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How to bring still images to life in your videos Q & A

How to bring still images to life in your videos Q & A

 

    Creating a Freeze Frame

    1. How I can make one photo of a movie part to put and animate between a movie?
    2. How do you grab a single frame of the video and turn it into a still?
    3. How do you make an image the thumbnail in a YouTube video?

    General webinar-related questions

    1. Will streaming this presentation work on an iPad?
    2. Do you have any recommendations for a good microphone to record with?
    3. Can we enlarge the webinar preview screen so that we can see what he is doing better?
    4. Will this webinar be available for on-demand viewing?
    5. Where can we find last month’s webinar online? And this one after it is over?
    6. How often are these webinars held?
    7. Watching this now for 30 minutes and practically everything is for Vegas Pro. What's the reason for this? It's not just this one but seems to happen in your other Webinars.
    8. I have Vegas Platinum. Whenever I try to use video clips and stills in the same video the program freezes during rendering when it comes to the still image. The same happens in transitioning from still to video clip. What am I doing wrong in the editing process?

    Questions about using still image files

    1. Do you have any tips for dealing with a large number of stills at one time? Do they really need to be processed one at a time? Or is there a way to batch process in Movie Studio?
    2. I am interested in building a slideshow template for generating slideshow videos. Can I do this with Vegas software?
    3. I've read that Vegas Pro prefers to use .png stills over “lossy” type still image formats such as JPEG. Is this true?
    4. What resolution did you use for the JPEG files you used in the presentation?
    5. In an existing project, let’s say the still images are all five seconds long. Now you want to change them all to be seven seconds long. How can I change the length of all pictures in an existing project?
    6. With Vegas Movie Studio HD Platinum, can I create the masks in Photoshop and then combine them in Vegas software?
    7. Are there any limitations in Vegas for the number of stills on a timeline?
    8. Which still format is best to minimize the use of PC & Vegas Pro resources?
    9. Is there an easy way to take a project and change each still image with another still image?
    10. I have 30 still images in a project and I want to change all 30 images.
    11. When working with an HDV project, what size stills are recommended when you have 100 or more stills on the timeline?
    12. Is transparency supported for PSD files?

    Vegas Pro vs. Vegas Movie Studio HD Platinum

    1. Is secondary color corrector in Vegas Pro only?
    2. Can the effects used on the girl in hallway and the punch effect be used in Vegas Movie Studio HD Platinum?
    3. Why does Vegas Pro do things that Vegas Movie Studio HD Platinum will not do?
    4. I have Vegas Movie Studio HD Platinum. Is there any kind of mask available in that version
    5. Can the results of Bezier masking be achieved by using the tools available in Sony Vegas Movie Studio HD Platinum?
    6. Does Vegas Pro have the Imagination Studio Suite in it?
    7. Does everything you showed work the same for Vegas Movie Studio?
    8. I use Vegas Movie Studio HD Platinum 9. Are there any techniques mentioned in the webinar which my program would not be able to use or take advantage of?

    Panning, zooming, and cropping

    1. Why do I get stuttering when I use the pan crop effect?
    2. How can you create a smooth start and stop with pan?
    3. What is one suggestion for determining how fast a specific pan/zoom should be?
    4. Doesn't it distort the photo to change the ratio? Yes it fills the black bars, but at a cost of distortion, right?
    5. When I zoom into a photo it gets fuzzy. Do you have a simple fix to this?
    6. Does matching the aspect of stills to the project output aspect distort the image?
    7. Is there a way to change the project default so that all still images will match output aspect ratio?
    8. What dpi and aspect ratio do you recommend for images if you’re doing lots of panning?
    9. Is there anything that we can do to overcome pixelation when we zoom into still images?
    10. Can you constrain the pan/scan movement to just horizontal or just vertical?
    11. When you used the Pan/crop feature it took away the black bars. However, in the process it cut off the lamp post lights. How do you adjust for sizing the photo properly?
    12. Is there a way to “crop to fit” if you don't want to crop out so much of the picture?
    13. How can I zoom in/out or pan across multiple still images arranged like a collage?
    14. Is there any way to assign a hot key to Event Pan/Crop for quicker access to the tools when working serially through a bunch of images?
    15. What else can you do with your black bars on the side of your still image besides using match output aspect?

