Grass Valley Edius Pro (version 8)

written by Kris Caballero (June 28, 2017)

Grass Valley Edius Pro 8

After growing out of Windows Movie Maker, MGI VideoWave and even Adobe Premiere (version 6), my video editing became very serious and it was naturally the area I truly focused on, pursuing a career in such field. As a belated graduation present, the stakes grew at an astronomical rate.

Because I was unaware of computer specs, according to an employee from the defunct CompUSA, I had a Sony VAIO running Windows XP with a measly 512MB, which back then was considered "enough" for heavy work. What I love about Edius, and many others will mention and agree, that no matter what, it will still work without (in)frequent crashing, still able to play playing with or without render, and doing all it can cooperating with the editor; All this when using it on a computer with specs less than the provided requirements. Some editing softwares require so much just to perform even the simplest of things, like trimming.

'Lo and behold: I created and registered my copy of Edius (version 3) back in 2003, and after much usage up to 2009, I came back as recent as this year (read the article about KC Universal Network's full investment in this editing software). Having used the top three professional software during our video production tenure in the market today, it couldn't happen at a better time coming back.

Since version 3, all the way up to version 8, a lot has changed. Many who are new to this will find the logos and symbols of the tools very intimidating. If you're also used to that one editing software that made the Macintosh platform the system to work at, you'll find the keyboard shortcuts are completely different (such as B isn't blade). Saying that means you're going to delve into a totally new software, but if you're one of those who wants to get the job done without minding much about the learning curve, the weight shouldn't be too much in getting used to this.

What makes this stand out against the other "big 3?" Drop one video clip on the timeline, whether it's SD, HD or 4K video. You can color correct, tweak its position in 2D and 3D (instantly without applying an effect), adjust its brightness, add titles, cut and add 2D/3D transitions, and you can play them all back....IN REAL TIME. Yes, all those edits can be played back in real time, with no rendering and no hiccups. Depending on your computer specs, you can drop two or three video clips overlaying each other via video tracks, using any of the previously mentioned effects and edits, and you can play them all back in real time. If you did this using any of the "big 3" softwares, you'd have to spend time rendering before playing them back in real time; Worse, if you needed to make a small adjustment, you'd have to re-render the whole darn thing again. All those mean more time wasted, which is a no-no with editors. Using Edius, you can just concentrate on editing. Yes, just edit with ease without worry.

While version 8 features a brand new editing "surface," and has rearranged some features, along with new ones in complying with HD and 4K formats, the performance sings and melts butter before it's cut with a hot knife. As mentioned before, even if you have minimum specs with your computer, the software adjusts itself in using the processor and the RAM enough so it can handle what you throw at it. Though I strongly recommend spending the extra cash to really beef up your computer to have it perform tirelessly.

Video formats? The major ones such as DVCPRO HD, SxS to even ProRes and DNxHD; The proprietary codec Edius has is Grass Valley HQ(x). Comparing the codecs' quality really depends on the footage shot, and is a subjective task as to which codec is "the best" out of the others. Nevertheless, Grass Valley HQ is not as popular in terms of external video camera recorders so it's something to be aware of. This leaves the question: how could it handle ProRes and DNxHD? Funny question because, can. No, seriously, it can. Do you have [vertical] video shot on cell phone (normally recorded as either .3gp or, nowadays, .mp4)? Do you have H.264 video shot on DSLR? What about video clips in .AVI, .DIVX, .MKV, .MPEG, and/or PAL video? Guess what: place all those formats in one timeline, and Edius can handle it in real time without any conversion whatsoever (another time-spending expense). While every project is different, what normally took me a few weeks, now takes me only a few days; A project that normally took me a few days only takes me a couple of hours (around 3 hours, depending on the project).

Yeah, I'm beginning to sound like an unhired, fan-boy, salesman for this software, but after reading Grass Valley forums about editors who've made the switch, about 99% of those who switched never looked back (the 1% couldn't handle the learning curve nor were they accustomed to the workflow of the software). Question then remains: why is it recently that I switched back? I'll admit, my fellow editors: yes, I got sucked in to the marketing; I got suckered into the hype and the "if-you-don't-own-this-we-can't-be-friends" deal. However, I don't regret having the knowledge and the experience in using those top professional softwares, as I still do, and held jobs that required experience in those "big 3" software (production companies/networks still look for those editors).

