I have a project we shot overseas on three different cameras (Canon R6, drone, and iPhone 11 Pro Max). There’s both 1080p and 4K footage. I was going to create proxies for all the video on import as most of the footage was sorted ahead of time.I'm editing on a 2018 MBP with 32 GB RAM, a Radio Pro Vega 20 4 GB, and the footage is all on an external Samsung high speed SSD.I have two questions about the edit:1) I've edited for decades, but never done proxy. I'm excited to dip my feet in and want to be able to edit as fast as possible, do the color grade, then switch from proxy back to master clips, and export the final picture lock. My SDD is 2TB, and the project files before importing total about 250 GB in size. Do you recommend ProRes for the import or H.264 and what frame size? I don't care if the footage is lower res visually for editing, I know how sharp and good it looks in the master files. I want speed and the fastest render times for ease of editing and color grading and keeping the demand on the laptop reasonable. Speed of being able to zip around the edit quickly and make color changes, etc. is the most important to us as long as the generated proxy files will fit on the the SSD. 2) Is it also an option to edit the project in 1080p and then when I'm all done, create a new project that's 4K, and then copy and paste the 1080p timeline into the 4K project and let it re-render before exporting a master? Is that faster as well, or does proxy editing do the work so that editing in 4K won't be slowed down?Thanks so much!Daniel
Those are all good questions. You do not need to create ProRes optimized media on import. You can create regular ProRes proxies at the default 50% resolution, which is 1/2 the linear and 1/4 the pixel resolution, or 1080p for UHD 4k originals.
In FCP preferences>Playback, disable "Create optimized media for multicam clips". That isn't needed if using proxies. Whether you leave "background render" enabled is a personal preference.
In FCP preferences>Import, select "Leave files in place", which will often avoid copying those inside the library. However if the camera source material is tree-oriented it will have to copy them. You an avoid that by externally re-wrapping (not transcoding) with EditReady2: www.divergentmedia.com/editready
In that same preference pane, I suggest disable the transcode options. It's generally better to do that manually after the import. You just select all the imported clips with CMD+A, then right click and pick transcode.
The proxies and render cache by default will be located inside the library. You can place those externally by selecting the library in the left sidebar, then in the Inspector (CMD+4) pick Storage Locations>Modify Settings, and pick a folder for Media and a separate folder for Cache. The trick is do this after import but before creating proxies. In this context the only media created after import will be the proxies, which will be placed separately in the designated folder. That helps keep the library small so in Finder you can right-click the library and duplicate it as another backup. It also keeps the render cache in a separate folder so you can easily keep track of the size and safely manually delete it -- including analysis files and optical flow files, which you cannot delete using the FCP UI.
With proxies I normally don't use a 1080p timeline for 4k originals. There are separate render files for proxy vs original media, so while in proxy mode it's only creating proxy-resolution render files. There might be a case with mixed proxy/original resolution using the new "proxy preferred" feature, and in that case using a 1080p timeline might be a little faster. I'm not sure it makes that much difference.
Adding to the excellent advice that Joe has given: when working in proxy mode with 4K original media, you won't see any speed gain if you edit your Project(s) in 1080. With the computer specs you have, I don't think you will need to render at all.
So edit and finish in proxy mode and switch to Original/Optimized mode to export your finished project or whenever you want to view part of the edit in full quality.
As you say you have mixed formats (1080 and 4K), I'm sure you know that when working on a 4K timeline your HD footage will be scaled up and might show some quality differences compared to the 4K footage.