    Bezier Masking

    1. Is he saying “bessia” masking tool?
    2. Could you have made the focus on Mr. Lincoln's face when you had him zoom out of the picture?
    3. How do you make certain elements of a still image 3D? I've seen that feature is various movies, where certain people move but the background does not, or vice-versa. Is that the same technique as the Abraham Lincoln example you showed?
    4. When would the Feather option be useful when using a mask in the event pan/crop?
    5. Could the masked image of the girl be paired with a different background image.
    6. How do you learn to use the masking tool? Is there a tutorial?
    7. When you use the Bezier mask, the tools and properties on the left change. Taking the mask off does not reset the original tools. How do you get it back to normal?
    8. How do you create the effect, where in a pan/zoom effect, elements of the photo seem to become 3D. They remove from the background. Is that the same as what you showed with the Abraham Lincoln image?
    9. Do you have any examples of using 3D tools for a motion pan to give a 2D image a 3D look?
    10. How do you go about masking two separate areas in the same picture?
    11. Many of these tools come with music files. Is it possible to get a list of those files? I want to know if they are different from version to version and product to product.
    12. Does the preview setting effect resolution of the saved still?

    General Vegas Pro use questions

    1. I'm working in Vegas Pro 8. What bit depth do you recommend for HD video?
    2. If I knew how to use Sony Vegas Pro I would use it all the time. Where can I go to find out how to use it?
    3. Are you copying the top track in order to have two?
    4. How do you key out?
    5. If there is a shadow in the chroma key background, can we keep it?
    6. Is this animating generated media?
    7. How would you create a ghost image moving around an abandoned building?
    8. Where can I learn more about how to use the composite modes and chroma key aspects of Vegas?
    9. Can you show how to create a natural skin color and a completely white background in a video that is shot without proper use of the white balance?
    10. What is “isolating a spot color?”
    11. Can you use the transparent feature of PNG images to provide the masking type feature in Vegas Studio?
    12. I had a dirt spec on my lens when I shot a video of a beach scene. Is there a global way to take the spot out?
    13. When is the best time - or what is the best way - to acquire the best upgrade price from Vegas Movie Studio HD Platinum to Vegas Pro?
    14. What is the upgrade price from Vegas Movie Studio HD Platinum to Vegas Pro?
    15. I have pictures in my DVD Architect Studio project. How can I move them to my Vegas Movie Studio HD Platinum project?
    16. When was Sony Vegas Pro released?
    17. Don't forget to set your Sony Alpha SLR to 16 x 9 aspect ratio for stills.
    18. Can I use commercial music for background music without infringing on the copyright?
    19. What is maximum resolution for HQ images?
    20. I just want a simple life and expect you to help make that happen.
    21. How can I eliminate flicker without blurring my images?
    22. Can you show two video tracks in a split screen?
    23. If you hadn't been short on time, what would the music to the beat section have described?
    24. How do you lock a marker to a specific image so that it will stay with the image when deleting content?
    25. How can I create the one-color effect? That is, how do I make the picture black and white and leave only one color real?
    26. Will Vegas Pro work great in Windows 7 Professional 32-bit?
    27. How do you select pixel aspect ratio for SD and HD projects? Do you leave it square for imported pictures, and import media the way you bring the photos in?
    28. How can you reduce flickering when you pan?
    29. How do you set pictures to beats in audio?
    30. Important note: you can bring PSD (Photoshop) files into Vegas Pro and spread the layers of the PSD file across as many tracks in Vegas Pro.
    31. What is the best way to track a photo across an actual movie scene, keeping the motion smooth between the movie and photo?
    32. I have always resized my images to match my output size. I thought maybe it would cut down on the end size of the product. Am I wasting my time resizing or should I just use the original image regardless of resolution/size?
    33. You can also split off one frame and make it a subclip.
    34. Can we use TIFF or raw images in Vegas Movie Studio HD Platinum 11?
    35. How can you convert video to stills? Do you have any tips for using stop motion and stills for jumpy movies based on your experience?
    36. Can you enhance standard-definition video to HD?
    37. I’m having trouble importing MOV files with audio into my project.
    38. Is there a minimum images size given a project size?
    39. Which is the easiest video format for editing in Vegas Pro? Are there any unrecommended video formats?
    40. Can we make the photos masked and 3D?
    41. Can I use video as a transition mask between images when I’m using the Gradient Wipe transition?

    Creating a Freeze Frame

    How I can make one photo of a movie part to put and animate between a movie?

    I am not sure I completely understand the question. If you are looking to take a still image from your movie and add it later as something you can animate in the project, you can save a snapshot of that frame. To do so, click the Save Snapshot to File button in the Video Preview window. We addressed this topic further during the presentation. You can get further information from this knowledgebase article.


    How do you grab a single frame of the video and turn it into a still?

    Click the Save Snapshot to File button in the Video Preview window. We addressed this topic further during the presentation. You can get additional information from this knowledgebase article.


    How do you make an image the thumbnail in a YouTube video?

    This is controlled by YouTube, so you’d have to do some research there to learn how to do this.


    General webinar-related questions

    Will streaming this presentation work on an iPad?

    We’ve never tested it, but you should be able to stream the Webinar through any standard Internet browser.


    Do you have any recommendations for a good microphone to record with?

