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September 01, 2011

Table of Contents

Tutorial: Using ROBUSKEY to Create Stellar Keys
Tutorial: Getting Creative with Grass Valley EDIUS 6.0
Tutorial: Syncing DSLR Video and Dual-System Audio With PluralEyes
Tutorial: Efficient Multicam Editing With Grass Valley EDIUS 6
Tutorial: Streamlined Field Editing With Proxy Mode
Tutorial: Using the New Mask Filter in Grass Valley EDIUS 6
Six Steps to Stronger Edits: EventDV Launches Grass Valley EDIUS 6 Podcast Series

Tutorial: Using ROBUSKEY to Create Stellar Keys

Grass Valley EDIUS 6 on EventDV.tvThis tutorial is on a new third-party keyer plug-in called ROBUSKEY. What's so great about ROBUSKEY is that it allows you to make a great key out of poorly shot footage. It's a third-party utility that's recently come to market that plugs in really well to EDIUS. I'm going to show you how to clean it up and have your keys looking the best they can be.

Basic Keys with the EDIUS Keyer
First let's look at the EDIUS keyer and see how well it works. I'm starting with a pretty good greenscreen (Figure 1, below). You can probably see there's not a whole lot of issues other than a few spots in the subject's hair where we would have difficulty making a clean key.

Grass Valley EDIUS 6

To begin, let's go to the Effects palette and locate the keyers. Find the chromakey and drop it onto your transparency track. You can see in Figure 2 that with this type of footage, EDIUS' built-in keyer does a pretty good job. There's really no need to venture outside of EDIUS for this type of key.

Grass Valley EDIUS 6

More Challenging Keys
Let's find some more difficult footage. In the section of the EDIUS timeline shown in Figure 3, you can see I've got some more challenging footage. I did a search on the Internet for "challenging green screens" and found a site called HollywoodCameraWork.us, and they had a number of greenscreen keys that were very challenging for one reason or another, and so I grabbed a few of those as examples to show off what ROBUSKEY can do.

Robuskey

To begin, go to Effects > Keyers > Chroma key and drop it on your transparency track. As you can see in Figure 4, EDIUS has keyed out the green pretty well from the screen, and I've got a white background behind it; however, we do have a lot of reflection around the edges picking up the green. The next step is to open up the chroma key and see if you can clean that up just a little bit. In my experimentation I've discovered that the circle gives me a little bit better quality key, so if I drag this up a little bit you can see my greens are getting a little bit more washed out and we're losing those a little bit.

Robuskey

As you can see in Figure 5, by moving the circle around, I've brightened it up and flattened the image somewhat, making it more washed out. But it's also much more usable as well, compared to the bright greens in the original. We still have a little bit of green, but it's pretty well cleaned up and looks much better, for the most part. But in some areas, such as the edges of the subject's hair and some spots on her coat, it's become desaturated. It's not the perfect green screen and it's not the perfect key, but it's fairly usable.

Robuskey

Using ROBUSKEY
Let's see how close we can get to that "perfect key" with ROBUSKEY. To begin, mute the EDIUS track and open up the ROBUSKEY track. We'll work with the same shot we used in the previous section.

Go back to the beginning of the clip and go to your Effects palette. Note that ROBUSKEY it's not a keyer; it's a greenscreen filter (Figure 6). The fact that ROBUSKEY acts as a filter and not a keyer is huge in EDIUS. Within the EDIUS workflow you're allowed to use only one keyer on the key track, but you can use unlimited filters, so this opens up the opportunity for you to use ROBUSKEY as a filter on your filter track and then still apply other keyers of different types to the keyer track. You get more flexibility this way.

robuskey

Open the ROBUSKEY information dialog, and you'll see the controls (Figure 7). Let's go through these and study some of them a little bit. Begin by clicking on your eyedropper to select it, then click on something green in your image.

Robuskey

As you can see in Figure 8, we've already got a much cleaner key than what EDIUS was giving us. Scrubbing through, I can see that with the ROBUSKEY filter we're not getting quite the desaturation around her hair that we got with the EDIUS version of the keyer, so this is already a big improvement over what we saw before.

Robuskey

Let's go through some of these controls now and see just exactly what they mean. Up across the top we've got three different options. We can see the result. We can see a matte, where we can help dial in some of our keying to get the fine details worked out, and by clicking on the source, we can see what our original footage looked like. Our next option is Smooth BG, aka smooth background. If we scrub through some of our footage in the example clip, we can see those shadows behind her (Figure 9). That could pose a problem to some keyers. What Smooth BG does is to flatten the background up in the keying process and make it much more consistent, helping us grab a better key.

Robuskey

The next option is Shadow. This will adjust the amount of shadow of objects when the clip being synthesized, so if we start dragging this back and forth we can see some of the results of it. If I go all the way over, it just gets messed up. You can see a little bit of bleed-through on her chin there (Figure 10).

Robuskey

You can see the hair's being affected, so I'm going to have to put it back to 100, back to its default setting. It looked pretty good there. If I come down to the clip black, it adjusts the portion you'd like to move the post-chromakeying alpha channel, so if I start adjusting the black up you can see again her hair is being affected, and there's that chin problem again (Figure 11). If I go all the way over to the edge it just goes white on me. You can also see along the edge of her sleeves that we're losing some of her coat. So I'm going to put that back to the default, zero.

Robuskey

If I start adjusting my white down, it will start to introduce some of those shadows from our greenscreen, the portion behind her that wasn't keyed very well or that was going to affect and give us problems with our key. We're going to ramp that back up to the default settings, because overall those three settings looked pretty good right out of default settings.

The next option down is D-blocking. If I turn that on and I've got footage that has pixel noise or block noise on it, this can help clean it up, and you can adjust the amount of sensitivity. This can come in handy if you're using, say, MPEG footage or HDV footage that could have compression artifacts in it. This could help your keying of those types of files come out much cleaner.

The next option down is the edge contract. If we want to shrink the amount of edge being worked with on our footage, we can adjust our number up and it changes. If you've got a really messy edge this might help it a little bit. You can change the contract threshold and you can ramp that up and it'll just adjust the threshold for how sensitive it is. I'm going to mess with those a little bit, and I still think even right at the default settings of zero and zero for those I still get my best key, so on this particular greenscreen I'm going to turn that option off, but I did want to tell you about what it does.

The next option, Edge Blur, is pretty self-explanatory. This could be handy sometimes if you've got really, really razor-sharp edges on your key that just don't look right. Once it's blurred, you can change the blur value and do some other things that will affect how it looks. Blue removes a bluish reflection in transparent material.

Now, we're almost done with our ROBUSKEY Information palette. We have an area that's advanced for de-spill. The white/gray will remove white spilled to black and gray objects, so if we adjust that and there was a lot of green on there it's going to bring back some noise from the background.

The Skin/Hair Color control removes green spilled into the skin and brown hair. If I adjust this in the example clip, we don't see a whole lot of change unless we drag it all the way down to zero. I'm going to leave that again at the regular setting. If we had a lot of the green bleeding over like we did in the EDIUS version, then this little trick here would've been really good to clean that up. The blue removes green spilled into transparent objects.

