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10 Vegas Pro techniques for power editing: Q & A

10 Vegas Pro techniques for power editing: Q & A

 

    Basic Editing

    1. Where can I find hot key information?
    2. Is there any way to keep all the video timelines (tracks) at the top and all the audio timelines at the bottom?
    3. My project is completed, but have a gap at the front end. How can I slide all events to close the gap or delete the blank section at beginning of the project?
    4. If I make a mistake during editing (e.g. deleting a section), how can I recover at a prior edit point?
    5. Can you redo the ripple edits?
    6. Can you split events on multiple tracks at once?
    7. Does ripple work across different tracks, for example will it work across multiple video and audio tracks?
    8. Will ripple editing move markers as well?
    9. Do you suggest working primarily in auto-ripple mode (selectively disabled from time to time), or do you suggest using primarily post-edit ripple?
    10. Can you give me a basic explanation of takes?
    11. How can I move a clip a certain number of frames in the timeline, rather than just dragging back and forth?
    12. How do you create slow motion and stop-motion animation?
    13. How do you get the focus onto the timeline without moving the cursor to a new position?

    Audio and Video FX

    1. Is there an easy way to apply a saved collection of filters to several scenes/clips
    2. What plug-ins and effects will work with Vegas Pro? Will these also work with Vegas Movie Studio?
    3. Tutorials for other programs talk about crushing blacks and blowing out whites. What is the method for doing this within Vegas Pro?
    4. Can you have multiple video effects within one clip? In other words, can you start a clip off with an effect and fade to a different effect within that single event?
    5. Can you control the length of an effect within a specific clip?
    6. How do I reduce audio track noise in an audio track as a non-realtime FX?
    7. Is it possible to paste video effects only, and not playback rate?
    8. How do you use Vegas Pro 9 for chroma-keying?
    9. What about color correction?
    10. What is the best way to correct white balance in Vegas Pro?
    11. Can audio effects be previewed in real time as the video effects can?
    12. Is there a way to re-orient an upside down imported clip?
    13. Is there training available that goes into adding special effects to video clips?
    14. Can you discuss audio noise removal techniques?

    Transitions and Fades

    1. Can you copy & paste transitions?
    2. Can you default the fade in on video to a certain effect?
    3. How do you do a fade-in/out to each event in a block of events after they have been added to the timeline?
    4. Is the automatic audio crossfade equal-power?

    Compositing and Track Motion

    1. Is there any way to emulate camera movements?
    2. Could you review the compositing mode and track motion?
    3. How do you do multiple level compositing?
    4. Can you do a green screen and blue screen shot, onto a custom background image?
    5. Is it only track motion that comes into play with parent/child relationships?
    6. Is there an easy way to do a telestrator type of drawing on the screen over video in Vegas Pro?
    7. One aspect of Vegas Pro I'd like more training in is using Parent Child relationships and use of alpha channels. Where can I get that info?
    8. How do you associate events with track motion such that you can move them as a block?
    9. Explain how to create a lower third
    10. How do I plug in custom lower thirds to use as a template?

    Masking

    1. Can you mask without using Bezier curves?
    2. Explain how to create a transition with the masking technique.

    Working with Envelopes

    1. Can you display the % symbol when changing the velocity on a video clip like you do with an audio clip?
    2. Is there a way to automate ducking, based on another track? Ideally the ducking envelope would move with the base track event.
    3. In the audio duck maneuver by time selection, what kind of fades are created at the in and out points?
    4. What was the command to do the velocity change resulting in freeze frame?
    5. How can I fade up or down the volume of a soundtrack for only a small section of the video?
    6. If you draw a velocity envelope, is it linear between the keyframes or bezier curve or ...?

    Event Pan / Crop

    1. I find that the cropping function in Vegas is a bit tricky when getting detailed because it changes the placement as well as the size at the same time. Is there an easier way to crop?
    2. Can you apply cropping to multiple sources (events) on the timeline at once?
    3. Can you explain how to crop easily please?
    4. Can you apply cropping across the whole timeline?
    5. I record and publish some aviation footage, and have often come across a case where I'd like to show a picture of a map, with a depiction of the path taken (think of a narrow red line, winding along a path on the map as an animation). Any pointers on how to achieve that effect?
    6. What is the advantage of using the "Trimmer" window? I always just turn that off.

    Working with the Trimmer

    1. In older versions of Vegas, I could mark in and out points in the Trimmer and then add my footage to timeline, but since Vegas Pro 8, it doesn't seem to. Can you explain why this is different?
    2. Does the trimmer window actually trim the source media, or can you still trim the edges of a timeline event?
    3. When setting in and out points in the trimmer is there a way to drop the media down to the time-line without having the trimmer clip highlighted with the in and out marked? I would like to click in and out of the trimmer without having to reset already set marks. Previous versions of Vegas allowed this automatically Vegas Pro 9 does not seem to have this function.

    Titling

    1. How do you make a title page and how do you add text to the presentation?
    2. How do you add text to a video?

    Rendering and Delivery

    1. Can you make DVDs (HD or SD) from off the timeline or do you need DVD Architect?
    2. If you had to choose one Windows Media video compression for internet delivery, would you go with 512k or a different option?
    3. I have Vegas Pro 8 on one computer, and Vegas Pro 9 on another. Capturing the same video footage, Vegas Pro 8 renders clear as can be. Vegas Pro 9 requires setting my sharpen filter at .500 or higher. Why is that?
    4. I render my projects as HDV 720-30p MPEG-2 (16:9) and render the audio separately. I play the rendered files with Media Player Classic. I don't use DVD Architect. Is there an easy way to make the project to a different aspect ratio, i.e., 2.20:1?
    5. Why do Vegas Pro and DVD Architect require audio and video to be used separately when encoding and making DVDs and Blu-ray discs?
    6. In order to fit all movie material onto a 2 hour disk, how much time should I allow by the time it gets to DVD Architect? Can my added timeline total 2 hours or do I need to keep it under by 10 minutes?
    7. How do you encrypt a DVD to prevent unauthorized copying?
    8. How do you render a video to fit the screen? In other words, how do you get rid of the black bars around the video?
    9. Can Vegas Pro projects create output to both Blu-ray and standard DVD?
    10. What is a real-world application of rendering to new tracks?

    Importing / Capturing

    1. Where can I get a list of all the types of camera formats that Vegas Pro will work with?
    2. What's the advantage of choosing 8-bit vs. 16-bit video capture?
    3. Is there any method to input and edit CPI files in Vegas Pro 9?
    4. Can you please describe a workflow for coming back from a shoot with lots of footage. Should I go through the footage on the camera, and only capture the shots I want? Or capture all of the footage in Vegas and work with it from there? If the latter, how?
    5. When I capture video from my camera, several frames of the next event are still on the tail of the last. How can this be eliminated?
    6. Does the Device Explorer window work for cameras that use DV Tape?
    7. If you have AVCHD files (for example) on a card or disk image, can you just drag them into the timeline from the explorer or do you need to explicitly import?
    8. I just tried the nesting technique, and the audio won't come in. Is it only for video?
    9. Could you briefly explain how to get MXF files into Vegas Pro?

    Multicamera Editing

    1. How do I use the multicamera editing features?
    2. When I mix a three camera shoot, the audio will switch to the event you choose. How do I lock it for one particular audio event?
    3. Would you use the multicamera tools live or just the tape of the individual cameras?
    4. Can you talk about how to automatically crossfade edit points when using Multicamera editing? Is it possible to customize the automatic crossfades?
    5. In multicam mode, can you uncombine the tracks after you've done some editing (so you can work with them as separate tracks again, for effects, etc.)?
    6. Why canít I see effects made to a track in multi camera mode?

    Working with Graphics or Still Photos

    1. Is it possible to automate matching aspect ratio over several events for a photo montage project?
    2. If you are importing stills into video, do you have to compress the picture quality?
    3. I want to compile a slideshow and burn it to a DVD using several hundred digital images. When I add them to the timeline (30 or more at a time), but they are displayed so close together that I can't even see them individually to change their locations. How can I spread them out? I also want to add a transition or fade out/in between each picture. Is there an easy way to do that? Or must each transition be added separately? Do I have to manually overlap each picture or can that overlap be set as a default time setting for the entire slideshow?

    Media Manager

    1. How could I archive hundreds of tapes using the media manager?

    Scripting

    1. I have 100+ videos that I would like to use Vegas Pro to crop and resize (mostly from 4:3 to 16:9). Is there a way to do this as a batch command that would allow me to avoid calling each up individually?
    2. Is it possible to duck one audio track to another automatically?

    Using Bus Tracks

    1. How does Audio and Video busing work?

    Working with Audio

    1. Are the audio recording and editing features of Vegas as powerful as Acid Pro 7? What are the limitations?
    2. Is Vegas Pro able to mix professional audio? Are there other Sony applications that are professional DAWs?
    3. Can you snap audio edits to bar and beat markers when editing music video?
    4. Can you integrate SonicFire into the Vegas timeline?
    5. Can you insert both stereo and 5.1 tracks in the same Vegas Pro 9 project?
    6. Does Vegas Pro handle Acid loops similar to Acid Pro?
    7. Is there a way to get audio played when you "step" through a video frame by frame?
    8. When you do the audio duck maneuver using time selection, what kind of fade down/fade ups are created? Are they even fades?
    9. Can you add a plug-in on a specific audio clip instead of on the whole track? I know this can be done for individual video clips, but what about audio clips?
    10. How can you change the volume of different sound elements within one video, i.e., remove or turn down background noise/music and turn up voice volume?
    11. Did I just see Gary name an audio bus?
    12. Can you add music to the presentation and still use the sound grouped with the video?
    13. Can you integrate audio with Sound Forge Pro?
    14. Explain the exact steps to edit audio.
    15. Is it possible to record multi-track audio while capturing video within Vegas Pro?

    Working with Projects

    1. Is there a way to create templates for same-day edits, for instance a Wedding?
    2. Is project nesting with a rendered clip or a separate project?

    Properties and Formats

    1. Can I import 3gpp formats for cell phones into my Vegas Pro project?
    2. How are media files and metadata filed, specifically relating to files that need to be moved to a different computer for output, for example?
    3. If I have the Raylight codec installed, does the Device Explorer support P2 media as well?
    4. Can you talk about a recommended workflow using 5D & 7D DSLR formats with Vegas Pro?
    5. What are the best settings for PAL?
    6. If I have mixed media on my Vegas Pro Timeline, what should I set my Project settings to?
    7. What is the best way to format a video to be burned on a Blu-ray Disc?
    8. I use a Sony DSR 250 to shoot in 4:3 mode but I would like to render it in 16:9. I would like my videos to look HD for YouTube without actually having to shoot it at 16:9. Can you tell me how I can set up my project so it will render in 16:9 mode?

    Performance Topics

    1. I will be getting a 64-bit system will it help render faster?
    2. What is the best way to get a smooth playback when editing?
    3. Will nested project slow down playback, even on a quad core multi-thread PC?
    4. Is multi-threaded render an option you select or is it automatic?
    5. When I open a lot video files into a project, it's a too heavy load for my computer. Would it be better to make multiple Vegas projects and nest them?
    6. When I playback my projects, during playback if there is a cross-fade, a hesitation is occurring during preview. My computer is very powerful. What are your suggestions to improve this?
    7. I'm using AVCHD now and when I preview my edits on the timeline, it always seems that the audio doesn't sync up w/video preview.
    8. Rendering is very slow in the 64-bit version in some instances. Can you recommend settings that will speed up rendering?
    9. I have Vegas Pro 9 installed on my DIY computer with an i7-920 Nehalem processor with 12 GB of RAM. When I am rendering, it appears that only a couple of the cores are being used "hard" and the rest are at maybe 20-25%. Is this normal or is there something I can do to optimize? Also, my RAM never appears to be taxed.
    10. My Sony camera comes with software that previews AVCHD files smoothly. Vegas however struggles with them. Why is that?
    11. What causes the low memory errors while rendering in Vegas Pro 9? Is it a software limitation?
    12. When I reverse a clip and render it with Vegas Pro 9, it stutters – the old versions didn't do this.
    13. Are the issues with Windows 7 compatibility and QuickTime *.mov HD video files being addressed?
    14. Why does the new 64-bit Vegas Pro 9 not have a preview in Video capture?
    15. Sometimes when I try rendering my projects I experience hang-ups or crashing. Can you discuss how to deal with problems when rendering?

