Can you edit 4k video on a 1080p laptop?

Suppose you are recently looking for a laptop for video editing. It is becoming increasingly common to see the term 4k video. But you can’t afford a great specs laptop and wonder, is it possible to edit 4k video on a 1080p laptop?

You can edit 4k videos on a laptop. However, if you try to edit 4k videos, then surely your laptop may get slow. Premiere and many other video editing software actually have a solution using Proxies by reducing the resolution to 1080p.

What Is Proxy?

A proxy is simply a duplicate of your original video or footage but in a lower resolution and better codec. The proxy makes editing your laptop or PC much easier than you’ve ever experienced.

How To Edit 4k Video In Premiere Pro

Basically, we create encoding presets first and then ingest presets in Adobe Media Encoder. Then import all the 4k files into Adobe Premiere Pro and create a proxy so that Adobe Media Encoder can convert all those files to a lower resolution. It may sound a bit complicated, but it is actually effortless.

Now let’s see how to do it in Adobe Premiere Pro.

1. Creating Proxy

Step 1: To create a proxy, open Adobe Media Encoder and look for the Preset browser. If you don’t see it, go to Window and then Preset Browser.

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Step 2: Go ahead and click the + icon and then click Create Encoding Preset.

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Step 3: Name the preset whatever you want. You can name it 1280 x 720 ProRes.

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Step 4: Now, the first thing you want to change is the format. This is probably the most important thing to change, so make sure you do it properly. If it says H.264 or something, go ahead and select QuickTime.

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Step 5: Once you’re on Quicktime, go to the video and then change the Video Codec. Click on Apple ProRes 422 Proxy.

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Step 6: Go to the basic video settings. If it says Widht and Height Based on Source, uncheck it. Then, set width 1280 and height 720.

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Step 7: Check the box for Frame Rate, Field Order, and Aspect. Then hit OK.

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Step 8: You can see the preset you just made. Right-click on it and click Create Ingest Preset.

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Step 9: Name the preset. You can name it 1280 x 720 ProRes Ingest.

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Step 10: Now, there are only a few more boxes you have to click. You can Ignore copy files to destination but make sure Transcode files to destination is checked. You can set it to any random folder you want.

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Step 11: Choose QuickTime in Format and select the preset you just created. In my case, I named 1280x 720 ProRes, so I choose it. Then hit OK.

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Step 12: You can see the Ingest Preset you just made. To see the preset location right-click on it and then click Reveal Preset File.

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Step 13: Now open Adobe Premiere Pro. Import you 4k video files. Right-click on the video, then go down to the proxy and click Create Proxies.

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Step 14: Now, click on Add Ingest Preset and select your Preset (follow step 12 to see preset location). Set Destination to Next to Original Media, in Proxy folder, and then hit OK.

Step 15: Adobe Premiere Pro takes some time to create a proxy file. When it is done, edit your video as you want.

2. Export the video

Step 1: To export the video. Go to File, click Export, and then media.

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Step 2: Now, export your video as you want.

Premiere Pro will always use the original media for exports. If your video has a 4096 x 2160 resolution, use the 1024 x 540 proxy preset, and for 3840 x 2160 or 1080p, use the 1280 x 720 proxy preset. The reason is the aspect ratio of 4096 x 2160 is different from regular 4k and 1080p. So the proxies would add black bards onto it if you tried to use the 720 preset on the 4k footage.

Editing 4k Video On 1080p Laptop

Of course, you can edit 4k video on a 1080p laptop. But if you try to edit directly, your laptop may slow down. So by using a proxy, actually edit any 4k videos on a 1080p laptop. If you want to 4k experience, I highly suggest you invest money in a 4k monitor or a powerful computer. Here is some best selling monitor you can buy.

Do I need a 4k laptop to edit 4k video?

You don’t need a 4k laptop to edit 4k video. You can edit a 4k video on a 1080p laptop by using proxies. But for a 4k experience, you need a 4k monitor.

Which laptop is best for 4k video editing?

I think Apple Macbook Pro is the best laptop for 4k video editing. It has 15-inch LED display, 2.9GHz Intel Core i7 Quad Core processor, 16GB 2133MHz LPDDR3 RAM, 512GB SSD storage and Radeon Pro 560 4GB GPU.

Best Selling 4k Monitor

Final Thoughts

You can edit 4k video files on a 1080p monitor, but it definitely slows things down. So, the best way is to use proxies.

Proxy duplicates your original video files in lower resolution. You can find the step to create the proxy. I suggest you invest in a 4k monitor as a 1080p monitor will not give you a 4k experience.

For any doubts, “contact us through the comments sections, and I’ll be happy to answer any questions.

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