    This depends on what exactly you are recording. Generally speaking, a condenser microphone works best for speech while a dynamic microphone might work best for recording amplifiers or other louder instruments. That said, all situations are different and there is no one microphone that works best above all others in every instance.


    Can we enlarge the webinar preview screen so that we can see what he is doing better?

    Yes. When you point to the middle of the webinar player screen, two buttons appear: 1) Pause and 2) Full. Click the Full button to switch the player into full-screen mode.


    Will this webinar be available for on-demand viewing?

    Yes, all of our Webinars are available for on-demand playback in the training section on our web site: www.sonycreativesoftware.com/training.


    Where can we find last month’s webinar online? And this one after it is over?

    We post all of our on-demand Webinars to the training section of our website: www.sonycreativesoftware.com/training.


    How often are these webinars held?

    We are trying to create Webinars each month, but this just depends on our schedule. Any Webinars we have done in the past are available in the training section of our website at: www.sonycreativesoftware.com/training.


    Watching this now for 30 minutes and practically everything is for Vegas Pro. What's the reason for this? It's not just this one but seems to happen in your other Webinars.

    Many of the topics that are covered here work the same way in Vegas Movie Studio HD Platinum. We did try to point out any feature that was only available in the Pro application. Doing this enables us to serve both our pro and platinum customers simultaneously. It also shows you what is possible with the Pro version of the software and gives you more information to use when you’re trying to decide whether or not to upgrade to the more full-featured Pro version.


    I have Vegas Platinum. Whenever I try to use video clips and stills in the same video the program freezes during rendering when it comes to the still image. The same happens in transitioning from still to video clip. What am I doing wrong in the editing process?

    It’s hard to know from your description exactly what’s going on. This knowledgebase article might help.


    Questions about using still image files

    Do you have any tips for dealing with a large number of stills at one time? Do they really need to be processed one at a time? Or is there a way to batch process in Movie Studio?

    In general, you can add multiple photos to your timeline and apply effects to the resulting events in your project simultaneously. You can also use scripts, like our Production Assistant, to batch process events in your project.


    I am interested in building a slideshow template for generating slideshow videos. Can I do this with Vegas software?

    In Vegas Movie Studio HD Platinum 11 and Movie Studio HD 11 you can automatically create insert slide shows. To do so, Choose Insert | slideshow and follow the steps of the slideshow wizard.


    I've read that Vegas Pro prefers to use .png stills over “lossy” type still image formats such as JPEG. Is this true?

    You can use a number of different still image file formats including .jpeg, .png, bmp, .tiff, and .tga files, and even .psd files. We recommend the .png file format for a couple of reasons. First, .png is a lossless compression codec, which results in a higher quality image. The format also supports an alpha channel, which allows you to take advantage of transparency built into the still image in your Vegas Pro project. We discussed this topic in the Q&A session at the end of the webinar.


    What resolution did you use for the JPEG files you used in the presentation?

    The files we used were shot at a variety of resolutions. Vegas Pro supports gigapixel size still images.


    In an existing project, let’s say the still images are all five seconds long. Now you want to change them all to be seven seconds long. How can I change the length of all pictures in an existing project?

    That’s a tough one. In some cases, you might be better off starting over and setting your default still image length to seven seconds. We talked about how to do this during the presentation. If that’s not practical, you might be able to use the powerful scripting feature to run a script that would automate the task of changing all of the events for you. Of course, this may cause problems for other aspects of your project depending upon what other media you’ve added to it. If neither of these works for you, then you’ll have to manually change the length of each event and adjust the rest of your project accordingly.


    With Vegas Movie Studio HD Platinum, can I create the masks in Photoshop and then combine them in Vegas software?

    You can create files in Photoshop that have transparency and save them as PNG files. Both Vegas Pro and Vegas Movie Studio HD Platinum support this transparency in PNG files. Both applications also feature a Mask Generator filter that you can apply to any still image (or video for that matter) as well as the Multiply (Mask) composite mode which gives you further masking capabilities. You can use any image-editing software to create the images you use with these masking tools.


    Are there any limitations in Vegas for the number of stills on a timeline?

    There is no limit to the number of still images you can import. You are limited only by your system resources.


    Which still format is best to minimize the use of PC & Vegas Pro resources?

    This is really not a matter so much of file format, but rather file resolution (and thus size). The higher the still image’s resolution, the more resources will be required to work with it. For example, if you’re importing hundreds of gigapixel-size photos, your computer may have trouble keeping up with the processing demands and you may see some lag in playback. Where this does relate to file format is in the area of file compression. For example, a lossless compression format like .png may take up more resources than a compressed .jpeg file.


    Is there an easy way to take a project and change each still image with another still image?

    There is no way to do this with one click of the mouse. However, you can easily replace a picture in your project - to do so, right-click the thumbnail of the image in the Project Media window and choose Replace from the menu. Then navigate to a replacement file to swap it out. If you’ve used this image multiple times in your project, this operation replaces it everywhere it appears on your timeline.