    Hardware and System Requirements

    1. Does Vegas 32-bit only use 2 GB of RAM even if my Win32 machine has 3 GB installed?
    2. What hardware configuration do you recommend for working with RED ONE formats?
    3. Does Vegas Pro take advantage of a powerful GPU or does it not matter what kind of video card one has?
    4. Why are there fewer plug-ins available for 64-bit compared to 32-bit?
    5. What kind of laptop would you buy to handle Vegas Pro?
    6. Is it true that implementing Crossfire interferes with Vegas Pro 64-bit?
    7. Can I run the 64 bit and 32 bit version on the same machine?
    8. Does Vegas Pro support multiple monitors?
    9. Does Vegas Pro use any of the new GPU cards to offload effects previews rendering?
    10. If I have a dual boot Vista 32-bit and 64-bit PC can I install both 64 bit Vegas Pro on one hard drive and 32-bit Vegas Pro on the other hard drive?
    11. I've been using the 32bit version of Vegas Pro 9 since it was first released. I've recently upgraded to a new 64bit computer with Windows 7. How do I migrate to the 64bit version of Vegas Pro 9?
    12. Is Vegas Pro usable on Linux?
    13. Can you provide a hard-drive configuration best-practice recommendation? For example, RAID1 array for OS and Vegas program files, capture location on Drive 2, render output location on Drive 3, etc.

    Sales and Marketing Details

    1. Where can I get additional transitions?
    2. The "Upgrade to Vegas Pro 9 from Vegas Pro" page doesn't mention anything about Free Training.
    3. How does this product measure up to broadcast industry standards?
    4. Are there a lot of differences between Vegas Movie Studio and Vegas Pro?
    5. Will you discuss the differences of Vegas Pro 8 and Pro 9?
    6. What are the options if I want to upgrade to Vegas Pro 9.0?
    7. When authoring a medium sized project of 15 GB, the application sometimes blackens some of the clips. When I removed the 30 markers the clips burned okay. Any idea what I was doing wrong?
    8. I haven't purchased Vegas Pro 9 yet. Do these audio/video bus effects work with Vegas Pro 8?

    Training Resources

    1. What are the best training materials (video and/or book) to learn more of the basics of Vegas Pro?
    2. Are there training material available for Vegas Movie Studio?
    3. Where can I find additional training resources from Sony Creative Software?
    4. Is there a more in-depth tutorial for Velocity Envelopes?
    5. Are there local workshops in the larger cities?
    6. How do current users of Vegas Pro 9 acquire the Seminar Series?
    7. Are there any seminars for sending and using projects in DVD Architect?
    8. Where can I find training resources relate to editing RED camera footage in Vegas Pro?

    Specific questions about the webinar presentation

    1. What is the model of the VAIO laptop you are using, please?
    2. What was used to create the music?
    3. Will these techniques work in Vegas Movie Studio 9?

    Miscellaneous

    1. How do you delete the end points on the screen?
    2. Can you right click on the presenter to change the velocity to slow motion, lol?
    3. Can you go through Blu-ray authoring with menus, etc.?

    Basic Editing

    Where can I find hot key information?

    Choose Help | Keyboard Shortcuts for an index of keyboard combinations that perform the various tasks in Vegas Pro.


    Is there any way to keep all the video timelines (tracks) at the top and all the audio timelines at the bottom?

    There is no one-button method for doing this, but you can rearrange your tracks so that video is at top and audio at the bottom. To do so, drag a track by the track number in the track header and drop it where you want it. If you want to move several tracks simultaneously, hold the Ctrl key as you click on additional track numbers to add them to the selection and then drag all of them.


    My project is completed, but have a gap at the front end. How can I slide all events to close the gap or delete the blank section at beginning of the project?

    Use the post-edit ripple feature we discussed in the webinar. First, drag the first event in your project so that it starts at the very beginning of the timeline. Then, choose Edit | Post-Edit Ripple | All Tracks, Markers, and Regions.


    If I make a mistake during editing (e.g. deleting a section), how can I recover at a prior edit point?

    Vegas Pro has unlimited undo/redo capabilities, so you can always undo back to any spot in your editing history. To do this quickly, click the Undo drop-down arrow and scroll down the list of editing operations until you find one that represents the point in your project to which you want to return. Select that operation from the list and youíre back to a safe place.


    Can you redo the ripple edits?

    You can always use the Undo commands to restore your project to a previous state or use the Redo command to reapply the edits.


    Can you split events on multiple tracks at once?

    Yes, there are several scenarios in which you can do so. What gets split in the split operation depends on a couple of factors: what is selected, and what is touched by either the project cursor or the in and/or out points of a time selection. Letís run down the possibilities.
    • No events selected, no time selection: Any event (regardless of what track itís on) that the project cursor touches will split
    • One or more events selected, no time selection: Only events that are both selected and touched by the project cursor will split
    • No event selected, but a time selection exists in the timeline: Every event touched by the in and/or out points of the timeline selection will split
    • One or more events selected and a time selection exists in the timeline: Only events that are both selected and touched by the timeline selection in and/or out points will split

    Event grouping can also play a role in the split command. For example, say you have an event on track two directly below an event on track one and the two events belong to the same group. Now, say you click the event on track one to select it and then press S to split it. As youíd expect, the event on track one will split, but so too will the event on track two even though you hadnít actually selected it. Why? Because it belongs to the same group as the event on track one and the cursor touches it. This makes sense because when you add a video file to your project, Vegas Pro creates an event for the video and another for the audio, puts them on different tracks and groups them so they maintain synchronization. If you split the video event, you probably have a reason that also dictates that you split the audio event and Vegas Pro does this for you automatically. If there was a third event in the group, but the cursor does not touch it, that event will not split.



    Does ripple work across different tracks, for example will it work across multiple video and audio tracks?

    If you want it to, it can. There are three ripple-edit modes and one of those (All Tracks, Markers, and Regions) will affect all the tracks in your project. The other two modes (Affected Tracks and Affected Tracks, Bus Tracks, Markers, and Regions) affect any track on which you made an edit, so if you move events that sit on more than one track, each of those tracks is considered an affected track and the ripple applies to each of them.


    Will ripple editing move markers as well?

    It will if you want it to. There are three possible ripple modes. Two of those modes move markers as well as events. Choose Edit | Post Edit Ripple to see the three modes in the cascading menu. The names of the modes tell you whether or not that mode will move markers.


    Do you suggest working primarily in auto-ripple mode (selectively disabled from time to time), or do you suggest using primarily post-edit ripple?

    Different editors will have different answers to this question. Personally, I prefer to primarily work in post-edit ripple mode instead of working in auto-ripple mode. Automatic rippling has the potential to move things that you canít see in your project and that you may not want moved. For instance, if you make an edit and there is footage so much later in your project that you canít see it at your current zoom level, those events will move without you seeing them move. That could potentially be undesirable. In post-edit mode, nothing ripples until I take a quick moment to think about what exactly I want to happen. Then I can quickly choose which of the three ripple operations gives me the result I want.

    That said, there are times when auto ripple mode works beautifully. For those isolated times, I turn auto-ripple mode on. But I always turn it off as soon as Iím done using it.

    But, thatís just one manís approach. Let the arguments begin!



    Can you give me a basic explanation of takes?

    Vegas Pro gives you the ability to add more than one media file to a single event. We call this adding multiple takes to an event. On the audio side, you might record several takes of a difficult guitar solo into the same event. You can then listen to the recording and switch to the different takes to find the one you like best. Or, you can split the event and use different takes for different parts of the solo until you piece together a passage that works comprised of several different takes.

    On the video side, we use takes as part of our multicamera editing tools. When you create a multicamera track, Vegas Pro adds each camera to a different take in a single event. You can then split the event and change the take in order to switch to a different camera. The multicamera editing tools enable you to do this automatically as you watch your project and you can also make changes later manually.

    The Q/A portion of the webinar includes a quick discussion of multicamera editing, so you might want to review that. You can also find a free video which discusses the entire multicamera editing process (along with takes) in the Les Stroud Vegas Pro Training Series at www.sonycreativesoftware.com/training.



    How can I move a clip a certain number of frames in the timeline, rather than just dragging back and forth?

    You can do this a couple of different ways. First, select the clip and choose View | Edit Details to open the Edit Details window. Choose Selected Events from the Show drop-down list, then change the value in the Start field and press Enter. This moves the event so that it starts at the time you specified.

    You can also use keyboard shortcuts to nudge the event right or left in the timeline. Select the event (or multiple events) and press the 4 and 6 keys on your numeric keypad to move the event left or right by one screen pixel. Depending upon your zoom level, this may equal a move of several frames per keystroke. To move the event or events one frame at a time, press the 1 and 3 keys on your numeric keypad. Since this moves the event by just one frame regardless of zoom level, press the key as many times as you need to achieve the number of frame movement you want.

    For yet one more approach, place your cursor at the edge of the event you want to move that's closest to the direction you want to move it. So, if you want to move the event five frames to the right, click the right edge of the event to place the cursor there. Then press Ctrl+G to highlight the value in the Cursor Position field. Type +5 and press Enter. This moves the cursor five frames later in the timeline. Now drag the event until its edge snaps to the cursor and you know that you have moved it five frames.



    How do you create slow motion and stop-motion animation?

    We covered a couple of different techniques for creating slow motion in the webinar, so take another look at that section of the presentation. In short, you can hold the Ctrl key as you trim the edge of an event to create slow or fast motion (depending upon which way you trim the event edge) quickly. For more control and to create speed changes over time, right-click the event and choose Insert Remove Envelopes | Velocity. Then add additional points to the velocity envelope and drag those points to the desired speed. To create a freeze frame, right-click an envelope point and choose Set To from the menu. Type 0 for the speed value and press the Enter key. For more information on using velocity envelopes, check out this article from our newsletter archives: http://www.sonycreativesoftware.com/news/article.asp?articleid=53.


    How do you get the focus onto the timeline without moving the cursor to a new position?

    To shift the focus to time timeline from any other window, press Alt+0 (thatís Alt+Zero). You can also press the Tab key to toggle focus between the timeline and the track list area.


    Audio and Video FX

    Is there an easy way to apply a saved collection of filters to several scenes/clips

    You can create and save a plug-in package that contains a chain of effects with the settings you establish. To do this (lets say on an event), click the Event FX button to open the Video Event FX dialog box. Click the Plug-in Chain button to open the Plug-In Chooser dialog box. Add plug-ins to create your chain if you havenít already done so. Click the Save As button. In the Save Plug-In Package dialog box, give the package a name and click OK. Click OK to close the Plug-In Chooser dialog box.

    Now, click the Event FX button for a different event that doesnít currently have any effects applied to it. In the Plug-In Chooser dialog box, click the Filter Packages icon. Select your new package from the list on the right and click the Add button, then OK. This event now contains the same plug-in chain and settings as the original event.

    Another way to do this is to use the Paste Event Attributes feature that we discussed in the webinar.



