How to Export to Mp4 Final Cut Pro

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Hi! This is Dylan from Stupid Raisins. In this video I will show you how to export your video project to mp4 in Final Cut Pro so it’s ready for YouTube or any other video sharing site.

Now, if you’re like me, you want your videos looking as good as possible before uploading them online. Mp4 videos are a great way to export good looking videos with a small file size. I’m going to show you how to make a template for fast exports. Next I’ll share with you how to export 8k in mp4 and I’ll show you a quick app you can make to convert your clips to mp4. Then I’ll show you the best settings for uploading to YouTube and how to export with those settings in just a few clicks.

Let’s check it out

Export Template
So by default, Final Cut Pro exports to .mov,  if you hit Command + E, it will open up the Export File window and you can see our file type is set to .mov. You can switch to mp4 by selecting Computer. This is great if you just need to export to mp4 every once in a while but there’s a way to export to mp4 right away.

Cancel this for now and make an export template for .mp4. Go to the upper right corner then click this share button, then click add destination. Next click and drag Export file to the left and double click the new destination to rename it. Under Format, change it to Computer and change the Video Codec to H.264 Better Quality. Next, change the resolution to the highest which is 4096 x 2160. That way whenever you export, it will automatically adjust to your project’s resolution as long as it is 4K Cinema or smaller. Then exit. Click the share button again, then click Export mp4, as you can see, our container or file type is .mp4. If you want use this Share template with a shortcut, open the Destinations and right click on your new Destination and select “Make Default”. Now you can press Command + E to export as mp4. Sweet right?!

Different Resolutions
So what if you want to export to mp4 but with different resolutions like 2560×1440 or vertical video – 1080×1920? No problem. I have a 2560×1440 project here and if I click this share button up here then Export mp4, then go to Settings, we don’t have options for 2560×1440, the maximum is 1920 x 1080. So to export it in 2560 x 1440 or vertical video, just leave the settings as is because the max resolution is bigger than my project I’m all good. It will export the resolution of your project.

8K Export
How about if you want to export to 5K or 8K? Will the Export mp4 template work even though the option is set at a lower resolution? Let’s see. So I have a 5K project right here, if I select the project and go to our Info Inspector, our resolution is at 5760 x 2880 – 5K. Then if I click the share button then click export mp4, our resolution is 4K. So to export to 5K or 8K, you have to use the default Export File. Click the share button then Export File, as you can see, our resolution is now at 5K but the downside is that the file type is .mov. You can change it to mp4 manually by changing the format to Computer.

But if you want to save a 5K or 8K mp4 template you’ll need to use the Compressor app.

Custom Settings
In Compressor, we can dial in settings like container/file type, data rate and resolution to use in Final Cut Pro for a specific project.

Now let’s go Compressor. Go to lower left, then click the plus sign then New Setting, then change Format to MPEG-4, then let’s rename to Export Automatic mp4, then hit OK. Now, let’s go to Inspector, go to Video then Video Properties then leave the Frame size to Automatic so it will export to your project’s resolution. Then change the Average Data Rate to Computer playback for better quality, then go to Audio and change the bit rate to 320. That’s it.

Now let’s go back to Final Cut Pro to save the settings. Click the share button then Add destination. Then click and drag Compressor Settings to the left, then scroll down to the bottom, go to Custom then select the settings we made a while ago then hit OK. Then go back to your 5K project. If I click the share button up here then click our template Export Automatic mp4, our resolution is now at 5K. This applies to 8K too, which is very handy.

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Remember the settings we made in Compressor? We can make a drag and drop convert app from that. 

Let’s go back to Compressor, go to the custom setting we made then right click and select Save as droplet. let’s rename it to Convert to mp4, then select where you want to save the app, the location of the export and then click Save. Now let’s go to our Desktop where we saved the app. I have some .mov videos right here and I can just drag and drop these videos onto the app and it will convert them to mp4. You can still change the location of the new files but let’s leave it at source, so we can see them here. Then Start batch and wait for it. The only downside is you cannot see the progress but you can see an indicator on your menu, and the converted clips will appear when done at your chosen location.

Best YouTube Settings
Most likely you want to export as an mp4 file to upload it to YouTube and you want the best possible settings. Don’t worry. I gotcha.

Here are YouTube’s requirements. They’re very specific and we can’t get it just right in Final Cut so we have to use Compressor. Let’s do it step by step. 

In Compressor, click the plus sign at the bottom then New Setting. Change the Format to MPEG-4, and rename it to YT 4K Standard then click OK. Go to Video and change Frame size to 3840 x 2160. Change Color Space to Rec. 709, set Codec to H.264. This is 4K at Standard Frame Rate of 24, 25, and 30, so we need to change the data rate or bit rate to 45 megabits per second. Click this one and change it Custom, then enter 45. This is kilobits per second, so we need to multiply it by 1000, and enter 45,000. Next go to Audio and change the Channel layout to Stereo, format to AAC, Sample Rate to 48, and the bitrate to 320.

Now let’s go back to Final Cut Pro to save these settings. Click the share button then Add destination. Then click and drag Compressor Settings to the left, then scroll down to the bottom, go to Custom and select the settings we just made and hit OK. Now you can use this template to get the best settings for YouTube!

Now that you’ve learned how to export to mp4 in Final Cut Pro, I’ve made another video about how to convert 4k video to 1080p. Click here to check it out.

About Dylan Higginbotham

Hey there. I'm Dylan Higginbotham, and I'm pretty dang obsessed with Final Cut Pro X plugins. Subscribe below because I love giving away free plugins and contributing great content.

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