    I have 30 still images in a project and I want to change all 30 images.

    I would have to know how you are looking to change the pictures. If you mean you want to switch them with other pictures, the best way to do so would be in the Project Media window. Right-click the image you want to replace and choose Replace from the menu.


    When working with an HDV project, what size stills are recommended when you have 100 or more stills on the timeline?

    It is difficult to say exactly what size would be best. Generally, the lower the resolution, the less processing demand you put on your computer, but you always need to keep pixelization in mind. Any resolution that gives you the flexibility you need in order to create zooms into the photo without causing pixelization works.


    Is transparency supported for PSD files?

    Yes, you can create transparent layers in your Photoshop files and Vegas Pro will honor that transparency.


    Vegas Pro vs. Vegas Movie Studio HD Platinum

    Is secondary color corrector in Vegas Pro only?

    The secondary color corrector is also included in Vegas Movie Studio HD Platinum.


    Can the effects used on the girl in hallway and the punch effect be used in Vegas Movie Studio HD Platinum?

    Yes, you can use the Secondary Color Corrector, Chroma Keyer, and Track Motion tools in Vegas Movie Studio HD Platinum 11. Also, the Pinch/Punch filter is a standard plug in that comes with Vegas Movie Studio HD Platinum 11 as well as Vegas Pro.


    Why does Vegas Pro do things that Vegas Movie Studio HD Platinum will not do?

    Vegas Pro is the most powerful application in the Vegas software line. While Vegas Movie Studio HD Platinum does not contain all of the professional features, it is still a very powerful video and audio editing tool. You can find a helpful feature comparison chart at: www.sonycreativesoftware.com/vegaspro/compare.


    I have Vegas Movie Studio HD Platinum. Is there any kind of mask available in that version

    The Bezier masking shown in this video is not available in Vegas Movie Studio Platinum. However, there is a Mask Generator Filter under the Video FX section which you can use for creating masks.


    Can the results of Bezier masking be achieved by using the tools available in Sony Vegas Movie Studio HD Platinum?

    No, the Bezier masking feature is only available in Vegas Pro. There is not really a way to get around this in Vegas Movie Studio HD Platinum.


    Does Vegas Pro have the Imagination Studio Suite in it?

    No, Vegas Pro is separate from the Imagination Studio Suite.


    Does everything you showed work the same for Vegas Movie Studio?

    Many of the features are the same in both applications. However, some of the features are only available in the pro version. We tried to clearly point this out in the Webinar.


    I use Vegas Movie Studio HD Platinum 9. Are there any techniques mentioned in the webinar which my program would not be able to use or take advantage of?

    Yes. For example, the Bezier masking feature is only available in Vegas Pro. We tried to point out any features that would not be available in Vegas Movie Studio HD Platinum during the Webinar.


    Panning, zooming, and cropping

    Why do I get stuttering when I use the pan crop effect?

    When you say stuttering do you mean that the preview window does not play back smoothly? This is usually due to inadequate processing power available in your computer. If this is the case, we have a number of suggestions you can try to minimize the issue in this knowledgbase article.


    How can you create a smooth start and stop with pan?

    Vegas Pro provides several different curve shapes for the curves between keyframes. To change the curve shape, right-click the first keyframe in the pair and choose the one you want from the menu. Experiment until you find the one that gives you the results you’re after.


    What is one suggestion for determining how fast a specific pan/zoom should be?

    Well, this is really up to the user. There is not one specific speed that we would recommend for a pan or zoom. Depending on the effect that you want to achieve, you may want a very slow pan. On the other hand, you may want a very quick pan to achieve a sort of faux action or movement. It really just depends on the goal of that particular sequence in your video.


    Doesn't it distort the photo to change the ratio? Yes it fills the black bars, but at a cost of distortion, right?

    You’re technically right, but wrong in your assumption about what’s happening when you choose the Match Output Aspect option that we discussed in the webinar. If you change the aspect ratio of your still image, then you will indeed cause distortion in that image. But the technique I showed for eliminating the black bars (that is, matching the output aspect of the project) does not accomplish the task by changing the aspect ratio of the image (that is, stretching the image). Instead, it crops a portion of the image out to give it the correct aspect ratio. Yes, you’ll lose part of your image, but you won’t distort it with this technique.


    When I zoom into a photo it gets fuzzy. Do you have a simple fix to this?

    This problem - known as pixelization - happens when you don’t have adequate resolution in the image to support the level into which you’ve zoomed. The best way to fix this is to avoid the problem in the first place. All pictures will be pixilated if you zoom in far enough. However, the higher the resolution of the images you use, the farther you can zoom into them without suffering pixelization. Just remember that no matter how high your resolution, pixelization is ultimately unavoidable if you zoom in close enough. This topic was discussed during the Q&A portion of the webinar.