    What plug-ins and effects will work with Vegas Pro? Will these also work with Vegas Movie Studio?

    On the video side, any plug-in that has been developed in accordance with the Vegas Pro Video Plug-In Development kit will work. Several companies including NewBlueFX, proDAD, Boris FX, Red Giant, Zenotť, and Pixťlan develop great plug-ins for Vegas Pro.

    For audio, Vegas Pro supports both the DirectX and VST plug-in standards, so any plug-in that has been developed according to those standards (and there is a wide variety) will work.

    In general, any plug-in that works in Vegas Pro will probably also work in Vegas Movie Studio.



    Tutorials for other programs talk about crushing blacks and blowing out whites. What is the method for doing this within Vegas Pro?

    There are several video effect filters that you might use to achieve a crushed-black or blown-out-whites effect. A couple you might try are the Brightness and Contrast filter and the Levels filter. For example, add a Brightness and Contrast filter and raise the Contrast slider slowly. As you do, youíll begin to both crush the blacks and blow out the whites and you can see that you begin to lose detail in both. The Black Restore filter gives you control over just the blacks and as you raise the Threshold slider you can see the detail of the blacks begin to disappear. Also try the Gain and Offset controls in both the Color Corrector and Color Corrector (Secondary) filters and the White Soft Glow preset in the Glow filter. You can also achieve non-clipping contrast stretches using Color Curves with an S-curve.


    Can you have multiple video effects within one clip? In other words, can you start a clip off with an effect and fade to a different effect within that single event?

    You can add up to 32 effect plug-ins to every event in your project. You can use the keyframing tools to fade one effect in and another out.


    Can you control the length of an effect within a specific clip?

    If you mean the length of time during the event that a plug-in affects the video, yes. You can use keyframing techniques to change the parameters of the effect at any point you want to, so you could easily set it to not affect the video until exactly when you want it to.


    How do I reduce audio track noise in an audio track as a non-realtime FX?

    You can use our Noise Reduction filter to remove unwanted noise of a constant nature. To add it as a non-real-time effect, you have to add it at the event level, not the track level. To add the Noise Reduction filter to an event, right-click the event and choose Apply Non-Real-Time Event FX from the menu. In the Plug-in Chooser, select the Sony folder in the list at the left, select Noise Reduction from the list on the right, click Add and then click OK.


    Is it possible to paste video effects only, and not playback rate?

    Youíre referring to the Paste Event Attributes function that we talked about in the webinar. No, it is not possible at this time to choose which attributes you want to paste and which you donít. You might be better off creating a plug-in package from the plug-in chain on the original event and then apply that package to the target event.


    How do you use Vegas Pro 9 for chroma-keying?

    Click the Video FX tab. From the list at the left, drag the Chroma Keyer filter to the event that holds the video you want to key out. In the Video Event FX dialog box, deselect the Chroma Keyer checkbox in the effects chain at the top to disable the effect. Then, click the Pick Color From Screen button and drag a small selection over the color in your video that you want to key out. Select the Chroma Keyer checkbox again and adjust the chroma keyer settings until you achieve the effect youíre after.


    What about color correction?

    Vegas Pro offers a wide array of color correction tools. You can find these in the Video FX window. Primary among these tools are the Color Corrector and Color Corrector (Secondary) filters, though there are many others that you can use to adjust the colors of your video. Vegas Pro also features powerful video scopes that you can use to help analyze your video while you make color adjustments. To view the video scopes, choose View | Video Scopes.


    What is the best way to correct white balance in Vegas Pro?

    Use the Color Corrector filter to correct for bad white balance. Click the Video FX tab and drag the Color Corrector option from the list on the left to the event that you want to correct. In the Color Corrector plug-in, click the Choose Complimentary Colors button for the High color wheel, then click on an object in your video that should be white. Vegas Pro analyzes the video and makes an adjustment to the color. You can further adjust the color chooser within the color wheel to hone in on the exact correction you want to make. The Digital Video and Audio Production Guide book that you can find at www.sonycreativesoftware.com/training contains a more detailed discussion of this tool.


    Can audio effects be previewed in real time as the video effects can?

    Yes.


    Is there a way to re-orient an upside down imported clip?

    You can flip a clip either vertically or horizontally with the Event Pan/Crop tool. Click the Event Pan/Crop button. In the Event Pan/Crop window, right-click the position box and choose Flip Vertical from the menu to flip the video upside down (or make an upside-down video right side up). If you're using the clip in multiple events on the timeline, you can flip it at the media level instead of the event level as just described. This way it will be flipped no matter how many events hold the media. To flip the media, right-click an event that holds the media and choose Properties from the menu. In the Properties dialog box, click the Media tab and choose 180 degrees from the Rotation drop-down list.


    Is there training available that goes into adding special effects to video clips?

    The free Vegas Pro Basics training video series at www.sonycreativesoftware.com/training contains a video called Video Effects that walks you through the basics. Our Digital Video and Audio Production Guide book (available at the same link) also contains discussions related to adding effects to videos. The application itself also offers good resources. Click the Interactive Tutorials button and in the Interactive Tutorials index window, scroll down to the Video and Still Image Tutorials section. Click the How to Add a Video Effect link and follow the tutorial. Finally, choose Help | Contents and Index to open the application help file. On the Index tab, type the word video into the Type in keyword to find field. From the sub-list that appears under the Video entry, select Adding FX to see the help content for that topic.


    Can you discuss audio noise removal techniques?

    There are many tools you can use for removing unwanted noise in your audio recordings (or the audio portion of your videos). Vegas Pro includes a variety of equalizers and other tools like noise gates that might help. For more serious noise problems, like air conditioning hum or other constant and ambient noises, youíll probably want to turn to the Noise Reduction plug-in that we include with Sound Forge Pro or that you can buy separately. This plug-in works most logically within Sound Forge Pro, but you can also use it in Vegas Pro. The discussion of exactly how it works is too big to include here, but basically the plug-in enables you to take a ďsnapshotĒ of the unwanted noise called a noiseprint and then make adjustments that attempt to eliminate that noise. This is a great topic for a future webinar!


    Transitions and Fades

    Can you copy & paste transitions?

    Yes. In a crossfade or transition between two clips, the transition is essentially considered to be attached to the second of the two events. Thus, you can use the Paste Attributes feature that we discussed in the webinar to paste a transition between two clips into the transition between two other clips. To do this, create a transition between two clips. Now, create a crossfade between two other clips. Right-click the second event in the pair that contains the transition and choose Copy from the menu. Then, right-click the second event in the pair that contains a crossfade and choose Paste Event Attributes from the menu. The transition now appears in both pairs. However, keep in mind that all other attributes (like video effects, velocity changes, and so on) of the copied event will also be pasted into the second event and you may not want that to happen.

    A better solution may be to simply add the same transition to the second pair from the transitions window.



    Can you default the fade in on video to a certain effect?

    No; the default will always be a fade. But you can drag a transition from the Transitions window onto the fade area to replace the fade with any transition.


    How do you do a fade-in/out to each event in a block of events after they have been added to the timeline?

    Youíll have to add a fade to each event individually. However, you could write a script that would automate this process and get the job done very quickly.


    Is the automatic audio crossfade equal-power?

    The default crossfade type for audio crossfades (Slow Out/Fast In) is a close approximation to equal power.


    Compositing and Track Motion

    Is there any way to emulate camera movements?

    You can use the Event Pan/Crop tool to emulate camera zooms and pans that werenít shot originally and to create movement on still images. In the keyframe controller area of the Event Pan/Crop window, click to place the cursor where you want the move to begin and then click the Create Keyframe button. Click the keyframe controller area to place the cursor where you want the move to end. Now, adjust the position box so that it represents what you want the final move to look like. This creates another keyframe. Play the project and youíll see that Vegas Pro interpolates between the two keyframes to create movement. For detailed instructions on this feature, check out the free Pan & Scan Techniques video from the Vegas Pro Basics series and the Cropping an image from the Les Stroud Vegas Pro Training Series at www.sonycreativesoftware.com/training.


    Could you review the compositing mode and track motion?

    You can dictate the mode that Vegas Pro uses to create a composite between two tracks of video. A full discussion of every possible mode is beyond this document, but in short, click the Composite Mode button on any track to control how it will interact with any track below it on the timeline.

    Track motion enables you to adjust the size and position of any video trackís output. To access the track motion tools, click the Track Motion button on the track header. For a more detailed discussion of track motion, check out the free Track Motion video from the Vegas Pro Basics series and the Working with 3D Track Motion video from the Les Stroud Vegas Pro Training Series at www.sonycreativesoftware.com/training.



    How do you do multiple level compositing?

    There are many compositing techniques that you can use in Vegas Pro. The simplest technique is to add one video event to a track directly below another. Then adjust the Composite Level slider for the top track so that the bottom track begins to show through. You can also use track motion and many other techniques to create composites.


    Can you do a green screen and blue screen shot, onto a custom background image?

    Yes, you can use the Chroma Keyer filter to key out any color you want so that video or your custom background image from a track below shows through.


    Is it only track motion that comes into play with parent/child relationships?

    No. When you create a parent/child relationship, you gain access to parent motion tools (which enable you to move the parent and its children as a group). You also gain access to parent compositing mode tools. You can create many interesting effects by experimenting with parent compositing modes.


    Is there an easy way to do a telestrator type of drawing on the screen over video in Vegas Pro?

    You could use an animation tool to create a file that emulates the drawing process and add that to the top track of your Vegas Pro project. Make sure the drawing has a transparent background so that you can see through to the video on the track below. Alternatively, you could use the Chroma Keyer filter to key out the background so you can see through to the track below. You could also use an animated mask to reveal an element over time, which can often be used for drawn-on effects. You can add to the number of points in a mask as you go.


    One aspect of Vegas Pro I'd like more training in is using Parent Child relationships and use of alpha channels. Where can I get that info?

    We donít currently have any training materials that cover composting modes specfically, but itís a great topic suggestion for future webinars! The Vegas Pro help file contains some information on the topic. To find it, choose Help | Contents and Index, type compositing video into the Type in the keyword to find field on the Index tab and select that topic from the list.


    How do you associate events with track motion such that you can move them as a block?

    We addressed this during the webinar when we talked about parent/child relationships between tracks, so give that section another look. In short, click the Make Compositing Child button for one track to make it a child of another track. Then use the parent trackís Parent Motion tool (which is similar to the Track Motion tool on each track) to control the two tracks as a group.


    Explain how to create a lower third

    Vegas makes creating professional-looking lower thirds easy and there are many possible approaches to the task. But explaining how to do so would take an entire article. In fact, that article has already been written for our monthly newsletter and you can find it at: http://www.sonycreativesoftware.com/news/article.asp?articleid=45


    How do I plug in custom lower thirds to use as a template?

    You could create a lower-third template in a separate Vegas Pro project. When you need a lower-third for the project youíre working on, open the template project and customize the lower third as needed. Then, save the modified template with a new name and nest the lower-third project into the timeline of the master project youíre working on.

    Our Production Assistant product also features a lower-thirds tool that makes it easy to create lower thirds from templates and add them to your project.



    Masking

    Can you mask without using Bezier curves?

    Yes, there are several other ways to create masks in Vegas Pro. For instance, you can change the composite mode of one track to Multiply (Mask) so that it acts as a mask for the track below it. You can also add the Mask Generator filter from the Video FX window to an event so that the event masks any event on other tracks below it. Other tools might create masking too. For instance, the Cookie Cutter effect in the Video FX window can also create a mask with basic shapes and outlines. Check out the Creating Masking Tracks in Vegas Pro newsletter article at http://www.sonycreativesoftware.com/news/newsletter.asp?eid=153 for more details on masking tools.


