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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 18th, 2009, 09:09 PM   #1
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Vegas 8 Masking

Hi guys, something so seemingly simple has me going nuts. When creating a mask on a video clip in the the pan/crop event, the mask handles behave so unintuitively. Hopefully somebody can explain something that I am obviously missing. I create a simple square mask. Everytime I go to drag a handle or a side or try and select the entire mask I either get a point conversion to bezier, one handle gets selected but not the entire side, or whatever. Even when I right click and select all, I just get white square handles and no selection. Sometimes if I grab just above a corner I get a segment selection but it just seems like I cannot get any consistent results on something so simple. Even shift clicking multiple points does not work. Any ideas? I'm relatively new with Vegas but have been editing with Adobe Premiere for 10 years. Thanks.

Kevin
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Old May 19th, 2009, 12:56 AM   #2
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Hi Kevin, using the white selection tool with nothing selected, if you select a point it will select only that point and you move that point at the point. If you want to select two adjacent points you select the path between them, THEN MOVE BY SELECTING ONLY ONE OF THE POINTS! To select two segments you shift click between the points, but still move the entire seletion by clicking and dragging one of the selected points. If you right click you can "select all" but still have to move my clicking over a single point. So, the magic trick for selecting two or more points is to select the segments but move with the points. Trying to move on a segment will let you change the path of a segment.

Hope this helps!
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Old May 19th, 2009, 08:05 AM   #3
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How do we draw points that are aligned? I've found it extremely difficult to draw out perpendicular lines
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Old May 19th, 2009, 10:03 AM   #4
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Hi Yang

You can get the points perpendicular by matching the x position or Y position, for horizontal. Just type in equal values.
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Old May 19th, 2009, 10:10 AM   #5
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Hi Yang, the easiest way I found is to enable snapping to the grid inside the pan/crop area. Then adjust the grid spacing to the desired level of accuracy you need. Here's a helpful hit: after placing the first point stop and press the Ctrl key and click on the new point. Then move it and let it snap to the grid. Then place the second point and press the Ctrl key and click on it and make it snap to a perfect line. I guess the secret here is that the Ctrl key let's you temporarily switch fron the pen to the selection tool for putting the point where you want.

Maybe I should do a YouTube video tutorial on advanced masking in Vegas? The manual doesn't cover anything in depth and I had to futz around until I figured out how it works.
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Old May 19th, 2009, 10:26 AM   #6
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If you've got any more tips like that Ken I would certainly appreciate an advanced tut.
Brilliant.
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Old May 19th, 2009, 10:51 AM   #7
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Tech tip: discovering the power of Bézier masking is an article from Sony that does a decent job of walking you through the basics.
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Old May 19th, 2009, 12:33 PM   #8
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Hi Dugi, I think I only have one other trick up my sleeve, and I don't know if others run across this one. I often shoot against a white background in the studio and often the shots pick up whats to the left and/or right of the backdrop. It's not a problem as I can mask out what goes beyond, right?

This is where the problem comes in. When I color correct and adjust the shadow levels, the mask edges go grey instead of white. Try this: put two solid white media on tracks 1 and 2, one on top of the other. Typically the top is the video track and the bottom is the solid media. On the top "video" track cut out a mask and then add a levels plugin and slide the shadows to the right. You should see the mask edges in grey now against the white solid media track.

The only way I found to get around these imperfect mask edges is to put the video on track 2 and the white media on track 1. Then I cut the mask out of the white media (instead of the video) and use the negative mode so that it reveals what is below it. Basically, I just reversed the masking process.

That's pretty much it for my tricks. I would love to hear others chime in with cool masking tips!
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Old May 20th, 2009, 08:00 PM   #9
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Thanks guys! I'll give it a try.

Kevin
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Old May 21st, 2009, 01:18 AM   #10
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My frustrations w/ this problem led to always right clicking on the mask, & selecting "deselect path" any/every time I wanted to make a change. Once I did that, unless I blatantly choose another path/segment, I get the results I want w/ single points on the mask.

Maybe not really a solution, but consistent anyway.
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