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-   -   Batch exporting (http://forum.grassvalley.com/forum/showthread.php?t=39991)

DavidVollmer 06-10-2017 05:46 PM

Batch exporting
 
I am reviewing the demo of Edius 8.5 Pro at work and have found it to be as close to perfect for our needs as any NLE I have ever used. We are responsible for redacting (blurring/muting) video objects and certain audio from police camera videos. We are currently using Adobe Premiere Elements and have found it to be adequate but when there is more than one object within the same frames to be redacted, Elements is more cumbersome to set up the additional tracks/masks and do the tracking.

The problem is that working for the government and using taxpayer money creates a problem. Elements costs us around $100 per license and you can install it on two different PCs. Edius costs around $450-$499, and I think that also gives you two licenses.

In going to my supervisor to try to justify the 4X plus increase in cost (not to mention the fact that we already have several Elements' licenses), I have sung the praises of how much easier and faster Edius motion tracking is compared to Elements, and that the auto, and what I call the semi-auto tracking makes Elements look extremely weak.

I also mentioned that you can even batch process the exporting (rendering) of your projects. She thought that feature might convince the money people to make the purchases necessary. My problem is that I may have spoken too soon regarding the batch processing feature.

Each of the videos we process are between less than a minute to as long as four hours. These are all single clips and need to stay as single clips when exporting. The number of clips for a single incident ranges from one clip to over a hundred. We do not do any traditional NLE editing other than maybe brightening up a dark video at times.

With Elements when we finished the redaction process we exported the clip to mp4 (which is also the format the clips are in originally). We are not able to use Elements to process the next clip until the exporting is completed. This is very time consuming as you might imagine - especially with the longer clips. The average clip length is probably 30-60 minutes.

In Edius is there a way to process a clip, save it in a batch process list and then tell Edius to process all the clips in that list when we go home for the day? I was able to press F11 and click on "Add to batch list" for each of the 5 videos I had just processed yesterday. After adding each of them to a batch list(s) I then tried to figure out how to access the list and ask Edius to export them, but without success. Maybe I didn't do something right when adding them to the list, so please tell me how to make this batch processing work - if indeed I can.

My being able to get Edius for us probably hinges on the batch process ability. I have also told the police department and sheriff's office about Edius and they, too, are now interested.

If I may ask an additional question, is there a keyboard shortcut to move the mask window view to where the playhead is located? It does not track with the preview window as I am redacting video. Or can I have the mask window track with the preview window when playing.

Thank you for your help!

GrassValley_SL 06-10-2017 09:50 PM

1 Attachment(s)
You can add clips to the batch list from the time line.
If you have multiple clips. Double click in the reuler above the clip and EDIUS will create an in out for that clip.
Right click the ruler area and choose add to batch list from the menu or use key comb:
shift+Ctrl+Alt+R.

After you have added the clips to the Batch exporter you can export the list By choosing batch export from the drop down or by using Key comb: shift+Ctrl+Alt+S
In the list you can modify the exporter or destination if needed.

If you are satisfied press the export button in the Batch exporter Palette.

Also on the mask do you use the auto tracker?

DavidVollmer 06-10-2017 10:59 PM

Thank you Steve. I will try what you suggested.

Yes, I sometimes use the auto tracker and think it is the best I have seen, and I have downloaded and/or purchased a number of NLEs over the years. Edius is the best I have found for tracking. About a year ago when I started as a digital evidence analyst, I was looking for professional redaction software and the best I could find cost about 4 or 5 thousand per seat with a 20% annual support payment. The sent me a demo which I worked with and found to be quite good. However, even if they sold it at Edius Pro prices, I think I would still recommend Edius - because of the ease of use and tracker capability.

There are some things I either haven't figured out with the mask/tracker window or are not available in Edius. For example, when I am tracking an object, the left and right arrow keys move the mask and not the playhead. That's fine and probably useful (although I am using my mouse to move the mask), but I would like to set up a keyboard shortcut on the left side of the keyboard to move the playhead forward or backward the number of frames/seconds I have set up.

About the third day of working with the Edius demo I put together the following and sent it to my supervisor and to the police department who said they will look at it closely. A chief at the sheriff's office said he would also be interested.

Maybe I should become a reseller?