    Explain how to create a transition with the masking technique.

    There are many different ways that you can create transitions in Vegas. The simplest of theseóa crossfade between two different eventsóoccurs automatically when you overlap the end of one event with the beginning of another. Once you have created an overlap and a crossfade, you can drag any of the transitions from the Transitions window onto the overlapping area to replace the crossfade with that transition. These effects have preset and customizable settings.

    To create a custom transition, you could use the Bezier Mask tool in the Event Pan / Crop window. Place your two clips on separate tracks with one overlapping the other. Create a mask shape in your top track of video with the Bezier Masking tools. Add keyframes in the Event Pan/Crop keyframe controller area and change the shape and other attributes of your mask at these new keyframes. Vegas Pro interpolates between the keyframes you create so that you end up with a custom animated masking transition.

    This article has more information on Bezier Masking techniques: http://www.sonycreativesoftware.com/news/article.asp?articleid=55



    Working with Envelopes

    Can you display the % symbol when changing the velocity on a video clip like you do with an audio clip?

    Not at this time. The percentage change shows only on audio events and only when you choose to show active take information (choose View | Active Take Information). However, in the Event Properties for video events, the Playback rate value can be used to view or change the percentage. For example, a video event playback rate of 1.234 is the same as seeing 123.4% on an audio event.


    Is there a way to automate ducking, based on another track? Ideally the ducking envelope would move with the base track event.

    You can quickly create a duck using the time selection envelope editing feature that we discussed in the webinar. Letís say you want to duck audio on track one based on audio in an event on track two. Double-click the event in track two to create a time selection that matches it. Now drag the volume envelope in track one that falls within the time selection down to create the duck you want.

    You can also use the Advanced Duck feature in our Production Assistant product to create ducks automatically.

    At this time it is not possible to associate the envelope in one track with events in another so that if you move the events the duck moves with them, but thatís a great feature request!



    In the audio duck maneuver by time selection, what kind of fades are created at the in and out points?

    Vegas Pro picks up the fade type that exists in the envelope segment in which youíre creating the fade. If you havenít changed the fade type of the envelope already, Vegas Pro uses the Smooth Fade type for the fades created at the in and out points.


    What was the command to do the velocity change resulting in freeze frame?

    To create a freeze frame, right-click the event and choose Insert/Remove Envelope | Velocity from the menu. Place your project cursor at the frame you want to freeze. Right-click the velocity envelope at that same frame and choose Add Point from the menu. Add another point a bit later on the envelope. Position the second point directly under the first point. Leave the first point set to normal velocity (100%). Right-click the second point and choose Set from the menu to select the pointís current velocity value. With the value now selected, type 0 into the velocity value field and press Enter. You now have a freeze frame. For more information about velocity envelopes, check out this article from our newsletter archives: http://www.sonycreativesoftware.com/news/article.asp?articleid=53.


    How can I fade up or down the volume of a soundtrack for only a small section of the video?

    Use automation envelopes for this. Right-click the track header number for the track that contains the audio and choose Insert/Remove Envelopes | Volume from the menu. Right-click the automation envelope where you want the volume to change and choose Add Point from the menu. Add another point to the envelope line. Now drag the new points to the volume you want—up to increase the volume and down to decrease it. You can add as many points to the envelope line as you want, so you can change the volume again later if you need to. In the webinar we talked about a couple other envelope editing techniques that will come in handy here including time-selection envelope editing, so you might want to review that section of the presentation for more ideas.


    If you draw a velocity envelope, is it linear between the keyframes or bezier curve or ...?

    There are six possible curve shapes between two points on a Velocity (or any other) envelope in Vegas Pro. The six are:
    • Linear
    • Fast
    • Slow
    • Smooth (this is the default type)
    • Sharp
    • Hold

    To change the shape of the curve between two points, right-click the first point and select the shape you want from the list. For more information on velocity envelopes, check out this issue of our newsletter archives: http://www.sonycreativesoftware.com/news/newsletter.asp?eid=153.



    Event Pan / Crop

    I find that the cropping function in Vegas is a bit tricky when getting detailed because it changes the placement as well as the size at the same time. Is there an easier way to crop?

    Itís a little unclear exactly what youíre referring to here. You might be referring to the Pan/Crop toolís Size About Center function. In the default mode, when you change the size of the position box in the Pan/Crop tool, Vegas Pro uses the center of the box as the anchor point so that, for example, when you move one corner point, the box grows smaller about the center point which means that all corner points also change position. The center of the box acts as the anchor. If you donít like this, you can disable it. Click the Size About Center button to toggle the feature on and off. With it off, using the same example of moving a corner point, the point opposite the one youíre moving acts as the anchor point and the center point changes position instead. Another possibility is that youíre referring to the fact that by default, Vegas Pro stretches the media to fill the frame created by the position box. This is the feature that enables you to create zooms that werenít originally shot on camera. If you want to perform true cropping where you crop an edge of the media off without zooming in on the media, set the Stretch to Fill Frame property under the Source property heading to No.


    Can you apply cropping to multiple sources (events) on the timeline at once?

    No, but you can apply the cropping to the first event and use the paste attributes feature that we discussed in the webinar to apply the same cropping to other events. After you add the cropping to the first event, right-click the event and choose Copy from the menu. Select all the other events that you want to apply the same cropping to, then right-click one of them and select Paste Event Attributes from the menu. This applies the same cropping to all of the selected events. Be careful though because other attributes (such as effects, velocity changes, and so on) that you copied from the first event will also be applied to the others.

    Alternatively, you could get the same effect of cropping the whole timeline by masking it with a white rectangle in the shape you want to crop.

    One more idea that might work involves the project nesting feature that we discussed during the webinar. You could take a project that has an entire sequence that you want to crop and nest it into the timeline of another Vegas project that youíre using as the master project. You can then crop the event that holds the nested project and everything in that nested project will get cropped accordingly.



    Can you explain how to crop easily please?

    To perform true cropping where you crop out an edge of the video, click the Event Pan/Crop button. In the Event Pan/Crop window, deselect the Lock Aspect Ratio and Size About Center buttons. Then, under the Source property heading, set the Stretch to fill frame property to No. Now adjust one side of the position box. As you change the size of the box, your video is cropped accordingly. For more details on how to do this, view the free training video Cropping an Image from the Les Stroud Vegas pro Training Series at www.sonycreativesoftware.com/training.


    Can you apply cropping across the whole timeline?

    No; cropping is an event-level tool. However you can quickly apply the same cropping to every event on the track with the paste event attributes techniques that we discussed in the webinar or you can create a custom pan/crop preset and apply it to the events. In some cases, you can create similar effects across an entire track using the track motion tool instead of event pan/crop.


    I record and publish some aviation footage, and have often come across a case where I'd like to show a picture of a map, with a depiction of the path taken (think of a narrow red line, winding along a path on the map as an animation). Any pointers on how to achieve that effect?

    Here's one idea that might work if the line generally moves in one direction and does not double back or curve around too much.
    1. Create two versions of your map
      1. The map without the line (NoLine.jpg)
      2. The map with the line fully drawn (WithLine.jpg)
    2. Place NoLine.jpg on track one
    3. Place WithLine.jpg on track two directly below NoLine.jpg
    4. Now, use keyframes on the Pan/Crop tool for the NoLine.jpg event to crop off the edge of the image over time thus revealing the WithLine.jpg image below it. To truly crop the image,
      1. Set the Lock Aspect Ratio and Size About Center buttons to off (they are on by default)
      2. Under the Source property, set Stretch to fill frame to No

    Another approach you could try is to use an animated mask to reveal an element over time, which can often be used for drawn-on effects. You can add to the number of points in a mask as you go.



    What is the advantage of using the "Trimmer" window? I always just turn that off.

    Some would say there is no advantage, while others swear by it. Itís really just another tool, so if you donít find it helpful, thereís nothing wrong with closing it to reclaim the space on your workspace.

    However, there may be benefits to using it in some situations that you may simply not have discovered. For a full discussion of the Trimmer window and how you can use it, view the free Trimmer As Source Window video from the Les Stroud Vegas Pro Training Series at www.sonycreativesoftware.com/training.



    Working with the Trimmer

    In older versions of Vegas, I could mark in and out points in the Trimmer and then add my footage to timeline, but since Vegas Pro 8, it doesn't seem to. Can you explain why this is different?

    We did make some functional changes to the Trimmer window around the Vegas Pro 8 timeframe, but you can certainly still add footage to the timeline from this window. There are many different ways to add media from the Trimmer window to the timeline. We talked about several of them in the Webinar, so you might want to review that section of the presentation. For a more detailed discussion of the Trimmer window, check out the free Trimmer as Source Window video from the Les Stroud Vegas Pro Training Series at www.sonycreativesoftware.com/training.


    Does the trimmer window actually trim the source media, or can you still trim the edges of a timeline event?

    The Trimmer window does not actually trim the source media. It merely enables you to define which portion of the media you want to use in your project. Once you add a portion of the media to your project and create an event in the timeline, you can still trim the edges of that event to uncover addition portions of the source media clip.


    When setting in and out points in the trimmer is there a way to drop the media down to the time-line without having the trimmer clip highlighted with the in and out marked? I would like to click in and out of the trimmer without having to reset already set marks. Previous versions of Vegas allowed this automatically Vegas Pro 9 does not seem to have this function.

    If you lose the selection in the Trimmer window, youíll probably notice that the gray loop region indicator bar still identifies the area you had previously selected. The yellow triangles indicate where you had marked your in and out points. Double-click the loop region indicator bar to reestablish the selection. If you somehow changed the loop region indicator bar and it no longer matches your desired in and out points, click inside the Trimmer window to give it focus and press the Backspace key. Vegas Pro remembers the last five Trimmer selections you made and reestablishes the next selection back each time you press the Backspace key. Press the key as many times as you need to in order to reestablish the selection you want.


    Titling

    How do you make a title page and how do you add text to the presentation?

    You can add text to your project with either the standard Text media generator or the ProType Titler media generator. We have free training videos that cover the basics of both methods at www.sonycreativesoftware.com/training. For the basic text tool, view the Adding Text video from the Vegas Pro Training Basics series. For information on the ProType Titler, view the ProType Titler Basics video from the Les Stroud Vegas Pro Training Series.


    How do you add text to a video?

    Vegas Pro features two text-generation tools. You can find both of these in the Media Generators window. Click the Media Generators tab. For quick, basic text, select Text from the list at the left. Choose a thumbnail from the right side of the window that most closely matches the look of the text you want to create and drag it into your timeline where you want it to appear. Customize your text with the tools in the Video Media Generators window.

    For more sophisticated text treatments, select ProType Titler from the list at the left. Again, drag the appropriate thumbnail into your project timeline. The ProType Titler is a deep and powerful tool that takes some time to learn. Check out the free Les Stroud Vegas Pro Training Series at www.sonycreativesoftware.com/training for a basic video introduction to the tool.



    Rendering and Delivery

    Can you make DVDs (HD or SD) from off the timeline or do you need DVD Architect?

    Youíll need DVD Architect to create DVDs and Blu-ray discs that contain menus and other options. However, you can also burn high-definition Blu-ray content to disc directly from the Vegas Pro timeline. To do so, choose Tools | Burn Disc | Blu-ray Disc. This creates a single-play Blu-ray compatible disc without any menu structure. You can use writable Blu-ray discs or writable single- and dual-layer DVDs to burn your Blu-Ray content. Vegas Pro formats the disc to play only on Blu-ray players.


    If you had to choose one Windows Media video compression for internet delivery, would you go with 512k or a different option?

