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Quick Tip: Control Rendering and Background Tasks In Final Cut Pro X

Danny Greer

FCPX takes many tasks such as Rendering, Importing and Transcoding Media and processes them in the background.  Although, it may not be obvious that FCPX is completing these functions, you can look below the surface and see what background tasks are processing.

When FCPX was announced, many editors were happy to see that one of the main requests on their “FCP update” wishlist had been included:  background rendering.  Background processing is beneficial because it allows you to work while rendering, transcoding, importing and exporting. Unfortunately however, it can also slow down your system (this is especially true when working on older machines).  In some circumstances you might want to halt these background tasks in favor of having the full power of your computer while editing.

How can you control these background processes?
Luckily, FCPX allows you to manage them.

From the Menu Bar choose Window>Background Tasks… or better yet, use the shortcut COMMAND + 9. This will open up the Background Tasks window.

Here you can pause or stop the background processes. This is especially helpful if you’re putting a heavy load on your system by “sharing” (previously called “exporting”) a batch of videos out of FCPX or if you’re rendering footage that has multiple filters applied.  In these instances, you may want to wait to render the footage until you’re walking away from the computer for a bit.

Again, your need for controlling these background tasks will really boil down to the speed of your Mac system and/or the complexity of the work you’re doing in the background.  If you’re running a new computer, you may only see a neglible decrease in power while background processes are performed and have no need to stop these tasks.

Although the automation tools in FCPX are often timesavers, it’s nice to know you can control the system to work best for you with the Background Tasks window!