In this tutorial I will teach you how to do Zen Proxy Video Editing on a slower computer using Sony Vegas Pro or Movie Studio Platinum.

Proxy Video Editing is a process where you create lower quality Standard Definition copies of your original HD videos and edit/create your project in Sony Vegas Pro or Sony Vegas Movie Studio HD Platinum using these lower quality versions. Then once you have finished all your editing you then replace the SD Versions back with the original HD Video files and render your project with them. Proxy Video Editing should totally eliminate any lag in the Preview Window.

Workflow

Step 1

Create two new folders in the Master Video folder on your computer.
#1 HD Originals
#2 HD to SD Proxies

Find all the HD Videos you want to use in your Vegas project and drag them into the #1 HD Originals folder.

Step 2

Convert all the HD Videos into Standard Definition MPEG2 640x360p files. Please make sure you use the EXACT SAME FILE NAME for the HD Originals and SD Proxy Versions you create - this is extremely important, otherwise the process will not work. You can use any Video Converting program you like, but be aware that many of the "free" programs you can download often do not transcode accurately, leaving you with video that is out of sync and a pain to use. My program of choice is Media Converter 7 by Arcsoft. I have been using this program for a while now and it works beautifully for converting AVCHD Video. I have made a tutorial which teaches you how to use Media Converter to create your proxy videos.

UPDATE October 2014 - please read !

Media Converter by Arcsoft is no longer available. Arcsoft has withdrawn this product from service.
There are many different Media Converter software programs available. A free one that works very well is Any Video Converter.
You can download directly from this link:
http://www.any-video-converter.com/products/for_video_free/

Step 3

Set up your new Vegas project using the full HD settings that match your original source video. So if you are making a 1080p project, please set the Vegas Project Properties to 1080p - don't set to Proxy Video size.

Import the Standard Definition Proxy Video file versions from #2 HD to SD Proxies into Vegas and create your project just as you normally would.

Once you have finished editing, please SAVE the project using this naming format "Name of Your Project - SD Version".

Now close Sony Vegas down.

Step 4

Go to your Master Video Folder and re-name the #2 HD to SD Proxies folder to:
"HD to SD Proxies - used files"

Step 5

Boot up Sony Vegas and then Open your project "Name of Your Project - SD Version"

Vegas will now freak out and tell you the files are missing and ask you to search for them. This is the step where you now replace the SD Proxy Video Versions back with the Original HD Video files from the #1 HD Originals folder. Please watch my video now to see exactly how to use the Search Function in Vegas to swap the Video Files over.

Once all the videos have been replaced, you are now ready to Render your Project using the original high quality files. However just before you do this step, you may like to review any Colour Correction Fx that you have added. This is because the lower quality SD Proxy videos may have shifted in colour slightly from the originals.

Step 6

RE-SAVE your project using a DIFFERENT name, so that you have a HD Version of your Project Files saved.

Use something like "Name of Your Project - HD Version".

Now you will have two different versions of your project saved so that you can bounce between using either one. You will have to re-name the "#2 HD to SD Proxies - used files" version, back to "#2 HD to SD Proxies" if you want to do more proxy video editing of the same project.

 Update June 2015: Movie Studio Platinum 13 & Vegas Pro 13 Users Must Read this !

If you are using Movie Studio Platinum 13 or Sony Vegas Pro 13, there is now an inbuilt Proxy Video Creation tool which means you can now let Movie Studio or Vegas Pro program do all the hard work for you.

Instructions for Movie Studio Platinum 13 and Sony Vegas Pro 13

Step 1 - Import all your video clips

Step 2 - Open the Project Media tab and then select/highlight all your video clips as a group.

Step 3 - Now right-click highlighted group and select Create Video Proxy. Movie Studio/Vegas Pro will now render video proxy versions for all your video clips. The proxy versions will be easier to play and work with. The will be saved into the same folder location as your original videos. Please note that it may take quite some time for your video proxies to be rendered, especially if they are large in file size.