    Does matching the aspect of stills to the project output aspect distort the image?

    No. This operation crops the image so that it matches the output aspect according to your current project settings. This means that although not distortion takes place, some of the image is lost due to the cropping.


    Is there a way to change the project default so that all still images will match output aspect ratio?

    This topic was touched on during the presentation. Yes, you can set Vegas software up to automatically match the project’s aspect. To do this, choose Options | Preferences and in the Preferences dialog box, click the Editing tab. Select the Automatically crop still images added to timeline checkbox and click OK. Now when you add new still images to your timeline, their aspect ratio will automatically match that of your project.


    What dpi and aspect ratio do you recommend for images if you’re doing lots of panning?

    If you’re strictly panning, then you don’t need a particularly high-resolution image. However, if you’re going to be doing a lot of zooming into your pictures, then you’ll want to shoot your images at higher resolution. In general, since you probably don’t know exactly what type of panning and zooming you’ll be doing with the photos you shoot (until you’re actually working in your project), I’d suggest that you shoot at the highest resolution that your camera supports. This will obviously create larger file sizes, but you can always buy more storage space if you need it; you can’t add more resolution to a file that you’ve already shot on your camera!


    Is there anything that we can do to overcome pixelation when we zoom into still images?

    No, not really. The best thing to do is use very high resolution still images. That way if you do end up zooming in on your clips, you’ll be able to zoom in quite a bit further before pixilation becomes noticeable. This topic was covered in a bit more detail during the webinar.


    Can you constrain the pan/scan movement to just horizontal or just vertical?

    Yes. In the Pan/Crop window, when the Move button is labeled Move Freely (X and Y), you can move both horizontally and vertically. Click the button. Now it is labeled Move in X only and you can only move the box horizontally. Click the button again. It is now labeled Move in Y only and you can only reposition the box vertically. Click it one more time to return to the move freely state. This topic was covered in the Q&A section towards the end of the Webinar.


    When you used the Pan/crop feature it took away the black bars. However, in the process it cut off the lamp post lights. How do you adjust for sizing the photo properly?

    You’re exactly right. When you use the Match Output Aspect function, Vegas software crops the image in order to achieve the proper aspect ratio. As you point out with the lamp posts, this cuts out some of the material in your photo. You can adjust the cropping manually in order to include the portion of the image you want, but you really only have two choices: Crop the image, or live with the black bars. There’s actually a third choice which is even less desirable and that is to stretch the photo in order to eliminate the black. This would result in distorting the original image, so this technique is rarely used.


    Is there a way to “crop to fit” if you don't want to crop out so much of the picture?

    There is not an automatic “crop to fit” function, but you can manually crop any photograph with the Event Pan/Crop tool. This is a great product suggestion though.


    How can I zoom in/out or pan across multiple still images arranged like a collage?

    Each still image event has its own Event Pan/Crop tool. You would have to go into each event and set pan/crop keyframes to move the picture(s) the way that you want. One way around this is to add all of the pictures to the timeline of one project. Save that project and then add that project VEG file into the timeline of a new project. Since the nested project appears in a single event on the new project’s timeline, you can use the Event Pan/Crop tool for that single event to create your global zoom and pan moves.


    Is there any way to assign a hot key to Event Pan/Crop for quicker access to the tools when working serially through a bunch of images?

    Yes. Choose Options | Customize Keyboard. In the Customize Keyboard window, click the Global tab. Type “pan” into the Show commands containing field. From the list of commands, click Tools.Video.VideoEventPanCrop. Now, click inside the Shortcut keys field to place your cursor there and type the key combination you want to use to access the Event Pan/Crop window (I used Ctrl+Alt+Shift+V). Click the Add button. Click OK to close the Customize Keyboard window. Now, select an event on the timeline and press your new keyboard shortcut to open the Event Pan/Crop window for the selected event.


    What else can you do with your black bars on the side of your still image besides using match output aspect?

    Using the match output aspect is the best way to get rid of those. However, you can manually adjust the pan/crop window in any way. You could also just leave them if you choose to.


    Bezier Masking

    Is he saying “bessia” masking tool?

    The term is Bezier masking, pronounced Bez-ee-EH. Like the French would say it.


    Could you have made the focus on Mr. Lincoln's face when you had him zoom out of the picture?

    Sure; you can choose to focus on any object in a still image. In this example, we could have zoomed in using the pan/crop tool to draw the viewer’s focus to his face. I’m not sure if that answers your question correctly, but you can always use the pan/crop tools to zoom in on different portions of still images.


    How do you make certain elements of a still image 3D? I've seen that feature is various movies, where certain people move but the background does not, or vice-versa. Is that the same technique as the Abraham Lincoln example you showed?

    Yes, the example with the Abraham Lincoln picture is the best way to accomplish this.