    Tough question! And the answer varies for everyone. No matter what you choose, youíre making compromises that will make some viewerís experience less pleasant than it could be if you could target each one directly or at least provide different levels of files. If you choose a smaller bit rate, more people will be able to stream your file because it will play on slower connections. But the quality will suffer and those with high-speed connections will be disappointed in the quality. Of course, if you try to please the high-bandwidth crowd, those with slow connections probably wonít see your video at all. So, as with so many things in life, itís a tradeoff. And only you can decide which settings work best based on your viewer profiles. Also, if your WM video will be streamed by a Windows streaming server, you can render to a multi-bit rate file and the server will choose the best bitrate for streaming based on the type of connection. All that said, 512k may be a good middle-of-the-road choice. Keep in mind that if youíre uploading your files to sites like YouTube, theyíll typically transcode to their preferred file format, so itís good to upload at the highest bit rate that they will allow.


    I have Vegas Pro 8 on one computer, and Vegas Pro 9 on another. Capturing the same video footage, Vegas Pro 8 renders clear as can be. Vegas Pro 9 requires setting my sharpen filter at .500 or higher. Why is that?

    Weíve never experienced that. Weíd be interested in seeing footage that exhibits this behavior. If you want to share something with us, please contact our Customer Service group.


    I render my projects as HDV 720-30p MPEG-2 (16:9) and render the audio separately. I play the rendered files with Media Player Classic. I don't use DVD Architect. Is there an easy way to make the project to a different aspect ratio, i.e., 2.20:1?

    You have complete flexibility to customize your projectís video properties to whatever youíd like. Choose File | Properties and click the Video tab. Here you can enter your customization. For example, you can type numerical values in the fields for pixel aspect ratio and frame rate, as well as width, height, and other parameters in order to get the exact file you want.


    Why do Vegas Pro and DVD Architect require audio and video to be used separately when encoding and making DVDs and Blu-ray discs?

    DVDs and Blu-ray discs require different file types for both the audio and the video. For example, a DVD requires MPEG-2 video, but AC3 or PCM audio. The audio in an MPEG-2 file does not satisfy the audio requirement for creating a valid DVD. You donít need to break the audio and video out separately if you donít want to because DVD Architect knows you need to and thus will do it for you if you havenít done it already. But Vegas Pro gives you the flexibility to do it yourself so that you have maximum control over the process.


    In order to fit all movie material onto a 2 hour disk, how much time should I allow by the time it gets to DVD Architect? Can my added timeline total 2 hours or do I need to keep it under by 10 minutes?

    How long a video that you can fit on a disc depends upon the video bit rate you use when burning your DVD project in DVD Architect. DVD Architect uses a default video bit rate of 8.000 Mbps, but you have complete control over that. In DVD Architect, choose File | Optimize Disc to open the Optimize Disc dialog box. Adjust the Default video bit rate slider as you watch the Estimated size value to see how much of the available space on the DVD your project uses. DVD Architect can figure out the highest bit rate you can use and still fit the material on the disc. To do this, click the Fit to Disc button.


    How do you encrypt a DVD to prevent unauthorized copying?

    You cannot copy protect DVDs that you burn locally (on your computer) because the copy protection encoding/encryption must be added by a mastering or replication facility. For DVDs that you send to a replication facility, you can set a copy protection flag that instructs them to copy protect your disc. To do this, click the Make DVD button. Select the Write Master button and then follow the wizard. When you get to the Update Mastering Properties page, set the Disc copyrighted property to Yes. Then make the appropriate choices for the other properties.


    How do you render a video to fit the screen? In other words, how do you get rid of the black bars around the video?

    The black bars are created when your source footage doesnít match the aspect ratio of your final file. For instance, if you deliver a project as 16:9 widescreen, but you use 4:3 source footage in that project, you see bars on both sides of the video. Similarly, if you use widescreen source footage in a 4:3 file, youíll see bars above and below your footage. In any case, you can use the Event Pan/Crop tool to remove the bars. In the Event Pan/Crop window, right-click the position box and choose Match Output Aspect from the menu. This crops your source footage so that its aspect ratio matches that of your project (which youíve presumably already set to match your final output). Keep in mind that doing this actually crops some of the image out and youíll have to decide whether thatís more or less desirable than living with the black bars.


    Can Vegas Pro projects create output to both Blu-ray and standard DVD?

    With Vegas Pro you can create the types of files required to create both DVDs and Blu-ray discs. To actually create either type of disc complete with menus and other options, youíll need to use our DVD Architect software. You can also burn a Blu-ray disc directly from the Vegas Pro timeline, but this disc will not contain any menu structure or other options. To burn a Blu-ray disc in Vegas Pro, choose Tools | Burn Disc | Blu-ray Disc.


    What is a real-world application of rendering to new tracks?

    There are many scenarios where this feature could come in handy. For example, if you have a particularly complex and resource-intensive section of video—say something that has lots of video effects and compositing—you can render that section to a new track and ďcookĒ all of the things that require your processor to do heavy lifting into a single event on that new track. Then place that track at the top of the timeline so that when you preview the project, Vegas Pro uses the new track and no longer needs to process all of the effects and so on in the original tracks. Or, you may have a group of tracks that create a look or sound and now you want to combine them into a single track to make your project easier to manage. Those are just a couple possible uses. Youíll probably want to keep the original tracks in your project so that if you have to make an edit you can go back to them.


    Importing / Capturing

    Where can I get a list of all the types of camera formats that Vegas Pro will work with?

    Vegas Pro supports the following file formats:

    Opens: AA3, AAF, AIF, ASF, AU, AVI, BMP, BWF, CDA, DIG, DLX, DPX, DV, EXR, FLAC, GIF, HDP, IVC, JPG, M2T, M2TS, MOV, Sony MXF, MP3, MP4, M4A, MPEG-1 and MPEG-2 video, MTS, OGG, OMA, PCA, PNG, PSD, QT, R3D, SFA, SND, SWF*, TIFF, TGA, VOX, W64, WAV, WDP, WMA, WMV

    Saves: AA3, AC3, AIF, ATRAC, AVC, AVI, DPX, EXR, FLAC, HDP, MOV, MP3, MPEG-1 and MPEG-2 video, MP4, M2T, Sony MXF, OGG, PCA, RM, W64, WAV, WMA, WMV



    What's the advantage of choosing 8-bit vs. 16-bit video capture?

    We don't have a 16 bit option but we do have 8- and 10-bit capture for SDI devices. With 10-bit you may be able to eliminate gradient banding but it depends on your source and destination device/format as well.


    Is there any method to input and edit CPI files in Vegas Pro 9?

    No; but thereís not need to do so in order to work with your AVCHD footage.


    Can you please describe a workflow for coming back from a shoot with lots of footage. Should I go through the footage on the camera, and only capture the shots I want? Or capture all of the footage in Vegas and work with it from there? If the latter, how?

    This is probably mostly a matter of personal preference. Some editors like to make the transfer process from their camera to their computer their first edit point by reviewing clips on the camera and transferring only those they think they will really use. The thinking is that if you take the time to weed through your footage during the capture stage, you wonít fill your hard drives up with footage that you wonít use anyway. If you can keep a detailed shot list with notes about which shots you think will work best, this approach might save you a lot of time too. For DV footage you can create a batch capture list that makes this process even more efficient.

    On the other hand, sometimes it seems more efficient just to dump the entire tape to your hard drive and go through the footage later. One advantage to this approach is that our video capture tools can break the footage up into separate clips for you. The software detects every time you start/stop recording and creates a separate file for each recording event and populates your Project Media window with those clips. Then you can use the preview function in the Project Media window or the Explorer window to preview the clips and see if you want them. If you have relatively short clips, you can usually tell immediately if a clip is one you want to use and can drag it directly to the timeline. On the other hand, for very long clips, you might find it more efficient to add the clip to the Trimmer Window and search through it for the appropriate in and out points. You can mark regions around the good clips in the Trimmer window or create subclips that get added to your Project Media window so you can add them to your project from there.

    Both of those scenarios assume youíre shooting to DV or HDV tape. If on the other hand, youíre shooting to hard disc (such as RED or AVCHD), optical XDCAM disc, or XDCAM EX flash memory, the procedure will be different. In these cases, the camera has already broken your footage up into separate files and you can use either the XDCAM Explorer window, the Device Explorer window, or one of the Vegas Pro Import functions (depending upon your camera) to preview and import your footage. Again, you have the choice of importing everything to your computer drive at once and then sorting through it, or sorting through it on the device and importing just what you want to use in your project.

    In reality, the only way youíll discover which method works best for you is to try them both and settle on your favorite.



    When I capture video from my camera, several frames of the next event are still on the tail of the last. How can this be eliminated?

    This can happen with HDV footage because HDV stores audio and video in a transport stream, and video leads audio by a few frames (so that the decoders will have them ready for presentation at the same time). When the stream is broken across files due to a scene change, there is no good split point that works for both the audio and the video streams. Thus, Vegas Pro shows you what data is available in the file, even if it belongs to the next scene. That way, youíve always got everything you need and you can easily trim off any extra.


    Does the Device Explorer window work for cameras that use DV Tape?

    No. To capture from DV tape, choose File | Capture Video. In the Capture Video dialog box, select either the DV radio button or the HDV or SDI radio button depending upon which type of footage you have on your tape (both DV and HDV cameras shoot to mini DV tapes) and click OK. This launches the appropriate video capture utility for your type of footage and you use that to transfer the footage from your tape to your hard drive.


    If you have AVCHD files (for example) on a card or disk image, can you just drag them into the timeline from the explorer or do you need to explicitly import?

    You can use the Explorer window to drag the files directly from your cameraís hard drive into the Vegas Pro timeline. You would then be editing directly off of the cameraís drive. Using the Device Explorer window to import the files creates copies in the location you specify so that youíre not editing off of the cameraís hard drive. You might want to avoid the extra wear on your hard drive by importing the clips to a local or network drive instead. Your cameraís drive may also not be a fast as a local drive and you may thus experience less-than-optimal preview playback on the timeline.


    I just tried the nesting technique, and the audio won't come in. Is it only for video?

    No, it is not just for video. Nesting a Vegas Pro project brings both the audio and video portions of the nested project into your master project. However, the audio portion needs to be rendered to a proxy file before the project comes into your master timeline. Vegas Pro creates this proxy file automatically (you donít need to do anything but wait for it to finish). Try nesting another project. If you still have trouble with the audio not coming in, please contact our Technical Support group.


    Could you briefly explain how to get MXF files into Vegas Pro?

    There are a few different workflows that apply to this question depending upon what type of MXF footage you're using and where the media is stored. For an XDCAM optical device, you'll use the XDCAM Explorer window to get the job done. The XDCAM Explorer window allows you to browse and import Full Resolution Files or lower resolution Proxy Files. For a complete detailed discussion of the entire XDCAM optical workflow, check out the free Vegas Pro XDCAM Training series at www.sonycreativesoftware.com/training.

    In Vegas Pro 9.0, we've also added the capability to capture to MXF format using an SDI card such as cards from AJA and Decklink. This enables you to transfer footage from SDI devices such as HDCAM tape decks and convert that footage to the MXF format. Assuming that you have a supported SDI device connected to your computer, choose File | Capture Video. In the Capture Video dialog box, select the HDV or SDI radio button and click OK. In the Capture window, click the Capture Preferences button and in the Capture Preferences dialog, click the Device tab. Let's say you have one of the AJA cards. Choose AJA Video Device from the Device type drop-down list. Establish the other settings here as appropriate to your project and click OK.

    Next, choose your desired setting from the Encoding drop-down list on the Capture window's Clip Edit tab. For example, if you're capturing from a standard-definition SDI source, you can encode the footage to IMX MXF for archiving to your XDCAM disc. If you're capturing hi-definition SDI, you can encode directly to an HD422 MXF file.