The document is a bit long but here it is:

Redacting Audio and Video Using Edius Pro

Grass Valley (www.grassvalley.com) produces a nonlinear editing (NLE) software application called Edius Pro. It is used mainly (I think) by broadcast stations as it allows them to get video on the air quicker than other NLEs. Version 8.5 is their latest offering and I have found it to be, in my opinion, the best and easiest software to use to redact audio and video. This software is not without cost however. The prices I have seen have ranged from $450 to $475.

While Edius has features similar to Premiere Pro, Final Cut, Avid, Vegas, and other professional NLEs, for our purposes it makes Premiere Elements (and the others) look weak by comparison. Redacting in Edius is so much easier and faster than in any other NLEs I have seen – and I have downloaded and tried many of them to see which one fits our unique needs the best. Edius is ahead of the others by a long shot. Easier and faster equates to money saved.

How does it work? I have been evaluating it for several days now and have redacted about eight videos, a few of which had two to four objects requiring redaction within the same frames. Here is the short version of how to redact video and audio in Edius:

1. Drag a video file onto the timeline or select it using one of several other methods provided.
2. Drag the Mask effect from the Video Filters onto the video clip. This mask is applied only one time regardless of the number of objects you will need to redact throughout the video. (In Premiere Elements, you have to create additional tracks/masks for each object you need to redact.)
3. Double-click on the Mask icon that was created in the Information window to open the Mask window where you will choose a blur or maybe a mosaic coupled with a smooth mosaic effect.
4. Set up the parameters for the effect(s) you have chosen.
5. From the Mask window, choose the shape you wish to use – probably an oval, although other shapes are available.
6. Find the first object that requires masking and draw the shape over the part of the object that needs redacting.
7. If the object stays within the video for a relatively long period of time you may want to use the auto tracking feature. Edius’ auto tracker is as good as I have seen in any NLE. You can choose to have it track position, scale, or rotation in any combination - backward or forward. You can make these choices independently for each object you redact.
8. Once the object leaves the frame or something comes between it and the mask shape, you adjust your playhead until the object is again visible. You may use the Comma and Period keys to move backward or forward one frame at a time and semi-auto track the object through the video, readjusting as necessary if the object becomes obscured or again leaves the frame. You will find this ability to track objects using the Comma and Period keys really speeds up the process, and is easy to edit when necessary.
9. If additional objects require redacting, you merely select the shape you want to use and draw around the new object when it appears in the Mask window. There is no need to create any additional tracks or add additional mask effects. The Mask window creates the additional tracks for your keyframes to reside. They are named Shape 1, Shape 2, etc. The filter settings you made for the first mask will automatically be applied to any additional masks.
10. The Mask window shows you the mask(s) you have selected without showing the blur or mosaic effect. This makes it much easier to track objects as the objects are always clearly in view. You view the chosen effect using the output monitor, and if you have dual monitors, you can double-click on the program monitor to fill your second monitor full-screen. Double-click again to close it.

Audio redaction is also quite easy and much faster than Premiere Elements. With Elements you had to use your mouse to click on a diamond icon to set each keyframe or you had to split the audio track at the beginning and end of the audio you wished to mute. With Edius you do the following:

1. Expand the audio track height and then click on a small icon to display the volume level rubber band.
2. You may also expand the timeline width by choosing the number of frames, seconds, minutes, etc. you want to have shown, thus making it easy to add keyframes more precisely.
3. When you come to the place where you wish to mute the audio, left-click on the rubber band, then click again one or more frames later. You can use your left and right Arrow keys to determine where you want to add each keyframes if you prefer.
4. Play the clip and stop at the end of the audio that needs muting, left-click on the rubber band to set a keyframe, move a frame or so to the right, and left-click again. You should have created a total of four keyframes.
5. To mute the audio, hold the Shift key and left-click between the four keyframes and pull the band down to the bottom. Repeat steps 3-5 as necessary throughout the video.

When all the video and audio redaction is complete, you can easily output the redacted video by choosing the Export command (F11), selecting Print to file, and choosing H.264/AVC. Tell Edius where you want the video saved, give it a name, and make whatever changes you want to the bitrate types, etc. and click Save. You should find that exporting (rendering) videos with Edius is faster than using Premiere Elements or other NLEs. This adds up to more time saving.

If you have several videos you have worked on, you can batch process them instead of having to export them one at a time. You might want to wait until the end of the day and then export them all at once. Even more time saving!
Something else you will find is that it is hard to slow down Edius when redacting. I added four masks in one video, all four appearing within the same video frames and did not notice any slowdown. And I did that with two different computers that had old or minimal GPUs, and one with only 12GB of RAM. So far I have not had any crashes on either computer, but often experienced crashes using Elements and some of the other NLEs.

