How I edit 4K projects on a 2013 MacBook Pro
The engine that could
My good old MacBook Pro with Retina, Late 2013. The one just after they removed the CD drive. With just enough USB ports. i5, 8GB Ram, SSD, Magsafe 2, SD card slot AND thunderbolt! Good times.
I've been editing videos and photos on it since 2014 and have been really impressed how it's still able to keep up with what I need it for. It's survived many adventures from being stuck on Bhutanese mountain passes, to bike touring in Central America. Lately though, I've noticed somewhere where it starts to slow down and thats when I start working with 4k files.
Playback is not a problem at all, but once I've imported them into Premier Pro**, it's not possible to edit with them. It lags so much, and takes ages to render a timeline.
**I have not tried this with Final Cut so if you have let me know how it works.
My workaround to this issue has been this : Proxies. Premier Pro has this feature where you can create a lower resolution version of a file and let's you edit using that file.
Make things even easier
To make things easier on my Mac, I also pre-cut some files before I've even imported them into Premier. This helps when I have really long drone shots that I know I'm only going to use a few seconds of it. Opening the file in Quicktime - CMD T - lets you trim the file right there. It's saves a new file for the trimmed version so you don't have to worry about overwriting your original.
Grab a coffee
After trimming the longer files, I'll import them into Premier, and queue all the 4k files to create proxies. Also important to note, is that when you export proxies, it can make your Mac pretty useless, so only do this when you have something else you can do away from your computer. Seriously - evening watching a YouTube video or Netflix is not possible while they are exporting.
Cut Cut Cut
Once the queue is done, I link the proxy files in my project and then start cutting.
When you have finished your project, don't forget to reconnect the full resolution media before you export. It's a bit of a mission, but it works. And it's the only way I can edit 4k files with my current setup.
Written in July 2018 in Hoian, Vietnam