View Full Version : Codecs for AVID to playback other formats "EDIUS"
07-03-2010, 06:30 PM
I am doing a 30 day trial of AVID to see if I want to purchase and start using instead of Grass Valley Edius that I've used for the last 4 yrs.
I don't have the most powerful PC (Core 2 Duo 3.0ghz processor, 8gb Ram) but compared to EDIUS, it seems hardly anything plays in real time once you do anything to the clips effects wise. Also, I can't import .AVI files created with Edius. Is there a playback codec for Edius that Avid can use to make this capable?
SO far I would say AVID is EXTREMELY Detailed and feature rich compared to EDIUS, but very wimpy on power (software only). And not intuitive at all. One thing that greatly erks me is that you cannot bring up a waveform monitor without going into color correction.
Not for the lower budgets of course. But I will keep trying.
07-03-2010, 07:25 PM
Congratulations on deciding to try Avid. But it looks like you are going to run headlong into some of the more significant issues Avid has.
First, Avid will NOT reward you if you have a slow machine. MC5 runs very nicely on Avid certified hardware. As did MC4. But I am guessing that you don't have this hardware. What video card are you using in your machine?
Second question. Regarding effect playback. Are you rendering those effects or not? And if not, are you applying real time effects? I find that I need to render very little on my systems.
Third question. Which playback mode are you in? Green, Green/Yellow, Yellow?
Avid is very feature rich compared to nearly any other NLE you could name. That is one of it's great benefits. As for being wimpy on power that is not my experience. As for it being "not intuitive" that may be true depending on where you've come from. The idea of not having a waveform monitor when cutting probably does seem somewhat odd coming from another app. But it really gets back to Avid being shaped by a Hollywood workflow. Where correcting footage is generally not the domain of the person cutting picture.
The CanopusHQ codec is not available in Vegas. Neither are the Matrox codecs. This is somewhat sad. However, if you plan to go back and forth between them, I would STRONGLY suggest you move away from an AVI based workflow to a MOV based workflow. Rather than worrying about what codecs will go back and forth, you'll be in a scenario where practically EVERYTHING will go back and forth. To this end, Avid's DNxHD codec is free, and excellent. Better in fact than the Canopus codec. But it resides in a MOV container. I'd suggest you look into using that.
07-04-2010, 12:34 AM
PerroneFord thanks for your response and information.
No, its not Avid certified hardware. A system I built myself with Gigabyte MB, Intel Core2Duo 3.0ghz and Corsair Ram. The graphics card is 1gb invidia. Not sure the model but its about 6 mos. old and one of the higher end ones. something like a GTX 9800 or something (don't quote me on that).
Anyway, the effect that first stunned me was, simply taking P2 (mxf files) a 16:9 file into a 4:3 project an adding the effect generator to make it fit (letterbox). It would not even playback realtime in the Avid Record window, much less through firewire to my DVCpro Deck. With Edius it's a simple right click of the mouse and choosing 4:3 or 16:9 and it "fits" right into the project window, formatted correctly..and realtime.
I hear ya about the Quicktime MOV workflow instead of .AVI (kinda the Apple v.s. PC thing) Which I already heard that AVID works much better on a MAC.
I really do like Canopus Edius because it's simple, fast and 80% realtime on any decent PC. (When I say realtime I mean just being able to do at least 1 layer of HD on the timeline that wont stall if you add a simple transition, color effect, DVE etc.).
I can do 4 layers of HD from P2 in realtime, without any transcoding. Any type of .avi, mpeg and still images drop right in and play instantly. I know Adobe Premiere is pretty close to being like Edius : Intuitive and mostly realtime with a decent machine Otherwise how can you edit? With the AVID software I feel like I'm on my first Adobe Premiere project from 1994. :-(
So, from what you are saying: if I want to go the AVID route then I need to also go the Quicktime MOV route and get an AVID certified PC or MAC..right? But for me that means plopping down alot of money just so I "Might" get more realtime. I wonder if FCP is the same issues. Actually, I'm debating between going with AVID or FCP. The plus (I thought) for going AVID was that I could just pay 2k for the software and throw it in my existing machine. With FCP I gotta go MAC, all new computer. But sounds like I have to do that with both of them.