Step 4 - Drag your videos onto the timeline as you normally would. The program will automatically play back the new proxy versions for you. However you must set the Preview Window to Draft or Preview quality for the proxy video versions to playback while you edit.

If you set the Preview Window to Good or Best, your original HD or 4K video versions will play instead.

Step 5 - When it is time to render/export your project, you don't have to do anything different or swap any files out. The program will automatically render your project using the original video files.

 

 

Derek-Moran-60x60

About Derek Moran
Derek Moran is the author of all articles on Movie Studio Zen.
You can find me on YouTube, , FacebookTwitterRead more about Derek...

 

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  • Your comment will be reviewed by a moderator before it is published on the site.
    Jordzz · 17:12 02/09/2018
    Thanks for keeping this post updated Derek! I was freaking out my laptop couldnt handle 4k editing but now those issues are gone due to the proxy feature. Very handy tool to have. Thanks mate!
    • Your comment will be reviewed by a moderator before it is published on the site.
      Derek
      • Moderator
      · 18:02 02/09/2018
      Cheers
  • Your comment will be reviewed by a moderator before it is published on the site.
    TonyP · 00:04 22/03/2018
    Thanks for this! New Vegas Pro 15 user and learning my way around the software. Proxy creation is great since I do 4K a lot. Question is, deleting all those proxy files. How?
    • Your comment will be reviewed by a moderator before it is published on the site.
      Derek
      • Moderator
      · 01:54 22/03/2018
      The Vegas created Proxy Videos, are located in the same folder your 4K originals live in.
      Open that folder and you will find files that look like "bits of paper".
      Keep the .sfk files - that is the Audio Waveform data file for your Vegas Timeline.
      Proxies end with .mp4.sfvp0 - delete them after you have finished your project.
      *You will also have to turn OFF automatic proxy file creation for 4K videos, otherwise they will regenerate. Go to Options/Preferences/Video - make sure Automatically create video proxies...is turned off.
      • Your comment will be reviewed by a moderator before it is published on the site.
        TonyP · 10:11 22/03/2018
        Thank you so much! Great info. So much to learn.
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    Jarryd · 14:10 09/03/2018
    This helped me SO much! Wish I knew of it before. Thank you!
    • Your comment will be reviewed by a moderator before it is published on the site.
      Derek
      • Moderator
      · 15:29 09/03/2018
      Cheers
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    Raul · 06:12 23/01/2018
    So if im using Vegas 15 and the second method you provided..... Do i drag the original files onto the time line? Or do I drag the proxy videos onto the time line? I noticed the proxy videos dont have audio when doing this either.
    • Your comment will be reviewed by a moderator before it is published on the site.
      Derek
      • Moderator
      · 12:47 23/01/2018
      If you are using Vegas Pro 15, it would make sense to use the inbuilt Proxy Creation Tool.
      Vegas handles the file swap for you, when using this method.
      Drag your original videos to timeline like you normally would.
      Changing the Preview Quality to Draft or Preview activates the Proxy versions for you while editing.
      Set back to Good or Best if you want to see originals.
  • Your comment will be reviewed by a moderator before it is published on the site.
    Andrea · 17:40 02/07/2017
    Dear Derek. I usually use this useful feature on Platinum 13 (you taught me to do it...). I find myself in a strange situation: for the first time I added a new video file in the project media window and if I right-click on it the "create video proxy" option is deactivated. Why?
    Thanks for your feedback.
    • Your comment will be reviewed by a moderator before it is published on the site.
      Derek
      • Moderator
      · 18:36 02/07/2017
      Hi Andrea
      If it is deactivated, it means you have already created a Video Proxy for the same video, in a different project.
      Video Proxies are not deleted when I project is complete.
      If you go to the exact folder your video lives in, you will find a large file that looks like a piece of paper - this is the proxy version.
      All you have to do in your new project, is set the Preview Window = Draft or Preview Quality, and the proxy version will play when you edit on the timeline.
  • Your comment will be reviewed by a moderator before it is published on the site.
    Anonymous · 14:35 22/06/2017
    Thank you so much Derrick, you are tutorials are always so much help!
    • Your comment will be reviewed by a moderator before it is published on the site.
