Autor: Nils Calles
Grass Valley Edius
Strangely enough, the editing software Edius in Germany is mostly unknown.
This article is provided by Digital Production.
Yet it is one of the fastest, most intuitive, high-performance and stable editing programs on the international market. Edius is the market leader in Japan, Turkey and the Eastern Bloc, and there are about 25,OOO Edius editing suites in TV stations worldwide. Reason enough to take a closer look at the software.
A particular strength of the program has always been that almost all current formats and codecs can be edited in real-time. In addition, Edius brings along HQX, an ideal intermediate codec, which offers a resolution of up to 8K at up to 10 bit colour depth with alpha channel, in both .avi and Quicktime format. All of this with lossless, processor-friendly compression, which enables real-time editing of many video tracks on the PC as well as with Final Cut Pro on the Mac, for example. Since version 8, there are two versions available: Edius PRO and Edius Workgroup.
The intuitive operation and the possibility to copy almost everything system-wide via drag-and-drop makes Edius one of the most intuitive editing programs. The operation is very similar to that of Premiere and Final Cut 7, so switching over is relatively easy. And when it comes to professional broadcast features, Edius doesn't have to hide behind the much more complicated Avid Media Composer. All professional formats are supported, and the software also does a good job in the network, especially in conjunction with the K2 server structure. Compared to Adobe Premiere, Edius makes much less demands on the hardware for the same performance.
This is further enhanced by the possibility to "check out" a project. It is then decomputed using proxy files so that it can be taken on a stick or sent over the Internet. However, Edius does not provide the premiere specific integration of other software components such as After Effects or Photoshop. Instead, it is optimized for stability and speed and performs much smoother and more reliable than some of its competitors. Edius is not available as a rental model. But the prices are quite reasonable with 589 euro for Edius PRO and 1.069 euro for Edius Workgroup. The licenses are nodelocked for two computers, but can be deactivated and transferred to another computer via the Internet. For a long time only Grass Valley hardware could be used for input and output. Meanwhile many third party video cards like Blackmagic, Matrox or Aja are supported.
The first noticeable difference is the four different track types in the timeline. There are not only video and audio tracks, but also combined video and audio tracks. This makes it easier to keep track of simple projects. There are also so-called title tracks. These are always above all video tracks, even if they are arranged further down the Timeline. Everything you load there is automatically faded in and out. This saves time with name inserts and graphic overlays.
Actually everything in Edius is optimized for speed and ease of use. In no other editing program is the drag-and-drop principle so consistently applied. Whether it's clips, folders, effects or fades. You can simply take everything and throw it. If, for example, several clips are selected in the Timeline, you can simply take a picture or sound aperture and throw it onto it. Then all selected clips will be faded. Logically, you can also customize the keyboard commands and there are some more functions here than in other editing programs. For example, the commands "n" (cut the beginning of the selected clip to the Timeline cursor) and "m" (cut the end of the selected clip to the Timeline cursor) help when it comes to quickly viewing and sorting out raw material dragged from the Browser into a Timeline. Zooming works conveniently with the mouse wheel while holding down the Ctrl key.
Cutting modes such as insert/overwrite, ripple and sync are also set globally with the buttons in the upper left corner of the timeline. Then you can sort the trimmed clips in Ripple and Insert mode and quickly insert sound bites, throw the already prepared name inserts on the title track below the sound bites, and the news report is ready. It can also be set to music with the Voice-Over-Tool. Conveniently, a status display with timecode and peak meter can also be faded into the player and recorder window with Ctrl+G, and a double click on the window switches it to full screen mode. This is also how it works on a laptop with small screen resolution comfortably.
Color correction and effects
But it's not just the fast track, filmmakers also get their money's worth. Manipulating the colors is fun, and of course there is a waveform/ vectorscope window for control. In addition to keyframe-animated YUV curves and three-way color correction with keyer, there is a primary color correction for color and brightness adjustment of clips.
In addition, the mask tool has been given a tracker so that, for example, a face can be tracked with a mask and then brightened up using color correction. You can even apply several effects inside or outside the mask in Edius. What is simply called an effect or DVE in other editing programs is called a layout artist here. It opens in a separate scalable window and can be operated very intuitively. Here even the type of size interpolation can be freely selected depending on the source material.
The usual tools are available for video and audio effects and transitions. Worth mentioning here is the Image Stabilizer with rolling shutter correction and the very successful integration of the 3D stereo workflow with the appropriate effects. Meanwhile, there are some third party effects for Edius ,and some After Effects plug-ins, such as Magic Bullet Looks or Mojo, also work quite well. You should copy them to an extra folder, though, because if Edius doesn't like a plug-in, it will crash before it starts. This way you can easily remove incompatible plug-ins from the folder.
Also for productions that still need DVDs and Blu-Rays as output media, Edius offers easy-to-use tools to burn directly from the editing program. There's also a menu editor that makes it easy to create DVD and Blu-Ray menus using templates, which can of course be largely customized to suit your needs.
