Thread: Batch exporting
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Old 06-10-2017, 10:59 PM   #3
DavidVollmer
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Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: Tennessee
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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.
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