Share > Export Media or press Command-E.

Share Menu

Share Menu.

FCP X: Step 2 - Media Export & Codec

Choose what media is to be exported: Video and Audio, Video Only or Audio Only, whichever is appropriate for your project.

Choose from the Video Codec menu list what codec you require. The default is Current Settings, which will keep the exported QuickTime to the same settings as the FCP X Project. On this occasion, choose Current Settings

The Video Codec menu

The Video Codec menu.

FCP X: Step 3 - Choose what to do with the Export

For After export select what QuickTime should do with the exported video. Open with Compressor will allow Batch Processing to multiple formats using Compressor if you have it installed. For now choose to Open with QuickTime Player.

The 'After Export' menu option

The 'After Export' drop-down menu.

Click Next to move on to the Save As… window. Name the file, select a destination then click Save. A self-contained QuickTime movie will appear; play it back using QuickTime to see the results. 

Now let's take a look at exporting for QuickTime in Premiere Pro.

Premiere: Step 1 - Open Exporting

Select a sequence from either the timeline or the Project Panel and choose File > Export > Media or press Command-M

Premiere export settings

Premiere export settings.

Premiere: Step 2 - Set Export Options

At the top of the Export window is a checkbox named Match Sequence Settings. Make sure this box is checked.

Premiere's Match Settings checkbox

Premiere's Match Sequence Settings checkbox.

Without this option checked you will have the option to compress the QuickTime movie using another codec and standard. 

Premiere: Step 3 - Select a Destination

Click on the Orange text "Output Name", and from the Save As window choose where to export to and what to name the file. 

The Output name, save as

The Output name, Save As.

Premiere: Step 4 - Improve the Quality

While there are no properties available to change—because you checked the Match Sequence Settings box earlier—you can still control render quality and frame blending. 

Render Quality and Blending

Render Quality and Frame Blending.

Select Use Maximum Render Quality. Though this will make the file bigger, it will result in a better finish. Also select Use Frame Blending if you think that the interpolation of the frames will be obvious after compression. 

Step 5 - Preview the output

Using the monitor to watch your footage, toggle between the Source and Output tabs to compare the export with the media (there may be some rendering required so be patient).

Premiere's Preview Window

Premiere's Preview Window.

Step 6 - Set the desired media & Export

Using the Mini Timeline, set the in and out points to mark the desired area for export.

Set the in and out points

Set the in and out points.

Or else choose Entire Sequence or Entire Work Area from the drop-down menu, assuming that the sequence only contains the desired media for export.

Click Queue if you wish to add this export to a Batch Export workflow and export multiple versions using different formats. Otherwise click Export to begin to export this single version now.

The Queue and Export buttons

The Queue and Export buttons.

As you can see Premiere offers more in the way of options when exporting QuickTime movies. Final Cut Pro X relies instead on Compressor for more complex exporting workflows. In either case this might prove a blessing for some, a curse for others. I'll let you decide. 

Need more? Learn more about Final Cut Pro X, Compressor and Premiere Pro.

David Smith

David Smith | Articles by this author

David Smith is Scotland's most qualified Apple and Adobe certified trainer. Having completed his education at Edinburgh College of Art's BAFTA winning Film School, David moved straight into TV production, first as a Vision Mixer then quickly becoming, at the age of just 24, a director of live TV studio productions. In 2001 he moved into Higher Education where he became a lecturer in TV Production, specializing in post-production and live studio production. During this time, and working with the support of the BBC, Channel 4 and independent production companies, David was instrumental in the design, development and implementation of industry-approved vocational courses across Scotland's Colleges. In 2006, after working closely with Apple Computers to create a unique multimedia studio for education at the Music and Media Centre in Perth, David became Scotland's first Apple-Certified Trainer for Pro Apps. This led on to David forming the first Apple Authorized Training Centre for Education, north of Manchester. In 2008 David made the move to full time training and joined the ranks at Academy Class, Ltd. where he continues to train industry professionals as a certified trainer across the Adobe Creative Suite and Apple Pro Apps range.


Oct 26, 2011
Not a fair comparison, as you neglect to take the same route on both. Last part of Premier is the same as Send To Compressor where FCP actually overwhelms PPro with options.
Oct 26, 2011
David Smith
That's true Ben, but that assumes you have purchased compressor. This is about FCPX on its own. It's also about taking the easiest option available in each app.
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