More Reviews




Tutorial: - Fun with Batch Exporting

September, 2002


Fun with Batch Exporting


by Nick Meyers


Call me old fashioned, I like Batch Export. It doesn't have too many Bells and Whistles, like Media Manager, and it doesn't promise the world. But it's got a kind of reliable functionality, and it does work.

There are three main things I have used Batch Export for over the years (all 2 of them)

1. Compiling Stills,
2. Exporting Audio Tracks,
3. Converting Subclips into Self-Contained-Clips.

There are some functions Batch Export offers that I have never used, like the naming options, or altering the render quality, so I can't comment on them other than to say they might be useful to someone else, or to me sometime in the future. But for now....


Often directors ask "can we get a still of that?" Here's how to streamline the process.

Make a new bin called "Stills for Export" or "shots for Stills" or whatever works for you.

Whenever you happen to park on a frame you or the director think will be a good still, drag it straight to this bin.

You can drag direct from the viewer. If you've spied it from the canvas, you either have to hit "F" to load the shot into the viewer, or if it's a composite, or effected shot, make a freeze with Shift N, and drag that into the bin.

As soon as you've dragged it into the bin, rename it, giving it a specific name.
We're going to be batch exporting these, and you may well pick several frames from the one shot. Batch export will then ask you to change them, and you won't want to have to think about it then. Now is the time to name the chosen frames.

OK it's the end of the day, or session, it's time to export your stills. There's always a multitude of ways, heres one:

  • Double click on the bin, opening it.
  • Select all.
  • Control click on one shot and from the Mini Menu that opens, select Export > Batch

Here's another:

  • Select the bin.
  • From the File Menu select Batch Export.

The Batch Export window will now open

In Batch Export, go to Settings. (Button at bottom of window)

  • Select your destination.
  • Set the Format to "Still Image"
  • Open the Options window and select your still format, TIFF, Photoshop, whatever.

That's it really. That's all you have to do.

If you want more than one format, just re-select the bin in the browser and hit Batch Export again. You'll now have two Batches waiting to go in the Batch Export window, and you can apply different settings to each. Hit export, and all the frames you have selected will be processed.

OK, one thing I've left out is the de-interlacing. With this set-up, you'd have to de-interlace in your graphics editor. You can then choose upper or lower on a case-by-case basis, which I reckon is the way to go.
Otherwise you can add de-interlace filter to the shot while you have it in the viewer, but that slows things up a bit for my tastes

BATCH EXPORT - busting subclips

Sure you can use the Media Manager for this, but then again, why should you?
Everyone complains about it. Batch export is pretty straightforward. Also there's a couple of advantages with Batch exporting your subs that you might not have considered....

OK, you've captured a whole tape, maybe used scene detection and dragged the subs to the timeline for logging. You've deleted the dud shots, and trimmed the others, maybe split some into even more shots. Maybe you want to turn those subs into fully fledged clips. One way is the Media Manager, "Copy" mode. Another is Batch Export.

First things first. Before doing anything with subs, don't forget to turn them back into Master Clips.

  • Select the lot, then from the Modify Menu, "Remove Subclip Limits"
  • If you've been working in the timeline, drag them all to a new Bin.
  • Select the bin and from the File Menu, choose Batch Export.


  • Set destination.
  • Format: Final Cut Pro Movie (this will preserve your TC info, a QT movie won't)
  • Settings: Item settings check "Make self contained"
  • check "Use Item In/Out"

That's it. Simple as.

If you have any shot names longer than the prescribed number. of characters, Batch Export will ask you to modify them. I like this. I get to re-work the name to something I can recognise. Media Manager just drops a few characters from the middle of the name, making it hard to track down if you ever need to.

Here's a neat trick you can do:
You captured a whole tape while at lunch, but it turns out there was a TC break.
If you didn't get any sync problems, you don't have to re-capture. After logging etc, remove subclip limits, & Batch export the first section with good code. Now go to the section with NG code, and modify it to the Right code. (cross check with tape).

As all the clips actually come from one master file, you only need to do this once.
Now Batch Export the Second lot of Clips.

