How to Use Proxy Files in Premiere

Editing high resolution videos like 4k or 8K etc, is quite difficult. Especially for computers with low hardware. In order to edit without stuttering, we either need to upgrade our computer hardware or use video files imported into Premiere as a proxy. In this Premiere tutorial, I will talk about the proxy method that we can easily edit high resolution videos.

What is Proxy Editing in Premiere?

Let’s import the video into Premiere first. Let’s look at the Properties of the video. According to the properties information, it is a 4096 x 2160 file. So it is a high resolution video. Our main goal will be this. This is already the feature of the proxy. We will edit the video with this resolution. As if we were editing a video with a lower resolution and we will do this through proxy files. Then when I render it, it’ll render at whatever the original size of the video is. First of all, I’m going to show you how to create a proxy quickly. And then I’m going to show you how to create this project with our own settings. I’m going to take the project tab towards to top left like this, the project tab is here.

How to Create a Proxy in Premiere?

And in this project tab, we find the high resolution video that we imported. You can also apply this to more than one video. Right now, I’m going to go through one video. Right click on the video and you will see the word Proxy. There is a Create Proxies option inside proxy. I click on this option. Now let’s examine this screen.

First let’s look at the format field. You will see QuickTime and the other option that opens when we click on it is H264. If you select QuickTime, we see high resolution or low resolution presets as presets. Then we click on H264, you will see high resolution, medium resolution and low resolution options. Let’s choose the low resolution proxy option with H264 and the destination part works like this. When you create these proxy files, these are other low resolution files. This will create a low version of the high resolution video you see as a separate file. The destination part is where you specify where to save this file. You can leave the first option. Because it’ll be much more organized if you leave the first option. It’ll create a new folder under the folder with this video and put the new proxy file in that folder. After making these edits, I click Okay button and when I click Okay, it will start the conversion process. But this conversion will be done through the Media Encoder program. What does this mean?

If you want to use a proxy in Premiere, you need to have the Media Encoder program installed on your computer. Look, the status is done, which means it has converted this video. It has successfully completed the conversion. We can close this window. Now let’s check the file. See, this was the original video. It has created a folder right next to it. A folder called Proxies. When I go inside this folder, we see a video here. Let’s look at the properties of this video. Look, it has created a file of 1024 x 540 in low resolution. As you can see, a lower version proxy file has been created.

How Proxy Files Work in Premiere?

Now, how do we view these proxy files? On this screen you’ll see a plus icon on the right side. When you click on this plus icon, you will see extra buttons. You can add these buttons as you like in the toolbox below. Here we need to add a button called proxy, Toggle Proxies. In fact, if you examine the icon, you will see a small screen next to the big screen. This icon actually symbolizes a transformation between them. I grab this icon and drag it over the toolbox below and this icon is here. We can close this window by clicking to Okay button. The icon that we added still appears here. Here is what the icon does. When clicked, it’ll display the proxy files in the scene. When clicked again, it’ll display the original files. When I click on this icon, as you can see it activated, and now it displaced the proxy file below. And here is how we know that this footage is a proxy. Notice this icon, it’s the same color, the same style of icon here. This is the proxy video we are seeing right now. When we deactivate this, this one will disappear. So we will see the original video.

In a moment when the proxy button is active, we will try to display this logo on the video. We will see this in the preset creation section in a moment. This is how to create a proxy with the default settings in Premiere.

How to Set Proxy File Settings in Premiere?

Now let’s see how to do this with our own settings. For this, we first need to open the Media Encoder program. In the section, you will see a plus icon in the Preset Browser section on the left side. If you don’t see this panel, you should check the Preset Browser option under Window. I click on this plus icon and select Create Encoding Preset and a separate screen appears where we can edit the settings to create a new preset.

Let’s go through the steps here. First of all, we need to give the preset a name. Since the subject of tutorial is proxy, we can call it proxy tutorial. It’ll be a descriptive name. There are many options here. There is no need to get confused. We can go through H264. You can also go through QuickTime. In the Based on Preset section, we choose the preset that it’ll be based on. For example, let’s choose Match Source Adaptive Low Bitrate here. It’ll have a low bitrate. So it’ll take up less space. I choose this one. It doesn’t really matter which one you choose. Now we are already going to do the editing.

