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Sascha Engel
Changing optimized Media settings
on Sep 21, 2013 at 4:29:48 pm

Hi Everybody,

Following Q: When I check the Optimize Media checkbox and import, it creates ProRes Files.
Can I change the settings, e.g. to optimizing Media to ProRes LT or HQ?
If yes, where do I do that?
When I edit Alexa or RED Footage, and HQ is better or I have a Prosumer Camera where LT is enough.

Greetings,

Sascha Engel
TIME BANDITZ Productions
http://www.youtube.com/taikang


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Changing optimized Media settings
on Sep 21, 2013 at 5:53:35 pm

Unfortunately, no.

Jeremy


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Sascha Engel
Re: Changing optimized Media settings
on Sep 21, 2013 at 6:51:55 pm

Well, I guess, that's then definitely one of those things, that still do not make it a pro app. Not having the option to choose the transcoding codec is really poor.
Hope, they get their shit together soon at apple, otherwise it really should be called FCX not FCPX.

Sascha Engel
TIME BANDITZ Productions
http://www.youtube.com/taikang


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Bill Davis
Re: Changing optimized Media settings
on Sep 21, 2013 at 7:37:37 pm

[Sascha Engel] "Well, I guess, that's then definitely one of those things, that still do not make it a pro app. Not having the option to choose the transcoding codec is really poor.
Hope, they get their shit together soon at apple, otherwise it really should be called FCX not FCPX.

Sascha Engel
TIME BANDITZ Productions"


Sasha,

What you're trying to do is NOT how X works. I understand the "classic" idea of being able to "optimize" to a different codec before editing, but, really that presumes that the best results come from remaining in ONE format across your workflow. but actually, the way X works, it's simply not necessary.

The reason it uses ProRez internally is that X is optimized to do it's INTERNAL metadata driven display and manipulation efficiently in ProRes. But it's just DISPLAY. It's NOT really transcoding your fundamental files. Those remain untouched while you work in ProREs for convenience. You don't really need to transcode until you're ready to MASTER in your "finishing" resolution.. There's no functional reason to do it prior to that stage.

If you're worried about MONITORING, then, for example if you're using down-rezzed Proxies, X will let you "park" on a frame and render it out so you can see the underlying quality in play. But honestly, after a while working with it, I don't even mess with that much anymore. I know that the 64bit math and the new AV Foundation structure is built to preserve all the quality I can throw at it. SO if I have excellent original files -You can be totally confident that you'll get superb export files as a result.

So it's an "anything comes in" - THEN - Build in X in ProRes (or Proxy if you have complex files and want more efficiency) and add all your edit and aesthetic decisions via metadata pointers - THEN - just let X create your output files by referencing all the quality of the original source files.

The MIDDLE files just let you work with the editing data. So there's no penalty for having the "middle" work done in ProRes for efficiency -

Those of us who edit in X are used to switching back and forth (and sometimes having the program switch automatically such as when it's working with it's internal initial rapid thumbnail videos to let you start editing INSTANTLY) - then substituting transcoded files as they get finished. Swapping from working in Proxy or Original is a fast click - X just changes where it's internal pointers point.

X will substitute whatever resolution you need to create excellent output masters depending on your referenced original media and the target media type you want to create. So you don't HAVE to try to constantly flow high rez files across the entire workflow. Hope that makes it clearer.

Know someone who teaches video editing in elementary school, high school or college? Tell them to check out http://www.StartEditingNow.com - video editing curriculum complete with licensed practice content.


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Sascha Engel
Re: Changing optimized Media settings
on Sep 21, 2013 at 9:01:33 pm

Thanx Bill for the interesting elaboration, but somehow I still like the idea that I can chose.
If I have a roundtrip with DaVinci, and I export an XML of the final edit, so I can work on it n resolve,
I don't want that it points to the original files, but to the highest possible editing codec, like ProRes 444.
I'm happy with a lot of things in X, but I think, choosing your transcoding codec, exporting AAF and OMF, opening former FCP legacy docs are features that still have to come natively into the app.
I happen to agree with Mr. W. Murch, that it's stuff, that just has to be part of a pro app.

And I'm very optimistic, that hose things still will come.
Maybe in FCPX 11?

Sascha Engel
TIME BANDITZ Productions
http://www.youtube.com/taikang


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Changing optimized Media settings
on Sep 22, 2013 at 12:26:15 am

[Sascha Engel] "I don't want that it points to the original files, but to the highest possible editing codec, like ProRes 444."

I think this all depends on your workflow.

In my opinion, there's no reason to go, just for example, DSLR h264 to fcpx ProRes 444, out of DaVinci, to ProRes 4444. You could skip a step and go h264 to 4444 out of Resolve.

With Alexa files, they are most likely 4444, if you need lower res, fcpx can create ProRes proxy.

With red material, you can easily use RCX Pro to make any proxy files, and then also connect back to R3D for grade.

Most MXF card based cameras get rewrapped to .mov in their native codec which preserves original quality instead of transcoding. Some codecs in fcpx won't even optimize to ProRes as Apple says there'll be no benefit.

I agree with you, Sascha, that we should have a choice. ProRes LT would be particularly handy as a nice balance between file size and quality (sometimes ProRes proxy is too heavy on the proxy).

Final Cut Pro 7 didn't allow you to transcode every single format to 444 either.

As far as interchange in the application, I wouldn't expect it. It's not the direction Apple seems to be going, but FCPXML is getting better and better.

Fcpx has come a long way since Murch deemed it unusable. It was before XML was available in the app.