N.B. you have to do it in this order. You can't set up 2 batches from one Master file as it can only have one TC at any one time.

What you DON'T get with this technique is any logging info. That won't be part of a FCP movie. All the relevant info needs to be worked into just the NAME of the clip.
Media Manager WILL carry all the logging info, and for a lot of people that is important.

Just thought I'd present this method as a possible alternative, and maybe a conversation starter.

BATCH EXPORT - tracks & image for mixing in Pro Tools.

Maybe you love the way you've volume graphed all your dialogue and music, and you're positive you won't need any handles.
You want to get a copy of those tracks into a DAW for EQ, Compression, whatever.
It can happen, I know. OMFs don't carry the volume info, so here's what you'd do:

Let's say you have 8 tracks of 4 stereo pairs.

  • First things first, sync pips. (here in Australia they go "pip"... I understand in US they go "pop")
  • Put one frame of tone at the start of your program, coinciding with the 1st frame of the "2" on your clock leader. (....Hey, that wouldn't be a 2-POP would it? A: yes!)
  • I also put an end pip: one frame of tone 5 seconds after the last frame of image, along with 1 frame of "END SYNC" text - nice and large
  • Copy your lock off sequence in the browser and make 8 copies of it, one for each track. (This is for Protools. It can't work with stereo tracks - it uses 2 mono tracks to make a stereo pair. I think other DAWs would be different)
  • Open the first sequence, solo track one (option click on green track visibility light)
  • Close it and re-label it "Track 1" or "Dial 1 Left" or whatever.
  • Keep doing the same thing on the other copies.
  • Select all these track-sequences. If you want a guide mix, also select your lock off sequence with all its tracks turned on.
  • From the File Menu, choose Batch Export.


  • Set Destination.
  • Format = AIFF or WAVE
  • Options (for Protools Free or LE) = Compressor: none / Rate: 44.1Khz / bit depth: 16 / mono (these options are available as a pre-set in the "Settings" menu)
  • Options(for Protools LE or Higher) = Compressor: none / Rate: 48Khz (48Khz is available in versions higher than the "free" version) / bit depth: 16 / mono
    (Don't ask me why, but there is no pre-set for 48KHz in the "Settings" menu.)
  • DONT Check "Use Item In/Out"

While you're at it, you're going to need a picture to mix to... might as well make that now too.

  • Select your lock off sequence in the browser, File > Batch Export.


  • Set Destination.
  • Format = FCP movie
  • Settings = Depends on if you have 2 monitors or one. For one monitor you want a small image. If you've been working in Offline RT "item settings" If you've been working in DV, choose "OfflineRT"
  • DONT Check "Use Item In/Out"
  • Include: Video only
  • Select the lot in the Batch Export window, hit export, and have a quick cup of coffee. It wont take long.

These Audio and Picture files will all open in PT and sync up nicely.


This button on the bottom right of the Batch Export window does exactly what it suggests. It will open the Exported Items in FCP. Each Item opens in its own Viewer window. If you want to bring them back into FCP, and you've only exported a few Items, this is handy, but as you have to drag each one separately to the Browser, I wouldn't recommend it for a big batch.


Well that's about it. There would be all sorts of other applications for Batch export, but these are the ones I use. The great thing about it is it's "set and forget" nature. You set a whole bunch of things going at once, and come back later to find them all done. In fact you could have all 3 of these examples set up to Batch together, if you needed to. Tracks for a mix, publicity stills, and your next projects rushes. Hit Export, turn the lights off, see you in the Morning. Thank you and Goodnight.

copyright©Nick Meyers2002

Nick Meyers has been working in film since he got a Super-8 camera for his 13th Birthday. Worked as an Assistant editor at the Australian Broadcasting Corporation for nearly eight years, picking up skills and editing films for himself & friends on the side.
An experienced and enthusiastic Film Editor, he has edited many short films and music videos, and more recently Feature Films. He took a long time crossing over to Non-Linear, waiting for the technology to become affordable and inclusive, yet realistically professional. Final Cut Pro offered that opportunity.

copyright © Michael Horton 2000-2010 All rights reserved