Screen Gain, our last option, is used when the color range of the background is too wide to perform a chroma key correctly. If you have GPU acceleration with the right kind of graphics card in your computer, you can get accelerated playback and easier playback if you have that option checked. You can see the final results of what we did in the example clip with ROBUSKEY in Figure 12.

Robuskey

Now let's compare the settings we applied with the ROBUSKEY filter to what EDIUS did. I'm going to turn this channel and turn EDIUS back on. As you can see in Figure 13, we still retained a little bit of that green and we had the washed-out areas in her hair, and if we play that it still played in real time, but you can see it was a really bad, bad key. It just didn't work too well around some of the edges and we've got a lot of green spilling over. In the ROBUSKEY version, you can see that it didn't wash out as much. We still retained a lot of the shadows and the depth in our image. In the EDIUS version you can see the loss of depth; it's much flatter. On this particular type of problem key, the ROBUSKEY does a really good job of cleaning that up.

Grass Valley EDIUS 6

EDIUS has a great keyer when you've got a good greenscreen shot, but when you've got a challenging greenscreen shot, you can see how much of an improvement ROBUSKEY will give you over the EDIUS keyer. So, if you do a lot of greenscreen work, it's important to your business, you may just want to check out this new ROBUSKEY third-party plug-in available for EDIUS.

For more advanced examples of what ROBUSKEY can do, watch the video tutorial that accompanies this article at the top of the page, or check out the 6-part video tutorial series on the EventDV.tv EDIUS 6 page on Vimeo.

Philip Hinkle (philip at frogmanproductions.com) runs Madison, Wis.-area video production company Frogman Productions. A 2008 EventDV 25 honoree and nationally recognized EDIUS instructor, he won a 2008 WEVA CEA Gold in the Social Event category and a 2006 4EVER Group AAA Diamond. He was a 2009 WEVA CEA judge and a featured speaker at WEVA Expo 2009. He is co-founder and vice-president of the Wisconsin Digital Media Group.

Back to Contents...

Tutorial: Getting Creative with Grass Valley EDIUS 6.0

Grass Valley EDIUS 6 on EventDV.tvIn this tutorial, I'm going to show you some of the tools within EDIUS that will make you more creative and more efficient, including creating custom filter presets and building complex projects using multiple nested sequences. This will help you be more productive on your timeline and get your projects done more quickly.

Creating Custom Presets
Let's begin by creating a custom preset. The purpose of creating a custom preset is to store a combination of effect settings that you create on a regular basis so you can easily get to them all the time. It's also a great way to keep them organized.

The first thing we're going to do is go to the Effects palette and create a folder where we'll put all our new presets that we're going to create during this tutorial. To do so, go to your root and create new folder there. I'm going to call mine "BagOfTricks" (Figure 1).

Grass Valley EDIUS 6
Figure 1. The BagOfTricks folder added to the Effects palette

Next, I want to move mine up, but I can't move it up right now because this lock is turned on. If you try moving any of these folders around and EDIUS won't let you, it's because you've got the lock turned on. Once you turn that off and open it up, you can move it up. Stick it at the top of your Effects palette. This will allow you to put all your new presets right here in your bag of tricks. They'll always be at the top of your Effects palette and easy to get to when you need them.

The first custom preset I'll show you how to create is a look similar to the bleach bypass that you find in a lot of effects collections such as Magic Bullet Looks. I like to use the bleach bypass look a lot of times when I'm doing a flashback to an earlier point in time or even to an earlier point in a day where someone is remembering something that happened to them earlier in the day or in their lives. It's sort of a washed-out, desaturated, and very contrasty look. I use it on a regular basis and it really looks pretty good as a flashback.

To begin building a preset, go to the Effects palette, scroll down to your Color Correction filters, select Color Balance, and drop that on your clip. Next, open up the Properties either by double-clicking Color Balance or using the Open Setup dialog. All we're going to do with this filter is just turn the Saturation down by -40. As you can see in Figure 2, the image on the left has gotten a little bit less saturated.

Grass Valley EDIUS 6
Figure 2. The original image with the Saturation decreased by -40

The next thing we'll do is select a YUV curve and drop that on the clip. Open up the Properties for the clip and add a bit of an S-curve to enhance the whites and crush the blacks. The results look pretty good, as you can see in Figure 3, so let's click OK.

Grass Valley EDIUS 6
Figure 3. The clip with the S-curve added to enhance the whites and crush the blacks

The next step, believe it or not, is to use EDIUS' Soft Focus filter in a way you probably haven't thought to use it before. Begin by dropping the Soft Focus effect on your clip, then go to Properties, and set the radius at 20. Next, select the Blur and turn that just a little, down to about 14. We don't want a really blurry look for this effect. Finally, turn the Brightness down so the image isn't washed out. In this example, I'll turn it down to 7, to get the look shown in Figure 4. Once you're satisfied with the look, click OK.

Grass
Figure 4. Here's how the clip looks with the Soft Focus filter added.

Finally, you'll want to go to Color Correction, select the Three-Way Color Corrector, drop it on your clip, and open it up. In this clip, I need to start by adjusting the blacks. I'm going to drop my Saturation way down and my Contrast way down, then do the same process on the whites. After I click OK, as you can see in Figure 5, we've got a somewhat washed-out and contrasty look, very similar to a bleach bypass look.

Grass Valley EDIUS 6
Figure 5. Behold-bleach bypass!

If you want to see what the clip looked like before, you can highlight all of your filters and click on one of the checkboxes to deselect them all. As you can see in Figure 6, the image was very saturated and colorful, and now it's very washed out and contrasty. That's pretty much the bleach bypass look that we wanted.

Grass Valley EDIUS 6
Figure 6. Compare the bleach bypassed version to the original, shown here.

Now that we're happy with the look, all we need to do to create a preset out of these settings is make sure they're all selected, then right-click them and, when the pull-down menu appears, choose Save as a Current User Preset (Figure 7).

Grass Valley EDIUS 6
Figure 7. Saving as Current user Preset

When you go back to your Effects palette, you'll see that EDIUS has added the preset to the palette, but placed it in your Color Correction set of filters. You can see in Figure 8 that it's got a U on it; that means it's your user preset. Seeing the U there is an easy way to know this is the one you just did. To move your new custom filter preset to a more accessible spot in the folder you created at the beginning of this tutorial, drag your scroll bar up, take your new filter, and drag it into BagOfTricks (or whatever you named your folder). Finally, you'll want to change the name of the preset to something that will identify it, such as "Bleach Bypass."

Grass Valley EDIUS 6
Figure 8. Our custom preset filter has a U by it now

Now you have one useful filter in your bag of tricks. Let's move onto another one.