Jeremy


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Jeff Kirkland
Re: Changing optimized Media settings
on Sep 21, 2013 at 9:16:49 pm

Hi Bill,

Just trying to get my head around your post because it's something I hadn't considered before. Are you saying that on export, FCPX always uses the original media rather than the optimised? How does that relate to my ability to set FCPX to background render a project in other flavours of ProRes or even uncompressed?

Jeff Kirkland | Video Producer | Southern Creative Media | Melbourne Australia
http://www.southerncreative.com.au | G+: http://gplus.to/jeffkirkland | Twitter: @jeffkirkland


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Bill Davis
Re: Changing optimized Media settings
on Sep 21, 2013 at 9:37:53 pm

[Jeff Kirkland] "Just trying to get my head around your post because it's something I hadn't considered before. Are you saying that on export, FCPX always uses the original media rather than the optimised? How does that relate to my ability to set FCPX to background render a project in other flavours of ProRes or even uncompressed?
"


IF after all this time, I understand things correctly, the reason my friends who are smarter about this stuff than I were so adamant about getting me to understand how X is "referential" and "metadata based" - the REASON that is important is that the program NEVER tries to change the underlying nature of anything it's processing. It just creates a virtual copy of the "change lists" of editors choices - tied to the locations of the source files. Now, if the source files are something like ProRes that the program "gets" natively, then ALL the program does is stick those originals in a stable location and everything from that point on just points to them - and the program "filters" the appearance of the stream based on the originals plus the metadata, calculating and storing the changed states as render files and other temporary "speed ups" it goes, but NOT necessarily calculating the final state until you get to the Share stage.

That's why it so elegantly swaps proxy to original media. All that changing is just the source pointers.

When you go to SHARE, what I understands happens is that X says "ah, FINALLY the editor wants to express a final, so let's calculate that. If proper files are in the right pace, it's fast. But if not. (If the editor specifies a higher rez output than is curently stored, X puts ALL its processor resources to work creating a NEW share master using the best level of source footage it knows how to find.

So you're NOT necessarily building ONE master as you edit in X. Your creating the instructions for building whatever masters you might need on Share. But this is disconnected from the actual editing, because once the editing metadata instructions are complete, it's no big deal to just swap the pointers to high, medium or lower rez virtual copies to make a variety of outputs as needed.

So you're actually NEVER working on "a singlular master stream file" in X. You're just building a metadata structure that points to originals (and other calculated transcodes) that you can use for outputting all manner of various types of masters.

That's why I doesn't make sense to me to try and jump through hoops to maintain a SINGLE resolution working throughout the whole process in X. It's a totally unnecessary hassle.

That's how I understand it anyway.

FWIW.

Know someone who teaches video editing in elementary school, high school or college? Tell them to check out http://www.StartEditingNow.com - video editing curriculum complete with licensed practice content.


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Sascha Engel
Re: Changing optimized Media settings
on Sep 21, 2013 at 9:44:40 pm

So, what does hat practically mean, when I export an XML of my final edit for resolve?
What files resolve will choose hen to grade based on that XML?

Sascha Engel
TIME BANDITZ Productions
http://www.youtube.com/taikang


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Bill Davis
Re: Changing optimized Media settings
on Sep 21, 2013 at 10:40:54 pm

[Sascha Engel] "So, what does hat practically mean, when I export an XML of my final edit for resolve?
What files resolve will choose hen to grade based on that XML?"


As with ANY XML, it's just a big file of text. It REFERS to whatever footage bundle you send along with it.

Send the XML out of X that you've edited via ProRes - but send your colorist copies of the ORIGINAL camera files - That's the point. The camera data and the XML that REFER to the source footage are two distinct things.

If you're creating an iPhone video as the final deliverable sending 4k RED files is nuts. Just send the colorist Prorez (or RAW for lattitude as we migrate to that)

If you're going to theatrical, then send the colorist your X-XML files (and maybe some simple X proxy files for visual reference - and let the colorist, SWAP the pointer references from proxy to R2D files on a hard drive to do their work.

A "clip" no longer is no longer a single, monolitic thing anymore than a "hard drive" or a "camera card" is necessarily a single thing anymore.

We can now use sparse bundles and other "drive vvirtualizaton to make multiple clones of drives and cards precisely because you can use ANY of them to instantly re-create the source disk in multiple places for multiple editors. The database in X sees the deep ID code and if it matches, it can use the file exactly like the original - whether that's the original or the 10th generaton clone. And because its a file X recognizes - and because X natively knows how to swap "a source clip" for copies in many resolutions, you don't HAVE to edit in what you deliver in. You can swap things in and out as needed.

That's why X can change from Original Media to ProRes to Proxy nearly instantly. It understands that they're ALL just versions of the same clip that populates THAT part of your project. PLUS anything you applied to a clip on your storyline or in the EB (a cut, clip order or trimming, a re-size, a tint, whatever ), is also sitting expressed in the database as more metadata ready to to overlay instantly on whatever version you swap out underneath.

X is doing kinda the same thing with metadata virtualizations of your editing decisions. everything is just a big pile of ever changing text that refers to other stuff. Legacy was too, essentially, but it had to sit next to a pretty dumb singular capture scratch and had similarly dumb plumbing between the timeline and the project file.That's what they had to clean out and re-create in the move from Legacy to X.

X is content in a wold of virtual connections and is built to rapidly attach to anything it sees and recognizes as potential material. It does NOT get confused if there's more than one "expression" (alternate rendering) of a clip that you want it to use. and eventually, I suspect that "multiple clone" workflows will develop to make X a killer collaborative tool - and that it's re-imagined XML is a part of that vision - but we'll have to wait and see how that sorts out. That's fun speculation WAY beyond my actual technical expertise.

