Thursday, 16 May 2013

FCP 7 Out of Memory Error Solution

Like many of us I still have to use Final Cut Pro 7 from time to time. One of the bastard things about FCP7 is its 32bit-ness. It can only rock 4 gig no matter how many terabytes of RAM you have. This gives rise to the bloody fucking shit hole error, 'Out of Memory'.

Larry Jordan gives this explanation which can help, but often doesn't solve the problem:

The main reason I get this error is when using large still images. Big ass monkey images like 5K or summut.

For years I have searched for a solution online and in the ether to no avail. However, yesterday I was told a very simple solution.

Go to Sequence/Settings and click on the Video Processing tab. In here you will see that the default is to render in 10-bit. Changing this to render in 8-bit seemed to solve all my memory issues.

Oh and by the way rendering takes about half the time in 8 bit mode.

Good luck people, and stop using 7 anyway.


  1. Any still over 4k pixels in either direction is likely to trigger this. The approach I always took was to resize any still I was going to use to comfortably under that (say 3k), and I rarely saw the dreaded out of memory error.

    Of course, you can happily throw a huge layered photoshop file at FCPX and it'll happily lob it on your viewer and composite it without complaint.

  2. I've heard this before, but I did some tests and the size of the image seems to have no affect on the 'out of memory' error.

  3. is there a significant quality loss when rendering in 8-bit compared to 10-bit with Apple ProRes 422 (LT)?

  4. The difference between 8 and 10 bit is colour depth, so if you plan on doing a lot of grading you'll want to stay in 10 bit if you can.

    The best thing to do is consider your output and audience and do a test.

    I find that things like vignettes can look a little 'bandy' in 8bit mode.

  5. Appreciate the help. I've been troubleshooting this super annoying problem. You said stop using what do you think, premiere or avid?