Clean Up Blemishes
This is kind of a neat little trick that I learned recently, involving a situation that most of us have encountered many times doing client projects with lots of faces in them. I have a clip of an older gentleman and I want to use some filters in EDIUS to clean up some of the blemishes on his skin (Figure 9), and make it look less aged-looking. I'm going to take 10 years off of this guy's face. In EDIUS, it's a very, simple process and it's something you can do very easily in your HD footage after you create the user preset we're going to build in this tutorial. Once it's in your Effects palette, you can just drop it on a clip and make it work.

Grass Valley EDIUS 6
Figure 9. We're going to take a few years off this man's face.

To begin, go up to your video filters and select the filter called Chrominance. Most people use the Chrominance filter for is to do a color pass-for example, if you want to have all yellow flowers and everything else in the scene black and white. We're going to use some of that same principle, but we're just going to use it to affect the look of the man's skin.

Click Show Key so that everything in white is what you're working with. In our example, obviously his skin is not selected, his coat is (Figure 10). So I'm going to double-click on his skin until I get it. Next, I'll go to my Color Luminance area, and dial the range down to where I'm just dealing with mostly his skin. Once you've got the skin you want to clean up selected deselect Show Key.

Grass Valley EDIUS 6
Figure 10. Currently, his coat is selected, not his skin; we need to click until we select his skin.

Next, we need to take something that's going to act on that skin. Remember that the skin was selected, so we need to come back to our effect and we need to use something on the Inside Filter. Scroll down and find the Smooth Blur. Open the Smooth Blur setup dialog and dial it up as much as necessary to make the skin look softer. To get the look you see in Figure 11, I changed the Smooth Blur setting to 10. As you can see, his skin looks much smoother and much cleaner. Turn this filter on and off to can see the difference in how smooth his skin looks. Nothing else has been affected. His hair is still crisp and all the strands are sticking out. Just his face has gotten much softer and smoother.

Grass Valley EDIUS 6
Figure 11. Skin is smoothed out; everything else in the image is unaffected and as sharp as before.

Now it's time to save the preset. Take the filter-there's only one this time-right-click it, and select Save as Current User Preset once again. Now if you come back to your Effects palette, you should see this preset there in your Video Filters palette. Scroll back up into your folders, drag the new filter up to BagOfTricks (or whatever you named your folder), then click on the new filter and change the name. I'm going to call mine Smooth Skin (Figure 12).

Grass Valley EDIUS 6
Figure 12. Our new Smooth Skin custom filter preset added to the Effects palette in our BagOfTricks folder.

One more note on the Smooth Skin filter: Obviously, not everybody's skin is the same color. Complexions are different; colors vary. To adjust for these variations in skin tone next time you use the preset, drop it on your clip, and then open the Properties and just reselect the skin of your subject's face by using the Show Key function discussed earlier. Once that's done, click OK. You've already got your smoothness dialed in. You've already got all the other background work done. Regardless of the skin tone you're working with, you can still apply the filter in a matter of seconds.

Making Your Colors Pop
Let's wrap up this tutorial with one more custom filter that I call "Color Pop." I use this on almost every clip I edit. I also use a nested sequence, to make it very easy and efficient to make all the colors in my project just pop a little and make them richer. It's very simple.

Once again, we're going to use a filter in a way you may not have thought to use it. That's the creative part of EDIUS. I'm going to use the Old Movie filter. I know many people find this one cheesy. But I'm not going to use it the way it was designed. I'm going to use some of its abilities to trick it to do what I want.

To begin, I'm going to place the Old Movie filter on my clip and open the Properties. I'm going to turn off every option in here except Border Darkening, as shown in Figure 13. This will darken the border just a little and give the clip a filmlike vignette. It also makes your colors much richer. I use a darkening amount somewhere between 50 and 60. You can adjust it to your own preference. Once you've dialed it in as you like it, then use the same functionality we've already covered to create a user preset, put it in your "BagOfTricks," and rename it accordingly. We will use the ColorPop filter we created a little later.

Grass Valley EDIUS 6
Figure 13. Creating our ColorPop effect with the Old Movie filter, but using only the Border Darkening property.

Creating Transition Presets
Now let's create a few transition presets. EDIUS 6, for the first time, allows you to create presets out of your transitions so that they have a pre-/custom-defined length to them. In previous versions of EDIUS, you could save a transition as a preset, but you couldn't save a defined length to it. You always had to start with the default length and make adjustments from there each time you used it.

To begin, find a few clips where you want to add a transition. By default, EDIUS makes all your transitions 1-second long (this can be modified if needed). Drop a one-second dissolve right on a cut in your timeline. Next, zoom in on the timeline so you can see the transition easier (Figure 14).

Grass Valley EDIUS 6
Figure 14. The EDIUS timeline zoomed in to show the transition up-close

I like to create about a 10-frame dissolve that gives my straight cuts and my project a much softer feel to where the transitions are not quite as harsh. Place your cursor right on top of the green line in the middle of your transition. This is the actual cut point. Use the arrow keys to move back 5 frames. Then drag the left edge of the transition to snap up against the cursor. Then do the same to the right side of the cut point. You now have a 10-frame dissolve.

In your Information palette, you should now see the dissolve you have added. Just right-click on it and select Save as Current User Preset, just as we did with our filters. Thereafter you'll find it in your Transition palette, where you can drag and add it to your BagOfTricks (or whatever you call your custom preset folder). When I rename the transition, I include the number of frames in the name so I have a visual reminder of how long it is (Figure 15).

Grass Valley EDIUS 6
Figure 15. The custom transition stored and named with the number of frames included

The next transition preset I want to create is one I learned how to create on the Grass Valley forums. Another user posted this concept and I found it very usable. It's basically just a simple white flash that ramps up and down really fast. One way we could do a white flash is to create a white matte and put it over a cut point. This will create a hard flash that could be harsh on our viewer. I'm going to begin by using a transition available in EDIUS called the Alpha Custom Map (Figure 16).

Grass Valley EDIUS 6
Figure 16. Choosing the Alpha Custom Map transition to begin

Find the Alpha Custom Map and drop it on the cut point between 2 clips. Again, EDIUS defaults to one second for transition length. This transition I want to make a 6-frame transition, so I use the same procedure to adjust the length as in the previous section. Set it to 6 frames, then go to the Information palette to open the Properties. You will want to make sure your transition is highlighted so you can view the Transition Information palette. Open the Transition Properties. Let's adjust it a little. Drag the sharpness all the way to -99 and drag the acceleration to 100. Set the Use Colored Edges to white (Figure 17). Click OK, and your transition is completed.

Grass Valley EDIUS 6
Figure 17. Set Use Colored Edges to white

When you play through this transition, you'll have a softer ramp up and down to a white flash. It's much softer and easier on the viewer's eyes. Once again, I'm probably going to use this filter multiple times so I'm going to save it as a user preset and add it to my BagOfTricks. I call it WhiteFlash.

Using Nested Sequences
We have now covered custom filters and transitions. Let's look at a few ways you can use sequences and nested sequences to make your workflow more creative and efficient. In Figure 18, you can see I have a number of sequences along my timeline.

