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What Happens in Vegas...
...stays in Vegas! This PC-based editing app is a safe bet with these tips.

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Old October 21st, 2007, 05:57 AM   #1
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Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Aberdeenshire Scotland UK
Posts: 24
Advice please?

OK, so I went out and bought a Canon XH-A1 (against some of the advice of the members here). Basically I was sick of making movies of my treks and travels around the world and having them all look and feel like bad amateur home movies. Yes, a lot of that was down to the cameraman (me!), but the quality of film I get with the new camera is superb, so a worthy investment for me. I am now building a good library of raw material on my computer.

I also bought Sony Vegas 7, but I haven't got a clue where to start with it. I have no problems with the camera, as I have been using high end Canon still cameras for many years. I also have no problem with stills photgraphy editing (using Adobe CS). NLEs however have got me beat! I am stuck out in the wilds of Siberia on a 3 year assignment for work, so no local help at hand. I can watch my movies as raw footage after downloading them from the camera into Vegas, but all attempts at editing so far have proved to be a nightmare.

Can one of you guys please advise me of a straightforward training program that I can get on DVD when I visit the UK on a Business Trip next month? Bear in mind that this needs to be very beginner friendly. I am sure I have the ability to work with this system, but just need to get a good overview of the basics. For example, I recently had the BBC (in the form of Johnathan Dimbleby) over here making a documentary (provisionally titled 'Russsia Revealed'), and as I was one of the subjects of Episode 4, I managed to talk the Director (who used to be a cameraman) into using my camera to 'film the filming'. I now have a 28 minute film (as one clip) that I want to edit, but try as I might, I cannot even perform basic tasks such as removing say, a 5 second shot of the camera being repositioned!

I should add that I have similar issues with more basic software, i.e the free stuff that generally comes with a computer.

Shoot me down in flames if it makes you feel better, but I would really like to get some constructive advice on where the best educational information can be found. After all, I have three years in isolation to work at this!

Thanks in advance,

Last edited by Colin McCaffery; October 21st, 2007 at 06:00 AM. Reason: bad grammar!
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Old October 21st, 2007, 06:25 AM   #2
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Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Hertfordshire
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I'm not much cop at using training courses, but on the strength of the advice he hands out on this site, I would say the work of Douglas Spotted Eagle for VASST could well worth be checking out.

Vegas is a really intuitive system, but it does take a little work to get familiar with the basic concepts. It is worth noting that a lot of seasoned digital video professionals are often flummoxed by Vegas at first sight as it breaks a lot of conventions in editing. In my opinion, it makes a lot more sense to work in the Vegas way.

Anyway, you should not worry about asking seemingly simplistic questions as this is a really friendly forum and people are only too happy to contribute. There is a link worth looking at the top of the page which has a handy guide to keyboard shortcuts and the general Vegas screen layout. It was designed with a slightly earlier version of Vegas in mind, but the information largely still applies.

Good luck!

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Old October 21st, 2007, 06:26 AM   #3
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 6,609
One of the beautiful things about Vegas is there are a number of different ways to do most things and if one stops to think about them they are (for the most) part pretty logical.
To "split" or cut the scene you wish you remove the camera movement from place the cursor over the beginning of where you want to cut from and press the S key-this will split or cut the scene at that point. Now move the cursor to the last point you wish to remove and repeat the process. Now highlight the part you wish to remove by placing the cursor over it and RIGHT CLICK-press DELETE or CONTROL X and Presto! it's gone but theres a hole there right? Press the F key and everything to the Right of the hole should move to the left and butt up to the front clip. To dissolve into it simply highlight the clip on the right and pullgently and slightly left-you should see a little box in the middle that indicates how much of a dissolve you have I.E. .15, or .29 or 1.17 whatever the amount of dissolve is-OR you can place the cursor over the cut between the 2 clips and press the / key on the numeric keyboard and BAM! you get an nice 1.00 disslove.

Thats as basic basic a way to get started but you just learned how to do a cut or split :-) I suggest you get the VAAST DVDs on Vegas 7 they are a great primer to get you going as are Edward Troxels Newsletters from #1 thru will alsop do you very well to learn the basics. check out a post from Edward to get his site address.
Hope this helps you a little. Vegas is really a fairly simple program to learn and yet is very powerful so take it 1 step at a time. Oh yeah, you might also check the online manual (F1 button) there really is some good stuff there.
Don B.
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Old October 21st, 2007, 11:10 AM   #4
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Location: Cincinnati, OH
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Also consider that the Vegas 8 Upgrade has a few easy step by step tutorials for basic functions. Vegas 7 has no built in tutorials.

If you are planning to give Vegas a serious go, you might upgrade for that reason alone before the $150 upgrade price expires Oct 31.

Another less conventional way might be to download a Demo Studio Version of Vegas. Why? Because the Studio versions of vegas contain interactive tutorials. You would learn very quickly how to get a project started. I started on the Studio version a few years ago and was quite happy for a year with it.

Welcome to Vegas! Good luck.
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Old October 22nd, 2007, 01:25 AM   #5
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Location: Aberdeenshire Scotland UK
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Thanks for the advice guys ...already I am making progress :) Good tip on the clip editing works!!! God knows how long it would have taken me to find that out by myself! I will buy the Vasst training package in UK when I am over there.

Also good feedback on the Vegas 8 tutorials. As usual, I had only bought Vegas 7 when the update came along, so wasn't sure whether upgrading was justified or not ...especially given my troubles with it to date. For me the tutorials do now justify the upgrade, so I will do that ...assuming that the online (downloadable) upgrade includes the tutorials?

For various reasons (associated with Customs & Excise) it is not feasible for me to import DVDs to Russia, but I can easily carry them into the country without any problems, so I will really need to find the Vasst DVDs when in UK ...anyone know where I can buy them over the counter (I will be in Aberdeen Glasgow and London)?

As usual, this great site and its membership has come through for me :)

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Old October 22nd, 2007, 02:02 AM   #6
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Australia
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Just keep playing with the program and you will learn. Click everything, render everything, use the effects etc....
At first it might be complex but in good time you will be zooming around it with out really thinking.

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Old October 22nd, 2007, 06:12 AM   #7
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Hi Colin,

I'm in Paisley near Glasgow Airport. I'm also an XH-A1 user editing using Vegas. Happy to help if I can!
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Old October 22nd, 2007, 09:09 AM   #8
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Location: Cincinnati, OH
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Yes the downloadable version contains the tutorials, they are not separate but are interactive. Pointers tell you which button to click on etc while you are in a project...The tutorials in the studio versions of Vegas were outstanding.
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