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Best way to edit 4K footage to HD output Premiere Pro iMac
  • Greetings, and thanks to all who contribute here. I learn something almost daily. While I've read posts in several places on this topic, I've not found consensus, but have run into issues. Here's the scenario:

    I'm shooting 4K with the GH4 for all the benefits including punch in, pans, etc. Final output is 1080p. Occasionally I'll mix in some HD footage.

    The last project I did was 6.5 mins, but much to my surprise was really dragging down my computer. I wonder if some of you with more experience can suggest a better workflow. I'm hoping to avoid buying a new computer for another year, but will do what I must when I can. Here's what I'm working with:

    Premiere Pro CC iMac (Retina 5K, 27 inch, Late 2014) 3.5 GHz Intel Core i5 16 GB 1600 MGz DDR3 AMD Radeon R9 M290X 2048 MB

    To create a sequence, I've simply dragged the the first 4k clip to the timeline and let Premiere handle the settings accordingly. I edit, then export as HD.

    Thanks in advance for any thoughts and advice!

  • 7 Replies sorted by
  • Without upgrading your hardware or using proxies in PP, set your playback resolution to 1/2 or 1/4.

  • Jspatz

    Thank you, I do use those settings. Not really up to speed on proxies.

  • Premiere may perform better if you edit your 4K footage in an HD sequence, as there is a lot less processing due to the smaller number of pixels. It is also easier to see any scaling issues as you are working at your final delivery frame size.

  • By idea if you do not have proxies and just edit native footage without heavy filters and color correction it must be no difference if preview is HD or 4K. As you need to read same file, decode same video, and only display/scaling part is different but it is all easy GPU made thing.

  • In the end, I will grade projects. So perhaps I need to learn about proxies? Thoughts?

  • Maybe try a free 30 day trial of FCPX from Apple. Some of the reviews show it to be faster than premiere handling some aspects (might be due to background rendering that FCPX does).

    This article discusses some elements of editing and color grading, with some discussion of proxies. Author speaks of using proxies for editing, then once picture is locked, relinking to full resolution files for color correction/grading.

  • You can have modern versions of Premiere Pro CC create proxies during ingest (though they seem to be created from the source media rather than the copies which may be undesirable if you have numerous cards to bring in)

    Edit: Adding youtube video -