Now that we're talking about jobs, finding an Edius editor is like finding a supermodel who can teach Quantum Physics to children. It's not easy and the demand is either nonexistent, or extremely low. With that said, what good does learning editing on this do? Speed and efficiency, and big time networks like CBS and various sports franchises, like the St. Louis Cardinals use Edius to get their edits and broadcast done quickly and smoothly. Not bad, isn't it? While many production houses, some production companies and the movie industry using one of the "big 3," it is to my honor that our network's switch to Edius couldn't have been a better choice.

Only negative is the software isn't hot when it comes to special effects. The built-in Chroma Keyer works average at best, leaving one to either spend time on Adobe®'s After Effects, or a third-party plug-in that can do green screen perfectly. If you're one those editors who enjoys integrating effects, you may want to keep your effects softwares by your side, render the finished product in a edit-friendly format, then import to Edius. It'd be nice if the developers of this software added professional-grade effects into the software without venturing out, but that would mean an increase in the price.

Sure, Grass Valley's marketing here in the US isn't the greatest, making this a diamond in the video/film rough, but if network executives, post production presidents and senior managers, who I'm sure are reading this right now, realize the quickness and silky smooth workflow on Edius, they'll want to switch immediately. Sadly, like most of you out there, I still have projects I don't have time in converting to the Windows and to Edius, so I either remake it again or completely change up the style (I'm one of those people). Nevertheless, switching back to Edius on Windows saved me a ton of time, and now we're able to produce new video projects in no time.

Those who have a huge following creating YouTube videos, let me tell you: you can upload videos as frequent as a TV network if you edit with Edius. Secret's out? Oh well, now watch everyone purchase this software and bragging about it, like a hipster (oh no, please don't).

I could keep going but you've heard/read enough. One of the top complaints from editors, from school to freelancers to professionals, are being able to edit quickly while injecting their creative flavors. Believe me, as someone who has edited with the "big 3" softwares, I know the feeling. However, time is money and losing your audience's interest and/or leaving them hanging is the worst thing you could do. I may be patient personally, but I need to get things done cause I know in my heart, it's still not done. With that, I can spare extra time, even delaying a release, rummaging through anything in case I need to tweak some things.

To editors of all kinds and of all levels: hurry and make the switch before everyone else jumps the bandwagon. I've been a user since 2003, and while I ventured out, I never forgot the moment when Grass Valley took over the company and the software, originally under Canopus. Once everyone makes the switch, Grass Valley might raise the prices, so get yours and learn about editing with ease and speed while maintaining top-notch, quality video.

Sure, this isn't the "perfect" software all editors have been wanting, but it certainly meets the needs we all long for, such as fast editing with little to no rendering (depending on how many effects applied and how many tweaks done, you'd have to do some rendering anyway).

Comparing the "big 3" out there, Edius is the "Netflix" of editing softwares: once people know about it, everyone will subscribe to it and remain loyal forever. Cheers, Grass Valley for this excellent product!

NOTE: some of you are thinking about the expenses investing in a beefy computer to have Edius edit and playback full HD or 4K in real time. When you find out that this software's maximum RAM is 512GB, you know you can go all out on this. The professional Windows editing workstations I've seen, with max specs, cost around $2,500 to $7,000, depending on the seller, brand parts. That's totally not bad compared to the Mac computers, when maxed out, can cost upwards of over $10,000 (my Mac Pro suffered from continuous video card errors as I literally used every megabyte of that card with my video editing and motion graphics design). While Mac is still the *hot* product, thanks to Apple®'s wonderful marketing and commercials, you can quietly make the switch to Windows, whether you like it or not, with a full, maxed-out inexpensive system running an editing software that can edit the formats of your video camera videos without worry. Other low-cost choices are PC gaming computers, which, if you're an editor who's a computer gamer, you should have no problem shopping for the best choice.

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© 2008-2019 written and reviewed personally by Kris Caballero.

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