Video previews for producers

We’ve been here before, but with Quicktime Pro 7 for Windows and Mac being gone for good the question comes back.
What do you guys use to produce small video clips as preview files for producers?

You mean, to create a file for example just 3 minutes out of a 60 minute video? Or do you want to create a small version of a whole movie?

I use tmpeg Video Mastering Works if I need to mutiplex (shoehorn a new audio mix into an mp4). It’s excellent software and costs about 120$.
Lots of people I know do this to their full satisfaction with mpeg streamclip, which is free.
For simply encoding a mov to an mp4 I use handbrake, which is also free.
For baking MXF op1A files, I use Adobe MediaEncoder.

I suggest you have a look at mpeg streamclip and see how it suits your needs.

Yes, to create a clip with only a short excerpt to send to the producer, so that he can hear what it would sound like…(or should I say so that he can leave it untouched until the next phone call/meeting when you find out that nobody looked at the darn thing they all needed immediately :mrgreen: )

OK. Then you’ll want something where you can rudimentarily edit a timeline. tmpeg Video Mastering works in that case, or as I see you’re on a mac, Apple Compressor should do just fine. Available in the app store. Cheaper than tmpeg too, I think, though I’m not sure if it can multiplex…

One recommendation I recently heard of is: DaVinci Resolve (Free Version)

I had thought about that, but it kind of feels like a very strong weapon for a very small task.
Looks like I finally have to start learning the basics of video editing

Yes! DaVinci Resolve is a very good idea! Didn’t think of that. Don’t worry about the “strong weapon” - the timeline mode is very Basic and intuitive.

The only things I don’t like about Resolve is the awful long launch time (probably due to my using the free version).

Resolve should not take long to boot. You will need a GPU that runs OpenGL or CUDA. If you have an NVIDIA card with 2GB of RAM to render out HD you will be fine. More is better though. If your video ends up being long, like more than 20 minutes Resolve can be quite tedious to use and you will probably have to pre-render in Resolve before rendering out to file. Just a heads up.

Yes, that’s what I thought. I was trying Resolve for doing what Oliver wanted and as such it probably is a very big weapon for a very small task. I rarely have a need for serious video editing.

But thanks for your advice. I’ve read Resolve runs slow on Windows 10 which I am using. Once it’s launched it runs OK for doing basic tasks but launch time seems very, very slow - this could be me used to fast launch times on all my audio software. I might try version 11.3 to see if that launches faster.

I wouldn’t use it for serious video editing - it’s killer at color correction, but the editing features are very basic and clunky (and to be fair, it’s just meant for basic corrections to the timeline anyhow).
But the transcoding it does is fantastic, and quite quick as well even compared to Media Encoder etc.
However, as heisenberg9 said, you have to run it with OpenGL or CUDA, otherwise it’s not a very enjoyable experience…

This forum is such a great place. Now I know I should plan my new audio pc with a proper graphics card.

:laughing: Actually, it’s not a bad idea. Lots of plug-ins can take advantage of CUDA, which basically adds the processing power of your graphics card to the available system load. And, as stated, is very advantageous when exporting video. It doesn’t have to be a very spectacular one. A GTX1050 for about 100€ should do you fine if you don’t want to run 15 monitors or stuff like that…
There’s also the Quadro K4000 and K2200, which are older models but still on the market for about twice as much, with all the power you’ll ever need as an audio guy.
The MACs you use right now are usually bundled with them too, even if you haven’t noticed. They’d be a lot slower doing stuff without them as well…

Just thinking here that noise might be a consideration. Is the GTX1050 noisy?

Don’t know about the GTX, I have the K4000 in my HP Z800 and it’s certainly a lot quieter than THAT thing’s fans. But since my computer’s in another room than my monitors I don’t care… :wink:

Excellent thread. I realize this is the Nuendo forum, but I’m a Cubase Pro 9 user who thought the users here would be able to answer my question. Thanks.

I’m wondering about a basic mix to picture set-up where the video, with time code (LTC) is used to drive Cubase (via external synch) and then, when the mix is completed (which could be music only, or a full-mix with dialogue, SFX/Foley and Music), the audio is matched back to the video (or film). So, I’m wondering about how we deal with the telecine (film chain) function to account for any frame pull-up or pull-down requirements? This could be for rendering previews or finals for clients or artist releases.

It seems Cubase is not all that good with importing video. I honestly have not attempted this as yet in Cubase and could use some help on understanding how it works or does not work in the program. In the past, I used my sequencer and or DAW as the slave and let the Video (tape) drive the sequencer via LTC, VBS, Word Clock. Just a quick overview is what I’m seeking here. Thanks and I hope the OP doesn’t mind my expanding on his original question a bit.


Wouldn’t hurt and could have significant benefits. If you don’t intend to crunch 4K video files, an older card will do, however the newest breed of NVIDIA cards and inexpensive given the quantum jump in performance. You will have to source out a card that will work with it.


For those with Macintoshes, there is an fellow who reflashes video cards to work on Macs that are CUDA capable NVIDIA cards. Try to get something that is only a few years old. I am running a GTX 580 with 3 GBs of memory in a Win 7 machine and it handles HD material in real time in Resolve but I really should get a more current card, just too many sound libraries and VSTs that are higher up my purchase list at this point.

It may turn out that the new video engine will benefit from CUDA or OpenGL processing as well. Going forward, more and more apps with video processing will either require or optionally use GPUs with these technologies. I have seen several apps in the past 2 years that now require CUDA or OpenGL to view video.

OK… Whoa! Let’s backtrack here a minute… We’re talking about a guy who wants to render out some video previews here, you’re angle is a bit different, nonetheless - I’ll try to address your query.
First off, LTC is dead. Simply for the reason that LTC is an entirely tape-based technology no longer present in any file-based video format. Video files on the other hand rely on sync via the frame headers in the file or in some cases the VITC encoded into the video stream. Synchronisation with Cubase or whatever is done via this.
Second: I would not expect Cubase, or Nuendo for that matter, to be able to flawlessly play back, render or export, 4K video at this point, nor in fact ANY video, at a standard suitable for broadcast or hi-end content dissemination of any kind. They are music production and audio post systems. When I am mixing a film, I receive the video in a (usually) downscaled format. This can be anything from H.264 to DNXHD, as long as I, and the voiceover talent or whoever, can see what’s going on. The resulting mix is then passed back to the picture department, who will render the final product, be it an mp4 or a DCP volume or anything in between.
This means: It is the picture department’s responsibility to deliver to you a video file that has the correct frame-rate and pulldown for your task. You can’t do that in Cubase because then you’d be second guessing on the production format, and this seldom goes well.
Heavy duty professional video editing, color correction etc. is then done on systems equipped with AT LEAST one of the before mentioned video cards, PLUS dedicated software with playback engines that will usually utilize ADDITIONAL hardware such as an Avid Nitris or Blackmagic DeckLink extreme interface.
But in the audio field, you don’t need to worry about that. You can of course eqip your system with the capability of playing back broadcast-grade video files, the sky’s the limit and it’s just up to how much you want to invest in hardware, and Steinberg’s video engine can and does handle these, but it’s not strictly necessary.
And in the end, the final file format a TV network will want is usually MXF op1A, and cinemas will be expecting a DCP volume. None of which Cubase or Nuendo can handle, and I wouldn’t expect them to.

Heiner, thanks for your advice in this thread. Looks like an NVIDIA CUDA graphics card can help when handling video in certain cases.