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Adobe Premiere Pro - Advanced Training

Make proxies from already imported footage in Premiere Pro

Daniel Walter Scott

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Hey, in this video we are going to create our proxies. We're going to use method number 1. I call this the afterthought method. This is when you've got them all on the Timeline, and things are running slowly, and you think, "I better make some proxies." 

What are proxies again? I'll show you an actual example of what we're going to make in this video, proxies on, proxies off. It just makes a low quality version. Let's look at it at full view. You can't even tell from this distance away, but it makes your editing a whole lot faster, and you end up with a bunch of files that look like this. Original files, and then some proxy files, that are smaller, and easier for your machine to handle. All right, let's make 'em. 

Now that we know what a proxy is, creating one's really easy. So I've got our sequence here, actually you don't need a sequence, you just need to have a project, and have footage in it. So I'm going to-- you can do one at a time or select them all, right click any of them, go to 'Proxy', 'Create Proxies', easy. You can decide from the format, I'm on a Mac so I can use Quicktime, and maybe you prefer using ProRes or CineForm, one of that kind of-- like it's definitely going to lower the resolution.-- the pixel height and width. 

So this is 4K, this will make it, let's say-- I always use h.264, because it's quick and easy, and the computer can run it, and low, I think is 540 pixels across. This one here is kind of standard SD, and this is HD. So this is 720 and this is Full HD, and this is 1080p. You can decide the kind of sizes you want to use. Pick medium, if you're running on a really bad laptop, and it's terrible, pick low, it's up to you. You can go through and create-- 'Add Ingest Presets', we'll look at that later in the class, but for the moment we'll just use the drop downs. 

Now this does tend to change every time there's a new version of Premiere Pro, but there'll be a high, low, medium version of this. So you can play around with it, it's just going to plop it next to my original footage. I'm going to click 'OK', and medium code is going to open up in a second, I think. There it is, I wish they're called Proxy's placeholders, they seemed this scary, proxy seems, I don't know, technical. 

All right, here's media encoder, I kind of caught it in the act, it was just running in the background, I didn't notice it, and here it is, it's making all of these, can you see, it's kind of underscoring it with proxy. I'll go show you the actual files that it's making. All right, here it is. 

So this is my 'Exercise Files', on my Desktop, you'll find my 'Tourism Ireland', and all my footage is inside of 'Footage', and there's 'Proxy' folder, they've got the same name, except the hyphenated proxy, and you can see they're a lot smaller. I've already cut mine down to a small size, so let's pretend that was like 500 Megabytes, and it's down to 14 instead of just 13, because I already did some file savings, to make this course run nice, so it's not as dramatic here in this course, as it will be for your work. 

Now what happens in Premiere Pro, nothing's happened, absolutely nothing. Proxies are kind of happening in the background, but you're not actually using them yet. So if I play, it's still going to have an issue, is it? it's only going to half, and it's still having an issue. Cool, so to turn proxies on you need to go to this mad button over here. I don't know why they hide some buttons in here. The Button Editor, click on that little option, this pops up, and then you're like, "What do I do with this?" What you do is, you click, hold, and you are looking for the proxy guy, that's in there. It's a little-- it looks like that. Click, hold, and drag it, and drag it down to here, click 'OK', and now you've got those little proxies, off, proxies are on now. 

So low quality, high quality, low quality, high quality. Let's have a little look at it, so that you-- I can show it to you. So I'm going to use my Tilde key again, the little squiggly thing, to make it nice and full, and I'm going to zoom right in. So proxies, it's not the best footage, I know, to start with, again, just so file sizes are low, but let's look at this, proxies, not proxies, proxies, not proxies. 

So that's what it does, it just creates a placeholder, that's lower quality, so that you can, from this view out, it's really hard to tell that anything's changing, but your machine, with that on, blue's good, if you want to use proxies, that, when it's playing, it's going to play back nicely, nice and fast, because it's using really low stuff. If you're finding that the Medium still isn't working for you, go to Low, and it's going to look even worse, but it's going to play back nicely. 

So what happens when you-- I don't know, is it your first question, it's my first question, like what happens when I'm color grading, just turn it off. Turn it off, and when you're doing your color grading, do it to the color grading and then turn it back on to do your flowy editing awesomeness. 

All right, so I've made my proxies, and I can turn them on and off now, but when I hit 'Render', I've done my editing, it's great. I hit 'Render', it's always going to use my high quality version, not my proxy, they're just like intermediary things. 

All right, let's jump into the next video, we're going to look at, I don't know, I call it premeditated proxies, proxies for professionals, when you're actually doing it on purpose, rather than just kind of like, "Oh no, my laptop's dying, I need to do something about it." We're going to look at something called Ingesting.