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Edius 6

If you are looking at graduating from a basic Windows NLE to something more certainly consider EDIUS By David Hague

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EDIUS (pronounced 'Ed-i-yus' I have since found out, not 'EED-i-yus' for EDItors Ultimate Solution) has been around a while, but in Australia doesn't seem to have the recognition or following that Sony Vegas, Adobe Premiere, Apple Final Cut or AVID systems do.

And that is a damned shame because after playing with it for a weekend, I like it a lot.

As many will know, I have been a long time Vegas user, and even had a hand in writing and editing some of the 3rd party manuals for Vegas, but it has to be said that the workflow for Vegas is not quite the norm whereas EDIUS stays with the tried and true dual editing windows and multiple bins approach.

At first, the layout of EDIUS can be intimidating as there are lots of icons that may not be immediately recognizable. It certainly was for me and made all the more difficult as I had no manual.

Grass Valley, the owners of EDIUS have however created an online 'Grass Valley University' and here there are 36 short videos that run through different areas of EDIUS in a logical and easy to follow way. Running through the whole lot of videos means allowing a couple of hours and the only area not really touched is that of compositing.

If your editing needs are traditional, but you need more power than the so-called 'lite' packages give, EDIUS is a comprehensive suite that runs sprightly in 2GB of RAM and will expand its work area to use double monitors as I have in my case.


There is also a single monitor version that uses a single preview window if you have a lower than average resolution, and this switches between modes automatically as required. In fact the whole interface is customisable with docked and free floating windows being available.

Unlike other packages where tracks in the timeline become a distinct type depending upon what media is dropped into them, EDIUS is quite particular about this with you having to add video to a video track, audio to an audio track and so on.  It can also be a bit messy when adding video that has associated data in that you cannot simply select the video and drop it into the timeline; you must first turn off the associated and linked audio track in the timeline. For some this may cause restrictions when grouping tracks due to a section being a composited effect for example and you like to keep these together.

I did like the implementation of being able to trim clips in the bin (and you can add any number of folders underneath the Root Bin Folder so that associated clips and media can be collected in a single location according to subject say) as well as in preview and the timeline. Clips can also be ordered and sorted in bins allowing rudimentary story boards to be created.

When trimming, it is easy to set in and out points using the keyboard, mouse or something like a Contour Shuttle - in my opinion a MUST have device - but beware that some keystrokes as short cuts are not 100% intuitive. For example I would think 'I' and 'O' for In and Out would be logical, but EDIUS uses 'M' and 'N' whereas other systems may use these as shuttling keys along with 'J', 'K' and 'L'.

Another feature I liked the way it has been setup is how to make a clip a specific length and then drop it to the timeline. In this area, EDIUS is also particular about the use of Ripple editing and when to turn it on or off as it is with grouping of clips, even video with its own audio track.

The tutorials only cover titling in a very basic way, but I am sure on a deeper look, there is far more below the surface than was apparent; for example scrolling titles were not covered, simply still ones.

Similarly, transitions were shown only basically and these work the same basic way that they do in just about any editing package I have ever used; simply drop the transition over two subsequent clips in the timeline. There is a gotcha though in that if the first clip ends at the, well end as it has NOT been trimmed, and the next starts at the beginning (does that make sense?) then a bit more work has to be done to make the transition work as EDIUS by default extends the length of the first and the start of the second clips. If there has been no editing, there is no more left to extend (of the first) or at the start (of the second).

As mentioned, compositing and effects were not covered in the tutorials I went through at all so I cannot at this stage judge how EDIUS stacks up. Very well, I would imagine, as the rest of the package is solid, well thought out and the few niggles I have are mainly in the 'getting to know you better' area.

Some tasks and functions I am used to doing on the fly I didn't seem to be able to do in EDIUS, but this may in the longer term be a good thing as it forces you into a more regimented way of doing things as this leads to order and Order is Good of course.

