Using conversion to edit-friendly AND proxy

I understand what a proxy-file is good for. I also understand that the “conversion to edit-friendly” is useful (required?) to edit a source with varaible frame rate.
What I haven’t yet understood is how both work together: When I add a VFR source (4k video from a Pixel 4a phone) to my project’s playlist, nothing happens in the first place. Only when I drag the file into the source window of the timeline I get prompted to convert it to edit-friendly. However if I have proxy enabled in my project, as soon as I add the file to the playlist, it gets converted to a proxy. Of course then, if I work with this one, I will never again get the “convert” dialog. Also only the “proxy” version of the files shows in the playlist, so I don’t even have a chance of manually converting it to edit-friendly.

What is the expected workflow if I want to work with a VFR footage AND proxies?
Then manual way is: 1) switch off proxy 2) add VFR file and have it converted 3) manually create proxy for converted file 4) continue working with the latter.
This seems a bit overly complicated to me for this use case, which I consider fairly common.

If proxy is on and I add a VFR file, I would expect the “conversion” dialog to pop up first, and then a proxy generated from the converted file. All automatically.

A side question: Is there a way to manually trigger the “conversion to edit-friendly” for an existing file in the playlist?
BTW I’m using SC 211031 on Win10.

I don’t know how to answer the first part of your post but for manual conversion and proxy you can check the Properties panel with the clip selected in timeline or opened in source (double click on it if it’s in playlist only) and at the bottom of the Properites panel you’ll have the “Convert…” and “Proxy” buttons to individually enable/disable proxy or convert it.

Ah yes - you’re right. The “properties” tab still is a mystery to me as I thought it would tell me properties of the file selected in the playlist.

Addition: After having the converted VFR file appearing in the timeline, I can manually create a proxy for it, but how do I actually use this, i.e. get the proxy file in the playlist? When proxy is ON, each file added to the playlist gets replaced by its proxy. But not so if I manually triggered creation of the proxy.
OK, I can look up the filename (by the hash) and then add it manually, but this makes the process even more weird, having a file with a hash-name in the playlist …

I think you can toggle proxy off then on again (Settings menu → Proxy → Use Proxy (F4)) and it will then ask you if you want to automatically create proxies for all files in playlist, if you then click on “No”, it will automatically replace all clips in timeline with proxies that are already created.

Note: don’t manually (separately) add the final proxy file in the playlist/timeline or you’ll end up using it into the final render as Shotcut will not know you meant to use it as a proxy only but as a standalone file.

Got it. Thanks a lot for the clarification @daniel47!
So this leads to the following workflow if I want to work with proxies of VFR files
a. turn Proxy OFF (manual)
b. add VFR file and pull to timeline
b. confirm prompt to “convert to edit-friendly” (manual)
c. toggle Proxy on (manual)
d. have proxy files created (automatic)
e. reopen project to refresh display of clips use in timeline being replaced by their proxies (manual)
d. start editing

I usually have Proxy ON and enjoy the automatic conversion of “normal” files.
However, since “create proxy” wins over “convert to edit-frienldy” I have to switch off proxy when a VFR video is involved and go though the rather involved extra steps above.

I would very much prefer that “convert to edit-friendly” takes higher order in flow over “create proxy”, in detail (with proxy always ON):
a. add VFR file and pull to timeline
b. confirm prompt to “convert to edit-friendly” (manual)
c. after action completed: create proxy from either original file or *_converted (automatic)
d. replace clip in timeline with proxy (automatic)
d. start editing

All this is under the assumption that exporting from a non-converted VFR clip will indeed cause problems. This would be the case if I edited a non-converted VFR clip (via its proxy) with no “converted” available.

Not necessarily if you know in advance that the video is variable frame rate. I just turned on proxy, dragged the VFR clip to Playlist, and got the convert dialog. That is because the project is empty, and it opens the clip in Source player as well.

Next, I open a project still with proxy on and drag the VFR clip to the playlist, and I do not get the dialog. But I know it is VFR from the source device/software I used. I can open the playlist item, click Properties > Convert. The conversion job is not using the proxy; I can view the job log and confirm by reading the line that begins with “Input.” When it is done, the converted clip is added to the playlist and opens in Source player. However, it lacks a proxy. Simply go Properties > Proxy > Make Proxy. Wait and done. Now, I have a proxy for the clip in Source and the playlist item.

Before going into the next steps, here is an odd observation (SC v21.10.31 on Windows 8.1, all files on local SSD)

I tried to reproduce what you wrote:

  1. Created a new project with Video mode automatic, proxy on and proxy storage in project folder
  2. got a blank black screen in source window
  3. dragged VFR clip into playlist
  4. saw clip displayed in source window, got the convert dialog, but at the same time I saw that a proxy was being created
  5. while watching proxy being created (I didn’t respond to convert dialog) - SC crashed (reproducible)

2nd try:

  1. Created a new project with Video mode automatic, proxy on and proxy storage in project folder
  2. got a blank white screen in source window,
  3. Saved project, closed and reopened
  4. dragged VFR clip into playlist,
  5. saw clip displayed in source window, got no convert dialog, but proxy gets created
  6. no crash

Sorry when I wrote “new project” I was not using the New Project view and clicking Start. It is not necessary to use that; I simply started the program and went to work with the steps. The point is: you can use Convert on something that has a proxy, and it will convert using the original source. The second point is: you can manually choose to make a proxy when something does not have a proxy such as after a convert job replaces clips when it is done.

@shotcut I understand the steps you are suggesting. It also works for me as you described (drag VFR to playlist and get conversion dialog) - but only with SC v21.03.21.
With v21.06.29 and 21.10.31 Shotcut crashes while displaying the conversion dialog and at the same time creating a proxy (on Windows 8.1 or 10)!
Can you reproduce this ? I can open a new thread for the crash if you want me to.

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