Short Cuts #10: Speed Up Editing with Proxies

By David Winter
Jun 5, 2023
1 minute read


Speed up a sluggish timeline: Editing with proxies

In this weeks episode of Short Cuts, we're going to show you how to speed up your timeline, editing with proxies. There's a number of reasons why your timeline might slow down. Your computer CPU or GPU might not quite be up to the task as the amount of footage in your edit grows, or you might be working with some extremely intensive footage - perhaps in 4K or maybe even 8K!

Whatever the reason, there is a quick and easy fix - editing with proxies. As with most things in Lightworks, it's as simple as right-clicking and choosing the action you want. In this case, you want to go to 'media', and then 'create proxy'. Simple as that!

Automatic Vs Lowest Available Proxy Settings

Once you've created your proxy, it will mostly be automatically used. There are times, however, where you may notice the visual quality goes up and the efficiency goes down. This is because Lightworks is automatically working to determine what is the best balance of visual quality and performance. It's pretty good at getting it right, but sometimes gets it wrong, or does it at a time when you'd prefer it not to.

To fix this, just head to your project card on the top left of your screen, and then go to the videotape and choose output. There's a setting called 'Playback Media Quality' that is set to automatic. Change that to Lowest available. This means Lightworks will always use the lowest available quality, enduring you always have the smoothest playback.

General Proxy Settings

While you're on your project card, you can also change your general proxy settings under media. By default, you should be set to 360 and low as your quality settings. I'd recommend you keep those, but you can always adjust if you need to.


When you're done rendering and it's time to export, don't worry. Your footage won't come out at a low-quality level. Lightworks will automatically use the original higher quality footage for your export. That's it... How do you speed up a sluggish timeline? Try editing with proxies - and checking out our other guides on our YouTube.