I'll just say that the more I get to know it, the more SENSE it makes. And I can see why it works the way it does.

I'm sure others here much smarter than me will correct me if I've got any of this substantially wrong, it's my self-analysis of what I see X do and how it does it.

But the operational stuff I feel pretty solid about, if at the same time, the deep under the hood complexities remain well beyond my understanding.

FWIW.

Know someone who teaches video editing in elementary school, high school or college? Tell them to check out http://www.StartEditingNow.com - video editing curriculum complete with licensed practice content.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Changing optimized Media settings
on Sep 22, 2013 at 12:33:42 am

[Sascha Engel] "So, what does hat practically mean, when I export an XML of my final edit for resolve?
What files resolve will choose hen to grade based on that XML?"


Again, depends on workflow and how you imported the clips.

Most likely, it will be the rewrapped .movs from MXF or avchd material, or the optimized media in the case of h264 material.

If you imported R3D to X, you can relink to the raw.

Alexa files will used natively (if shot ProRes).

Jeremy


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Francois Jean
Re: Changing optimized Media settings
on Sep 22, 2013 at 2:24:20 am

In My Own Understanding and FWIW

- You can input any original (nativ) media that FCPX can handle but as far as internal transcoding Apple knows that anything under ProRes422 , be it ProRes LT or proxy which are optimized for playback, will not however support lost less (multi generation) renders as required in many editing operation and then depending on input codec succeed to output a good faithful "Master File"…

In fact if you can pre transcode your material to these lower quality codec they will not degrade further if you choose the internal ProRes 422 transcoding, however if you need internal proxy generation from FCPX you will get "half size ProRes proxy clips"… which are meant for offline work but not for good quality output (Master).

i guess you can't always get what you want because sometimes it's not a good idea for FCPX to offer bad choices. If you are inputing very high quality sources the temporary proxy setting will be great for swift creative editing (old offline concept). This proxy setting will yield accurate xml for reconforming in finishing applications (Grading or VFX). You will be able to reconnect to any proper source media be it 4k DPX sequences …

ZAP


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Mike Most
Re: Changing optimized Media settings
on Sep 22, 2013 at 1:36:51 am

Whichever ones you point Resolve to, assuming you use automatic import and check "ignore extensions."


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Craig Alan
Re: Changing optimized Media settings
on Sep 22, 2013 at 11:35:01 pm

Bill,

So before finalizing a project and exporting to where-ever, X is optimizing only how it is viewed (unless it happens to be an unsupported codec)?

Even on import no actually transcoding is done? Really? I thought for sure in the inspector it says the file is in the codec I choose upon import? No?

By way of example, it has always been my habit to transcode HDV to apple pro res 422 not because it's going to improve the original footage but because pro res is a better editing codec and plays better with effects and graphics.

Could you give a concrete specific example of what is taking place under the hood?

Thanks

Mac Pro, macbook pro, Imacs (i7); Camcorders: Panasonic AG-HPX170/AG-HPX250P, Canon HV30/40, Sony Z7U, VX2000, PD170; FCP 6 certified; write professionally for a variety of media; teach video production in L.A.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Changing optimized Media settings
on Sep 23, 2013 at 12:24:19 am

[Craig Alan] "Even on import no actually transcoding is done? Really? I thought for sure in the inspector it says the file is in the codec I choose upon import? No?"

It depends on the source material codec and your settings.

Sometimes codecs get transoded, sometimes the card structure is simply rewrapped to .mov from avchd or MXF without a transcode, sometimes the movie is simple imported.

The manual lists which codecs do not need to be optimized and remain native.

If you choose to proxy media, the footage is obviously transcoded.

If you use optimized media, some footage is transcoded, others won't transcode (see manual).

When you export, only the visible frames of your Project get transcoded to the destination movie in the desired codec, but the media in the Events and Projects remains as is.

Hope that make sense.

There's a preference in the playback settings to use proxy or original/optimized media. If no proxy media is created, X will show the clips as offline.

Jeremy


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James Ewart
Re: Changing optimized Media settings
on Sep 24, 2013 at 5:41:18 am

ahhhhh. That is very interesting and been puzzling me for a while.

So when you export it exports from the original files and not from the Pro Res timeline?

In which case why bother to ever transcode to Optimised instead of just cutting in Proxy all the time and then outputting.exporting from that?


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Sascha Engel
Re: Changing optimized Media settings
on Sep 24, 2013 at 5:52:46 am

Very Very good question.
That's the reason, why I still not convinced about this "it will export the best anyway" thought - cause it would make optimising to ProRes totally unnecessary.
Isn't there some written documentation somewhere that elaborates in detail about this subject?

Sascha Engel
TIME BANDITZ Productions
http://www.youtube.com/taikang


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James Ewart
Re: Changing optimized Media settings
on Sep 24, 2013 at 6:07:36 am

Yes so the workflow would be "Create Proxy Media" and use appropriate ("Use Proxy Media") playback settings in preferences and then before export change playback setting to "Use Original or Optimised Media" (we would be using original because we have not transcoded to Optimised...just proxy) and then in project properties change render format to Pro Res HQ or 444.

Then export.

If this workflow makes sense it does make the notion of "Create Optimised Media" when importing media completely redundant.

I think I must be missing something surely.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Changing optimized Media settings
on Sep 24, 2013 at 4:12:30 pm

[Sascha Engel] "That's the reason, why I still not convinced about this "it will export the best anyway" thought - cause it would make optimising to ProRes totally unnecessary."