Grass Valley EDIUS 6
Figure 18. A timeline with multiple sequences

The sequence in Figure 18 shows I've got 3 title tracks and each one is a circle within a circle within a circle. If we were to look at the information on those clips, we can see that our Layouter has been key framed to give some motion to each layer of circles. This sequence can now be "nested" as a clip within in another sequence.

Now let's go back to our Key effect. As you can see in the Key effect sequence, I've got my Nest_2 sequence being used. I've got my sequence 1, which is actually an edited multicam sequence of drums shot with 8 different cameras. Underneath that is a color matte with a gradient on it. The top layer is our Nest_2 sequence with the circles (Figure 19).

Grass Valley EDIUS 6
Figure 19. The Nest_2 sequence

I've added a Track Matte keyer to the keyer track set to Luminance. You can see how all the layers are working together to create a nice intro to our edited piece.

For the last piece in this tutorial, I'm going to create a new sequence called "Final." If this was a project and I was creating a multi-piece project, I would create it for my workflow in multiple sequences and then just drop all of those on the timeline as individual clips. For this project, I'm going to take the key_effect sequence and drop it in as its own clip (Figure 20).

Grass Valley EDIUS 6
Figure 20. The key_effect sequence dropped into the timeline as its own clip

If I were to modify any of the original content in the key_effect sequence, those changes would be reflected in the one that I put on my timeline. Next, I'm going to add sequence_1, which was my 8-camera multicam edit, and drop that on my timeline. That's a fairly long clip. If I don't want to use it all I can cut it just as I would a regular clip right on the timeline. I'm also going to add the Mask sequence from our first tutorial (http://vimeo.com/25454871) and put it on the end. Now all three portions of smaller projects are on the timeline and it was much easier to manage because I built each section (Figure 21). I've used my sequences to more easily manage a project. It's one really easy way to make massive projects flow easier.

Grass Valley EDIUS 6
Figure 21. A complex project built from sequences

Remember that Color Pop filter we created earlier and placed in the BagOfTricks folder? Here's how I use it at the end of a project. First, I use the lasso to highlight all my clips and drop the Color Pop filter on them all with one drag-and-drop function. By doing this I just made all the colors in my project "pop" a little more (Figure 22).

Grass Valley EDIUS 6
Figure 22. The project with the Color Pop filter applied

It's a really creative way to use a simple function in a filter that maybe you hadn't thought to do before, and quickly apply it to everything on your timeline to give all your colors just a little bit more pop and make it look a lot nicer in your project.

That wraps up this tutorial. I hope you enjoyed seeing how to use custom presets and transitions and also nested sequences to boost your creativity. I like to tell people that EDIUS is a playground and all I'm just giving you what you need to get you on the merry-go-round or the swingset. There's lots more adventure out there at the playground, and you just need to dig into EDIUS and find out how to use all the tools at your disposal to be creative beyond what you thought was possible.

Philip Hinkle (philip at frogmanproductions.com) runs Madison, Wis.-area video production company Frogman Productions. A 2008 EventDV 25 honoree and nationally recognized EDIUS instructor, he won a 2008 WEVA CEA Gold in the Social Event category and a 2006 4EVER Group AAA Diamond. He was a 2009 WEVA CEA judge and a featured speaker at WEVA Expo 2009. He is co-founder and vice-president of the Wisconsin Digital Media Group.

Back to Contents...

Tutorial: Syncing DSLR Video and Dual-System Audio With PluralEyes

Grass Valley EDIUS 6 on EventDV.tvIn the fourth tutorial in our six-part series on Grass Valley EDIUS 6, we'll discuss Singular Software's PluralEyes, a third-party plug-in now available for EDIUS 6 that allows you, the editor, to easily sync all of your audio and video sources quickly on your timeline without going through the laborious task of doing it manually. Designed for anyone using dual-system audio on their shoots, it's especially helpful for DSLR shooters who need to use external audio devices to get pro-quality sound. PluralEyes will speed up your edits and, as we all know, "Time is money."

Step 1: Dropping the Video Clips and Audio Source into the Timeline
In the example we'll use in this tutorial, I've got 8 different clips that I'll set up for a multicam edit. I'll take my clips and randomly drop them down on my timeline in different spots so we can create a syncing challenge that will put PluralEyes through a good test. And let's put PluralEyes to a good, little test. I'm just going to randomly drop them all over. (We used this same section in the multicam tutorial that premiered a couple weeks ago.)

As I've got one more clip that I'm going to drop in, a DV clip that was shot with a good mic connected and will serve as our raw audio source. I'll going to turn off the video on this clip because we don't want to use the audio. I'll drag it down and drop it right here on our 1A track (Figure 1).

Grass Valley EDIUS 6
Figure 1. Adding the DV clip to the 8-track timeline as our audio source

Step 2: Syncing in PluralEyes
Now, it's time to let PluralEyes do its thing. To access PluralEyes, we go to the Tools menu and click on PluralEyes (Figure 2).

Grass Valley EDIUS 6
Figure 2. Selecting PluralEyes from the Tools menu

The PluralEyes Information Screen appears (Figure 3). Let's take a look at some of the options and see what we can do with it. The first option that is available is Clips Are Chronological. That's the default selection. You'll choose this one in cases when you've done your best to assure the clips are on the timeline chronologically, especially on any tracks where you have placed multiple clips. It will help PluralEyes do a better job and be more accurate in the sync process.

Singular Software PluralEyes
Figure 3. The PluralEyes Information Screen

The next option is Level Audio. If you choose this option, PluralEyes will take your louder clips and quiet them down, and take your quieter clips and raise the volume on them to get all the audio into the same ballpark, level-wise. That means it can do a better job of finding the sound stamps that it's going to link to when it starts to sync your clips.

This brings us to how Plural Eyes works: First, it reads through all of your audio files that are linked to the video files. Then it looks at the audio files that aren't linked with any video clips-such as those sourced from solid state audio recorders-and tries to find common areas that match. And then it's going to sync to those areas. This will leave you with a timeline that's ready to rock.

The next option is Try Really Hard. If you choose this option, PluralEyes will do exactly what it says: try really hard. Use this only for especially challenging sync jobs—like when the first 2 options don't work. It will take a little bit of extra time, but PluralEyes will go through as thoroughly as possible and it will do its very best job. It's really good to use this option, say, if you've got a clip with a lot of background noise and not a whole lot of points in the audio where PluralEyes can find a sound stamp on and grab onto your natural audio file or your good audio file and sync it to the video. In this type of scenario, PluralEyes is just going to try really hard to do a good job for you.

The last option is Replace Audio. With this option, PluralEyes locates the first audio-only track on your timeline. As all the files get synced up, it will actually impose the audio from that audio-only track onto all of the clips that it syncs to as the main audio. This option can be very handy in some situations. But there are other types of edits where you may not want it to go this route.

Now that we know what each option does, we'll press the sync button and see what happens. After PluralEyes does its work, as you can see in Figure 4, by all appearances, we're all synced up.