I plan to greatly expand this to a more in-depth tutorial if we are fortunate to be able to acquire Edius Pro. I believe the time savings will more than justify the cost of the software.

NakedEye 06-11-2017 02:17 AM

Given your current work flow with Elements productivity gains are a massive plus in favour of purchasing Edius even at 4 times the individual license cost your over all savings in productivity over your number of seats would be massive and the extra cost for licensing would be recovered very quickly indeed. Also in addition to what Steve mentioned previously you can set your default exporter parameters and batch directly to that format with a keyboard shortcut. Elements is really consumer grade software and therefore has little or no automation that professional products like Edius has.

dpvollmer 06-11-2017 03:18 AM

Thank you sir. I tried Steve's suggestions but I either didn't do something right or didn't fully explain what I need to accomplish with batch processing.

Each of our projects will consist of only one video track and will not be edited in any way (other than the redaction of audio and/or video), but we might adjust exposure or contrast and might raise or lower the audio. When we have added an MP4 video file to the track and completed our redaction, we then need to render it back to an MP4 file.

For a single police incident there may be up to 100 video files created that will need to be viewed and redacted if necessary. Each of these redacted projects will then need to be rendered to a new MP4 file.

Therefore, what I hope to be able to do is to finish working on all the video files, and then tell Edius to batch render each of them to individual MP4 files, each having the unique name we have named it in the project.

Can Edius do this? If so, please tell me how to do it. I will need to demonstrate it to my supervisor prior to a decision to purchase is made.

Also, following Steve's process, I could not even get the shortcut keys he mentioned to do anything.

Thank you for your help!

antonsvideo 06-11-2017 08:03 AM

1. mark in and out on timeline ruler on first clip you want to export
2. click print to file or press shortcut
3. select the H246 exporter preset and click add to batch list
4. type name of file and click save
5. mark in and out on second clip
6. press print to file shortcut and right away click add to batch, type name and click save

and so on

when done, open the batch exporter and click start

I personally have the batch exporter open in maximized size on a second monitor as soon as I add the first file, because this lets me see the list grow

dpvollmer 06-12-2017 02:39 PM

I have found that the only way I can batch export my projects is to have all the clips from all the projects located on the same timeline - unless I am doing something wrong.
  1. Each of my projects will contain only one clip.
  2. I may have 2 to 100 projects, each of which will need to be exported into separate mp4 files.
  3. I want each of those different projects to be placed into a batch export list so I can export them after I leave work and come in to find them processed as mp4 files.
  4. Having to enter a name each time I place a project into a batch list doesn't make sense Defaulting to the sequence or project name would be great, but if that's what has to be, I'll just have to copy and paste the file names for each export.

Is what I want to do possible?

DigitalDave 06-12-2017 04:22 PM

You cannot batch export PROJECTS only SEQUENCES. \your batch list will only contain sequences.
If you have multiple projects, then you are going to have to stay up all night, if however everything is in ONE PROJECT then the sequences you want can be added to a batch...last week I had a batch of 25 mp4s encoding while I was out filming.

GrassValley_SL 06-12-2017 04:49 PM

If the projects are the same frame size and frame-rate you can import them in one master project and have each project in it own timeline (sequence).
Then you can add all the the batch. This will let you do what Dave suggests.

DavidVollmer 06-13-2017 02:57 AM

At work tomorrow I will try what you good folks have suggested. Thank you!

I have both Premiere Pro CC and also Premiere Elements, and I can tell you that neither of those NLEs can hold a candle to Edius when it comes to motion tracking. Davinci Resolve 14 Beta could do a pretty good job, but neither of my PCs were robust enough and they kept crashing. Plus, Edius' motion tracking is better than Resolve! And while other NLEs might have their strengths when compared to Edius, all we do is redact (blur) objects and mute certain audio, i.e., social security numbers, addresses, phone numbers, etc.

Even the audio redaction is faster in Edius than in either Premiere app.I just completed an hour and 45 minute 911 call and dispatcher traffic where I had over 100 places where I had to mute the audio. Four left-clicks to set the key frames, and one shift-left-click to pull the audio all the way down.

When you have police officers wearing body cameras, neither they or the people their cameras are filming stand still for long, if at all. We're working with two objects moving at the same time and some of those objects often need to be tracked and blurred. In-car cameras at least don't move once they are on a scene, so they are easier to redact objects from.


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