    When would the Feather option be useful when using a mask in the event pan/crop?

    There really isn’t one specific situation that the Feather option would be most useful. However, if you are trying to make an object pop or stand out, but you don’t want the edge of your mask to be extremely sharp and noticeable, you might want to use the Feather feature.


    Could the masked image of the girl be paired with a different background image.

    Yes. Since in my example I masked out everything on the top track except for the girl, I could have added an entirely different image onto the track below it to create a completely different background.


    How do you learn to use the masking tool? Is there a tutorial?



    When you use the Bezier mask, the tools and properties on the left change. Taking the mask off does not reset the original tools. How do you get it back to normal?

    Notice that there are two lanes in the keyframe controller area timeline, one labeled Position and the other labeled Mask. This is where you select the checkbox to turn Bezier masking on. Notice also that one of the two lanes is highlighted while the other remains gray. If you’re seeing the Bezier tools, then you’ve got the Mask lane highlighted. To return to the default tools, click the Position lane. This hides the Bezier tools and shows the default tools again.


    How do you create the effect, where in a pan/zoom effect, elements of the photo seem to become 3D. They remove from the background. Is that the same as what you showed with the Abraham Lincoln image?

    Yes. To achieve a 3D look to the image, add a shadow to the masked image as I did with the image of Mr. Lincoln.


    Do you have any examples of using 3D tools for a motion pan to give a 2D image a 3D look?

    This was something that we did cover in the Webinar. Please re-watch the segment about the Abraham Lincoln photograph again. The section towards the end that talks about adding a shadow to the image, gives it that 3D look.


    How do you go about masking two separate areas in the same picture?

    Assuming you’re talking about the Bezier masking techniques we discussed during the presentation, to mask out more than one area, just create another set of mask points that are completely independent of the first mask. You can create any number of masks on a single image or video file.


    Many of these tools come with music files. Is it possible to get a list of those files? I want to know if they are different from version to version and product to product.

    When you say “tools,” are you referring to the software itself? If so, we do not have a specific list of audio files that come with the different versions of Movie Studio. The free videos supplied with Vegas Movie Studio HD Platinum 11 were identical to those supplied with version 10 of the application.


    Does the preview setting effect resolution of the saved still?

    It can. With your preview quality set to Auto or Full, Vegas Pro creates a full-resolution still-image version of the frame. With the quality set to one of the Half or Quarter resolution choices, the software saves a Half- or Quarter-resolution still image file.


    General Vegas Pro use questions

    I'm working in Vegas Pro 8. What bit depth do you recommend for HD video?

    Generally, the higher bit rate settings provide greater precision which should result in sharper/more colorful the video. But the higher bit depth comes at a cost and it may be more difficult for your PC to process all of the information at that bit depth. This might result in lower preview frame-rates and longer rendering times. One idea is to edit in 8 bit and then change to 32 bit floating point (video levels) before you render your project. You’ll still have longer rendering times at the higher bit depth, but preview performance will be better.


    If I knew how to use Sony Vegas Pro I would use it all the time. Where can I go to find out how to use it?

    We have a number of training videos, previous Webinar videos, and other resources on how to use the many features of Vegas Pro in the training section of our website at: www.sonycreativesoftware.com/training.


    Are you copying the top track in order to have two?

    It depends on the example you’re referring to. In the example with Abraham Lincoln, you’re sort of right. I’m copying the event on the top track (not the entire track) and pasting it onto the lower track. I did the same with the little girl and blurred background as well as at least one other example in the presentation. It’s a technique I use frequently when I’m trying to alter the reality of a video.


    How do you key out?

    It depends on what you are looking to key out. You can use the Chroma key tool to key out certain colors. We covered this topic during the Exploring color correction tools and techniques in Vegas Pro 10 webinar that you can find in the training section of our website at: www.sonycreativesoftware.com/training.


    If there is a shadow in the chroma key background, can we keep it?

    Generally you don’t want any shadows on your green-screen background because this will make it more difficult to key the background out effectively. To achieve the realism you’re after, you can use the Track Motion feature to add a shadow to the track after you key out the background.


    Is this animating generated media?

    I guess you could consider some of the things in this Webinar as “animating.” You can use the keyframe controls in the Media Generators Window to sort of animate the media.


    How would you create a ghost image moving around an abandoned building?

    Good question. If I was creating it, I would probably layer the video clip that I wanted to be the ghost image in the top track. Then I would change the opacity or composite level of that track to be quite low. This will give it sort of a ghosted look. I might then add different video effects (like a Wave filter or an Add Noise filter) to the “ghost” image to make it look even more ethereal. There may be other ways to achieve this result as well. Get creative and see what you can come up with!


    Where can I learn more about how to use the composite modes and chroma key aspects of Vegas?

