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Premiere Pro Quick Tip: How to Create Proxies

Caleb Ward

Learn how to create time-saving proxies in the following quick tip post.

Proxies, in short, are low resolution video files that can take the place of larger resolution video files in your timeline. This is important because low-res files can be rendered faster in your video editing app – especially useful for RAW and uncompressed video. Follow the steps below to to work with proxies in Premiere Pro.

1. Name Your Clips

While you should already be correctly naming and indexing your footage before you edit, it is especially important when working with proxies. Your proxy clips should have the same name as your larger clips as this will help with linking later.

2. Export low-res versions in Media Encoder

For your proxies, you’ll want to encode your footage at a lower resolution and bit-rate. For example, if you wanted to make a proxy of a 4096 x 2160 4K MOV file you could create a 1024×540 MOV at a low bit-rate as your proxy. It’s important to use the same file name when exporting the proxies, as this will assist in relinking your footage later. Save your proxies in a separate folder from your original clips.

3. Make your sequence resolution match the camera’s resolution

Instead of creating a sequence that’s the size of the proxy files make a sequence that’s the same resolution of your larger video. Even though you will be editing with the proxy files it will still be important for your sequence settings to be that of your desired output resolution.

4. Import and edit with your video with the low res files

Simply import your proxy files into Premiere and edit like your normally would. When you drop your clips in the larger resolution timeline a box will pop up, select “Keep Existing Settings”. You will now probably notice that your video file is smaller than the program monitor. You can fix this by simply selecting the video in the timeline, right clicking on the video, and selecting “Scale to Frame Size”.

5. Offline your footage after editing

After editing but before adding color correction, offline your footage in the project panel. Simply select all your clips in the project panel. Right click the footage and click “Make Offline”. A box will pop up, make sure “Media Files Remain on Disk” and click OK. Your footage will now pop up red in your program monitor. This is supposed to happen, don’t worry.

6. Link the original/larger files

Right click the first clip in the project panel and click “Link Media” and then click “Locate” in the box that pops up. Now navigate to your original video files and click “select”. If you’ve named your files with the same names and same file extensions then all the clips in your timeline should automatically pop up. If not you, will have to link each file by hand.

7. Export

Your larger media files will now replace your proxy files. Do your final color grading and polish work. Then, export at full quality.

Have any other tips for working with proxies in Premiere? Share in the comments below.

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