I let my wife take a run through the tutorial first. It can be a little long and intimidating for a complete newbie since it is around 3.5 hours of content. She wanted to watch it all the way through before trying to "ride along" with it so she could get familiar with some of the terminology and functionality. She has now been through it once and I can tell you she is starting to recognize how I create certain looks and effects and is throwing around Edius terminology much more frequently. The information is presented in a way that someone who has never edited can start to understand and grasp the concepts of an edit workflow.
After she’d been through it, I decided to take it for a few days and watch it to see what I could learn, even though I felt I knew how to do most of the stuff already. Upon loading the DVD, I was able to see what was covered in the DVD.My initial impression, based on the menu, is that there is plenty of content for learning in this DVD. While viewing the first chapter I paid extra attention to when host Mike Downey started covering all the different Application Settings and Hardware Settings. There are so many options in those screens. Many of them I understood already, but there were a handful that just didn’t make sense to me. Mike took those items that had been confusing and made them simple.
The Editing 101 chapter is where you really begin to see the power of Edius. The examples Mike uses in the tutorial involve broadcast footage from a news station, but all the demonstrations presented are easily applicable and usable in event work, so don’t let that discourage you. This section is where you really start to learn and see the power and flexibility of the Edius NLE. It is just loaded with tips and techniques that will have you editing faster after the first viewing. Mike spends a good amount of time not only explaining 3- and 4-point edits and ripple edits but using actual footage so you can see how to easily execute those edits step by step. He also spends a good amount of time on the Trim mode, which I knew about but didn’t use much. It became clear how powerful this mode is for detail editing and I will be exploring and trying out the Trim techniques on my next edit. Mike even demonstrates an undocumented feature that is not covered in any manual but can be very usable depending on your workflow. I’d tell you about it, but I don’t want to give away the ending.
In section 3, "Filters, Keyers and Titlers," Mike goes in depth with many of Edius’ more powerful filters and keyers. He starts right away with one of the most underused features in Edius: the 3D Picture in Picture keyer. Once a user learns all the ways to use this tool it quickly becomes a versatile piece of your editing arsenal. Mike demonstrates a few key ways to use the 3D PnP function for a broadcast setting but these are easily adapted for use in event work if you just think about your productions and how to implement it. There is much more Mike could show in the 3D PnP filter, but this tutorial is for beginners and intermediate editors, so all the features are not covered. He also goes in depth with the Region filter and White Balance feature which are some of the more powerful filter tools in Edius. As the Filter section continues, Mike starts adding more and more filters to a clip to show both the functionality of the filters and also the Realtime ability of Edius. The concept of how filters are tweaked in Edius becomes clear pretty quickly, and a viewer will feel comfortable tweaking the filters in their own productions. The titler is also covered in pretty good detail. The titler included with Edius is a very basic titler and more in depth title work will need to be done in a third-party app. For the basic titles and scrolls that event editors use most often, Mike shows how easy and quick it is to work with.
Section 4, "Multi-Sequences and Multi-Cameras," is designed for the intermediate user. This chapter delves into how you can streamline your workflow with multi-sequences, but the main content revolves around Edius’ multi-cam functionality. Mike shows some really efficient ways to implement multi-cam functionality. As an Edius user, once you learn this functionality you will wonder how you ever lived without it. Mike makes the whole multi-cam functionality seem simple even for new users. This section is much shorter at only 15 minutes but covers the main points of using multi-cam and multi-sequences. It is a must-view for all Edius users.
Section 5, "Exporting" explains the process of exporting to tape (with or without timecode). There are some features in export I had never used like Batch Export from the timeline that I found interesting. The nature of our work may not utilize these features but at somepoint we will have a job that is not event related and knowing these features is a plus to keep in my arsenal. Mike goes through the Print to File function which is how the user exports for DVD, web delivery and a multitude for various formats. Mike shows, in more detail, the features of ProCoder Express so the user can see the simplicity of exporting to different formats with the ProCoder Express plugin. One feature users will want to check out is the Print to DVD option that was just added in version 4.5. This allows you to create easy quick basic DVDs. It probably isn’t a feature you will use for final authoring, but is real handy for quick DVD authoring with basic menus. You can’t create motion menus and Hollywood-type DVD menus, but for simple DVD authoring it is a great addition. Mike goes into many of the customizable features you are allowed to work with in the Print to DVD functionality. He will show you how easy it really is to create a DVD right in Edius.
Overall, Complete Training for Edius 4.5 is aimed at the beginner and intermediate editor but even advanced editors will learn a few things that will help them streamline their workflow. Everyone but Mike Downey, that is—he already seems to know all about it. Just a small side note on this tutorial: It recently received an Aegis Award for outstanding video production for self-paced training product. My kudos to Aegis on a great choice.
Philip Hinkle (philip at frogmanproductions.com) runs Frogman Productions, an international award-winning videography studio based in the Madison, Wisconsin area.