Singular Software PluralEyes
Figure 4. Video tracks are all synced up to the master audio track from the DV camera

Step 3: Testing the Sync
The timeline looks great now but, the question is, did it really work? To gauge how well PluralEyes has synced your audio and video, pick a random spot in the timeline and see how it did (Figure 5). If you watch (and listen to) the video tutorial above, you'll see (and hear) that PluralEyes did a good job on this set of clips. You'll note that audio levels are very high because every audio track is running. Before continuing with or completing the edit, I would probably keep my master audio track and go through my project and mute most of those other channels. I might select one or two of them to keep active, and then I would expand them to use as ambient sound to enrich the overall sound of the piece.

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Figure 5. Testing...

One other thing that's worth noting is that we have a new sequence now called Sequence 1 Synced with a big, long date code on it (Figure 6). What has happened is PluralEyes took our original sequence and left it completely intact from how we set it up. It has not touched any of that information. It's gone out and made a new sequence for you to work out of. This is helpful because if, for some reason, you need to start over or go back to your original setup, it's all right there for you. You've got both sequences. This is the one you're probably going to be working out of the most though. So you may want to rename it something a little shorter that will show up in the Sequence tab and be easier to read.

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Figure 6. Sequence 1 Synced is a new synced sequence created by PluralEyes because it left our original sequence intact.

That's all for today's tutorial. Come back in a few weeks where we'll be talking about how to get creative in EDIUS using custom filter presets in nested sequences.

You can see other video tutorials in our ongoing series of EDIUS 6 tutorials on EventDV.tv's EDIUS channel on Vimeo.

Philip Hinkle (philip at frogmanproductions.com) runs Madison, Wis.-area video production company Frogman Productions. A 2008 EventDV 25 honoree and nationally recognized EDIUS instructor, he won a 2008 WEVA CEA Gold in the Social Event category and a 2006 4EVER Group AAA Diamond. He was a 2009 WEVA CEA judge and a featured speaker at WEVA Expo 2009. He is co-founder and vice-president of the Wisconsin Digital Media Group.

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Tutorial: Efficient Multicam Editing With Grass Valley EDIUS 6

Grass Valley EDIUS 6 on EventDV.tvEvent shooters frequently shoot with multiple cameras to get optimum coverage for their customers. Without a multicam interface in an NLE to streamline the process, mixing footage from multiple cameras can be daunting for the editor. Most pro-level NLEs today incorporate a multicam feature that helps event editors by making their edit process simple and quick. Grass Valley EDIUS is no exception. It has a robust multicam feature set that is difficult to match in other NLEs. I hope this tutorial helps you speed through your multicam edits and accomplish more work in less time.

Step 1: Place Your Clips
The first step to any multicam edit is to place your clips on the timeline. Of course you will have to get them all synced as well. If your cameras and footage have running timecode, EDIUS can sync by timecode. The option is in the mode menu. Most event editors will sync their footage based on sound and/or a photographer's camera flash. With the release of PluralEyes for EDIUS, there is now a their-party plug-in that syncs your footage for you and can save you even more time. Once all my clips are on the timeline and completely synced it's time to start editing. For this tutorial, our timeline will look like the Figure 1 before the edit begins.

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Figure 1. Our 8-layer timeline before editing in Multicam mode

Step 2: Set the Number of Cameras
The first thing you need to know about EDIUS' Multicm mode is that you have the ability to set the number of cameras you want to use. As you can see on the timeline here, we have eight different layers of video, which means I'm editing an eight-camera multicam shoot. You can set the number of cameras for you edit by selecting Mode > Number of Cameras and selecting from the Number pull-down (8 + Master in this case), as shown in Figure 2.

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Figure 2. Setting the number of cameras in addition to the Monitor

If you notice in the menu EDIUS even has an option for 16 cameras for a 16-camera multicam edit. That's a bunch of cameras. In this example, we're dealing with only 8, but it's good to know that EDIUS could handle 16 if you have a big enough event.

Step 3: Work in Dual-View Mode
Once you select Multicam Mode, EDIUS will appear as shown in Figure 3. Note that if you're in Single View mode, your monitor will display the 8 cameras plus the Master in the Monitor. If you're in Dual-View mode your 8 + Master will display in the Preview monitor and the master will show fullscreen in the Recorder/Output monitor on the right. For our tutorial, we're using Dual-View mode.

Our project also has a ninth layer of audio: an audio track from a DV camera. It has been placed on the bottom of the audio timeline and will become our master audio at the end of the project.

Another thing you'll notice about this project in the screenshots is that I'm working in Proxy mode. Proxy mode allows you to edit with low-rez proxy files. In Multicam mode, you have to get multiple streams of video into the application. In full-rez video mode, those 8 streams represent a lot of data, and will need a fast RAID 0 system for efficient operation. If you use Proxy mode to edit an 8-stream multicam project, you'll be able to edit the entire thing easily off an external USB laptop drive on an i7 laptop. To learn more about Proxy mode editing, see my Proxy Mode video tutorial on Vimeo or on EventDV.net (with text).

When I play the timeline in Multicam mode, there may be a slight stutter on playback because of the data stream. EDIUS offers the ability to skip frames to make playback smooth and easy to edit. With an 8-camera multicam shoot off a USB drive, I'll select to skip only 1 frame to make it play smoothly. Figure 3 shows how to access the Mode > View Multicam > Skipped Frames option.

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Figure 3. Choosing how to preview Multicam footage

Step 4: On to the Edit
Now that your timeline is playing smoothly you're wondering, "How do I actually edit this multicamera shoot in EDIUS with Multicam mode?" It's very simple: Start the timeline playing back by hitting the space bar or pressing the Play button on the Recorder window. As it's playing, I can simply click on the window I want to go live on my output. You can also select the "live" camera by just pressing the associated track number on your numeric keypad.

Now that I've made a few cuts in the edit and as you can see on the timeline, small upside-down triangle markers are placed at each cut point as shown in Figure 4.

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Figure 4. Cut points on the timeline in Multicam mode

You'll also notice that some of the clips are brighter, and the others are dark. Those bright ones are the actual camera track that has gone live in your Output monitor. Essentially, EDIUS is muting the tracks you don't want, and leaving live the tracks you do want.

Another great feature of EDIUS is how simple it is to modify an edit if you miss a cut point or decide to move an edit point. Instead of having to stop and undo and redo everything, all you need to do is grab one of the marker triangles and drag it to where the cut should be. All the cuts on each track will move along with the location of the triangle marker.

Step 5: Compressing the Timeline
Once you've completed your the multicam edit, EDIUS has a few more tricks in store for you. If you go to the Mode menu again you'll find an option called Compress to a Single Track, as shown in Figure 5.

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Figure 5. Compressing your edited multicam timeline to a single track

After selecting the Compress to Single Track option, you're prompted to either add a new V track or VA track at the top of your timeline. After selecting what kind of track you want to add, EDIUS takes all the "live" clips from each track and places them on the new track you just created. All your original tracks are still in place underneath in case you need to make any modifications later. Figure 6 shows the timeline after the Compress to Single Track has been completed.

