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Premiere Pro Workflow for Editing Using Mixed Resolutions

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Ben CheadlePremiere Pro Workflow for Editing Using Mixed Resolutions
by on Sep 8, 2016 at 11:16:51 am

We've recently started shooting 4K on the Canon C300 Mkii which we're often required to combine during an edit with standard 1080p HD footage. We're using Premiere Pro CC V10.4, which has always been great at handling different native formats and sizes, but recently it seems to have started to struggle slightly.

It handles 4K footage totally fine as long as we're working in a 4K sequence but, since we often have to mix in 1080p footage as well, and since we always output at 1080p, we've been working in 1080p sequences and scaling any 4K footage down in the motion tab so that it fits. This is where Premiere starts to struggle to play sequences back.
Playback gets laggy, so the audio will continue to play but the video will freeze and jerk. The more layers of video or effects or titles we add, the worse it gets.

It's not crippling, we've still been able to work this way, it's just not ideal. I've taken to just rendering everything a lot. It's like being back in FCP7.

Recently Premiere introduced the new proxy feature which we thought would be the answer to our problems. We'd create proxies in a lower res for all the 4K stuff and edit using that so that we could get smooth playback again then, once the video was finished, toggle the proxies off and export.

So, we have a 1080p timeline, with 4K footage in it that's been scaled down to fit. As expected this struggles to play back without rendering. We toggled the proxies on expecting to see the footage looking slightly less sharp but playing back fine, but instead the proxies are displaying HUGE. As soon as we hit play the image is, like, 10 times the size, so we're only seeing the very middle of the shot and it's STILL struggling to play. In fact, it's struggling even worse.

We've tried creating the proxies using different codecs and sizes but it does the same thing. Are we doing something wrong? Is this even a valid, viable workflow we're attempting? Or is it not really what the proxies are intended for?
If so, is there another way around the lagging problem for us?

Thanks!



Mac Pro (Late 2013) running OS X Yosemite V10.10.5
3 GHz 8-Core Intel Xeon E5


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Alex UdellRe: Premiere Pro Workflow for Editing Using Mixed Resolutions
by on Sep 8, 2016 at 1:09:13 pm

Hi...

in my day to day....I'm a couple versions behind so I haven't worked proxies functions into my pipeline.


so this is purely a guess...


Before you make a proxy set....

(which should be set to the dimensions of your editing seq...so in your case 1080p)

in Prefs>General make sure that "default scale to frame size" is enabled

I would guess that PPro treats the proxy creation like a "new import" and needs to know how this would should be scaled in the timeline.

again....if your proxy resolution matches your sequence resolution, this should not matter....and in that case there is definitely something odd going on that warrants some support...

some other notes to think about is that I assume the 4k you are shooting is some flavor of h264...which means disk speed and throughput requirements are pretty low....but CPU and GPU requirements go up if your mixing and matching into a non 4k sequence....

when you flip to proxy....you could try ProRes or Cineform or DNXHD....this will be light weight on the CPU and GPU.....but the disk speed and throughput requirements go up...so that's the game you are playing....

Keep up posted on the outcome of this please....


thanks!

Alex Udell
Editing, Motion Graphics, and Visual FX
Let's Connect on Linkedin
Examples: Retail Automotive Motion Graphics Spots
Example: Customer Facing Explainer Video
Example: Infotainment & Package editorial


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Ben CheadleRe: Premiere Pro Workflow for Editing Using Mixed Resolutions
by on Sep 9, 2016 at 10:36:35 am

We've been creating the proxies as ProRes but, unfortunately, you can't create them in 1080p. You're only given options for 1024x540 or 1280x720 or 1536x790.

It is possible to create your own ingest presets for proxies but as soon as you try using one of those Premiere won't let you copy files and create proxies at the same time. We'd have to copy all our files from the camera cards to the drive first and then create all the proxies after, which would be adding a load of extra time to the set up of a project.


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Ben CheadleRe: Premiere Pro Workflow for Editing Using Mixed Resolutions
by on Sep 9, 2016 at 10:58:23 am

We've been creating the proxies as ProRes but, unfortunately, you can't create them in 1080p. You're only given options for 1024x540 or 1280x720 or 1536x790.

It is possible to create your own ingest presets for proxies but as soon as you try using one of those Premiere won't let you copy files and create proxies at the same time. We'd have to copy all our files from the camera cards to the drive first and then create all the proxies after, which would be adding a load of extra time to the set up of a project.



Edit:

I've just done a little test with that workflow, copying the files first and then creating the proxies after. This allowed me to use our own ingest preset and make the proxies 1080p so they'd match the sequence. Unfortunately it didn't make a difference. The proxies still display during play back as if they're huge, so only the very centre of the image is on screen and it derails playback even worse.


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Alex UdellRe: Premiere Pro Workflow for Editing Using Mixed Resolutions
by on Sep 9, 2016 at 11:26:38 am

Hmmmm......

Do effects controls show scaling at 100 percent?

Is GPU enabled?

Sounding like Adobe support needs to get involved to me.