We will see the video and hear the audio. So both need to be checked. Now we are going to make some edits down below, but we have very limited space. I’m going to make this screen full screen. I’m going to continue like this, this screen is actually the screen with the settings if you have exported before in Premiere. So here you can make adjustments like resolution adjustments or bitrate adjustments to make your proxy files take up much less space. For example, the preset we are using will output 1920 x 1080 and create a proxy file. But 1920 x 1080 is still large in proxy files. We can set the values here. Width and height, to 1280 x 720. These are ideal dimensions. Now let’s go down. Let’s see what’s in this, what change we can make. I’m not changing this. I’m not changing this also. I’m leaving this the same. Since we are not doing a final render, we don’t check this option either.

Another important feature here is the bitrate feature. The higher the bitrate the higher the video size will be. We can reduce the bitrate size. I think to two, if the resolution is very bad in proxies with a bitrate value of two, you can increase it even more, according to your own project, according to your own eyes. Actually, if you look at it, our goal here is to create a proxy file that has a low resolution as possible and takes up a little space as possible.

Adding Text and Image / Logo to Proxy Videos

I just said, I was going to show you how to embed this proxy file over the proxy videos. I did this in Photoshop. It’s a PNG file with a transparent background. You can also create something like this. It doesn’t have to write proxy. It can write the letter P or anything else. This is just to make it much easier for us to tell if the video is proxy or not.

I’m clicking on the effects tab on the left of the video. And if you scroll down a little bit, you will see the Image Overlay section. I activate this by clicking on the left of this. I activate this. And then the following options are selectable. Applied is None by default. By selecting the Choose option, and then selecting this image that I have on my computer, that I create it with Photoshop, I click on the open button and we specify where this image should be positioned in the proxy files. We can choose the position we want. We can specify the edges and corners here. I choose Bottom Right. You can adjust the position a little more with Offset. You can adjust the size in the Size section. If it is too big, you can shrink it by changing the size. And you can change the Opacity value if you want it to look more transparent. Since I made it completely black, I changed it to 60. I also changed the size to 50. That’s all we do on this screen. I can close this screen by clicking to Okay button. Look. the proxy tutorial preset is here.

How to Connect Media Encoder Preset to Premiere?

We created a preset called Proxy Tutorial in the Media Encoder program, but we need to create a new Ingest to show this preset in Premiere under the Create Proxy. Again, I click on the plus icon here and select the Create Ingest Preset option right below it. Again, we see a similar window. In this window, let’s first, give it a name. We just set Proxy Tutorial. I add the word ingest at the end. To indicate that this is ingest the feature we need to activate here is Transcode Files to Destination. I click on that and in the preset field just below, we select the preset we just created. So I select the preset called Proxy Tutorial. I go to Browse for Location, where we can select any drive or we can select the Desktop. I select disk C and click on the Select Folder button. And then click on the Okay button to close this window. We have made the necessary adjustments on the Media Encoder program.

We created an new preset and created a new ingest, but we need to know the path to this ingest file because we will call this file on Premiere a little later. I write click on the ingest file we created and select the Reveal Preset File option. When I click on this option, it transfers me to a folder with other presets. I copy the path here, click on it and right click and select Copy. Now we are done here. We can close this window. We can also close the Media Encoder program.

We are going to create a new proxy like we just did. I right click on the video select Proxy > Create Proxy. There are still three presets here. To add our own preset here I click on Add Ingest Preset. I paste the path I copied above and press on Enter. It quickly redirects me to this folder where I select the ingest file and click open. And so the preset I created is added here. Let’s click Okay and let’s create the proxy. The video is created as you can see. See, because we have lowered the resolution and bitrate this original video looks very good quality, but in the proxy, we can see that the footage is worse quality. That’s the beauty of proxy videos.

See, when I play the video forward, you will see a proxy text at the bottom right. This is the proxy image that I created. We have added this, and it’s a sign on the video that this is a proxy video. This is how we can more easily understand that the video is a proxy video. When I disable the proxy part, the text here disappears. When I activate it again, this text appears when the video is proxy.

Do Proxy Videos Affect Rendering in Premiere?

In this video, I’ve touched on an important point that needs to be done in order to be able to edit high resolution videos, such as 8K, 6K or 4K very comfortably on low spec computers. Even when you get your final render in this way, proxy videos will not be rendered, whatever the original video is will be rendered. You shouldn’t have any confusion about this. When I look at the properties of the video, here we can see the video dimensions that I created completely. It’s a 1280 x 720 video, proxy video, of course. When you render it, it’ll render it in its original dimensions. That’s it for this video. I hope it was useful. If you like this video, don’t forget to like and subscribe. I’ll see you in the next video.

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