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Figure 6. The compressed timeline

Step 6: Adding 'Soft Cuts'
There is one more nice trick EDIUS has waiting for you. Let's say you want to put a dissolve on all your clips. First, you put a lasso around all the clips to highlight them. Once all the clips are highlighted, you can drag a dissolve onto the new track and all clips will now have a dissolve placed on the cut point. You probably aren't going to want a long, 1-second dissolve on all your cuts for most edits but often a shorter 6-10-frame dissolve can make your straight cuts more of a "soft" cut that is a little easier on the eyes of the viewer. Figure 7 shows the timeline zoomed in after a dissolve has been added to the upper track.

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Figure 7. The timeline zoomed to show the dissolve added to the uppermost track

One other thing I do with my multicam edits is to mute all the underlying original tracks. This will keep any of the footage in lower tracks from showing through some of the transparent sections of our dissolves. I will also tweak my audio as needed to get my project sounding right. Most times my master track (remember that ninth audio track) is the final audio but, sometimes, I'll use one of my original tracks for a little ambient mix to give a more realistic sound.

This is a good summary of the core EDIUS Multicam functionality. I hope it helps you get comfortable with the application's Multicam functionality and, in turn, helps speed up your edit. If your current NLE doesn't have multicam functionality, it may be time to speed up your edits and give EDIUS a look.

You can see other video tutorials in our ongoing series of EDIUS 6 tutorials on EventDV.tv's EDIUS channel on Vimeo.

Philip Hinkle (philip at frogmanproductions.com) runs Madison, Wis.-area video production company Frogman Productions. A 2008 EventDV 25 honoree and nationally recognized EDIUS instructor, he won a 2008 WEVA CEA Gold in the Social Event category and a 2006 4EVER Group AAA Diamond. He was a 2009 WEVA CEA judge and a featured speaker at WEVA Expo 2009. He is co-founder and vice-president of the Wisconsin Digital Media Group.

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Tutorial: Streamlined Field Editing With Proxy Mode

Grass Valley EDIUS 6 on EventDV.tvThe second tutorial in our ongoing series on Grass Valley EDIUS is on a new feature in EDIUS 6.0 called Proxy Mode editing. Proxy Mode allows you to edit with low-resolution proxy files, which make field editing is easier because they conserve your system resources. This allows you to work as efficiently with a laptop or other lower-powered computer as on the tower systems in your studio. It should speed up your workflow and allow you to edit in more places than you ever thought possible.


Choosing Settings
To begin the tutorial, there are a few things in the Settings menu I want to show you that will help you better understand Proxy Mode. Go to User Settings and select Background Jobs > Pause Background Jobs During Playback. You'll want to leave this selected because it tells EDIUS that when you hit the Playback bar and when you're working in your project and you need all your resources, you don't want it to create your proxy files then because you want all your resources available to get the best realtime playback possible.

With this setting selected, when you stop playback, EDIUS goes back to work creating your proxy files all in the background. The next setting to address is Proxy Mode. There are two options here. I recommend leaving both of these checked. One tells EDIUS that when there is no Proxy file, use the high-resolution file; this just means that before those proxy files are created you will still be able to edit your project in proxy mode, but you'll be using the original high-res files you imported into the project. But as the proxy files are created and they come online, they will be replacing the high-res files on your timeline and performance get progressively better and smoother as those files are created. Choosing this setting allows you to keep working while the process is going on.

The next option is Automatically Generate Proxy. That just tells EDIUS that if you have not created proxy files yet, when you request Proxy Mode, it should start creating those files in the background. By default, EDIUS does not create proxy files in the background until you request Proxy Mode.

Grass Valley EDIUS 6 Proxy Mode Settings

Adding a Proxy Mode Button to Your Timeline
Another thing I want to show you is on the user interface. Begin by clicking to make sure my timeline is selected. Go down to the buttons that currently show up on your timeline and put your cursor right there so you can add a new button. Now, if you scroll down you'll find a button for Proxy Mode.

By adding that button and clicking Apply and OK, you'll find you have a Proxy Mode button right on your timeline. This means that instead of having to select Mode > Proxy Mode every time you want to enter and exit Proxy Mode, you can just click on this button and EDIUS will go back and forth really fast. It's a really big timesaver if you use Proxy Mode frequently.

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Working in Proxy Mode
In the example in this tutorial (both in this text version and the video tutorial included here), I've got an 8-track multicam edit queued up and ready to go. At this point in the exercise it's in full-res mode. If you go to Mode and select Multicam Mode, or use the keyboard shortcut F8, EDIUS will switch to Multicam mode. We're going to learn about multicam mode in the next tutorial where I'll actually show you a 16-cam mulitcam mode; but for now, let's go back and work on the proxy mode.

Still in full-res mode, if I press Play in this 8-camera timeline, playback will move at about one frame every couple of seconds; this is going to be very cumbersome to edit and very unproductive.

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If you find yourself in a similar situation, click on the Proxy Mode button you placed in the timeline and your tracks will all get the checkerboard pattern on them that you see in the figure below; this means they're now in low-res proxy mode. You'll probably also notice that the visual output of my display gets a lot blurrier because you're using a low-res file. If you see a track with hard lines through it, that just means the proxy file for that track has not yet been created. You may also notice a P at the bottom right portion of your timeline. This means, "EDIUS is creating a proxy file in the background right now." If you hover your cursor over this "P"  a pop up will appear and show you the information about what's going on in the background.

If you go into your Bin, you'll notice that you also have the thumbnail for that clip and it's giving you a progress chart showing you how much has been done in the proxy file creation; it's another little way that EDIUS shows you what it's doing in the background and how close it is to completing it. Once your proxy file has been created down in the background, you should see the checkerboard pattern on all tracks indicating that you're in low-res Proxy Mode.

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In the project I'm using in this example, if I select My Computer on my desktop and select the right folder, I'll see my 0162.mov proxy file; it's all of 54MB in filesize. The master file, by contrast, is more than 2GB. You can imagine with the much-smaller files that your realtime playback is going to work much better because the data stream coming down the pipeline into your processor is going to be much, much smaller.

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Back in EDIUS, hit the Spacebar to play back your timeline. You should see a significant improvement. In my project, as shown in the video tutorial above, I've gone from a sluggish 1-2 frames per second to 8 cameras of multicam playing in realtime at their full frame rate, because I'm working in Proxy Mode with a dramatically reduced data stream that makes it much easier to handle within EDIUS. This is a huge benefit. Even large computers in your studio may not be able to handle that kind of data pass, so it can be very handy for that kind of editing.

Field Editing
Next, let's look at how to do in-the-field editing where you can check a project out. To begin, go to the File menu, and select Field Editing > Check Out. You'll see a Browse that lets you do is define where your data is going to go. I'm going to use my Laptop drive, select Create a New Folder, name it "Proxy," and click out of there. Now EDIUS will put all my information now in the Proxy folder.

