Upgrade to Vegas for DVD Authoring Advice needed at DVinfo.net

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Old October 18th, 2003, 08:24 AM   #1
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Upgrade to Vegas for DVD Authoring Advice needed

Hi:

I have had my GL2 since July 2002.
We just returned from 16 days in Bolivia on a birding and nature
trip. I have 7 hours of video that I would like to edit into a one hour DVD.

The GL2 was amazing. Maybe half the time I had the Century Optics 2x teleconverter on for the long distance shots. I used a tripod always with 2x and whenever possible without 2x. The stock microphone was awesome.

I presently have Pinnacle Studio 8. Videomaker Magazine has
a recent issue on DVD Authoring. They mention the Pinnacle Expression DVD authoring for $50.

I am thinking about upgrading to Vegas Video 4+DVD and was wondering if this is overkill for me.

I did notice that some of my video shots at dusk are on the dark side and was wondering if Vegas can lighten them up.

Vegas gets a good review in the mag with only weakness as:
1) Uncertain future with Sony purchase of the company
2) Mediocre Titler (whatever that is).
These weaknesses don't bother me.

If you were in my shoes, does Vegas offer anything beyond Studio 8 that I might use to create a top notch looking hour long DVD featuring the Bolivian people, mountains, jungle, birds, animals, etc....?

Thanks.

Steve Urban
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Old October 18th, 2003, 10:08 AM   #2
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You will definitely be able to lighten with Vegas.

Your Vegas Weaknesses:

1) Uncertain future -- More certain with Sony in the picture is the general consensus. All the important Sonic Foundry folks are still in place and all the important products have been re-branded as Sony.
2) Mediocre titler -- The problem is that the Adobe Premiere 6.5 titler got rave reviews, so everything else is now being compared to it. I don't see such striking limitations in the Vegas titler that I would call it mediocre. Actually, I don't see any limitations.

Vegas is a huge step beyond Studio 8 in power and productivity. No one can sit in your shoes and say whether it is overkill. However, you should be able to do all the basics with Studio 8. Some points about S8:

-- The titler is not bad. Choose from stock or design your own.
-- DVD authoring is built in and well-integrated. S8 is the most integrated product on the market today, at any price.
-- S8 has only 4 filters, but you can certainly adjust the hue, saturation, brightness, and contrast for any clip. Those controls are easy to use and you can see their effect immediately.
-- Plenty of transitions, effects, and templates
-- Enhanced effects available with inexpensive add-on, HFX. Effects creation available with $100 HFX Pro.

Now the bad news: The product has been incredibly buggy. Be sure you install the latest upgrade patches and participate in the online forums to stay abreast of problems and to get help if you run in to one of them.

My recommendation is to try the project in Studio 8 first, then buy Vegas later if your experience tells you that you'd like to move on. I would not invest a penny in a separate DVD authoring package unless you determine that Studio's is too limiting.

As for Sony's DVD Architect (the +DVD with Vegas), I'd wait for version 2.
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Old October 19th, 2003, 06:41 AM   #3
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Hi Will:

Sounds good!

I will stay with S8 and do a tape to see how it comes out testing features I did not even know existed like DVD Authoring and 4 filters.

Thanks!

Steve
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Old October 19th, 2003, 08:36 AM   #4
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Steve:

I should have been clearer.

The properties of a video clip can be adjusted as to hue, saturation, brightness, and contrast.

In addition, Studio provides four filters: blur, emboss, mosaic, and posterize.

You can find all 8 of these controls on the same panel, accessible from the menu under Toolbox | Adjust Color.

Will
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Old October 19th, 2003, 06:55 PM   #5
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>Now the bad news: The product has been incredibly buggy. Be >sure you install the latest upgrade patches and participate in >the online forums to stay abreast of problems and to get help if >you run in to one of them.

As a Studio8 user for the last two years (Studio, 7, then 8), I'm
loyal to simplicity. I highly recommend against getting the latest
upgrade. I stick to 8.5.21 . The others have audio/video synch
problems. I would use Vegas4 to do some video and a lot of audio processing, then move DV25 files to Studio8. I'm not moving to Vegas4. I have lost faith in their ability to improve Studio8. It's a wonderful concept to have an integrated package,
but I have no idea why it gets rave reviews. These reviews are
probably from people that have not used the product.
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Old October 19th, 2003, 10:24 PM   #6
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I'm somewhat lost by your reply. When you say "I would use Vegas4 to do some video and a lot of audio processing, then move DV25 files to Studio8. I'm not moving to Vegas4. I have lost faith in their ability to improve Studio8. It's a wonderful concept to have an integrated package,
but I have no idea why it gets rave reviews. These reviews are
probably from people that have not used the product."

