Grass Valley EDIUS Pro 7 Case Study: Playboy Plus Uses EDIUS to Enhance the Beauty of 3D

Playboy Plus, US

To find a 3D post production solution that worked as well as a 2D solution, without adding additional import and render time

Grass Valley EDIUS with STORM 3G SDI/HDMI card for real-time drop to timeline 3D editing

Ability to fix a variety of problems in post using the EDIUS Layouter

Using EDIUS to Enhance the Beauty of 3D


Mike Hugo has been working with 3D extensively for over five years. As a 2D and 3D editor for Playboy Plus—and the editor of
Playmates!3D—it is essential he understand the technical aspects of 3D. This encompasses the limitations and also the enhancements that 3D can present to the viewer.

A jarring or risky 2D edit is only that, risky. While a jarring or risky 3D edit, can cause the viewer actual physical discomfort. This is a challenge with every 3D project, from production to post, and must be planned and implemented properly.

With the industry developing new 3D technologies at a faster pace than ever, creating proper 3D is paramount. Hugo is always searching for a better and faster way to deliver an engaging and technically correct edit.

Some of the challenges of 3D editing are very different from those of 2D editing. First and foremost, editing in a real-time 3D editing
environment is essential. Cutting in 2D and then conforming the 3D does not work.

Problems will arise that can’t be identified unless viewed in proper 3D. Also, cuts need to be placed with the intention of leading the viewer’s eyes around. Because of this, some edits that are commonplace for 2D just don’t work in 3D. For example, going from a wide angle to a close up without proper planning more often than not produces uncomfortable shots.

Another factor to take into account is cut length. Faster cuts are not perceived as well in 3D, this is due to the fact that it takes time for the viewer’s eyes and brain to pick up and recognize the 3D cues in the frame. So having longer cuts allows the viewer to identify and explore the 3D frame. When a viewer is engaged and exploring the frame, cut times actually seem to be faster than they are.

“I always try and have as many people view my edits throughout my editorial process,” says Hugo. “This helps me to craft a better
experience and identify any issues that I may not have perceived. Everyone’s 3D experience is different and everybody loves a great 3D off-screen shot into negative space in front of the physical screen.”


The major goal for Playboy Plus was to find a production and postproduction solution for 3D content that could fit in with its existing
2D architecture. This includes product turnaround time and long-term financial viability.

The medium of 3D is not new, but it is technically very different from traditional 2D production and post. So when Playboy Plus first
looked into 3D, they consulted a seasoned 3D DP—Bruce Austin— to test shoot select 2012 Playmates and find a production and postproduction workflow that would fit artistically and financially.

After working with industry standard editorial consoles for many years, the desire was to find a way to make them work with 3D.
Unfortunately all of the programs had their unique downsides and failures. More often than not, systems would need the cameras’ raw footage transcoded—this would cost time, money, and have a longterm storage impact. Another pitfall that keeps presenting itself when working with 3D is an exorbitant amount of time spent rendering. This again puts a major strain on product turnaround and introduces creative interruptions.

EDIUS®, from Grass Valley®, was the first editing software that Hugo had come across which did not present these challenges.
Bruce Austin, 3D Director of Photography, shoots Playmates!3D with Sony TD300, Panasonic 3DP1, Panasonic z10000, and GoPro 3D cameras.

“We came to the conclusion that EDIUS was best fitted for our post environment on shows like Playmates!3D with so many different
camera formats,” said Scott Cope, Director and Producer. “And as a side note, with EDIUS at its price point, we were willing to give it a shot. And almost a year into it, we can say that it’s proven to be worth
much more than what we paid.”

Hugo currently uses EDIUS with a Grass Valley STORM™ 3G SDI I/O & HDMI output card to cut Playmates!3D. His system is based on an HP Z820 Windows 7 Professional 64-bit workstation with dual Intel 6-Core Xeon E5-2640 2.5 GHz processors, 15 MB cache, 16 GB RAM, and an NVIDIA Quadro 4000 2 GB GPU. Storage is on an 8 TB G-SPEED eS PRO external RAID system. Two monitors are used: a consumer LG 55LM7600 55" Class Cinema 3D 1080P 240 Hz LED TV with passive 3D glasses for the client, and a Sony LMD-2451TD 24" professional 3D LCD monitor with passive 3D glasses for reference
and color.


Footage that Hugo used to have to transcode and mux for hours can now be placed on a timeline immediately, significantly speeding up the post time of Playmates!3D.

“EDIUS allows us to work with our raw camera files and begin editing 3D footage as soon as it comes off set,” added Hugo. “Saving an enormous amount of time, manpower, and edit stations.”

Secondly, things that Hugo used to have to fix in post with extensive workarounds can now be fixed with a push of a button. Distortion corrections, filters, speed changes, frame rate changes (60 fps to 30 fps), color corrections, and convergence changes can now be done easily through the EDIUS Layouter.

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