Final Cut Pro 6 - Choosing the Type of QuickTime Movie to Export

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Choosing the Type of QuickTime Movie to Export

You can create two kinds of QuickTime movies with the Export QuickTime Movie
command—a self-contained movie or a reference movie.

 Self-contained movie: A self-contained movie contains the video and audio media—

all of the data used to create your movie is within a single file. This single file can be
safely and easily copied to another computer without worrying that you need other
files to play it back.

 Reference movie: A reference movie is a very small file that contains pointers, or

references, to all of the captured clips used in your sequence. The actual media is
located in the original media files. If you rendered your transitions and effects before
creating the reference movie, then there are pointers to your render files as well.
Otherwise, all of your transitions and effects are rendered using the current level of
compression, and then embedded inside the resulting reference movie, increasing its
size. All audio tracks, mixing levels, cross fades, and audio filters are rendered and the
resulting stereo or mono audio tracks are embedded in the reference movie.

Exporting a reference movie saves time, since you don’t have to wait for every frame of
your edited sequence to be duplicated. It also saves hard disk space, since pointers to
other files require little space. Reference movies are particularly useful when outputting
your sequence for compression using a third-party compression utility.

However, reference movies are not very useful as a means of delivering video files to
other people. If you give someone a reference movie, you must also give them the
original video files associated with that movie, which can be complicated since you
may not know where all the referenced media is stored on disk.

In general, exporting reference movies increases the risk that the movie may not play
back. Reference movies are best used when you have short-term uses for the exported
movie file, and you only plan to use them on the system you exported them to.

Reference movie

Original media files

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Chapter 17

Exporting QuickTime Movies