Sunday, 18 December 2011

How to edit HD on a cheap machine

Most people I meet complain about how slow their machine is and how they can't edit HD video without their computer grinding to a halt. The professional production world has been wrestling with this problem for years and hidden away in pretty much all editing software is the tried and tested solution to this problem without spending a penny more.

The solution to this is to use proxies. A proxy is a lower resolution version of a video that has all the same properties of the original apart from it's much easier for the computer to process.
The basic workflow is:
- convert all the high resolution footage you want to low quality proxy files (with the same filename as the originals).
- pull the proxies into your editing programme and edit with relative ease. Reducing the time spent rendering.
- Make sure your edit is finished and everyone is happy with it (except for the low quality).
- Reconnect all the media in your bin/timeline to the orignal high resolution files.
- Now you can render out a finished piece while you go to the pub for a few hours.

The final steps depend on what you want to do with your final piece. It's generally the case that your edit is sent as an EDL (Edit Decision List) or project file into another piece of software for finishing and colour grading.

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