Alex Udell
Editing, Motion Graphics, and Visual FX
Let's Connect on Linkedin
Examples: Retail Automotive Motion Graphics Spots
Example: Customer Facing Explainer Video
Example: Infotainment & Package editorial


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Jeff PuleraRe: Premiere Pro Workflow for Editing Using Mixed Resolutions
by on Sep 9, 2016 at 1:57:58 pm

Rather than manually scaling all of your clips, you can use the default Scale to Frame Size as Alex suggested, however if you should then want to use Adobe Motion scaling to perhaps reframe the image (zoom/crop) then you will lose quality, since Scale to Frame has already reduced the resolution of the 4K source, so it's like zooming in on a 1080 clip (or whatever resolution you are working at).

So if you'd like to be able to get the benefits of the available 4K pixels for reframing, then use SET TO FRAME instead. This will make the 4K source fit the 1080 sequence, but then if you do any scaling, you have the benefit of all those extra 4K pixels to maintain quality.

As for the poor performance, do you have a GPU that supports Mercury Hardware Acceleration? This makes a big difference in any editing scenario with Premiere.

Thanks

Jeff Pulera
Safe Harbor Computers


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Ben CheadleRe: Premiere Pro Workflow for Editing Using Mixed Resolutions
by on Sep 12, 2016 at 8:18:28 am

GPU is enabled.



---
Using Scale to Frame Size allows me to get smooth playback but I don't wanna go with that for the reasons you mentioned. If I'm losing the ability to reframe that the available 4K pixels give me then there's no point in us shooting 4K in the first place. Using Set to Frame Size gives me the exact same results as manually framing; the proxies play back at massive size with tons of lagging.

Why are the proxies doing this?

Thanks


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Alex UdellRe: Premiere Pro Workflow for Editing Using Mixed Resolutions
by on Sep 12, 2016 at 5:07:00 pm

Yeah....


but this is a Proxy....it's mean to give you a workable clip to make a content decision....not for final....


Can you make your selects with the Proxy....?

then handle the reframe switching back to full resolution source for the asset?

in that case I would guess (again not used it yet)...that the scaling options discussed is handled separately for the 4k native versus the proxy.... in other words....when you switch back to full res....you will be able to reframe at full quality....

I'd guess that when it comes to 4k....forcing PPro keep track of all those pixels outside the frame (precisely because you want the ability to reframe is what causing the issue...

I cut an SD widescreen deliverable using 1080 and 4k source and no proxy workflow. But I had to set my quality to 1/2 or worse to get it done....

So I do understand your point...

Alex Udell
Editing, Motion Graphics, and Visual FX
Let's Connect on Linkedin
Examples: Retail Automotive Motion Graphics Spots
Example: Customer Facing Explainer Video
Example: Infotainment & Package editorial


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John SutherlandRe: Premiere Pro Workflow for Editing Using Mixed Resolutions
by on Sep 21, 2016 at 2:25:06 pm

I've been playing with proxies a bit as I'm editing on a 2008 MacPro a w/4 internal drive 8gb raid and a Geforce GTX 680 card. It's slow... I've created a proxy for the 4k camera file that is 1/4 size ProRes LT. Here's what I know so far:

I copy all my camera cards to a 2 disk raid that is set to mirror, that way I have 2 HDs with all my camera files for eternity... I always copy the camera files to the 8gb/4 drive raid for editing. There is an option in the ingest settings to "Copy and Create Proxy" which is what I've done for the first time with my most recent project. It takes awhile and slows down the Mac but it does put both the original file and the proxy on my raid.

I have to make the sequence 4k. I added the button in the source and program windows to toggle back and forth, even added a watermark so I knew for sure I was looking at a proxy.

One thing to note, whenever you export a sequence it will use the original file, I guess there's a default setting that tells it to match frame size of the sequence. Very handy if you are working in 4k all the way. I've just started a project that is shot 4k but will be edited 1080, I'll check my proxies when I open the project in a bit. I don't know if there's a setting somewhere, maybe the frame size opotion mentioned earlier in this thread, but I'm after the same solution.

One thing that has tripped me up is the ingest setting. I set things up to copy and create proxy thinking it would use my ecustom ingest settings but it defaulted to one of the presets. Might have been user error


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Ben CheadleRe: Premiere Pro Workflow for Editing Using Mixed Resolutions
by on Sep 21, 2016 at 4:00:20 pm

First of all, your final point; I found that you can't use your custom ingest settings if you want to copy and create proxies at the same time. They only work for creating proxies alone, without copying. You need to copy your files manually first and then create proxies. If you it to Copy and Create Proxies and then try and select your customer preset it will automatically revert back to just Create Proxies.

Secondly, I think I've found the solution to my original problem. I was mixing 4K and 1080p footage in a 1080p timeline, trying to use proxies for the 4K stuff to aid playback. Unfortunately, when I resized the 4K stuff down to 50% so it would fit the timeline the proxies messed up, and played back as if they were absolutely huge, only displaying the very middle of a shot and derailing playback even worse.

How did I fix this? I rescaled them to 51% instead.

For some reason whatever was preventing the proxies from displaying properly at 50% doesn't happen at 51% or at any other size for that matter, bigger or smaller. Now I can edit 4K stuff mixed in with 1080p stuff, but if I want to zoom into the 4K stuff I won't lose any detail like I would using the Scale to Frame Size option. It's exactly what I wanted. The proxies play back with no lagging so I can edit just fine and then switch them off at the end for a final render and viewing.


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