An example of this is almost EDIUS prefers that all media for a project reside in a single folder on the hard drive (which you set up in Preferences). This is of course good for backup purposes among other things and means you won't have media files willy-nilly scattered over your system drive or data drives.

Sure in some systems (Vegas does it I know), when you save a project you can tell it to save all media used inside the project, but this then means you have duplications of files and while HDD space these days is inexpensive, this is not particularly efficient.

Another major attribute of EDIUS is the ability mix and match different formats on the timeline. This means for example you can have footage in AVCHD, XDCAM and from your iPhone all on the same timeline and preview in real time without rendering.

 Will I change from Vegas to EDIUS?

There are probably as many arguments as to what is the better or best NLE as there are between Mac and Windows fanboys. In the end, NLE's all do the same thing with varying degrees of capability; they allow you to manipulate media to have an end product you can distribute. Let's call this, The Movie.

HOW it does it and what tools are available and the workflow behind that are what I believe sets NLEs apart and which one someone will graduate to as they either 'just get it', or that way of working appeals.

I am happy with Vegas, but I am also prepared to cut a few long projects in EDIUS before I make a, if any, decision to switch. On the surface I like EDIUS very much as it reminds me of my original analogue system back in the late 80s and early 90s. But I also like the compositing functionality in Vegas, which I use a lot, so that factor has to be also weighed up.

If you are looking at graduating from a basic Windows NLE to something more, shall we say, grown up,  and have Premiere, FCP, Vegas and AVID on your list to check out (no I know that FCP won't run under Windows but some people DO change platforms you know), certainly add EDIUS to that list. There is a free download available at the website which is fully functional and lasts for 30 days.

Oh and a final word, the ProDAD plugins that I tend to crow about are also available for EDIUS and that is a major bonus. On2DVD also have a very good DVD based tutorial system I am told is very good. And if you look at the website, there any number of tutorials and plugins available.

There are a bunch of 3rd party tutorials that have been released over the past year, even a couple of sets (colour grading and keying) by Melbourne-based cinematographer Matt Scott.

See his Vimeo page for more

Tech Stuff

New features in EDIUS 6

  • 10-bit editing support
  • 2K/4K resolution support
  • Free-shape mask filter
  • 16 camera multicam editing
  • Proxy mode workflow
  • Canon XF format and EOS movie format support
  • Exporting in AVCHD format to a media card

Key professional features in EDIUS 6

  • Work natively with many different video formats, such as Sony's XDCAM, Panasonic's P2, Ikegami's GF, and now Canon's XF format and EOS movie format
  • Windows 7, Windows XP, and Windows Vista support
  • Fast, flexible user interface, including unlimited video, audio, title, and graphics tracks
  • Real-time editing and conversion of different resolutions, as high as 4K/2K resolution to as low as 24x24
  • Real-time editing and conversion of different frame rates, such as 60p/50p, 60i/50i, and 24p
  • Proxy mode workflow by switching timeline between proxy/hi-res mode
  • Nested timeline sequences
  • GPU-accelerated 3D transitions
  • Real-time effects, keyers, transitions, and titles
  • Multicamera editing of up to 16 different sources simultaneously
  • Direct to Blu-ray Disc and DVD timeline export
  • Export in AVCHD format to a media card

Price AUD $850 (AUD$449 cross upgrade from Vegas, Adobe Premiere, FCP (not X) and AVID.

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David is the owner and publisher of Australian Videocamera. He has a background in media dating back to 1979 when he first got involved with photojournalism in motorsport, and went from there into technology via a 5 year stint with Tandy Computers.

Moving back to WA, David wrote scripts for Computer Television for video training for the just released Windows and Office 95 among others, and was then lured to Sydney to create web sites for the newly commercial Internet in 1995, building hundreds of sites under contract to OzEmail including Coates Hire, Hertz Queensland, John Williamson, the NSW Board of Studies and many, many more.

David can be contacted via

Related Keywords:Edius 6, Grass Valley, Non Linerar Editing, NLE, Video Editing

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