    Finally, if you have existing MXF files that you want to add to your project but they are not part of a XDCAM optical disc image as we discussed above, you can use the Explorer window to navigate to those files and add them to your project just as you would add a file of any other format. Keep in mind that many non-Sony MXF files may require you to install third-party codecs or software like Raylight Ultra in order to enable Vegas Pro to read the video properly.



    Multicamera Editing

    How do I use the multicamera editing features?

    This is another topic thatís too big to answer here. We did address this question briefly during the webinar, so have another look at that. We also have a free training video that walks you through the entire multicamera editing process. To find it, check out the Les Stroud Vegas Pro Training Series at www.sonycreativesoftware.com/training.


    When I mix a three camera shoot, the audio will switch to the event you choose. How do I lock it for one particular audio event?

    If you donít include the audio tracks in the group before you choose Tools | Multicamera | Create Multicamera Track, then your audio events will remain separate and will not be edited when you switch cameras. Alternatively, if you do include the audio tracks when you create the multicamera track, you can decide whether you want to switch the audio along with the video or not. To do so, choose Tools | Multicamera | Edit Multicamera Audio with Video. Turn that feature off if you donít want your audio to change along with the video.


    Would you use the multicamera tools live or just the tape of the individual cameras?

    You canít use the multicamera tools in a live switching situation because there is no way to bring multiple video feeds into Vegas Pro simultaneously. Vegas Pro was never intended to be a live switching tool. Besides that, working with the recorded video files gives you the flexibility to correct any mistakes you made in calling your shots; you can always change the camera you called if you chose the wrong one or change the timing of your call if you missed it.


    Can you talk about how to automatically crossfade edit points when using Multicamera editing? Is it possible to customize the automatic crossfades?

    In a multi-camera editing project, you can automatically apply crossfades to your cuts. To do so, hold the Ctrl key while you click the camera feed to call a shot. This creates a crossfade instead of a cut, with the alignment and duration determined by the Cut-to-overlap conversion settings from the Editing tab of the Preferences dialog. For a detailed discussion of the Vegas Pro multicamera editing tools, check out the free Multi-camera Editing Tools video from the Les Stroud Vegas Pro Training Series at www.sonycreativesoftware.com/training.


    In multicam mode, can you uncombine the tracks after you've done some editing (so you can work with them as separate tracks again, for effects, etc.)?

    Yes. Once youíve made your cuts and want each camera on a separate track again, duplicate the combined track as many times as necessary to break each camera angle out to its own track. Now, say track one holds camera one, so you want to delete all camera one events except those in track one. In the Project Media window, right-click the file that represents Camera 1 and choose Select Timeline Events from the menu. Now choose View | Edit Details to open the Edit Details window. Choose Selected Events from the Show drop-down list. Click the Track header to sort the list by track. It may help to drag the Select column (drag the column heading) next to the Track column so you can easily see both simultaneously. In the Select column, deselect each of the events on track one (note that when you deselect an item from the list, it disappears from the list since youíre showing just selected events). Now press Alt+0 to give focus back to the timeline and press Delete to remove all of the camera one events from every track but track one. Repeat for each of the other camera media files. You could also write a script that could automate this process.


    Why canít I see effects made to a track in multi camera mode?

    You need the highest framerate preview possible so that you can call your shots as precisely as possible. The multiple streams of video that play when in this mode stress your computerís ability to keep up. Therefore, we disable the video effects when you enter this mode. Playback rate trumps video effects here, so your workflow should be, first call the shots, then add the effects.


    Working with Graphics or Still Photos

    Is it possible to automate matching aspect ratio over several events for a photo montage project?

    You can use the paste attribute feature we talked about in the webinar to do this. Set the first event to match output aspect ratio, copy the event, select all of the other events, and finally right-click one of the selected events and choose Paste Event Attributes from the menu. You could also use a script to match the output aspect ratio on all selected clips automatically. The Montage Tool in our Production Assistant product can do this for you.


    If you are importing stills into video, do you have to compress the picture quality?

    No. You can take advantage of the full resolution of the original still-image file during the editing process. Of course, when you render the project, the images will be compressed according to your final render settings.


    I want to compile a slideshow and burn it to a DVD using several hundred digital images. When I add them to the timeline (30 or more at a time), but they are displayed so close together that I can't even see them individually to change their locations. How can I spread them out? I also want to add a transition or fade out/in between each picture. Is there an easy way to do that? Or must each transition be added separately? Do I have to manually overlap each picture or can that overlap be set as a default time setting for the entire slideshow?

    By default, still images are added in five-second-long events. If youíve added a lot of images at the same time, Vegas Pro might adjust your projectís zoom level so you can see the entire timeline. This zoom level may make individual events appear very small. Use your mouse wheel or the Up and Down Arrow keys to zoom in and out of your timeline for a closer look at individual events, then use the scroll bar to move to different points in the timeline.

    The project preferences hold the keys to doing much of what you describe you want to do with your still images. Choose Options | Preferences and click the Editing tab. If you want your still images to come into events longer than five seconds, change the value of the New Still image length field. To automatically a crossfade between each event that you add, select the Automatically overlap multiple selected media when added checkbox. The value in the Cut-to-overlap conversion field dictates the length of the crossfade that will be created, so enter the value you want into that field. Click OK.

    Now select all of your still images and drop them into the timeline. They now overlap according to the settings you just specified. If you want a transition other than the crossfade between each one, select all of the events on the timeline. Click the Transitions tab. Find the transition you want and drag it onto one of the crossfade areas between two events. This applies the transition to all of the selected events.



    Media Manager

    How could I archive hundreds of tapes using the media manager?

    Once youíve captured the tapes, you can create one or more Media Manager libraries and add the files to them. Further, you could add custom identifying tags to the files to make them easy to find in the future. For example, you might create a tag called MountainVistas and apply it to all of your mountain footage. Later, when you need a mountain shot, you could search your library by the MountainVistas tag and find everything you have that might work.


    Scripting

    I have 100+ videos that I would like to use Vegas Pro to crop and resize (mostly from 4:3 to 16:9). Is there a way to do this as a batch command that would allow me to avoid calling each up individually?

    You could use the Vegas Pro scripting technology to do this. If you canít or donít want to write a script, our Production Assistant product could do this for you.


    Is it possible to duck one audio track to another automatically?

    You could use the Vegas Pro scripting technology to do this. If you canít or donít want to write a script, our Production Assistant productís Advanced Duck feature does this. You can call the Production Assistant up right inside your Vegas Pro project.


    Using Bus Tracks

    How does Audio and Video busing work?

    This is an extensive topic. We talked about audio busing as part of the webinar, so you might want to look at that section again. Basically, you can set up additional buses in your Mixer window and send (or route) different tracks to these different buses. This enables you to create sub mixes where, for example, one bus controls all of your music tracks and another bus controls all of your sound effects tracks.

    You can also use bus tracks to automate all of your audio buses along with the main video bus. Choose View | Audio Bus Tracks and View | Video Bus Track to make these bus tracks visible at the bottom of the timeline.



    Working with Audio

    Are the audio recording and editing features of Vegas as powerful as Acid Pro 7? What are the limitations?

    Vegas Pro features audio multitrack recording and editing tools that are for the most part every bit as powerful as those inside ACID Pro. However, Vegas Pro does not feature the same MIDI sequencing or loop production tools that ACID Pro does.


    Is Vegas Pro able to mix professional audio? Are there other Sony applications that are professional DAWs?

    ACID Pro is our full-featured professional digital audio workstation (DAW). It features multitrack audio recording, editing, and production tools, MIDI recording and sequencing tools, and loop production tools. It fully supports DirectX and VST technologies for plug-ins and virtual instruments. Vegas Pro shares (for the most part) the same multitrack audio tools that ACID Pro has and we are confident that it is second to none in terms of the power of its audio editing tools in the non-linear video editing software world. In fact, some Vegas Pro users use it mainly for multitrack audio production and donít even use the video editing tools!


    Can you snap audio edits to bar and beat markers when editing music video?

    Yes. First choose File | Properties to open the Project Properties dialog box and click the Ruler tab. Set the Beats per minute field to match your songís tempo and click OK. Now, choose Options | Ruler Format | Measures & Beats. Your time display and timeline ruler now show measures and beats that match the tempo you just set. Choose Options | Snap to Grid and make sure that snapping is engaged (it is by default). If itís not already engaged, click the Enable Snapping button. Finally, choose Options | Snap to Grid and choose the desired value for the grid settings from the cascading menu. Move an event and see that it now snaps to the timeline ruler marks.


    Can you integrate SonicFire into the Vegas timeline?

    You can save the files that you create in SonicFire to one of the file formats supported by Vegas Pro (e.g., WAV or AIFF) and import them into the Vegas Pro timeline just like you do any other supported audio file.


    Can you insert both stereo and 5.1 tracks in the same Vegas Pro 9 project?

    You can import many multi-channel file types into the Vegas Pro timeline such as MXF, mult-channel WAV, and more. However, some multichannel formats cannot be added to the timeline due to licensing restrictions from the format manufacturer. A prime example of this type of file format is AC3. While you can use Vegas Pro to create AC3 files, you cannot import them to the Vegas Pro timeline. And yes, for those file formats that you can import, you can mix and match files with different numbers of channels into your project. So you can, for instance, easily mix a stereo WAV file with a multi-channel MXF file.


    Does Vegas Pro handle Acid loops similar to Acid Pro?

    There are some small similarities in the way the two applications handle loop files, but Vegas Pro does not feature the robust loop-matching features that ACID Pro contains. So, while you can add ACID loops to your Vegas Pro project, match them to the projectís tempo, and work with them, you canít add project tempo and key markers to change those parameters during the course of your project like you can in ACID Pro. Vegas Pro has never been intended to function as a loop-based music production tool the like ACID Pro.


    Is there a way to get audio played when you "step" through a video frame by frame?

    Vegas Pro has a scrub tool that enables you to move the cursor back and forth while listening to the audio very much like the scrub tools on old analog gear. You can find the scrub head at the top of the project cursor (in the ruler bar). Drag the cursor back and forth with this scrub tool to hear the audio as you move. For finer scrub movements, use the Mouse Wheel or the Up/Down Arrow keys to zoom into your project. Since you can zoom into your Vegas Pro timeline well past the frame level to the sample level, you can perform incredibly fine scrubs if you need to.


    When you do the audio duck maneuver using time selection, what kind of fade down/fade ups are created? Are they even fades?

    Time selection envelope editing uses the Smooth transition type for both audio and video tracks. The fades will be even in length on both ends of the time selection. You can set the length of the fades on the Editing tab of the Preferences dialog box. Enter the value you want in the Time selection envelope fades field. You can also control the alignment of the fade in relation to the time selection edges. By default Vegas Pro centers the fades over the edges of the time selection. To change the alignment type, choose the type you want from the Alignment drop-down list.


    Can you add a plug-in on a specific audio clip instead of on the whole track? I know this can be done for individual video clips, but what about audio clips?

    Yes, but not in quite the same way as with video events. To add an effect to an individual audio event, right-click the event and choose Apply Non-Real-Time Event FX. Choose the effect you want from the Plug-In Chooser dialog box and click OK. Adjust the effect settings in the Take dialog box and click OK again. This creates a new file that Vegas Pro adds as another take to the original event. The new file has the effect processed into it. Processing the effect into the audio file in this manner ensures that the Vegas Pro audio engine will not be overloaded by the need to process many non-real-time effects which could cause playback and rendering problems.


    How can you change the volume of different sound elements within one video, i.e., remove or turn down background noise/music and turn up voice volume?