    We have lots of training resources available for you in the training section of our website at www.sonycreativesoftware.com/training. There you’ll find free videos, our webinar archives, and archives of all past newsletter Tech Tip tutorial articles. Both of these topics have been covered in previous training videos and articles.


    Can you show how to create a natural skin color and a completely white background in a video that is shot without proper use of the white balance?

    If your camera was not properly white balanced when you shot your footage, the scene may end up with unnatural color tones. You can fix this with the White Balance filter. To do so, click the Video FX tab and select White Balance from the list of filters. Drag the Reset to None preset onto the event that holds the footage you want to correct (or, add the filter at the media level through the Project Media window). Click the Select white color button and then click an area in your video that should be white. This samples the white area and the software automatically adjust the color tones so that the area you sampled is a more true white. If you’re not perfectly satisfied, you can further tweak the plug-in’s settings to get what you want.


    What is “isolating a spot color?”

    This refers to the technique of turning everything in your video to grayscale except for one color which then pops out dramatically since it’s the only color in the scene. My favorite example occurs in the movie Schindler’s List. That entire movie is shot in black and white except for one dramatic scene where a little girl walks out of a building wearing a brilliant red coat. The only thing in that scene that has any color is the coat and you surely don’t miss it. Another common usage is to turn a scene from a wedding black and white except for the bride’s bouquet. Our Exploring color correction tools and techniques in Vegas Pro 10 webinar (which you can find in the training section of our website at www.sonycreativesoftware.com/training) gives a very detailed explanation of the Secondary Color Correction filter you would use to create these types of effects.


    Can you use the transparent feature of PNG images to provide the masking type feature in Vegas Studio?

    I’m not entirely sure what you’re asking here. PNG files can contain an alpha channel and both Vegas Pro and Vegas Movie Studio HD Platinum support that channel. The alpha channel defines transparency, so if you put a PNG with a transparent area on track one and another video or image on track two, then the image on track two will show through the transparent areas of the PNG on track one. We don’t technically refer to this as masking, but in a way it has a similar result.


    I had a dirt spec on my lens when I shot a video of a beach scene. Is there a global way to take the spot out?

    You might be able to find a third-party video filter that might help in this case.


    When is the best time - or what is the best way - to acquire the best upgrade price from Vegas Movie Studio HD Platinum to Vegas Pro?

    Typically, when the new versions are released we have aggressive upgrade pricing available. I would suggest that you submit your email address to be notified of the Vegas Pro 11 release, which will contain any upgrade pricing information: http://www.sonycreativesoftware.com/vegaspro11.


    What is the upgrade price from Vegas Movie Studio HD Platinum to Vegas Pro?

    Currently, you can upgrade for $489.95. Here is a link to the upgrade page: http://www.sonycreativesoftware.com/upgrade/moviestudiotopro?disp=1.


    I have pictures in my DVD Architect Studio project. How can I move them to my Vegas Movie Studio HD Platinum project?

    It is not possible to send media back to Vegas Movie Studio HD Platinum from DVD Architect Studio. However, if you have your pictures on your hard drive, you can easily use the Vegas Movie Studio HD Platinum Explorer window to navigate to those same pictures and import them into your project.


    When was Sony Vegas Pro released?

    The original version of Vegas Pro was released in 2000. Vegas Pro 10 was released in October of 2010.


    Don't forget to set your Sony Alpha SLR to 16 x 9 aspect ratio for stills.

    I guess this is more of a suggestion than a question. Thanks for the tip!


    Can I use commercial music for background music without infringing on the copyright?

    You would only be able to do this if you received permission from the artist or publishing company for that particular piece of music.


    What is maximum resolution for HQ images?

    Vegas Pro supports Gigapixel size still images.


    I just want a simple life and expect you to help make that happen.

    What’s the old saying, “You can wish in one hand and....” Oh well; I forget the rest. Unfortunately, I cannot make your life any simpler, other than to take the mystery out of editing in Vegas Pro for you.


    How can I eliminate flicker without blurring my images?

    It would depend on the type of flicker you are seeing. We do have some information about improving the quality of your still images in our knowledgebase.


    Can you show two video tracks in a split screen?

    Yes, this can be accomplished with the track motion tool. We have free training videos in the training section of the website at www.sonycreativesoftware.com/training that will help you learn to use the Track Motion tools. Also see the following related knowledgebase article.


    If you hadn't been short on time, what would the music to the beat section have described?

    I would have done this: Choose File | Properties and click the Ruler tab. Enter the song’s tempo into the Beats per minute field and the time signature into the Beats per measure field. Then click OK. Next, right-click the Time Display and choose Time Format | Measures and Beats from the menu to set the Vegas Pro ruler to show measures and beats. Then, play the project, count along with the beat of the music, and press M to drop markers at beats in the music where you want to change the picture. Finally, add pictures to your timeline that start and end at the markers you added. Or, to get even more sophisticated, set your default still image length so that each image lasts for a desired number of beats, select multiple events, and add the first one to the first beat. The rest will drop onto the timeline lined up to the beat of the music.