I'm not exactly sure what is meant. Whose ability to improve Studio8 and what intergrated package are you talking about. What program are you referring to that gets rave reviews from people that haven't used it?

It's just the way you have worded your reply is a little confusing.
Could you pleas clarify.
Thanks,
Don
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Old October 20th, 2003, 12:43 AM   #7
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>I'm not moving to Vegas4

I need a prooph-reeder.

I am moving to Vegas4 and DVD Author.

Studio8 is an integrated video capture, editor, DVD assembler
and burner in one package. You don't have to spend time with
multiple applications.

Pinnacle is not doing much to improve the reliability and features
of Studio8. It does product DVDs, but you will lose a lot of time and hair dealing with crashes for basic operations like DVD menu contruction.

Studio8 receives great reviews in video software magazines such as Videomaker. I bet you that the reviwer did not actually make a DVD from several DV25 AVI files.
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Old October 20th, 2003, 02:30 AM   #8
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Two points:
Why don't you download Vegas and try it? You can do so for no money. It installs very cleanly (does not mess up your system) and runs very solid. Based on what people who has used other NLEs have said, the colour correction in Vegas 4 beats everything there is.

The titler in Vegas is a dog many people likes to kick. I have been wondering why that is, because I'm absolutely in love with it myself.
It's not 3D, although you can do some amazing 3D effects on it with Satish's 3D LE plugin (freeware). And that's the point, really: When you create something in Vegas text generator, you create an event to which you can add all the effects, pans, zooms and noise you like - using the normal tools of the application. There is hardly anything you can NOT do. But those possibilities are in the whole of Vegas - not in the titler spesifically. Maybe that's why some "reviewers" do not notice it properly?

There's a tutorial somewhere that shows how you can make a line of text float on water - so the letters move in the same wave pattern as the water - as if they were projected onto it. That's not mediocre to me, that's magical.

In addition to adding titles I use the text generator a lot with dingbats and various non-letter fonts. Very handy for illustrations, small animations, overlays and frames. With pan/crop and keyframes you can move them around and change their appearence gradually.

Also worth a mention is the scrolling title effect. Very handy and easy to use, although you can do the same in the normal titler as well.
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Old October 20th, 2003, 03:00 AM   #9
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Tor,

Good post - I also think the titler is extremely useful, and often wonder whether some of those wanting "flashy" 3D looking text etc are trying to hide deficencies in the rest of their project.

Now - I would also like to take advantage of things like dingbats, wingdings, symbol fonts etc, but my problem is I have no idea which key produces which shape.

Do you make yourself a key sheet, or is there something else available?

thanks

Peter
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Old October 20th, 2003, 04:21 AM   #10
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Peter,

You can use the Character Map program in Windows to browse and select which characters you want.

In Windows XP its under
All Programs -> Accessories -> System Tools -> Character Map

* Switch the font to Wingdings and then copy/paste into Vegas.
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Old October 20th, 2003, 04:30 AM   #11
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Many thanks Michael

I now have a Character Map shortcut on the dektop ...

Peter
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Old October 20th, 2003, 06:30 AM   #12
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Gints,
Thanks, that clears it up. I thought I had read in some of your earlier posts that you might move to Vegas (the software-not the city) and couldn't quite understand what you were saying, but all is clear now.
Don

BTW, I LOVE Vegas! Both the software and the city!
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Old October 20th, 2003, 11:40 AM   #13
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Once you start adding your birds' names, you'll probably want to have the Latin name in italics. You can do that in Vegas. But you will notice that effects such as colour and shadow or outline are added to one frame at the time. If you want two-coloured text you must use either two text events (two tracks) or use a child track underneath with a two-tone (or more) media that will show through your text.
Over time you can change the text colour on one text event by using keyframes. Start with white at zero secs and set it to blue at 5 secs - the text will then change gradually from white to blue. Use the same method to add letters gradually (the typewriter trick), but remember to set the display variables so the first letters don't shift sideways to accomodate the following.

However - once you start to get deep into using various fonts in Vegas you'll notice (alas) that some very few symbols are not rendered correctly. I know people have had problems getting Vegas to show Typographers' quotes, for instance. You can make them in Word and copy-paste them into Vegas and suddenly they're not what they were supposed to be.

Anyway, I'm one who thinks seven hours footage of Bolivian birds sound like a lot of fun. I'm sure you'll have a hard time butchering it down to 1 (even though it's the right thing to do). Good luck! Sorry for the long post.
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