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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 May 9th, 2008, 01:12 PM   #16
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unlimited tracks & video scopes for the win

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Originally Posted by Matthew Harris View Post
...way too many differences to mention between the pro and the home "lite" versions... check the sony site for the compare chart...but just one example is you have unlimited tracks in pro version and you are limited to just a handful of tracks in home version...i could not work with a limited track number...

http://www.sonycreativesoftware.com/vegaspro/compare
My last project had around 38 tracks (video & audio) because some media files needed specific track level real-time effects (I only have 4 video tracks, the rest were audio). If one track needed filter A set to "X" then more than likely the next clip needed a slightly different value for X, so it went onto another track.

The Video scopes are where you move from "home video" to pro productions. Once you hit color correction and you need to "crush" your black levels or "blow out" the whites, you won't know if you are doing it consistently just by looking unless you can see the scopes and make sure your whites are touching 100IRE.... etc etc.

Pro is absolutely where it is at. I told a friend who was looking to cut DVDs for her husband's football teams (high school coach) to just get Movie Studio. She is a school teacher, and no offense to teachers, limited technically. But it clicked instantly and she was able to do everything she needed (this is after trying Windows Movie Maker, iMovie on a friends system, Liquid, and some other low end thing).

When I started using Vegas (back when 6 just came out), I downloaded the demo for 6 and immediately knew I didn't want the "studio" version. Pro has scripting which makes life so much easier (batch rendering, or scripts to swap two events, etc etc).

I'm not completely sure if the Studio or Platinum version have parent track movements, etc. If so, then they might be able to do this. Everything here is 100% done in Vegas 6. If this is something you want to do, then you might consider the Pro version. multitrack, compositing & track level movement, etc.

Last edited by Jason Robinson; May 9th, 2008 at 01:19 PM. Reason: add link
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Old May 9th, 2008, 06:24 PM   #17
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I was a heavy user of Vegas Movie Studio (VMS) and just recently switched to Vegas Pro (VP). You can do amazing things in VMS, but it gets a little confining if you want to use multiple cameras and have layered titles. If you are just shooting with one camera and have simple title, you can do nice layered effects in VMS and will likely be very happy.

If you are doing larger projects and want to organize your work using many tracks (lots of window-in-window; layers of music; layers of titles, multiple camerasl....) you will find VP a good value and very capable.

I think VMS is in a different class than the other home-type editors; much better than the Pinnacle and ULEAD products I used before VMS. I like Vegas even better now that my projects have gotten more complex and I sometimes use 10 - 20 tracks to keep things organized.
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Old May 10th, 2008, 12:23 PM   #18
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I just started using Studio Platinum 8 (trial version) a few days ago. Captured with no problems from Canon HV10. It's fun reading through all the tutorials, learning all the icons,....I'm pretty sure I'm gonna buy the full version once the trial period is over. So far so good. I do have 1 question: If I understand it correctly, when Vegas imports HDV raw footage, it converts the footage to m2t format, right? Is that a Vegas proprietary codec? All the editing is done in m2t?

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Old May 10th, 2008, 12:57 PM   #19
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I do have 1 question:
Actually you have 3 questions. ;-)

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Originally Posted by Norris Combs View Post
If I understand it correctly, when Vegas imports HDV raw footage, it converts the footage to m2t format, right?
No there is no conversion. Vegas is copying the digital file from the tape in your camera to your hard drive unaltered. It is just like copying a file from one hard drive to another. Bit-for-bit it's the same data that's on the tape.

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Is that a Vegas proprietary codec?
No. The m2t format is an MPEG2 Transport Stream that is created by your camera. Vegas does nothing to it. What ever your camera manufacture encodes is what Vegas sees.

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Originally Posted by Norris Combs View Post
All the editing is done in m2t?
Yes it can be if you have a powerful enough computer to edit the stream. Because MPEG2 uses a long Group of Pictures (GOP) format, each fame is not stored it its entirety. Most are deltas that need to be rebuilt from the other frames. Because if this, viewing one frame involves decoding several others. Like I said, it takes a powerful computer to do this smoothly.