07-04-2010, 01:19 AM
I think you are reading WAY more in to this than I typed, so lets try again.
Firstly, Avid (software only) relies pretty heavily on the underlying machine to do a lot of it's work. Especially the GPU. In your case, you have a fairly slow (by modern standards) CPU and you are using a video card which is also not certified. It's quite possible that Avid is not able to leverage it at all, which would lead to the rather lackluster performance you are seeing. I can say that my laptop is about the same configuration as your machine, and I can get real time on several streams of HD video without issue. However, I bought this laptop with Avid in mind, even though I didn't own it. So the video card is a quadro and it absolutely FLIES with Avid.
Secondly, I think it is patently false that Avid runs better on a Mac than a PC. It's built to work well on both platforms. And I can confirm that it is absolutely stunning on both my PC platforms. I've not pushed it beyond 5 layers of HD, but on my editing machine, that played back real time with no issues at all.
Edius certainly has some advantages over Avid. But it's got some MAJOR drawbacks too, like the fact it cannot work with more than 8-bit color. That alone will bring the speed up quite a bit. It's not anything like as feature rich as Avid either. I have not tried any P2 (more correct to say DVCProHD or AVC-Intra) footage in Avid so I can't speak to it. But I have used XDCAM, RED, Canon 5D/7D, and some other types on the timeline. With the exception of the 5D/7D stuff it was all real time in Green/Yellow mode.
If you want to go to Avid, you're going to need to accept certain parameters. I am NOT saying you need to go MOV. In fact, Avid transcodes to MXF. BUT, with AMA's access to .MOV, going that route makes things easier to get into the Avid system. If you want to do a traditional import, then use whatever you like.
I cannot say what will be real time for you and what won't. I can say that if you follow their guidelines, realtime performance is excellent. If you choose to work outside their guidelines, then all bets are off. Especially if you don't have a GPU Avid can talk to.
I won't get into which system, Avid or FCP, would suit you better. I don't know your workflow or what you need to do. Both are fine editors, but operate quite differently. I find Avid a joy to work with once you get past the initial constrictions. I find it keeps me moving in logical directions where as more freeform programse like Vegas and Edius do not. But that's just me.
The fact is, whether you choose to run a modern version of Avid or FCP, you are going to need some modern hardware to do it on. It seems like installing either of these programs on 2-4 year old hardware is asking for problems. Especially if that older hardware doesn't meet minimum spec.
07-04-2010, 11:40 AM
Thanks for all this advice. I really do appreciate it. Yeah I think my biggest culprit seems to be the graphics card. Wow workstation graphics cards are pricey, but I can see that could be alot of the slowdown. Either way, time for a new computer. As far as Edius, sounds like what you're saying is that their secret to having so much work in realtime is because its an 8 bit color program whereas AVID is 10 bit. right? So, what does that mean in terms of final result? Better color/sharper images?
Finally, it's interesting to see that when considering the Mac route that the graphics cards that come with Mac Towers are quite wimpy. Yet they still work with AVID? Interesting. Guess they leverage more power from other areas.
07-04-2010, 09:07 PM
I think there are a lot of reasons Edius is faster. Not having to deal with the 10bit precision is likely one. It's newer code so I am sure that helps. There probably isn't as much going on behind the scenes since it's a "simpler" program. Avid is managing a full-on database in the background which Edius doesn't have to do.
As far as what 8bit versus 10bit mean... a LOT. Assume you do some color correction to a piece of video. In Edius, that could only EVER be as fine as 256 hues for each color. This can lead to banding in shots of the sky, or other artifacts and issues. Meanwhile 10bits offers 1024 hues which means all gradients are much smoother, and there is a lot more subtlety available. Some of the grading programs are able to work in 32bit color and the codecs and files can hold 10-14 bits (or more in stuff like EXR) so the changes can be really clean. None of this is available in Edius, but it wasn't built for that market.
I am unaware of the cards in Mac Towers. But it's quite likely they are ATI cards and no, that is not accelerated by Avid, and they need to be changed. Well "need" to be changed might be harsh. They need to be changed for best performance, just like your video card.
07-06-2010, 12:12 PM
Avid becomes more user friendly with pilot time. Im sending a lot of my people here http://www.avid.com/US/resources/media-composer-5-getting-started-training for quick tutorials.