Not necessarily. Again, it is all about your source material.

One more time, it is all about your source material.

If you are working with R3D raw, or umpteen hours of DSLR h264, creating optimized media will make your editing experience much more enjoyable.

If you are using XAVC, ProRes Alexa files, XDCam HD, DV, DVCPro HD and a few others, then Optimizing won't even be available.

Jeremy


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James Ewart
Re: Changing optimized Media settings
on Sep 24, 2013 at 5:00:48 pm

"If you are working with R3D raw, or umpteen hours of DSLR h264, creating optimized media will make your editing experience much more enjoyable.'

But to clarify when you export FCPX will use the original files rather than the compressed Optimised Pro Res?

"If you are using XAVC, ProRes Alexa files, XDCam HD, DV, DVCPro HD and a few others, then Optimizing won't even be available."

Really? I did not know that. So we are talking definite need for Mac Pro here no?


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Changing optimized Media settings
on Sep 24, 2013 at 5:14:24 pm

[James Ewart] "But to clarify when you export FCPX will use the original files rather than the compressed Optimised Pro Res?"

If you made optimized media, FCPX will use the optimized media. If there are any render files in the Project, FCPX will use those render files which are in the format selected in when you setup the Project.

[James Ewart] "Really? I did not know that. So we are talking definite need for Mac Pro here no?"

No.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Changing optimized Media settings
on Sep 24, 2013 at 4:06:35 pm

[James Ewart] "So when you export it exports from the original files and not from the Pro Res timeline?"

It all depends on what you have done upon import, and what your original codec is.

Some codecs do not optimize as FCPX doesn't need to.

The Project setup (proRes, 4444, etc) is for render files, it is not for source files.

When you export, you choose a codec, and that is what your final output movie will be. It does not change your clips in the sequence.

[James Ewart] "In which case why bother to ever transcode to Optimised instead of just cutting in Proxy all the time and then outputting.exporting from that?"

That's your choice. Creating Proxy media take a long time. It also reduces the files in half (1920x1080 material becomes 950x540). FCPX handles all of that translation in the background and it is the root of all the new spatial conform options (fit/fill/etc). Proxy media is just that, a Proxy. I would not use it for anything but rough reviews.

If drive space is an issue then proxy might be worth it for you. If not, why go through the trouble of transcoding every frame to Proxy?

R3D files are hard to work with natively, and in that case, it might be worth it to transcode to optimized (not proxy) so that you are working with high quality ProRes files. H264, being a hard codec to decompress, might be worth letting FCPX create optimized media for you. This means that you will have faster exports, potential performance gains, and generally a better editing experience.

There is no one way to work, but people seem really hung up on FCPX doing everything for you. It doesn't, and you actually have to investigate which way is better for you, and that really comes down to source material and how you want to work with it.

Jeremy


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James Ewart
Re: Changing optimized Media settings
on Sep 24, 2013 at 4:25:17 pm

Hi Jeremy

what I'm suggesting is cutting in Proxy but not bothering to 'Optimise Media" so when I finish my cut in Proxy I switch playback to "use original or optimised(no optimised it will surely choose original) and change render settings to Pro Res HQ (for example) and then I will be exporting direct from native files as opposed to the Compressed pro Res.

But I guess you may be suggesting if my original files are AVCHD it won't make any difference?

J


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Changing optimized Media settings
on Sep 24, 2013 at 4:30:47 pm

[James Ewart] "what I'm suggesting is cutting in Proxy but not bothering to 'Optimise Media" so when I finish my cut in Proxy I switch playback to "use original or optimised(no optimised it will surely choose original) and change render settings to Pro Res HQ (for example) and then I will be exporting direct from native files as opposed to the Compressed pro Res."

But why make Proxy files? Why not just cut native to begin with? This is what you have to ask yourself. Proxy is worth it when drive space is low, or performance is needed with larger source materials.

[James Ewart] "But I guess you may be suggesting if my original files are AVCHD it won't make any difference?"

If your files are AVCHD, FCPX is going to need to rewrap them to h264 .mov. Why not just make them optimized at that point? Why make a Proxy movie of an already highly compressed format?


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James Ewart
Re: Changing optimized Media settings
on Sep 24, 2013 at 4:39:58 pm

Um well...um...err...well because I thought FCP handled the edit faster if it was cutting Pro Res proxy files rather than native.

Some guy at Apple once told me the recommended workflow was to always Optimise Media but I started thinking if the original files were very high quality than 'Optimising" to Pro Res might be compressing the files if they come form a proper HD source file and that it might be better to cut in Proxy (for performance sake) and then export from Native when off line/proxy is finished.

For some reason I have always thought cutting native was not a good idea.

Kind of finding an old online/online workflow like in 7.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Changing optimized Media settings
on Sep 24, 2013 at 4:51:54 pm

[James Ewart] "Um well...um...err...well because I thought FCP handled the edit faster if it was cutting Pro Res proxy files rather than native."

With AVCHD material, it's not going to handle it that much faster. With larger raw materials it will.

I would suggest to optimize and not create Proxies for AVCHD material as long as you have the storage. If you are going to go through the time to process every frame, Optimzied is better served in the long run, rather than proxies, with AVCHD material.

[James Ewart] "Some guy at Apple once told me the recommended workflow was to always Optimise Media but I started thinking if the original files were very high quality than 'Optimising" to Pro Res might be compressing the files if they come form a proper HD source file and that it might be better to cut in Proxy (for performance sake) and then export from Native when off line/proxy is finished."