~jr
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Old May 10th, 2008, 01:09 PM   #20
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It seems like .m2t can be edited straight in the timeline on most systems with dual processors somewhere over 2GHz, 2.5 being better. Load up on the RAM, 2GB at least, 4GB better. Also use two hard drives, one for OS and another for the project files. A decent graphics card helps things a bit, but you don't have to go high end. A 8500GTS or 8600GTS or something akin to them is adequate and can be had under $100.

All those can be had on a pretty modest system. A big help is a large screen and/or a dual screen. In VMS you can only have 4 video and 4 audio tracks (which is plenty for a lot of great work) so you can put your preview screen on the bottom. An extra screen is great for putting your media files to the side so you can pick and choose with ease. It can even be a small 17" screen or something, but it will really help. If you go to Vegas Pro you'll probably want to move the preview to the 2nd screen and use the primary purely for tracks. Just realize that if you blow your preview screen up too big it can really slow things down.
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Old May 10th, 2008, 01:46 PM   #21
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Thanks John and Roger,

I think my PC can handle editing in m2t, just built it a couple weeks ago (Q6600 quad core, 8800 GTS, 2 hd 750 GB each, 4GB RAM,....). But, is that the most efficient (best) way to edit? What other choices do I have? Suppose I had a "weaker" PC and can't handle editing in m2t, what would I need to do? I've been recommended to buy Cineform to use along with Vegas? Will that add any benefit to my project, considering I'm a total newbie at this video editing thing?
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Old May 10th, 2008, 03:17 PM   #22
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Evidently you can use "proxy" files to edit, but I've never figured it out or needed to. I'll let the experts chime in on this one.
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Old May 11th, 2008, 08:12 AM   #23
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I think my PC can handle editing in m2t, just built it a couple weeks ago (Q6600 quad core, 8800 GTS, 2 hd 750 GB each, 4GB RAM,....).
Oh, that will do quite nicely. ;-)

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Originally Posted by Norris Combs View Post
But, is that the most efficient (best) way to edit? What other choices do I have? Suppose I had a "weaker" PC and can't handle editing in m2t, what would I need to do?
You could edit with proxies as Roger pointed out. What you would do is render your footage to DV Widescreen and edit with that. When you are done, you replace the proxies with the real media. This can be tedious if you have lots of files. With the Pro version of Vegas you can use a script to automate this process but Movie Studio doesn't support scripts.

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I've been recommended to buy Cineform to use along with Vegas? Will that add any benefit to my project, considering I'm a total newbie at this video editing thing?
Vegas ships with the Cineform codec so I wouldn't be too quick to buy the standalone Cineform product unless you plan to capture directly to Cineform. Cineform is great if you are going to do a lot of post production work because you can move files between applications more easily and not loose any quality when re-rendering to add FX. For example, Boris FX can't open M2T files so you have to render to Cineform to use any of the Boris engines. I find that Ultra 2 works better with Cineform files than M2T files (in fact I could never get it to work with M2T files even though they were supported). But you can just render your M2T files to Cineform within Vegas without having to buy Cineform.

The only reason you would buy Cineform is if you want to capture directly to Cineform AVI's (to save time of rendering later) or if you wanted to use the 24p capability of Cineform. If you have a Sony camera that shoots CineFrame24 (like the Z1/FX1/A1, etc.) Cineform will convert that into true 24p footage. Otherwise you can render to Cineform right from Vegas because you already have the codec.

~jr
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Old May 11th, 2008, 08:38 AM   #24
 
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Vegas 8b has a chronic problem dropping frames from m2t files coming from my HD110. I'm not the only one expereiencing dropped frames from m2t. The only working solution, I've found, is to use Cineform intermediate before ever importing to Vegas.
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