Grass Valley EDIUS 6

Next, lower in the window, select Check Outsource Files. If you click here in this box, EDIUS will automatically generate proxy files for video when there are no proxy files; that means if you've not created any proxy files yet for this project or entered Proxy Mode, then when you check out the project, it's going to create all those files for you. If you had a large project with lots and lots of files, that could easily take a fair amount of time. If you've just got a small project, it's not going to take as long, but it still needs to create all new files. It's got a lot of work to do so it could take a little while.

I'll also note here that original high-res files are copied for stills, sources, and other things that are not video clips. Your stills, your titles, and so on are going to come along in full resolution for your Proxy Mode project.

If you select a High-Res option you can also export the entire high-resolution files into your project as well. Or you can check only the area used in the timeline; that means that only the parts that are on your timeline will be checked out in High-Res Mode.

You can also add a Trim margin. It defaults to two seconds; that gives you the possibility of adding a little wriggle room for trimming or for adding transitions and dissolves.

You'll also find an option to select your Check Out target; you can check out only what's in your current sequence. Or, if you have multiple sequences, you can select All, which means EDIUS is going to check out everything and all of your sequences and your bin.

In this example I'm going to check All because I want to check out everything that I need that I would use out in the field for a project.

Next, I'm going to deselect the High-Res checkbox because I want to work exclusively with proxy files. I'm just going to be out of the office for a couple of days so I don't need everything.

Now, I'm going to come down and click the OK button, answer Yes for my question, and let it do its thing. EDIUS exports the files to my portable drive.

Starting a Project
Now a Start Projects screen appears. Here, I could start a new project if I wanted to. Just to see how it worked, I'm actually going to open a project. I'm going to to select my Laptop drive, go to my Proxy folder, open up my Proxy Mode Tutorial. This is exactly where we left off before we checked it out; everything is in Proxy Mode. I can move my cursor back to the beginning. If I hit the Spacebar, I can to start selecting which camera I want to use. As you experiment with Proxy Mode, make some cuts so you can see how EDIUS works with the low-res files. When you've made some cuts and changes to your project you're ready to move forward.

With your changes made, save your project and close EDIUS. Next, open up the original project (mine is on my C: drive) and check this portable project back in. Click the Check In button.

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Click the OK button, select Yes to continue, and EDIUS starts checking in my files. Below you see our test project. As you can see, all of those cuts and all of those selections from multicam that I made are right there on my timeline exactly as I left it on my portable drive from where I had checked it out for field editing.

Now all that's left for me to do is click on my Proxy Mode button. This takes me back to full-res mode where I could go in and I could export my project, author, or do whatever it is I need to do from this point.

Grass Valley EDIUS 6

Try it out sometime; you'll see that when you've got a processor-intensive project with lots of layers of video, it can speed up the workflow if your computer is not quite up to the task.

To view the Proxy Mode Video Tutorial along with others in EventDV.tv's "Six Steps to Stronger Edits" series as they go live, go to EventDV.tv's Grass Valley EDIUS channel on Vimeo.

Philip Hinkle (philip at frogmanproductions.com) runs Madison, Wis.-area video production company Frogman Productions. A 2008 EventDV 25 honoree and nationally recognized EDIUS instructor, he won a 2008 WEVA CEA Gold in the Social Event category and a 2006 4EVER Group AAA Diamond. He was a 2009 WEVA CEA judge and a featured speaker at WEVA Expo 2009. He is co-founder and vice-president of the Wisconsin Digital Media Group.

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Tutorial: Using the New Mask Filter in Grass Valley EDIUS 6

Grass Valley EDIUS 6 on EventDV.tvEDIUS users looked forward to the release of version 6 with great anticipation. Major-level upgrades had come slowly over the last few years, while beta testers and many in the online forums speculated about what would be included in the next big release. Version 6 shipped in late 2010 with a number of new features that added great functionality to an already great NLE. For more on those new features, check out my review in the January/February issue. I will be creating a few tutorials over the coming months, including a six-part video tutorial series on EventDV.tv, explaining some functionality of these new features. The series kicks off with this video/print tutorial on the new Mask filter. You can see the video component just below; read on for the text tutorial. (The video tutorial covers aspects of the filter not included in the print component, so be sure to study both if you really want to learn about this filter and how you can use it to enhance your productions.)

Step 1: Creating Custom Masks in the EDIUS Timeline
The Mask filter isn’t a new filter per se; it’s a much-enhanced version of the old Region filter that users of previous versions of EDIUS are familiar with. The old Region filter could be used a few different ways if you got creative with your skills, but it was limited; the new Mask filter adds a whole new level of creative functionality. The new Mask filter adds keyframes, the ability to create custom-shaped masks, and the ability to animate them.

In the past, when I needed an animated mask function, I would create the footage in After Effects. This was often cumbersome because of the need to export to After Effects and then import the clip back into EDIUS. With the new Mask filter introduced in EDIUS 6, much of the mask functionality that I used to get from After Effects can be accomplished right on the EDIUS timeline. This means you also get real-time playback with no rendering needed, assuming your system specs are sufficient.

The Region filter has a new look as you can see in Figure 1, below.

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Figure 1. The new look of the Region filter, reconstituted as the more capable Mask filter

Step 2: Blurring Faces
The old Region filter had only a rectangular mask tool and an ellipse mask tool, but, as you can see, on top of the palette window there are many new settings. Not to worry, though; the original rectangle and ellipse are still there. These are my favorite tools for blurring
a face in a crowd or fixing what I call a "wardrobe malfunction." In Figure 2 (below), you can see I have blurred the face of the guest in the beige coat (maybe he was in the witness protection program).

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Figure 2. Blurring a face in a crowd using the Ellipse tool in the Mask filter

Step 3: Creating Custom-Shaped Masks
One big addition to EDIUS' functionality in the Mask filter is the ability to create a custom-shaped mask. To illustrate its functionality, I'll use the establishing shot from a recent wedding edit shown in Figure 3 (below). As you can see, it's a nice and somewhat wide shot of the church showing the church sign and building in the background.

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Figure 3. Creating a custom-shaped mask

For the sake of this tutorial, let's assume we need to add a sense of location to the establishing shot. To do so, I have a moving shot with an address sign and town name on it that will help the viewer realize this is a small country church in a very small town. I've added a layer on top of my establishing shot, as seen in Figure 4 (below). It's a shot from a similar position but with the sign in the foreground. We're going to mask out all but the sign in this tutorial.

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Figure 4. Adding another layer to create the mask

Now, to mask out all but the sign, we'll use the Draw Path feature of the new Mask filter. Before creating your shape, don't forget to activate the keyframes
by clicking on the check box for the keyframes at the bottom. After opening the information properties of the Mask filter (instead of using the Rectangle or Ellipse tool at the top of the palette), click on the small arrow just to the right of the Ellipse mask (or use the shortcut key P). This will activate the Draw Path feature.

