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TOPIC: Are there pitfalls when using Proxy files without optimized media?

Are there pitfalls when using Proxy files without optimized media? 04 Nov 2019 07:56 #102455

Hello! I'm new here, hope this is the correct place to ask.

I'm starting a new editing project, and I want to get things right from the start. I'm editing several hours of live concert footage (5 cameras, 6 hours), and I was planning to use both optimized media as well as proxy files.

However, the optimized media file size became huge (4k cameras) and I'm lacking hard drive space, so now my question is, can I edit the whole thing using proxy media only? I.e. ticking only the proxy box, not the optimized box, when importing the files?
Are there any pitfalls to be aware of? I'm not planning to use lots of heavy plugins, but mostly just color correction. Export times are not too much of an issue either

Most important is that playback and the simple editing is quick and smooth.

A 2nd question. When editing from proxy media, does FCPX access the original files constantly? I was planning to leave the original files on a 2nd, slightly slower, harddrive, under the assumption that FCPX wouldn't need those files except for exporting. But I'm not sure I'm correct here?

Grateful for advice! /Rasmus
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Are there pitfalls when using Proxy files without optimized media? 04 Nov 2019 17:58 #102461

  • Tom Wolsky
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You don’t have to optimize. You can leave the original files wherever you want. Don’t move them in the Finder. Do everything from inside FCP.
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Are there pitfalls when using Proxy files without optimized media? 04 Nov 2019 17:58 #102462

  • ronny courtens
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Hi Rasmus,

Welcome to the forums.

When you create proxy media, there is no use at all for creating optimized media at the same time. So yes, you can edit the project entirely in proxy mode and switch to the original media for exporting. You can safely delete any optimized media you already have created if you want to get back your drive space.

FCP X will definitely need the original media for exporting. So you need to keep both the original media and the proxy media available. That's the core of the proxy workflow in FCP X.

-Ronny
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Are there pitfalls when using Proxy files without optimized media? 04 Nov 2019 19:35 #102464

Thanks so much guys, great answers!!
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Are there pitfalls when using Proxy files without optimized media? 04 Nov 2019 22:39 #102467

  • cofe
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Hi there,
Confirming what Ronnie is saying that you don't need optimised when using proxy.
And to clarify: You do not need the original media connected while editing with the proxies. Therefor you are correct in your assumption that you can use a slow inexpensive hard drive to store the originals. Only when you wan to export your master do you have to connect the original media and switch to optimised/original.
In fact you can do the whole editorial, including sending versions to clients, using only the proxies. FCP will warn you if you you exporting a project that you are in proxy mode, but if you confirm that that's ok you can create movie files just the same as with the originals, only of course using the reduced quality of the proxy media.
This is the workflow I'm using currently and it works without any problems. I store originals 'external', then switch to 'in library' media storage to create the proxies. Once they are down I disconnect the external drive and do the edit.
Only thing to keep in mind is: FCP doesn't create proxies for audio only files, nor for still files. If you want you can have a look at my article here on FCP.co 30000k with FCP. The first one runs you through the media workflow using proxy for the edit. Best, Carsten
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Are there pitfalls when using Proxy files without optimized media? 05 Nov 2019 05:11 #102476

Thank you for that clarification!! Relates to my situation perfectly, what a great forum!!
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Are there pitfalls when using Proxy files without optimized media? 05 Nov 2019 15:31 #102478

  • joema
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rasmusfaber wrote:
... Are there any pitfalls to be aware of?

Proxies cannot be relinked and are sensitive to folder location. They must stay on a drive with the same name and same folder structure as when they were generated.

Proxies are 1/2 the linear and 1/4 the pixel resolution of the original material, e.g, if original media was 3840 x 2160, the proxies will be 1920 x 1080, and codec will be ProRes Proxy. They are very fast and smooth to edit.

However FCPX can only be in proxy mode or original mode - it is a global switch. So if you have some 1080p original material mixed within the 4k stuff, the 1080p clips in proxy mode will only be 960 * 540 in proxy mode. That is normally enough for editing decisions.

To avoid switching back and forth between proxy and original mode, sometimes you can upscale the 1080p clips to 4k, re-import them at that resolution, then generate proxies for those. In proxy mode that will then preserve the full 1080p original resolution.

In Ripple Training's 10.4 media management tutorial, they extensively detail a proxy-only workflow for remote work: www.rippletraining.com/products/final-cu...-final-cut-pro-10-4/
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Are there pitfalls when using Proxy files without optimized media? 05 Nov 2019 17:15 #102480

  • Axel
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rasmusfaber wrote:
Most important is that playback and the simple editing is quick and smooth.


I'd always edit with proxies. For the reasons explained above. The entry MacBook can famously edit 4k video with proxies. So even if you have the definitive beast in terms of computer horsepower, everything will be a bit smoother and snappier with proxies.

What is more: you don't have to wait for the proxy copies, you can start editing in Original mode and only switch to Proxy mode once the background transcoding is finished.

I would prefer a third mode, like in other NLEs: Use proxy if available. Please file a feature request by sending feedback. And also (as a matter of course): Only use Original Media for export. Always. No stupid warning. Cause, who wants to export proxy quality?

rasmusfaber wrote:
Are there any pitfalls to be aware of?



Well, I wrote EDIT. Cut. Make timing related decisions. For self-explanatory reasons, there is a limit to judge scaling related decisions. Also, for instance, if you use animated masks, though FCP will scale them according to the defined timeline resolution, it won't update them in realtime, they will look wrong. Besides that, they'd be only half as accurate as they could be.
Last Edit: 05 Nov 2019 17:17 by Axel.
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