You certainly could. It is up to you and your workflow needs. FCXP makes it really easy to change between Proxy and Original, and then also create optimized. The only penalty is drive space. You could easily run some tests for yourself. Make sure to include export tests. I always optimize h264/avchd.

[James Ewart] "For some reason I have always thought cutting native was not a good idea."

It depends on your source material. Native h264 is one of the more difficult formats to cut natively, and also provide real time effects. Other formats are, how shall I say, better 'optimized' for real time editing.

If your source material is ProRes already, or any of the other codecs I mentioned, then performance is going to be good as FCPX can cut those formats natively very well, which is why it won't let you create optimized media for those formats.


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James Ewart
Re: Changing optimized Media settings
on Sep 24, 2013 at 4:55:57 pm

Thanks.

I suppose I thought creating Pro Res proxy from AVCHD would save me a lot of storage (by not creating optimised) given that it brings in the original media anyway.

Then export from original for the master having applied all the colour and effects and titles to the proxy version.

Probably over thinking it?

best

James


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Changing optimized Media settings
on Sep 24, 2013 at 5:12:27 pm

[James Ewart] "I suppose I thought creating Pro Res proxy from AVCHD would save me a lot of storage (by not creating optimised) given that it brings in the original media anyway."

And it will. If storage is an issue, then Proxy might be worth it for you.

Tip: After FCPX is done making the OPTIMIZED media, you can trash the original copy in the Original Media folder.

If you notice, after you make optimized media and you right click the footage in the Browser and select "reveal in Finder" it point to the optimized media, not the original media.

Jeremy


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James Ewart
Re: Changing optimized Media settings
on Sep 24, 2013 at 5:16:40 pm

OK all very interesting.

BUT

Not sure what you mean by trashing optimised version.

Then what do you export?

And do we know for sure that even if I don't and leave the Optimised version there when I export FCPX will take the best quality stuff for export. IE use the original files?

Sorry for being obtuse


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Changing optimized Media settings
on Sep 24, 2013 at 5:20:56 pm

[James Ewart] "Not sure what you mean by trashing optimised version."

You trash the ORIGINAL version, not the optimized version. Have you brought in one clip and made a Proxy and an Optimized and see where it ends up in the Finder? It might help to teach you what FCPX is doing and where the files go.

[James Ewart] "And do we know for sure that even if I don't and leave the Optimised version there when I export FCPX will take the best quality stuff for export. IE use the original files?

Sorry for being obtuse"


I think you are getting confused between Proxy, Original, and Optimized.

Proxy = ProRes Proxy
Original = a .mov in the original camera codec (AVCHD = h264)
Optimized = a ProRes movie made from the camera original material.


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James Ewart
Re: Changing optimized Media settings
on Sep 25, 2013 at 7:45:49 am

Yup confused about the point of "Optimised pro Res" if you can use proxy and then export using original files that is never going to be lower quality than Optimised files and sometimes better because optimised Pro Res is often going to be compressed. No?

So I am suggesting that when working with Red footage or Hi quality for example it might be better to not Optimise, work in proxy and then export using original.

And I cannot see an advantage even for AVC HD is creating optimised footage.

Surely simpler to go to proxy and then output from original files.

Bu are you saying the inject process for creating these proxy files is much slower than optimised Pro Res? I have not noticed this to be the case but maybe I a not paying attention properly!


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Changing optimized Media settings
on Sep 25, 2013 at 3:41:25 pm

[James Ewart] "Yup confused about the point of "Optimised pro Res" if you can use proxy and then export using original files that is never going to be lower quality than Optimised files and sometimes better because optimised Pro Res is often going to be compressed. No?"

It's up to you and your workflow needs.

ProRes is not as compressed as AVCHD. No. It will hold up just fine.

You have to also take in to consideration your entire workflow. If you edit in Proxy, build composites, create titles, color correct, add filters, and sometimes render those things, when you switch back to using original, you will have to rerender those effects when exporting out to your final movie. If you work with optimized media, you won't have to wait as long. Your particular project needs may fit one way or the other. You will have to make that decision.

ProRes Proxy doesn't look that good. It really is a Proxy. If you monitor on broadcast monitors and have clients in the room, they will ask why everything looks low res. If you edit on a laptop screen, you might not notice it as much. ProRes Proxy literally cuts your spatial resolution in half as well as knocking down bitrate.

[James Ewart] "So I am suggesting that when working with Red footage or Hi quality for example it might be better to not Optimise, work in proxy and then export using original."

Those exports are going to take a very long time, but if you have time, then sure, using Proxy is just fine. that is a decision that perhaps will benefit your needs.

[James Ewart] "And I cannot see an advantage even for AVC HD is creating optimised footage."

FCPX does OK at handling h264 footage, but it's not great (no NLE is super fantastic with h264). the more projects you do , the longer projects you do, you might find that things might get bogged down, especially when there's effect and layers involved. Optimized media helps here, but again maybe that doesn't suit your needs. I can't really tell you what is best in your situation. I can tell you that I, personally, always optimize h264 material and I do that from experience. Your experiences might lead you in another direction.

[James Ewart] "Surely simpler to go to proxy and then output from original files."

Perhaps. I think it's much easier to simply make the optimized footage in the background will importing once, and never have to switch back and forth between proxy and original and rerender while exporting, but, to each their own.

[James Ewart] "Bu are you saying the inject process for creating these proxy files is much slower than optimised Pro Res?"

No, it's not much different as each of them takes a while. FCPX does a decent job of doing these processes in the background, or at least when you aren't looking. You start with editing original files and FCPX will slowly trickle the optimized media in and update each clip automatically once it is transcoded.