    The short answer is that you canít if all of these sounds are mixed together on your videoís audio track. You can attempt to control specific sounds with the various equalizer (EQ) plug-ins that Vegas Pro features and perhaps use our Noise Reduction filter to isolate and remove some constant noises. For instance, you can use an EQ plug-in to raise the frequencies that a voice falls into which might help bring the voice out more, but thereís real trial and error involved in getting the best results and even the best might not give you exactly what youíre asking for. The reality is that once all the audio is mixed together, thereís little you can really do (with Vegas Pro or any other software) to affect one sound within that mix.


    Did I just see Gary name an audio bus?

    Yes. Double-click the Bus name to select it. Type your new name and press Enter.


    Can you add music to the presentation and still use the sound grouped with the video?

    Absolutely! Vegas Pro supports unlimited audio tracks as well as video tracks so you can add as much audio as you want. You then use the mixing tools in the track header area to achieve the proper mix between the video mediaís audio and your other audio like music, narration, and so on.


    Can you integrate audio with Sound Forge Pro?

    Yes. Right-click the audio event on the Vegas Pro timeline that holds the file you want to edit and choose Open in Sound Forge from the menu. This launches Sound Forge Pro with the file already open in a data window. Now use the Sound Forge Pro tools to edit and save the file.

    If you saved the file from Sound Forge Pro with the same name and save location, when you return to Vegas Pro the application automatically detects the updated file and updates the event in the project. However, if you changed the fileís name or location, you must import the edited (new) file into your Vegas Pro project.

    Keep in mind that audio events from nested projects cannot be accessed with this technique—youíll have to go back to the nested project file. Also, when you first install Vegas Pro, it searches for Sony Sound Forge software, if found, assigns that as your sound editor. However, if you do not have Sound Forge software, you may specify the location of your preferred audio editor on the Audio Tab in the Vegas pro Preferences dialog box.



    Explain the exact steps to edit audio.

    Well, thatís a huge topic! But to get you started, you use many of the same techniques to edit audio as you do to edit video. For example, you split, trim, move, delete, cut, copy, and paste audio events in exactly the same way as you do video events. Similarly, you can add fades both in and out and crossfade audio events just like video events. For more tips, please have a look at our free training videos here: www.sonycreativesoftware.com/training


    Is it possible to record multi-track audio while capturing video within Vegas Pro?

    You can use one of the supported SDI interface products to do this. For example, the XENA™ 2K SDI card allows for capturing up to 16 channels of audio along with the video stream.


    Working with Projects

    Is there a way to create templates for same-day edits, for instance a Wedding?

    You could certainly save a .veg project that has many of the settings you know you will use in your same-day edits and use that project as a template that you customize for each job. When you start a new edit, open the template project, save it with a different name, and customize it appropriately. Our Production Assistant product could also help you here because you can create templates that will create new Vegas Pro projects for you and populate certain placeholders (that you define) with the footage you want to use in the project.


    Is project nesting with a rendered clip or a separate project?

    Project nesting does not require you to render the nested project before bringing it into the master project. This is one of the strengths of this feature since you donít have to spend time rendering the nested project before using it in the master.


    Properties and Formats

    Can I import 3gpp formats for cell phones into my Vegas Pro project?

    While itís not an officially supported format, many .3gp files will open if you have QuickTime 7 installed on your machine.


    How are media files and metadata filed, specifically relating to files that need to be moved to a different computer for output, for example?

    Vegas Pro projects refer to media files by path and name. If the application canít use the original path to find the files it needs on the other computer, it looks for them with the same path relative to the project fileís location. So, if you keep you media in folder at or below the project file, they will always be found on the other computer when you move the whole folder. Vegas Pro stores metadata in the media file when possible, or in a .SFL file in the same folder as the media, and starting with the same name. You should move these along with the media when you transfer a project to another computer. Audio peaks (.SFK) and audio proxies (.SFAPn) will be rebuilt as needed, but can also be moved with the media.


    If I have the Raylight codec installed, does the Device Explorer support P2 media as well?

    No. Navigate to your P2 media through the Explorer window.


    Can you talk about a recommended workflow using 5D & 7D DSLR formats with Vegas Pro?

    You can use all of the same editing techniques with these files as with any other. You will probably see better preview playback performance if you match your project properties to the source media. To do this, choose File | Properties and click the Video tab. Click the Match Media Settings button. In the Open dialog box, navigate to and select one of your source files, then click Open. This sets your project video properties to match your source footage.


    What are the best settings for PAL?

    Unfortunately, thatís a more complicated question than it seems because, like NTSC, there are many variables in play. Vegas Pro offers multiple templates for both NTSC and PAL for you project properties settings as well as render options. Youíll need to determine which PAL settings are appropriate given the source footage youíre using and your final destination specifics. To set your project video properties, click the Project Video Properties button in the Video Preview window and choose the appropriate option from the Template drop-down list. To specify PAL render settings, choose the appropriate option from the Template drop-down list in the Render As dialog box. In both cases, Vegas Pro identifies templates as PAL so you can easily find them.


    If I have mixed media on my Vegas Pro Timeline, what should I set my Project settings to?

    Thatís a bit of a tricky question. Since Vegas Pro has less calculating to do when your project video properties match the properties of the footage on your timeline, you might want to set your project properties to match the type of footage youíre using most often in your project. You should see improved frame rates on preview playback.

    However, itís important to know exactly what your project will look like when rendered, so you have to be careful. For instance, say the file type you use most often in your project has a 4:3 aspect ratio, but youíll be delivering in a 16:9 ratio. If you follow the advice above to achieve maximum frame rate on preview playback and set your project to 4:3, then you donít really know exactly what it will look like when you render the final version out in 16:9. In that case, you might want to set your project properties to a 16:9 setting so you see in the Video Preview window what your final render will look like.



    What is the best way to format a video to be burned on a Blu-ray Disc?

    Set your project video properties to a widescreen format that matches your source footage (assuming youíre using HD footage). Edit your project as you see fit. When itís time to render, choose File | Render As. In the Save As dialog box, select Sony AVC from the Save As Type drop-down list. From the Template drop-down list, choose the desired Blu-ray template and click Save. Keep in mind that these Blu-ray templates deliver the video stream only. Render your project again and choose Dolby Digital AC3 from the Save As Type drop-down list to render the audio file that youíll use along with the video file you just rendered.


    I use a Sony DSR 250 to shoot in 4:3 mode but I would like to render it in 16:9. I would like my videos to look HD for YouTube without actually having to shoot it at 16:9. Can you tell me how I can set up my project so it will render in 16:9 mode?

    Vegas Pro lets you render to a widescreen project regardless of whether youíre using 4:3 source footage or 16:9. But rendering your 4:3 footage to 16:9 will never make that footage look HD. Itís not just a matter of the aspect ratio, but more importantly the resolution. This camera shoots standard-definition footage, not HD. Still, you can render to a widescreen format in the standard-definition world too.

    Click the Project Video Properties button in the Video Preview window and choose NTSC DV Widescreen (assuming youíre using NTSC footage) from the Template drop-down list. Now you can see what your footage would look like in a widescreen render and you can see that it will have black bars on each side since your footage isnít wide enough to fill the widescreen.

    To fix this, youíll have to crop your footage. Click the Event Pan/Crop button for the event that holds your footage. In the Event Pan/Crop window, right-click the position box and select Match Output Aspect from the menu. This crops a bit off the top and bottom of your footage so that it then has a 16x9 aspect ratio to match your project video property settings. But of course, you lose some of your footage as a result of the cropping and the footage may look a little blurrier than it was because (as a result of the cropping) youíre enlarging the cropped image a bit in order to make it fill the screen.

    When you render the project, choose a widescreen template for your file and it will render to widescreen. But remember, it can never be HD because that camera doesnít shoot HD and you canít create a high-definition movie out of standard-definition source footage.

    By the way; this camera is capable of shooting in 16:9 format which would save you from having to crop your 4:3 image.



    Performance Topics

    I will be getting a 64-bit system will it help render faster?

    It might, but there are a lot of variables at play. Your computerís core count, RAM size, and the type of projects you work on all affect rendering speed. The 64-bit version of Vegas can use more CPU cores for video rendering, so FX-heavy projects will definitely render faster. It can also address all of your RAM, so projects with large frame sizes, lots of composting, nested projects, etc. will all benefit.


    What is the best way to get a smooth playback when editing?

    Vegas Pro relies completely on your computerís processing power, so the biggest thing you can do to improve your frame rate during preview is to use the most powerful machine you can. That said, many variables go into determining how hard your computer has to work in order to keep up with the frame rate youíve set your project too. For instance, some video file formats perform more efficiently as source footage than others. Itís much easier for the software to process DV footage than AVCHD footage as just one example.

    The complexity of the video plays a big factor as well. For example, a native clip will play back faster than the same clip loaded with video effects and transitions or composited with another track. You might also see improved preview playback frame rate if you match your project video properties to the source footage in your timeline.

    Beyond your computerís CPU speed, other hardware issues can have an effect on preview playback rate too. For instance, the speed of the drive that youíre pulling the footage from can affect your frame rate. A 7,200 RPM local hard drive should give you noticeably better framerate than a 5,400 RPM drive or a network drive. A RAID configuration which has been optimized for video work can help too.

    For more information on this topic, visit our online knowledge database under the Support section at www.sonycreativesoftware.com. Enter Achieving smooth playback in the Video Preview window in the Search by Keyword field and click the Search button.



    Will nested project slow down playback, even on a quad core multi-thread PC?

    Not significantly more than an equally complex section constructed in your master projectís timeline would. If the project youíre nesting is complex (lots of filters and compositing or non-efficient file types), then it could affect your master editís preview playback, but thatís a result of the complexity of the nested project more than it is a factor of the nesting process itself.


    Is multi-threaded render an option you select or is it automatic?

    Vegas Pro will use all cores automatically, but you can control that. If you donít want all threads available for rendering, choose Options | Preferences and click the Video tab. Choose the number of rendering threads you want from the Maximum number of rendering threads drop-down list.


    When I open a lot video files into a project, it's a too heavy load for my computer. Would it be better to make multiple Vegas projects and nest them?

    Nesting projects would not help lighten the load on your computer. However, if you created separate projects and rendered them, then brought those rendered files into your master project, you would lighten the load caused by any filters, compositing, and so on in those original projects.


    When I playback my projects, during playback if there is a cross-fade, a hesitation is occurring during preview. My computer is very powerful. What are your suggestions to improve this?

    There are many factors at play when it comes to optimizing preview frame rate. Computer power is definitely one of them, but you say you have a very powerful machine. Even so, work in Preview (Auto) mode when possible. If you pull your media from a network, for example, that may be your bottle neck. Consider keeping it in on a local 7,200 RPM hard drive. Remember, you can always create a quick RAM preview over the section to see it play back more smoothly. Make a time selection over the area you want to see and choose Tools | Build Dynamic RAM Preview.


    I'm using AVCHD now and when I preview my edits on the timeline, it always seems that the audio doesn't sync up w/video preview.

    A powerful processor (preferably multiple cores) and high RAM is highly recommended for working with AVCHD. Using the 64-bit version of Vegas Pro on a 64-bit operating system will help too as well as other preview playback optimization ideas that are discussed in our online knowledge database under the Support section at www.sonycreativesoftware.com. Enter Achieving smooth playback in the Video Preview window in the Search by Keyword field and click the Search button.


    Rendering is very slow in the 64-bit version in some instances. Can you recommend settings that will speed up rendering?

    You donít mention source media or render format. Some formats, AVC/H.264 are complex (and therefore slow) to render to, even on modern computers. If you are flexible in your file format, consider using a different high-quality format, such as MXF HD EX or HD422. In most cases, itís not necessary to render at Best Video Rendering Quality. Most times, Good gives results that are indistinguishable from Best and Good renders significantly faster in many cases.


