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Re: Should I create proxy & optimized media?

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James Cude
Re: Should I create proxy & optimized media?
on Sep 4, 2011 at 3:04:22 am

'Optimized' converts your original footage into ProRes 422 standard, which is suitable for final outputs and looks as good as your original finals, but stands up to repeated filters/compositing/etc much better.

'Proxy' transcodes it into ProRes Proxy- which will give you the best performance, take up the least amount of additional space and give you the best performance, but cannot be used for high quality output.

So your workflow can either be:

1- Transcode to Optimized and you can then export in full quality when you're done as is. Upside is you're working at final quality the whole time. Downside is it will take up the most amount of space. But honestly, it's worth investing in an extra hard drive, 1 TB is really cheap these days.

2- Transcode to Proxy. The upside is best performance and least amount of additional hard drive space. The downside is that you can't really use it for final output because the quality is not sufficient. So you'll have to toggle the preference from using Proxy to Using Original or Optimized media.

The advantage to doing this operation within FCP X as opposed to MPEG Streamclip is FCP X will keep track of both the originals and the optimized or proxy media itself and will automatically toggle back and forth between them as you change the playback preference. If you bring in your own transcodes, you won't have a connection back to the original H.264s. The trade off is of course more hard drive space. But again I think this is all worth it.

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