Jeremy


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James Ewart
Re: Changing optimized Media settings
on Sep 25, 2013 at 3:46:44 pm

Okay thanks.

I think I'm trying to be too clever.

regards

James


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Changing optimized Media settings
on Sep 25, 2013 at 3:56:54 pm

[James Ewart] "I think I'm trying to be too clever."

Ha!

As much flak as FCPX gets for handing everything for you, there is still a lot of choice. And in order to make the best choices, you have to see what works best for you, your clients, your footage, and workflows by working with FCPX and trying new things.

My workflow needs are probably different from yours, which are different form Bill, which are different from Sascha.

I would encourage you to follow your instincts and try working with Proxy material. Make sure to go all the way through a Project with it, switching back and forth between Proxy and Original. Try and note the export timing. See how long it takes to switch between the two.

Then you can create optimized media on the next Project and see if there's any benefit for you. Maybe there isn't.

Jeremy


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David Eaks
Re: Changing optimized Media settings
on Sep 25, 2013 at 4:51:03 pm

The nice thing about working with optimized video is not only improving performance compared to original AVCHD or the fact that you get to work with high quality video the whole time but you don't need to keep the optimized files around once the project is complete. You can freely delete the optimized files. You get the drive space back and your edit remains intact. Then, if you ever need to go back and make a small change, you don't even need to optimize again. Just make the change and export from the originals.

FWIW

Jeremy, your comment about trashing the originals and not the optimized files confuses me. I can't imagine the reasoning behind trashing the original files. Those files are, comparatively, very small and can NEVER be recreated once completely deleted. Optimized are large files and recreating them in the future is a trivial task at worst. I must be mistaken, so it's possible other people could be too.

This workflow (based on the intention of archiving the project once finished) is detailed in this episode of Macbreak Studio-






My apologies if I'm missing something, it's is 6am and still up on vacation in Hawaii...


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Changing optimized Media settings
on Sep 25, 2013 at 5:00:30 pm

[David Eaks] "Jeremy, your comment about trashing the originals and not the optimized files confuses me. I can't imagine the reasoning behind trashing the original files. Those files are, comparatively, very small and can NEVER be recreated once completely deleted."

James was worried about storage.

When I say original files, i am not talking about the camera masters. You never trash those. I am talking about the original files in the "Original Media" folder in the fcpx Event. Spending on the source material of your footage, (that is, what kind of camera it was shot on) fcpx puts a rewrapped copy of the media in the original media folder.

To recreate those files from an avchd edit, you simply reimport from the camera masters.

This way, you don't have an unnecessary rewrapped version of your camera originals and you save some space, if drive space is a concern.

If your camera originals are .mov already (say from DSLR, Alexa, or external recorder), you don't need to do anything as you will most likely reference that media and NOT import a copy in to fcpx, which takes up very little space. We were talking specifically about an avchd workflow, in which fcpx always puts a rewrapped h264 .mov in the original media folder.

Hope that makes sense.

No, you never trash your camera original masters.

Jeremy


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James Ewart
Re: Changing optimized Media settings
on Sep 25, 2013 at 5:18:47 pm

Because we all create Archives as backup don't we? Even I do and I'm storage stingy!!


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Changing optimized Media settings
on Sep 25, 2013 at 6:25:47 pm

I back up absolutely everything. I can't afford not to, but that's what suits our needs.

I did some tests for you guys.

A 16 min AVCHD clip.

Original Media Folder - (h264 .mov) = 2.64 GB
Proxy Media - 960x540 ProRes Proxy = 2.15 GB
Optimized media - ProRes .mov = 14.02 GB


Proxy media savings vs Original Media = 18% (down 500 MBs and at half resolution)
Optimized media increase = 431% (up 12GBs)

Extrapolated out to an hour-ish of footage:

Original Media - 10.56 GBs
Proxy Media - 8.6 GBs
Optimized - 56.08 GBs

You would then have to calculate time in here, which my feeble math skills can't account for.

This only applies to AVCHD. Different codecs would be different numbers.


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James Ewart
Re: Changing optimized Media settings
on Sep 25, 2013 at 6:41:11 pm

Brilliant work thank you


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David Eaks
Re: Changing optimized Media settings
on Sep 25, 2013 at 7:34:13 pm

Jeremy says- "When I say original files, i am not talking about the camera masters. You never trash those. I am talking about the original files in the "Original Media" folder in the fcpx Event. Depending on the source material of your footage, (that is, what kind of camera it was shot on) fcpx puts a rewrapped copy of the media in the original media folder."

There it is. That's what was confusing me. Makes perfect sense. Reading that earlier post, I was afraid that someone out there was going to end up deleting their original camera masters after optimizing. Thanks for clarifying, for their potential sake.

You are definitely giving solid advice.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Changing optimized Media settings
on Sep 25, 2013 at 7:36:06 pm

[David Eaks] "Reading that earlier post, I was afraid that someone out there was going to end up deleting their original camera masters after optimizing. "

Thank you for pointing it out! It's an excellent observation.


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David Eaks
Re: Changing optimized Media settings
on Sep 25, 2013 at 7:39:37 pm

Yeah no problem. I got this knot in my stomach, thinking "why would you do that?" Then I couldn't sleep once I finally put my head down and had to post. ; )


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James Ewart
Re: Changing optimized Media settings
on Sep 25, 2013 at 5:17:07 pm

Yup ands even nice thing about proxy it it doesn't use up all that space


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James Ewart
Re: Changing optimized Media settings
on Sep 26, 2013 at 7:49:45 am

Bill Davis said" So it's an "anything comes in" - THEN - Build in X in ProRes (or Proxy if you have complex files and want more efficiency) and add all your edit and aesthetic decisions via metadata pointers - THEN - just let X create your output files by referencing all the quality of the original source files."