      Derek
      • Moderator
      · 17:30 22/06/2017
      Cheers
  • Your comment will be reviewed by a moderator before it is published on the site.
    AkiraKyora1112 · 02:36 02/01/2017
    I have an old version of Movie Studio 13, it's the purple one that isn't platinum. Is there a way to create a video proxy with that?
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    John Wilkinson · 10:11 18/05/2016
    Thanks so much for the video proxy solution in Vegas 13! I have been struggling with slow preview playback for years and this solved it immediately. I have a super charged computer and am editing 2.7 and 4K videos and it still studdered, until now. Question - why doesn't Vegas do it automatically when dropping a file into the timeline?
    • Your comment will be reviewed by a moderator before it is published on the site.
      Derek
      • Moderator
      · 18:12 23/05/2016
      Hi John
      If you are using Sony Vegas Pro 13, there is a setting in the [b]Preferences[/b] that controls whether 4K video is automatically turned into a Proxy Video. Please note this setting only applies to 4K video and nothing below this resolution.
      Go to Options/Preferences/Video - 1/3 the way down is setting for this.
      Personally I keep this setting turned OFF and always manually create the Proxies, otherwise the computer can get bogged down converting proxies for all projects.
  • Your comment will be reviewed by a moderator before it is published on the site.
    BlackSands
    • Member
    · 12:27 25/12/2015
    It seems that the option in MS13 to create video proxies is greyed out if the clip is an .AVI file. This is rather unfortunate as I've been creating lossless AVI timelapse sequences in VirtualDub as an intermediary format before assembling and editing them in MS.
    • Your comment will be reviewed by a moderator before it is published on the site.
      BlackSands
      • Member
      · 12:54 25/12/2015
      Actually... the option appears to gray-out for ANY media? I just tried an MP4 file... first time I checked the option was available but once I added the clip to the timeline it seems the proxy creation option is no longer available. I started over with a new project but adding in the same clip but MS13 won't doesn't allow proxy creation at all now. It seems that the VERY first thing you have to do before you start editing is create you proxy... that looks like the only chance you get. AND, if you've previously edited with a clip that same clip doesn't then appear to be able to have a proxy created for it in subsequent projects.?? I'm not sure what's going on here...any clues?
      • Your comment will be reviewed by a moderator before it is published on the site.
        Derek
        • Moderator
        · 21:59 25/12/2015
        Yes you must create Video Proxies as the very first step before you begin to edit.
        However, there is also another reason why it is grayed out. If the Video Proxies have already been created, you cannot create them again - they are already there !
        Open the folder that your original source video clips came from and look inside. This is where the video proxy versions are located. If you have already created them, you will see files that look like sheets of paper. Change folder view to Large Icons to see this. If you then delete these proxy files and then re-boot your project, it will no longer be grayed out.
        • Your comment will be reviewed by a moderator before it is published on the site.
          BlackSands
          • Member
          · 11:21 26/12/2015
          Great, thanks! It all makes sense now.
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    Ivan · 04:44 07/07/2015
    Hello, I have tried to create proxy videos using Any Video Converter, and choosing .mov as format, in low resolution and smaller size, but when I import those proxy clips to Vegas, Vegas would work extremely slow, even slower than using full hd original files. It would actlually freeze and stop working.

    Any guess? I have tried with every single codec option available in 'Any Video Converter'
    • Your comment will be reviewed by a moderator before it is published on the site.
      Derek
      • Moderator
      · 12:37 07/07/2015
      Hi Ivan
      Your main problem is that have created video proxies using the wrong format - in the tutorial I said to use MPEG2, not .mov
      You must use MPEG2 640x360, because this format is very easy to play in real time, .mov is not.
      Follow the tutorial and it will work.
      It is also very important when you create your video proxies, they are using the [b]same Frame Rate[/b] as your original HD videos and your [b]Project Properties[/b] must also be set to the [b]same Frame Rate[/b]. If you have mis-matched frame rates, the program has to try and convert in real time, which will put a huge strain on CPU.

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