Edius is one of the few editing programs in which a batch encoding module is directly integrated. Here, all common formats can be transcoded quickly and effectively, even with optional timecode burn-in. It is even possible to export discs and P2 cards with the corresponding file structure including metadata directly to XDCAM or to initiate an FTP upload. Unfortunately, you can't continue working during the export.
Relinking of offline clips takes getting used to - replacing film material is not possible. For example, you can't simply replace the original audio that is cut in the sequence with the mastered audio by relinking the clip. This only works if the file has the same properties as length and sampling rate. You will need to move or rename the old file to set it as offline in the project. You can then double-click on the offline file to open the Restore Clips window. After that select the "Select file" option from the "Restore method" tab. Now you have to uncheck the box in the file browser at "Only link files that match exactly" and then you can select a new file with a different name. Nevertheless the "Open" button remains grayed out if the file properties do not match.
Unfortunately, there are hardly any editors in Germany who master Edius, and so it is hardly used in broadcasting. Here, Grass Valley has unfortunately missed the opportunity to attract production companies to the Edius warehouse by marketing the "End of Life" of Final Cut 7. Actually, it would have been the ideal successor, especially in stressful OB vans and live productions, because of its stability, intuitive operation and connection to server systems, also with the integrated ProRes-like HQX codec, which performs very well on a Mac. Especially as Final Cut .xml files can also be imported.
Edius is recommended to everyone who wants to cut quickly and effectively. It is good to learn and easy to use. Since Adobe Encore as an authoring tool has not been developed further since CS6, it also offers an alternative here.
The current version is 9.51.
Here is a list of the new features since version 9.00
Blackmagic Raw 6K Support
Comprehensive Quicktime Codec Support
Improved Blackmagic Design Hardware Output
Video recording and preview with AJA hardware
Further improvements in EDIUS
Improvements in Mync
Multicam Audio Sync
Import of Blackmagic RAW Clips
Export of Apple ProRes 4444 clips with alpha channel
Import of other raw camera formats (Canon and Sony)
Extensions in Mync
Apple ProRes Export and ProRes Raw Import
Enhanced Multicam function with new synchronization options (including the announcement of the upcoming Audio Sync Option
Optimized and easy to use HDR-SDR conversion with soft-clip function
Optimized mask motion tracker for better tracking results
Import/Export of closed captioning subtitles including burning into the video
New fast H.265 software decoder for improved performance when processing HEVC material
New format import support for Sony Venice Raw, Panasonic P2 8K and faster Canon Cinema Raw Light processing
New format export support for H.264/H.265 as MOV, optimized low bitrate H.264 encoding and for workgroup: DNxHR support
AJA IO 4K Plus and Kona 5 support for preview
Support of the latest intel QuickSync technology for processors like i7-9700K or i9-9900K for H.264/H.265 acceleration
New in the Workgroup Version: Support for professional Canon HDR control monitors. EDIUS now automatically switches to the correct color space.
More new features like HDR color bars, 0.1% steps for Gaussian blur, Voice Over Level labeling, Project Wizard with overscan setting and more
Updated Mync version with support for all mentioned import formats
Extension of the "Edit Mark" dialog box
Support for the new Fujifilm X-T3
New Nikon N-Log color space
New in the Workgroup Version: Preview device: Output conversion
New in the Workgroup Version: Monitor Control
Closed Caption display, allowing subtitles to be shown and hidden as required
50/60p time code display when editing 50/60p material
RED Raw Decoding GPU support for acceleration by the graphics card
Enhanced Optical Flow options with improved slow motion image quality
Addition of further formats and for faster output to the Exporters
Colored sequence and clip markers for better organization of the material
Extended format support for new camcorders like Canon XF705
New Video Scopes, scalable and with nits display, also for HDR and new color spaces
RGB parade and RGB histogram display for better color control
New color space management to organize frequently used color spaces
Support of new color spaces: ARRI-ALEXA Wide Gamut, Log C, DJI-D-Gamut/D-Log
Floating license license model for flexible license management in large EDIUS installations
HDR support in Mync for preview, storyboard editing and export
New format support of Apple ProRes MXF and Sony VENICE RAW during import
Canon Cinema Raw Light acceleration for the raw material of the Canon C200
New in the Workgroup Version: Monitor Control for optimal HDR output
Export of H.265 via Intel QuickSync Hardware Encoder
XAVC proxy workflow enables the best Sony XAVC(-S) proxy support
Progress display during export and rendering in the EDIUS icon
Enhancements in Mync for keywording, subclips, multi-screen previews and metadata
Improved MPEG2 encoder for even faster and better MPEG2 encoding
Comprehensive HDR workflow in PQ/HLG, import, native editing, conversion, output
Support of new color spaces besides Rec.709 also BT.2020 and BT.2100 PQ/HLG
Export of High End H.264 files with 10bit and 4:2:2
New raw format support of the Cinema Raw Light format of the Canon C200
Native Raw 10bit Cinema DNG Support