Preview: Sony Vegas Pro 10

IBC announced the upcoming launch and gave a preview of Vegas Pro 10
with an expected release date of October 11. Let’s take a look at the new
features and changes found in Vegas Pro 10.

Vegas 10 greets 3D head-on with built-in support for Stereographic 3D editing. You can set up your project to support many different preview formats including half size left/right or top/bottom, full size left/right or top/bottom, anaglyphic, left/right eye only, checkerboard, blend, or difference. Then you also need to set up your preview for the desired setting.

After adding the 3D footage to the timeline, you can then adjust the various settings using the new Stereoscopic 3D Adjust effect. This effect will also help adjust depth settings and many other aspects related to 3D editing. Once your 3D masterpiece is created, you can then export into various formats including the new YouTube 3D format, Cineform Neo3D, and even individual left/right eye views. So with a single project, you can render both 3D and standard versions of your movies.

Later versions of Vegas Pro 9 introduced Closed Captioning support. This support has been extended in Vegas Pro 10. There are many new previwing optons for Closed Captioning. Click on the Mask Overlays dropdown arrow and you can choose to display any of the various types of captioning. The ability to preview these captions makes it much easier to determine how the final output will look.

In addition to previewing, Vegas can add line 21 CEA-608 closed captions. Closed captioning can now be exported for DVD Architect, YouTube, Real Player, Quicktime, and Windows Media Player. You can also import captioning information from a variety of standard format files.

While rendering to certain formats will add closed captions, it does not yet work for all formats. For example, if you add captioning and then print to DV tape, the captioning will not be added. Be sure to test this feature with your desired output format before spending lots of time adding your captions. Fortunately, it does work with a wide variety of output formats!

For years people have complained about the Vegas API for plugins – mainly because of the lack of frame access. Vegas Pro 10 introduces a new plugin API based on the Open FX standard. Once converted to the new API, plugins like Boris and stabilizer plugins will be able to access the frames needed to work properly without needing workarounds.

Many high-end plugins are written based on Open FX. Will they work in Vegas straight out of the box? Probably not. Can they be easily modified to work in Vegas? Quite possibly. You can check with the various plugin manufacturers that create Open FX plugins and see if they’ll support Vegas.

Let’s take a look at the new plugin environment in Vegas. First of all, all of your old existing DirectX plugins will continue to work exactly like they did before. Add the effect to the event on the timeline, though, and you will immediately see some differences. First, there is now a “Pan/Crop” entry in the chain. What does this mean? Previously each effect’s timeline had a small triangle that was “Pre/Post Pan/Crop”. That triangle is no longer there. Instead, you now simply place the effect in front of the Pan/Crop entry in the chain instead of clicking on that triangle.

The next thing you may notice is there’s no timeline at the bottom! In order to see the timeline, you now have to click on the “Animate” button. Once you click on that button, you can then continue to add keyframes exactly like you always have.

So you can continue to use your existing plugins the same way you always have, you gain a visual representation indicating whether it affects the display before or after Pan/Crop is applied, and you can determine whether or not you need to see the effect timeline. However, the changes don’t stop there. We’ll now look at the new Open FX plugins.

In the upper right of the new Effects dialog is a single column button, double, column button, and triple column button. These buttons determine how many parameter columns are displayed at one time. As you can see, the user interface is also totally different. Now you can have categories of controls that can be opened. In addition, some controls can have multiple settings that can also be opened. In this case I’ve shown the NewBlue Spotlight effect to illustrate the new layout.

Once again, by default no timeline is visible. However, with the OpenFX plugins, there is no “Animate” button. Instead, look to the right of each parameter and you will see a small “clock” icon. For any parameter you wish to keyframe, click on that icon. In this example, I’ve clicked on the Center and Clarity clock icons. Looking at the timeline, you’ll see I now have individual parameter lines for the X and Y values for the Center parameter and another timeline for the Clarity parameter.

Thanks to the new OpenFX interface, you can now adjust any setting indivually from any other setting. Therefore, If I have a single parameter that needs to be adjusted, I no longer will need to change every keyframe – only the timeline for that one parameter.

On the lower right, you see two new buttons: Lanes and Curves. By default, Lanes is selected as you see in this image. If you select Curves, you can now adjust values directly on the timeline. Check it out with color controls. The color will actually change between keyframes on the timeline.

Vegas Pro 10 also adds a built-in image stabilizer. Based on the first version of Mercalli, this plugin will perform basic image stabilization. This will typically be sufficient for many users but the third party stabilizers like Mercalli version 2 and NewBlue Stabilizer will have more options to help fine-tune the stabilization.

Ending the video changes, many new formats are now supported and many existing formats simply perform better. Plus, support for 50p and 60p HD footage for both capturing and printing has been added. AVCHD has been greatly improved. Plus GPU acceleration using CUDA is supported when rendering with the Sony AVC renderer.

People asking for audio improvements will see many changes too. First is a feature that has been requested many times over the years – event level effects just like on video. Vegas 10 now allows effects to be placed on audio events just like on the track headers! Need to change the EQ on only this one event? No problem with event effects and no extra tracks are needed!

Audio Meters were also added to the track headers. Open up the mixing console and you’ll see audio meter are now visible there as well.

Input Busses can now be used to input, process, record, and mix external audio sources straight to your project. Some example uses of input busses include allowing you to apply effects and record a wet signal, input an external device such as a synthesizer, act as a return for an external hardware effects unit, or monitor an external source such as a talkback microphone. Check out the new Input Busses to see how they can assist your audio needs.

Finally let’s look at new workflow tools. Another often requested feature is the ability to group tracks. The feature was added previously in Acid and now makes it’s debut in Vegas. Here’s a timeline where four tracks have been grouped. After closing the grouping, you now see a single condensed track instead of all the individual tracks. This will allow you to condense your complicated timelines into managable sized pieces.

Other improvements include the ability to export your multi-cam tracks back to their original tracks, Improved usability of the trimmer and preview screen by adding transport controls, some Device Explorer improvments, and using the Microsoft Image Mastering API (IMAPI) for burning discs to provide greater device compatibility.

Check out the new version of Vegas Pro. There are many great new features and 3D abilities simply add an extra bonus!

Vegas Pro 10 System Requirements

• Microsoft® Windows® XP 32-bit SP3, Windows Vista® 32-bit or 64-bit SP2, or Windows 7 32-bit or 64-bit

• 2 GHz processor (multicore or multiprocessor CPU recommended for HD or stereoscopic 3D)

• 400 MB hard-disk space for program installation

• 1 GB RAM (2 GB recommended)

• OHCI-compatible i.LINK® connector*/IEEE-1394DV card (for DV and HDV capture and print-to-tape)

• USB 2.0 connection (for importing from AVCHD, XDCAM EX, NXCAM, or DVD camcorders)

• Windows-compatible sound card

• DVD-ROM drive (for installation from a DVD only)

• Supported CD-recordable drive (for CD burning only)

• Supported DVD-R/-RW/+R/+RW (for DVD burning only)

• Supported BD-R/-RE drive (for Blu-ray Disc™ burning only)

• Microsoft .NET Framework 3.0 (included on application disc) **

• Apple® QuickTime® 7.1.6 or later (if using files that require QuickTime)

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