Edit 4k video on internal laptop drive?

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by Hoff, Mar 14, 2018.

  1. Hoff macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2018
    #1
    Total newbie, never edited video before. Want to try, as a hobby.
    Buying a 2015 MacBook Pro to do the editing.

    Confused by all the storage requirements for editing - RAID arrays, multiple SSDs, etc.

    Just wondering - if you have enough space on the internal laptop SSD, is it ok to just use that???
     
  2. ColdCase macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2008
    Location:
    NH
    #2
    What most folks do on a laptop is edit with proxies. The original video on an external drive and have FCP make proxies (lower resolution video for editing purposes).

    Recent MacBooks have fast PCI based internal SSD cards. These are about as fast as you can get. But 4k takes a lot of space, how much memory does the one you are looking at have? You'd probably need 1TB or more to be somewhat comfortable. But using proxies doesn't require as much working storage.
     
  3. Hoff thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2018
    #3
    Thanks. That's actually why I'm asking.
    I'm debating buying a 512GB MBP, versus paying $400 more for 1TB.

    Or... finding out if I should just get the 512GB and spend that $400 on some other external SSD options needed for editing.
     
  4. casperes1996 macrumors 68040

    casperes1996

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    #4

    Of course you can. What software are you considering using? The way they use data is a bit different and thus have different "requirements". But I put requirements in quotes, since it's more recommendations than requirements. You're not building a workstation to edit 2 hour Hollywood films here. You don't need the optimal setup, and the internal drive is just fine. I've edited many films at this point. Short films, documentaries, music videos, etc. and a lot have been edited exclusively with my MacBook Pro's 256GB SSD. It's important to note that when I do that, I don't have that much else on the computer, and I offload all finished work to my NAS or other drives, but you can easily get by with the internal SSD is what I'm trying to say. If you're not working with too complex timelines you also don't even need to use proxy footage. Least not with Final Cut
     
  5. ColdCase macrumors 68030

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    #5
    He mentioned 4K in the title and that could be pushing user satisfaction, but as you say there are recommendations not requirements. 1080p and 512GB is good for a library or three. But it is nasty when video editors run out hard drive space in the middle of doing something.... so based on my hard knock background, I get the most internal storage I can afford and am not as worried about it. You can get by with 256GB, but I think 1TB is the minimum to shoot for when working with 4k. Its not as if the internal drive is easily upgraded if you find yourself wanting in a year.

    Hoff, don't forget about an external drive for backup, $100 can get you 4TBs in a portable USB drive ideal for backups now days.
     
  6. Hoff thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2018
    #6
    No, definitely not. Good to know the internal is fine to use. If start doing professional work and require more storage I'll look at those options then. Seen some good ones already.

    Great, good to hear. That's probably in 1080p I'm guessing? I'll probably start with 1080p too. But want to be covered for 4K for future use as well.

    Excellent point. I plan to store all my documents and finished projects on external drive. And back that up to a second one using Carbon Copy Cloner. Keep the internal SSD clean as possible, ready for whatever comes up.

    That's what I'm leaning towards now, knowing it's possible to use that space for editing purposes. Thanks.
     
  7. casperes1996 macrumors 68040

    casperes1996

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    #7

    Mostly, yes. But I have a few projects that were 4k and some that were in-between (export as 1080p, but with 2.5k footage)
     
  8. joema2 macrumors 68000

    joema2

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    Sep 3, 2013
    #8
    Be advised 4k H264 is difficult to edit smoothly using almost any hardware or software. FCPX is faster and more efficient than Premiere, and unlike Premiere it uses Intel's Quick Sync hardware acceleration (on Mac), but even that's insufficient for truly smooth, fluid editing.

    The hardware, software, acquisition codec and resolution used by Hollywood to edit feature films is often misunderstood.

    Of the nine 2018 Hollywood films nominated for a best picture or best editing Oscar, none were filmed in 4k. Five were shot on film, five were shot digitally, one used film and digital acquisition. The film productions were scanned and digitally edited.

    The digital productions were all filmed in 2k up to about 3.7K, and all used either the ProRes or ARRIRAW codec. The single exception was I, Tonya which had limited sequences shot in 6.5K. None were shot with RED cameras. None were edited at original capture resolution -- all were edited using essentially off-line proxies at 1080p.

    None were edited in Premiere or FCPX or FCP7, all were edited in Avid.

    The editing hardware was often laptops, not high-end multi-socket workstations. Obviously when they hand off to finishing, that typically uses a higher end machine for graphics, but we're talking about editing, not CGI or finishing.

    https://blog.frame.io/2018/03/05/oscar-2018-workflows/

    So this is a very different workflow and imposes different hardware editing requirements than 1080p or 4k H264. Hollywood editors actually don't need super-high-end hardware since they are often editing using a lower-resolution "off line" or proxy codec. Unlike H264, these editing codecs are not compute-intensive.

    A few productions (none of the above) have recently used 2K or 4K ProRes acquisition and edited "on line", IOW using the camera codec. This enables screeners to see the full image potential, not some down-rezzed version. However this workflow is not widely used. Since ProRes is not compute-intensive even a mid-range iMac can edit 4k with good performance on FCPX.

    For those of us shooting 1080p H264, almost any hardware or software will edit this with good performance. For 4k H264, almost no hardware or software will edit this with total smoothness, so you'll often need to create proxy files. Both FCPX and Premiere support this.

    In FCP proxy files for 4k H264 are at 1080p resolution and take about 60% of the space of the camera files. So for every 1 GB of camera material, the proxies add about 600MB. Premiere gives various options for proxy size and codec.
     
  9. Fishrrman macrumors P6

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #9
    Joe, thanks for the explanation about movie film/video production.

    But it makes me wonder...

    If the big studios aren't using 4k, 6k, 8k -- then... what is it for?
    What's the point of it....?
     
  10. joema2 macrumors 68000

    joema2

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2013
    #10
    They are using it, just not as widespread as everyone thinks. All of the 2018 Oscar-nominated best picture or best editing films were shot at less than 4k, with one limited exception. 4k and higher gives more freedom to recompose the shot in post and theoretically future proofs it for future transmission systems.

    However there are costs to using 4k and higher resolution, even with a Hollywood feature film budget.

    In this video interview Walter Murch (English Patient, Cold Mountain) talks about the benefits and complications of 4k in Hollywood productions: http://www.fcp.co/final-cut-pro/articles/1744-part-two-walter-murch-talks-4k-and-beyond
     

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9 March 14, 2018