Then use the Pen tool to draw your mask around the sign by clicking to add a vertex as shown in Figure 5 (below). For rounded sections, you also have access to a bezier curve tool so your mask will be smooth and clean. To activate the bezier curve, hold the mouse button down on the new point for a second or so and you'll be able to bend the line as needed. In this example, I also set the Edge to Soft and assigned 10 pixels to the setting. This will take the harshness off the edge and make it look a little cleaner.

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Figure 5. Drawing a mask around the sign using the Pen tool by adding a vertex

The next thing you need to do is get rid of everything in this layer except the sign. To do so, set the opacity of the "Outside" to 0%. In your playback overlay, you'll see that the sign is now displayed on top of the previous layer with a better shot of the church in the background as shown in Figure 6 (below). Note that the Mask palette window will not show the transparency. You can see the transparency results in the playback overlay window on your timeline.

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Figure 6. The sign is now on top of the previous layer.

To blur the face, use the Ellipse tool at the top. Then, in the upper-right corner of the interface, select the check box for the Inside filter. Over to the right, click the Select Filter icon that looks like a folder with an arrow coming out of it. This allows you to select the filter that will be applied inside the ellipse.

In this example, I chose the Mosaic filter and increased the blockiness until the guest's face was indistinguishable. I also set the Edge to Soft with about 40 pixels so it wouldn't appear as harsh. You can add keyframes more easily than was possible when working with the Region filter in previous versions, and you can move your region mask around the screen. If you're an experienced editor, you're familiar with keyframe functionality, so I won't delve into how to set keyframes now (see the video tutorial above for more detail on that).

Step 4: Animating the Mask
To animate the sign movement across the image, drag the cursor in your Mask palette and set keyframes along the way. To edit any changes in the shape of your top layer, use the first arrow on the far left of the palette. The small drop-down menu for the arrow will show edit options for selecting the object, editing the object, adding a vertex, deleting a vertex, and editing a control point. Each of those options has a keyboard shortcut assigned. Once you’ve built a few animated masks, you’ll learn the shortcuts quickly as it will speed up the process.

The shortcut assignments can be seen next to the function name of the drop-down menu. In Figure 7 (below) you can see that I’ve added a number of keyframes. I’ve also had to modify the shape slightly at a few keyframe locations.

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Figure 7. The mask has been modified slightly at a few of the keyframe locations.

Step 5: Cleansing the Palette
One other nice feature in the Mask filter is the small set of icons on the very bottom left of the Mask palette. If you click on the solid icon, all the keyframes and other information go away. You get just your footage in a larger screen to make detailed mask work much easier. Figure 8 (below) shows this functionality. To return to the main Mask palette screen, just click the other icon.

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Figure 8. Working with the mask enlarged, in a less cluttered screen

Step 6: Other Uses
If you use your imagination, you’ll find that you can use EDIUS’ new Mask filter for many different purposes. Just think creatively. For instance, let’s say you have a shot set up on a tripod and there is a parking lot behind you with a few stains on the pavement. You could use the Mask filter to select those stained sections and use color correction on the “inside” of the mask to clean up the look of the parking lot. Or, in our example above, we could have used a color correction filter inside the Mask filter to make the sign change colors as we moved across the screen.

Experiment with the new Mask filter in EDIUS 6; you’ll save yourself a few steps in the postproduction process to create “wow” effects in your productions. If you’re an EDIUS user and you haven’t upgraded to EDIUS 6 yet, the new Mask filter could be the incentive you need to make the upgrade. (If you are currently considering an upgrade, note that NX hardware drivers for version 6 had not yet been completed as of this writing but are rumored to be available mid-2011. If you have an NX card for output, you’ll have to stick with EDIUS 5 for now.)

With today’s current generation of i7 processors, everything we’ve discussed here can easily be accomplished with real-time, full-resolution output, even with native AVCHD or DSLR footage. The new Mask filter is a powerful addition to EDIUS. The new EDIUS slogan is “Edit Anything” and, thanks to new features such as the Mask filter, now you can do more with anything you edit.

To view the Mask Video Tutorial along with others in EventDV.tv's "Six Steps to Stronger Edits" series as they go live, go to EventDV.tv's Grass Valley EDIUS channel on Vimeo.

Philip Hinkle (philip at frogmanproductions.com) runs Madison, Wis.-area video production company Frogman Productions. A 2008 EventDV 25 honoree and nationally recognized EDIUS instructor, he won a 2008 WEVA CEA Gold in the Social Event category and a 2006 4EVER Group AAA Diamond. He was a 2009 WEVA CEA judge and a featured speaker at WEVA Expo 2009. He is co-founder and vice-president of the Wisconsin Digital Media Group.

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Six Steps to Stronger Edits: EventDV Launches Grass Valley EDIUS 6 Podcast Series

EventDV, The Authority for Event Videographers, is pleased to announce a new six-part video tutorial series for professional video editors looking to streamline their edits, hone their editing skills, and enhance the creativity they bring to their clients' projects. The tutorials will focus on industry-leading professional nonlinear editing application Grass Valley EDIUS 6, renowned throughout the postproduction world for its flexibility, versatility, and realtime performance. Hosting the series will be EventDV contributing editor, EventDV 25 all-star, WEVA Creative Excellence Award winner, and nationally renowned EDIUS instructor Philip Hinkle.

Grass Valley EDIUS 6

"I'm thrilled to have the opportunity to work with Philip on this series," said EventDV editor-in-chief Stephen Nathans-Kelly. "Having observed his production workflow first-hand from shot-planning to camera and mic placement through same-day edit production and delivery, I can see why he's achieved his stature in the videography industry and become a sought-after editing instructor all over the country. I've also seen how EDIUS' realtime capabilities have helped him streamline his workflow, and allowed him to break into the SDE game when no other videographers in our market were even considering it. Philip's creativity and editing acumen and proven track record with EDIUS make him a perfect match for this series."

The series will kick off this Thursday, June 23, with an in-depth look at one of EDIUS 6's signature new features, the ability to create custom masks directly in the timeline, which offers editors opportunities to create new and more compelling effects. Hinkle will explore 3 different ways to use and apply the filter, and explain how to use a freehand mask and keyframes in tandem.

The tutorials will continue to roll out on EventDV.tv throughout the summer. The complete schedule is as follows:

Using the New Mask Filter, June 23
• Super-streamlined HD Field Production with the Proxy Mode Editor (including seamless switching between Proxy and Full-rez editing modes): July 7
• Efficient Multicam Editing with EDIUS 6: July 21
• Syncing DSLR Video and Dual-System Audio with the Plural Eyes Plug-in: August 4
• Seamless Creative Editing with Custom Filter Presets and Nested Sequences: August 18
• Using the ISP/ROBUSKEY Keyer to Create Stellar Keys from Subpar Footage: September 1

Each new installment will go live at http://eventdv.tv at 9am EDT on the above dates. Watch EventDV.net for more details.

To learn more about the capabilities of Grass Valley EDIUS 6 and its key advantages for event and corporate video producers, see Philip Hinkle's February 2011 review, or visit http://www.grassvalley.com/products/edius_6 for more detailed information.

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