So if you were using Pro Res to edit having created Optimised media how would you do this as you have the option "use optimised OR original media" But how do you tell FCPX to use the original media and not the Pro Res?


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Sascha Engel
Re: Changing optimized Media settings
on Sep 26, 2013 at 8:07:08 am

Good point. Was asking myself the very same thing.

Sascha Engel
TIME BANDITZ Productions
http://www.youtube.com/taikang


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James Ewart
Re: Changing optimized Media settings
on Sep 26, 2013 at 8:29:37 am

...which is why I quite like the "create proxy workflow". You know what you are dealing with...but if FCPX is only giving you the choice or "Optimised or Original;" so you actually just don't know what files it is using.

Unless we are missing something and it just automatically selects the best quality file to save us the trouble? Which is possibly what is being suggested?

if not we should have the option of using Optimised OR original and being able to select for ourselves no??


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Changing optimized Media settings
on Sep 26, 2013 at 4:04:38 pm

[James Ewart] "So if you were using Pro Res to edit having created Optimised media how would you do this as you have the option "use optimised OR original media" But how do you tell FCPX to use the original media and not the Pro Res?"

If you have created optimized media, it will use that. If you haven't, it will use the original media folder.

If you have created optimized and for whatever reason choose not to use it, you have to trash it out of the Event folder > Transcoded Media > High Quality Media folder

You can see what media has been created on any clip by opening the info tab of the inspector. From the gear menu drop down choose "show file status" and there's a list that says "Available Media Representations".


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James Ewart
Re: Changing optimized Media settings
on Sep 26, 2013 at 4:09:25 pm

Many thanks Jeremy.

Trashing the files before output is the bit that was not mentioned I think which caused the confusion.

cheers


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Sascha Engel
Re: Changing optimized Media settings
on Sep 26, 2013 at 4:52:37 pm

Yes, Jeremy, many thanx. I second that.

Sascha Engel
TIME BANDITZ Productions
http://www.youtube.com/taikang


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Changing optimized Media settings
on Sep 26, 2013 at 5:05:11 pm

No problem James and Sascha.

If you are ever confused about which media you are using and the inspector isn't helpful enough, you can always select a clip, pretty much anywhere in FCPX, and hit command-shift-r which will reveal the clip in the Finder.

If you are using Proxy, it will point to the Proxy file in the Event > Transcoded Media > Proxy Media folder

If you are using Optimized, it will point to the ProRes file in the Event > Transcoded Media > High Quality Media folder.

If you are using referenced original media (.mov imports where you leave the "Copy media to Event UNchecked), it will point to the camera original file wherever you have stored it.

If you are using rewrapped camera original media (such as the AVCHD workflow we have used as an example here) it will point to the Event > Transcoded Media > Original Media folder


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James Ewart
Re: Changing optimized Media settings
on Sep 26, 2013 at 5:21:42 pm

That said I think it should give you the choice through the interface rather than what is effectively a workround do you not agree?

However I am getting on famously with FCPX.

My timeline is so much better organised. Simpler, tidier, loving the audio.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Changing optimized Media settings
on Sep 26, 2013 at 5:27:11 pm

[James Ewart] "That said I think it should give you the choice through the interface rather than what is effectively a workround do you not agree?"

I think there needs to be more front and center choices. Yes.

As it is now, you have a preference choice between Proxy and Regular/Optimized, which isn't really a workaround, but how it works. You do have a choice.

I think this preference should be moved right to the timeline bar.

I also agree with Sascha that we should have a choice in optimization codecs. ProRes LT would be great.

Other than that? I don't think there are very many times where you would choose to use an original media instead of optimized, or if you would choose to make optimized media unnecessarily. If we are talking about R3D, you can reconnect to the raw in the grading program. SO, the way I see it, you do have some choice, you just need to know when to exercise those choices.

ProRes is a pretty great codec. You aren't going to lose much quality in normal day to day editing.


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Sascha Engel
Re: Changing optimized Media settings
on Sep 22, 2013 at 3:28:14 am

Thank you all for your thoughts and valuable info!
Really appreciate the effort.
Thnx.

Sascha Engel
TIME BANDITZ Productions
http://www.youtube.com/taikang


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Sascha Engel
Re: Changing optimized Media settings
on Sep 25, 2013 at 9:50:20 pm

Wow, happy to see that I ignited such an extensive exchange about this subject!
Thanx for all the interesting thoughts & input!

Sascha Engel
TIME BANDITZ Productions
http://www.youtube.com/taikang


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Craig Alan
Re: Changing optimized Media settings
on Sep 27, 2013 at 10:33:13 pm

As I read through this thread it occurs to me that much of the confusion is generated by Apple deciding to define things with we-do-it-for-you vocab. "Optimized" - how about just telling us what the default import codec is given the original media type. Even export options are presented as "destinations" - don't mind their suggestions, but tell me what codec it will export as. Yes I can 'get info and find out. The inspector gives you clues but sometimes refers to the original media. The whole thing seems confusing. There was a need to simplify the process but a professional app needs to leave the final decision to the editor. How about for exports listing the codec with a list of destinations that would be a good fit for that codec. You know rather than "Apple devices."

