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Method 3: Faster Editing with Proxy Files.

Before we start, I just want to say that this method is very unstable. If you don't take the precautions mentioned here, you can end up losing all of your work. If you are using this method because you don't have enough disk space for method #1, I strongly suggest that you simply buy a larger hard drive. Hard drives with hundreds of gigabytes of free space are very cheap these days.

For this method, basically, you take every AVS file you want to use and make an ugly-but-quick AVI export of each one. It is frame for frame identical to the avs except the avi is much lower quality. Then you should edit with these low quality versions and when you are done you can switch back to the avs files which means in the end you have DVD quality footage but have used quick footage for easy editing.

The Method

You will already have avisynth files ready for all the footage you want to use if you have followed the guide. Now you need to get a codec that is good for editing. This means NO divx, NO mpeg-1, NO cinepak etc. The codec I recommend is the Lagarith Lossless codec as all the frames are keyframes, it's very fast, and has a reduced resolution mode which makes the filesizes ok.

Open up VirtualDub - this is the program we will use for creating the avi files. In the Video > Compression... menu choose Lagarith. Now click "Configuration".

In the Mode drop down box, select "Reduced Resolution". Then ensure that "Enable Null frames" is not checked, and do check "Always Suggest RGB Format for Output". If you have a multi-core processor, then you should check "Use Multithreading".

Now choose Fast Recompress from the VritualDub's Video menu and save to an AVI that is named similar to your avs file (so you know which AVI goes with which AVS). Your frame rate has to be the same as your avs file. I wouldn't change the resolution either as this will effect how things like motion settings will work when you edit.

Save your avi versions.

Note: Your low quality files obviously don't look anything near as good as the original, so if you are doing any effects such as masking, then you will have to switch to the avs version until you have them set up. You will also have to do that if you need to get stills from the source as well.

Switching Back to the DVD quality AVS Files in your editing program

You should test this out at the very start to avoid problems down the road. First of all, you need to set up your avs files so they can be loaded into your editing program, as described in method 2.

Now, Some software such as Premiere or After Effects has a function which can let you swap files with different ones. In that case, you simply need to use that feature. Because all editing software is different, you need to consult your software's manual in order to find out how to do this.

If your software DOESN'T have a feature like this, then you can ususally trick it into switching the files by first making your your editing program is closed, and then move your low quality avi files to a different location on your hard drive. Then take your fake avi files (which are described in method 2), and put them where the low quality avi files originally were, and rename them so they have the same filenames that the low quality avis originally had. Now, when you open your editing software again, it should hopefully load the high quality avisynth scripts, instead of the low quality avi files. As you can see, this method sounds very risky, which is why I do not recommend it!

Now that you're done, you should go to the section on setting up your video project.