By Tigz Rice | on October 30, 2008
Price: 455 . 140
Company: Thomson Grass Valley
Pros: Great real-time performance; GPU- driven transitions; wide format support.
Cons: Horrible effects system; more fiddly to use than rivals with fewer features too.
Edius aims to be the plucky little video editor that could. Going up against three major competitors – Adobe’s Premiere Pro, Apple’s Final Cut Pro, and Avid’s Media Composer – Edius 5 aims to outperform its rivals and offer a faster and more flexible workflow.
Originally developed by Canopus – a company whose speciality was codecs not software – it’s no surprise that Edius is great at processing multiple layers of video in real-time, which can be in a wide variety of formats. Edius 5 gives real-time editing performance a boost by tapping the power of your graphics card.
The old Xplode set of effects and transitions has been ditched in favour an extensive set of transitions that have been developed in-house, and some bought-in effects. The transitions do all of the usual tricks from simple dissolves to cheesy 3D explosions, and the performance is excellent – we didn’t see any performance drop using them on our test Dell workstation (which has two quad-core Xeon processors, a triple drive RAID system and an AMD ATI FireGL V7600 graphics card), even with HD footage.
The effects system is less successful. Edius’s own effects tools are limited to transform, opacity and some basic colour correction. Everything else is provided through some bundled collections: the effects collections ProDAD VitaScene, NewBlueFX Motion Effects, Art Effects and Filter Effects, iZotope VST audio plug-ins, and the ProDAD Mercalli stabilization filter.
None of these are great collections, and together they’re a bit of a mess, with different interfaces and overlapping lists of effects making them fiddly to use. VitaScene also has one of the worst on-screen interfaces we’ve seen in many years.
Transforms – like all effects and transitions in Edius 5 – are created and manipulated using a pop-up window. This Video Layout Tool can now keyframe pan and zoom effects. The pop-up window system is workable but we prefer Final Cut and Premiere’s intergrated effects panels.
Edius’s interface has improved a lot since its first release, but it still feels cramped on a single screen. Even on two screens, the reliance on pop-out windows seems outdated.