Mac Pro, macbook pro, Imacs (i7); Camcorders: Panasonic AG-HPX170/AG-HPX250P, Canon HV30/40, Sony Z7U, VX2000, PD170; FCP 6 certified; write professionally for a variety of media; teach video production in L.A.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Changing optimized Media settings
on Sep 27, 2013 at 10:37:12 pm

[Craig Alan] "As I read through this thread it occurs to me that much of the confusion is generated by Apple deciding to define things with we-do-it-for-you vocab. "Optimized" - how about just telling us what the default import codec is given the original media type."

http://help.apple.com/finalcutpro/mac/10.0.6/#verb8e5f6fd


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Craig Alan
Re: Changing optimized Media settings
on Oct 7, 2013 at 5:52:54 am

Thanks Jeremy. I'm just suggesting that the codec be defined within FCP X. Optimize media upon Import as Apple ProRes 422 or as Apple ProRes 422 (proxy). Export to YouTube as ....

Your link article is the type of language I'd prefer within the FCP X interface.

Mac Pro, macbook pro, Imacs (i7); Camcorders: Panasonic AG-HPX170/AG-HPX250P, Canon HV30/40, Sony Z7U, VX2000, PD170; FCP 6 certified; write professionally for a variety of media; teach video production in L.A.


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James Ewart
Re: Changing optimized Media settings
on Oct 7, 2013 at 7:22:08 am

What slightly puzzles me about this article is when I click on the clips in the Event Browser it tells me the Media has been optimised, whereas on Import I merely selected Proxy files as a workflow test. The original Media is AVCHD but FCPX seems to think it has Optimised it anyway...against my wishes I may add..


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Changing optimized Media settings
on Oct 7, 2013 at 7:18:01 pm

[James Ewart] "What slightly puzzles me about this article is when I click on the clips in the Event Browser it tells me the Media has been optimised, whereas on Import I merely selected Proxy files as a workflow test. The original Media is AVCHD but FCPX seems to think it has Optimised it anyway...against my wishes I may add.."

What do you mean by this, James?

Do you mean original? There's a difference between original and optimized.

As we covered in the past, AVCHD requires a rewrap. The original movies will be h264 .movs.

Optimized will be ProRes .mov

Jeremy


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James Ewart
Re: Changing optimized Media settings
on Oct 8, 2013 at 4:14:24 am

I've been an idiot and just noticed a red triangle in the inspector confirming my files have not been optimised after all.

Sorry and thanks


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Changing optimized Media settings
on Oct 7, 2013 at 4:44:11 pm

[Craig Alan] "Thanks Jeremy. I'm just suggesting that the codec be defined within FCP X. Optimize media upon Import as Apple ProRes 422 or as Apple ProRes 422 (proxy). Export to YouTube as ....

Your link article is the type of language I'd prefer within the FCP X interface."


I guess I'm confused why you are confused. The manual (which is the article I linked to) says explicitly what happens.

Right now, optimizing any media in FCPX results in a ProRes movie. Making Proxy media results in half frame ProRes Proxy movies. It's pretty simple.

As far as delivery codecs, you have a wide range of options that you can pick from. YouTube will take a variety of codes and containers.


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Sean Windsor
Re: Changing optimized Media settings
on Oct 24, 2013 at 12:44:46 pm

Hi All,

Brand new here and to FCPX. I found this thread very informative. I have one question, a question I cant find the answer for on google or when I hunt through fcpx.

Optimized media goes to the Movies folder of my iMacs HD. I have an external 4TB drive that i work off and want to change the destination of optimized media to go to this drive. How can I do this?

Thanks for your help in advance :)

Sean.


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Jeff Kirkland
Re: Changing optimized Media settings
on Oct 24, 2013 at 2:13:03 pm

Optimised Media is (or should be) created in the same directory as your Event, so if your Event is on the external HDD that's where the Optimised or Proxy media will be created.

Jeff Kirkland | Video Producer | Southern Creative Media | Melbourne Australia
http://www.southerncreative.com.au | G+: http://gplus.to/jeffkirkland | Twitter: @jeffkirkland


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Sean Windsor
Re: Changing optimized Media settings
on Oct 24, 2013 at 2:39:20 pm

Hi Jeff,

Thanks for your reply :)

I actually did just come across that events are by default created in the Movie folder. However I can just click on the event and move the event to my External HD.

Thanks again.


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Bill Rogers
Re: Changing optimized Media settings
on Apr 18, 2014 at 1:29:27 pm

Revisiting this with my new Sony AX100 4K. I had a workflow in HD with XDCam HD and DSLR footage, but now want to cut 4K today at 1920x1080 but want to be able to create 4K versions when they will be needed. Would "optimized media" be 1920 or 4K? I have not used proxy up to now, as I try to minimize hoops in my workflow, but will this make more sense with double the trouble of 4K XAVC files?

My first shoots are with XAVC at 1920, not being confident with my understanding of 4K workflow. But need to get up to speed in the newly arriving 4K world.

Thoughts? New thread?

-Bill Rogers


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Changing optimized Media settings
on Apr 18, 2014 at 4:33:10 pm

[Bill Rogers] "Would "optimized media" be 1920 or 4K?"

If it's 4k media, Optimized media will be 4k ProRes. Proxy media will be 2k ProRes Proxy.

[Bill Rogers] "I have not used proxy up to now, as I try to minimize hoops in my workflow, but will this make more sense with double the trouble of 4K XAVC files?"

FCPX allows really easy switching of resolutions. It's very easy to test.

[Bill Rogers] "Thoughts? New thread?"

Shoot 4k, edit in a 1920x1080 timeline. If you need a 4k timeline, you can create a new 4k timeline and copy/paste in to it.

For now, there's no penalty for shooting 4k but disk space.

Jeremy


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