    How do you lock a marker to a specific image so that it will stay with the image when deleting content?

    You can’t lock a project marker to an event, but you can use the post-edit ripple tools to automatically move the marker along with the event if you choose to.


    How can I create the one-color effect? That is, how do I make the picture black and white and leave only one color real?

    Use the Secondary Color Corrector filter to create this effect, which we call isolating a spot color. We covered this extensively in the Exploring color correction tools and techniques in Vegas Pro 10 webinar which you can find in the training section of our website at: www.sonycreativesoftware.com/training.


    Will Vegas Pro work great in Windows 7 Professional 32-bit?

    Yes, Vegas Pro is fully supported on both Windows 7 32-bit and 64-bit.


    How do you select pixel aspect ratio for SD and HD projects? Do you leave it square for imported pictures, and import media the way you bring the photos in?

    I’m not sure I fully understand the second part of that question, but you can simply bring your still images in without regard to their pixel aspect ratio. Just drop them into your project and get to work.


    How can you reduce flickering when you pan?

    The resolution of your still image as well has how far you are zoomed in will determine the amount of flickering you will see. We have a knowledgebase article that deals with this.


    How do you set pictures to beats in audio?

    A: In the editing tab of the Preferences dialog box, you can set the default still image length—we discussed this in the Q&A section of the presentation. If you were to calculate the length of a still image so that it matched the number of beats per minute, Vegas will automatically line them up. However, it may be best to simply line up the photos along with the audio waveform in the timeline. You will have to do some experimenting to see what works best.


    Important note: you can bring PSD (Photoshop) files into Vegas Pro and spread the layers of the PSD file across as many tracks in Vegas Pro.

    Absolutely. This is a great way to make use of your layered PSD files. To do this, use the right mouse button to drag the PSD file into your project and release the mouse button. From the menu, choose Add Across Tracks. The file now appears in your project with the separate layers appearing on separate Vegas Pro tracks. Thanks for pointing this out—I wish I hadn’t have left that out of my presentation!


    What is the best way to track a photo across an actual movie scene, keeping the motion smooth between the movie and photo?

    If you are asking about the best way to animate a picture and have it move across a video, then use the track motion tool.


    I have always resized my images to match my output size. I thought maybe it would cut down on the end size of the product. Am I wasting my time resizing or should I just use the original image regardless of resolution/size?

    Sorry; you’ve probably been wasting time. It is not important for the size of your images to match the output properties of the rendered file and making your images sizes smaller will not affect the file size of your rendered project one way or the other.


    You can also split off one frame and make it a subclip.

    Yes, you can make subclips from an existing video clip at any time and then add that subclip to your project to create a freeze-frame effect.


    Can we use TIFF or raw images in Vegas Movie Studio HD Platinum 11?

    You can add TIFF files to your Vegas Movie Studio HD Platinum 11 project. When you say raw images, I would have to know what file extension they are. Vegas Movie Studio HD Platinum 11 does not support RAW files.


    How can you convert video to stills? Do you have any tips for using stop motion and stills for jumpy movies based on your experience?

    Place the project cursor on the frame you want to make a still image out of and click the Save Snapshot to File button in the Video Preview window. We touched on this in the Q&A portion of the presentation. I can’t say I have any specific tips for using stop motion and stills for jumpy movies. It’s an artistic judgment and depends upon just how “jumpy” you want the assembled video to be.


    Can you enhance standard-definition video to HD?

    No, you cannot upgrade standard-definition video to hi-definition video. You can use a standard definition clip in your project and render that project out as an HD format, but that will not magically add the necessary resolution to make the standard-definition file look like HD.


    I’m having trouble importing MOV files with audio into my project.

    This knowledgbase article may help in this situation.


    Is there a minimum images size given a project size?

    If you are asking if there is a minimum size for still images added to the timeline, no there is not. You can import many images of different sizes in any given project, regardless of their resolution.


    Which is the easiest video format for editing in Vegas Pro? Are there any unrecommended video formats?

    There is no one format that we recommend over all others. As long as your footage is in a supported file format (and Vegas Pro supports a large number of formats), it should work just fine in Vegas. That said, some formats are more difficult for your computer to process than others. Here is a list of the supported file formats: http://www.sonycreativesoftware.com/vegaspro/techspec.


    Can we make the photos masked and 3D?

    Yes, in Vegas Pro you can create masks on your still images. You can also use the track motion tools to manipulate your photos in a 3D way. However, you cannot transform 2D media into 3D media with the software.


    Can I use video as a transition mask between images when I’m using the Gradient Wipe transition?

    No; you must use a still image file. You might be able to use an animated GIF file, but I’ve never tried it.







     
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