    I have Vegas Pro 9 installed on my DIY computer with an i7-920 Nehalem processor with 12 GB of RAM. When I am rendering, it appears that only a couple of the cores are being used "hard" and the rest are at maybe 20-25%. Is this normal or is there something I can do to optimize? Also, my RAM never appears to be taxed.

    It depends on the type of project, and the format being rendered to. Projects without many effects rendered to a simple format are mostly disk I/O bound, and wonít tax your nice Core i7 processor nor use much RAM. Complex formats such as AVC/H.264 and Windows Media Video can spend more cycles working out the compression than Vegas does rendering the frames, again leaving your cores idle.


    My Sony camera comes with software that previews AVCHD files smoothly. Vegas however struggles with them. Why is that?

    Playing AVCHD footage and editing it are two very different procedures. Making AVCHD footage available for editing in the same way as you can edit other footage requires more processing that merely playing the file. A powerful processor (preferably multiple cores) and high RAM is highly recommended for working with AVCHD. Using the 64-bit version of Vegas Pro on a 64-bit operating system will help too as well as other preview playback optimization ideas that are discussed in our online knowledge database under the Support section at www.sonycreativesoftware.com. Enter Achieving smooth playback in the Video Preview window in the Search by Keyword field and click the Search button.


    What causes the low memory errors while rendering in Vegas Pro 9? Is it a software limitation?

    Some file formats do not deal with large numbers of clips as well as others. We continue to improve this, but if your project has many clips in one of these formats, you might get better results if you transcode them into another format.


    When I reverse a clip and render it with Vegas Pro 9, it stutters – the old versions didn't do this.

    Weíre not aware of any problem in this area. If you continue to see this issue, please contact our technical support group.


    Are the issues with Windows 7 compatibility and QuickTime *.mov HD video files being addressed?

    Vegas Pro is Windows 7 compatible. We rely on Apple and QuickTime for our .mov support and although we do our best to maintain compatibility, this is not entirely within our control. We are not aware of any issues with this at the moment. If you continue to experience problems, please contact our technical support group so we can help you work it out.


    Why does the new 64-bit Vegas Pro 9 not have a preview in Video capture?

    Initially, one of the components we rely on for HDV capture preview was not available in a 64-bit version. Rather than delay the 64-bit version or remove the capture feature, we removed the preview during HDV capture. This has been addressed in the Vegas Pro 9.0c update. Please download and install that update. If you continue to see problems, please contact our technical support group so that we can work through it with you.


    Sometimes when I try rendering my projects I experience hang-ups or crashing. Can you discuss how to deal with problems when rendering?

    We consider the inability to render a serious issue and would like to work with you to solve it. I donít have enough information to go on to make useful suggestions. Please contact our technical support group who will learn more about your specific problem and suggest some remedies.


    Hardware and System Requirements

    Does Vegas 32-bit only use 2 GB of RAM even if my Win32 machine has 3 GB installed?

    Yes, 2 GB of RAM is the maximum that can be used by any application on a 32-bit operating system. Keep in mind that the operating system also needs RAM to function.


    What hardware configuration do you recommend for working with RED ONE formats?

    The fastest, multi-core setup with the most RAM possible! Also, it could help to have a fast video RAID.


    Does Vegas Pro take advantage of a powerful GPU or does it not matter what kind of video card one has?

    At present Vegas Pro software only utilizes the CPU for rendering so rendering times will not be affected. However, previewing your timeline could benefit from a more powerful graphics card.


    Why are there fewer plug-ins available for 64-bit compared to 32-bit?

    You need 64-bit plug-ins in order to interface with a 64-bit application on a 64-bit operating system. Not all plug-ins are available in both 32- and 64-bit versions. Many plug-ins that exist in a 32-bit version have been developed as 64-bit versions, but there are also many that have not.


    What kind of laptop would you buy to handle Vegas Pro?

    As long as your system meets the stated system requirements it should be fully capable of running Vegas Pro normally. Current computers will usually have multi-core or multiprocessor CPUs, which we recommend for working with high-definition content. Vegas Pro relies heavily on your computerís processor and RAM and can take advantage of 64-bit Windows Operating Systems. Just as with a desktop machine, the answer is really that you should buy the most powerful machine you can afford.


    Is it true that implementing Crossfire interferes with Vegas Pro 64-bit?

    Weíre not aware of any issues using Vegas Pro (64-bit) with ATI Crossfire enabled. If you experience Vegas Pro issues with this enabled, please contact our technical support group so we can help get to the bottom of it.


    Can I run the 64 bit and 32 bit version on the same machine?

    Yes, you can install and use both versions on the same machine with only one serial number.


    Does Vegas Pro support multiple monitors?

    Yes, you can arrange workspaces across multiple monitors and take advantage of full-screen preview on a secondary monitor. You can also output the timeline to an external reference monitor via either your computerís firewire connection or through and SDI interface like those from AJA and Blackmagic.


    Does Vegas Pro use any of the new GPU cards to offload effects previews rendering?

    No. At present Vegas Pro relies on the CPU for rendering final video and can build a dynamic RAM preview for previewing complex passages before a final render.


    If I have a dual boot Vista 32-bit and 64-bit PC can I install both 64 bit Vegas Pro on one hard drive and 32-bit Vegas Pro on the other hard drive?

    Yes, the Vegas Pro end-user license agreement permits a single user to run a single copy on multiple machines for personal use, including multi-boot setups.


    I've been using the 32bit version of Vegas Pro 9 since it was first released. I've recently upgraded to a new 64bit computer with Windows 7. How do I migrate to the 64bit version of Vegas Pro 9?

    Just install the 64-bit version of Vegas Pro on the new computer. The installation disc for Vegas Pro 9 includes both the 32- and 64-bit installers. We recommend you use the most current build which can be downloaded from our updates page: http://www.sonycreativesoftware.com/download/updates/vegaspro


    Is Vegas Pro usable on Linux?

    At present Vegas is supported only on 32-bit Windows XP as well as 32 and 64-bit versions of Windows Vista and Windows 7.


    Can you provide a hard-drive configuration best-practice recommendation? For example, RAID1 array for OS and Vegas program files, capture location on Drive 2, render output location on Drive 3, etc.

    Our software is only supported when installed to the OS drive. It is recommended to use an external hard drive for storage of video, and many users choose to have two non-OS drives: one for raw footage and one to render to. RAID configurations can often improve preview playback framerates.


    Sales and Marketing Details

    Where can I get additional transitions?

    There are a number of third-party plug-ins, including filters and transitions, which can be used within the Vegas interface. Several companies including NewBlueFX, proDAD, Boris FX, Red Giant, Zenotť, and Pixťlan develop great plug-ins for Vegas Pro.


    The "Upgrade to Vegas Pro 9 from Vegas Pro" page doesn't mention anything about Free Training.

    Follow the upgrade link on the webinar landing page. Follow through with the entire order. Eventually you will see your option to choose your free Seminar Series training (before you commit to the order). Note: *Offers valid January 21 - February 28, 2010. Offers available only when purchasing directly from Sony Creative Software via the links above. Qualified serial number required for upgrade pricing. Pricing displayed in US Dollars. Customers outside the US may be charged in local currency.


    How does this product measure up to broadcast industry standards?

    Vegas Pro is engineered to produce video for many different types of broadcast situations. We have a large number of broadcast professionals and organizations as customers in both the news and entertainment industries.


    Are there a lot of differences between Vegas Movie Studio and Vegas Pro?

    Users accustomed to Vegas Movie Studio will find the interface and capabilities of Vegas Pro largely the same. However Vegas Pro contains many more professional-level features. This page compares the different versions of Vegas and the features in each: http://www.sonycreativesoftware.com/moviestudiohd/compare.


    Will you discuss the differences of Vegas Pro 8 and Pro 9?

    Page 1 of the Vegas Pro 9 built-in Help Menu emphasizes the new features of Vegas Pro 9. The Seminar Series training package also focuses on the new features.


    What are the options if I want to upgrade to Vegas Pro 9.0?

    Owners of any previous pro or studio version of Vegas are eligible for upgrade pricing. While the promotion lasts, follow the link on the webinar page to take advantage of the upgrade special that includes the free Seminar Series training. For regular upgrades, you can find pricing details at www.sonycreativesoftware.com/buy/upgrades.


    When authoring a medium sized project of 15 GB, the application sometimes blackens some of the clips. When I removed the 30 markers the clips burned okay. Any idea what I was doing wrong?

    Weíre not aware of any issue here. If you continue to experience problems, please contact our technical support group so we can help you work through it.


    I haven't purchased Vegas Pro 9 yet. Do these audio/video bus effects work with Vegas Pro 8?

    Yes.


    Training Resources

    What are the best training materials (video and/or book) to learn more of the basics of Vegas Pro?

    We offer several training resources including the Seminar Series training package, the Digital Video and Audio Production Guide book, and many free training videos. You can find information on all of these materials at www.sonycreativesoftware.com/training.


    Are there training material available for Vegas Movie Studio?

    Check out the free Vegas Movie Studio series of training videos at www.sonycreativesoftware.com/training.


    Where can I find additional training resources from Sony Creative Software?

    All of our training resources are available at www.sonycreativesoftware.com/training.


    Is there a more in-depth tutorial for Velocity Envelopes?

    There is some discussion of Velocity envelopes in our Digital Video and Audio Production Guide book available at www.sonycreativesoftware.com/training, but we have not created any materials specifically focusing only on this tool. Weíve logged this as a product training request.


    Are there local workshops in the larger cities?

    From time to time third-party organizations will offer Vegas Pro training in various cities. We do not have a program of such workshops scheduled at this time. Weíve logged this as a product training request.


    How do current users of Vegas Pro 9 acquire the Seminar Series?

    You can order the Seminar Series from our website at www.sonycreativesoftware.com/training


    Are there any seminars for sending and using projects in DVD Architect?

    At the moment we do not have training videos for DVD Architect posted on our website. We hope to post training for this product in the future.


    Where can I find training resources relate to editing RED camera footage in Vegas Pro?

    The Seminar Series training package for Vegas Pro 9 features a section that focuses on the RED camera workflow. You can find out more about the Seminar Series package at www.sonycreativesoftware.com/training.


    Specific questions about the webinar presentation

    What is the model of the VAIO laptop you are using, please?

    The presenter was using a VAIO VGN-FW190 laptop.


    What was used to create the music?

    The music we used in the opening to the Webinar was created in Cinescore. The music that we added to the timeline during the webinar presentation was created using our ACID Pro 7 software.


    Will these techniques work in Vegas Movie Studio 9?

    There are many similarities between Vegas Pro and the consumer version, Vegas Movie Studio. Much of what we talked about in the webinar will work the same in Vegas Movie Studio as it does in Vegas Pro, but Vegas Pro does contain a much more professional and robust feature set, so not everything will also work in Vegas Movie Studio.


    Miscellaneous

    How do you delete the end points on the screen?

    Iím not sure I completely understand this question. If youíre referring to the endpoint of an automation envelope (like a velocity envelope or a volume envelope), that point cannot be deleted.


    Can you right click on the presenter to change the velocity to slow motion, lol?

    Sorry; the presenter cannot be controlled by a velocity envelope! Some would say that he cannot be controlled at all.


    Can you go through Blu-ray authoring with menus, etc.?

    This is a big topic thatís related more to our DVD Architect software than to Vegas Pro. You use Vegas Pro to create the video and then assemble and burn the Blu-ray disc with DVD Architect. Weíll have to save further details on how to assemble your Blu-ray projects in DVD Architect for another webinar!







     
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