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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 September 27th, 2009, 06:37 AM   #1
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More adventurous

I'm getting used to using Vegas Pro 9 now and getting a bit more adventurous wth some subtle effects. So far I've used Vegas 9 Pro, Final Cut Pro and Adobe Premiere. I think Vegas is way up there and seems to do anything Final Cut can.

African Adventure - Part Two

At the moment I'm just using it as a veiwing platform for my stills, until I can get enough footage together to do some more short films.
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Old September 27th, 2009, 09:38 AM   #2
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Dave, your pictures are absolutely gorgeous!!

If I may though, a few comments on the editing.
keep in mind that these are my opinions and should not be treated as anything other than that.
From the third picture onwards, it was very easy to figure out when the next shot was coming as it was on a definite pattern.
Rather than cut on a specific beat, let the image determine when the next shot should occur.
I'd do more slow zooming in or out on several of the shots.
For example, I like the slight zooms on the cheetah (?) starting around the 1 min. mark and the 1:30 mark but I'd go a bit deeper on the zoom.
It changes it from a static shot to one that implies motion.
I realize that the tempo of the music calls for cuts but I'd try some slow dissolves (1-2 sec. or more) as well.
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Old September 27th, 2009, 10:59 AM   #3
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Thanks Mike...I might have a go at that on the final one when I get to it. The zoom I'll have to play with...I was told not to go more than about 10% with that before the quality suffers.
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Old September 27th, 2009, 12:13 PM   #4
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Dave, the amount of zooming you can do depends on the size your original footage.
Since this was all stills (right?), odds are that they came from a digital still camera and are probably at least 3,000 x 2,000 pixels in size.
The YouTube video was only 1280 x 720 and, if this is ultimately going to an SD DVD, you're limited to 720 x 576 for PAL.
Therefore, you have LOTS of room to zoom.
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Old September 28th, 2009, 01:30 AM   #5
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Great pictures, Dave. Enjoyed the music too.

Picking up on a point that Mike makes, these days I always take a stills photographer on location shoots with me (actually he also sets up my lights and sound, so this isn't as extravagant as it first appears!). He is instructed to take pictures of anything and everything in the vicinity, starting with whatever it is I am shooting, followed by anything else that takes his interest.

The reason I do this is that sometimes his stills are more usable than my video (for a start, the stills camera means he can get into much less accessible situations and therefore can get more interesting shots). It's also an awful lot easier for him to get a decent depth of field instantly, rather than waiting for me to mess around with my 1/3" CCDs!

In post, I can zoom in quite a long way because his stills are 3888 x 2592. I've become quite adept at making stills look like video footage, using subtle zooms and pans and mixing them with live action footage. With a little colour correction, my customers can't tell the difference. It's a great thing to have up ones sleeve.
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Old September 28th, 2009, 11:56 AM   #6
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Drop some of the jump cuts and use some dissolves. Cutting to the beat should be used intermittently for much greater effect. As you have it now, it becomes old quickly. Very nice photos. With video/film straight cuts are fine, but with stills you do need some dissolves, usually.
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Old September 29th, 2009, 08:53 AM   #7
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Thanks guys...I'll take these all this onboard when I do the final version in the near future.

Mike & Ian they were actually about the limit for Vegas which I think is 4000 x 2700 or thereabouts, so as you said I have plenty of room to zoom. I'll play around with this a bit more.

Ian how do you pan with stills? That's one I haven't tried yet! Are there any other effects I can try?

Thanks

Dave
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Old September 29th, 2009, 09:08 AM   #8
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Dave, panning and zooming is best done with the 'pan and crop' tool that you can see in the right hand side of every clip on the timeline above the effects button (if the clip is displayed wide enough, that is - if not, right click and select pan/crop from the context menu).

Basically you set a keyframe up at the start of the clip (for example) with the pan/crop 'window on the image' in position A, then place a keyframe at the end of the clip with the window at position B. Subtle moves are often better than wild jerks, and you can control this by using smooth or slow keyframes, not moving the 'window' too much, and not having the keyframes too close together.

That's for panning. To zoom, you just change the size of the 'window'. Again, subtle is best, unless you're looking for a dramatic effect.

In both cases, make sure you keep the aspect ratio icon selected (is it called 'maintain aspect ratio? Not sitting in front of Vegas so I can't check, sorry), otherwise you'll distort your images.

Play around with pan/crop. Lots of fun!
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Old September 29th, 2009, 10:20 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian Stark View Post
In both cases, make sure you keep the aspect ratio icon selected (is it called 'maintain aspect ratio? Not sitting in front of Vegas so I can't check, sorry), otherwise you'll distort your images.
When you're in Pan/Crop, right-click in the centre of the window and select "Match Output Aspect".
This compensates for the square vs. rectangular pixel issue.

Quote:
Play around with pan/crop. Lots of fun!
I do a lot of slide shows and I agree wholeheartedly :-)
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Old September 29th, 2009, 10:25 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Kujbida View Post
When you're in Pan/Crop, right-click in the centre of the window and select "Match Output Aspect".
Ah yes, forgot to mention that, thanks Mike. Actually, though, I was thinking of the two little icons, one called 'size about centre' and the other called [insert icon name here]!
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Old September 29th, 2009, 10:28 AM   #11
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Ah yes, forgot to mention that, thanks Mike. Actually, though, I was thinking of the two little icons, one called 'size about centre' and the other called [insert icon name here]!
No problem Ian :-)
I believe "Lock Aspect Ratio" is the other icon.
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Old September 29th, 2009, 12:00 PM   #12
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That's the one! Thanks again Mike :-).

One other thing that I think can look fantastic is if you combine pan/crop with 3d track motion. I use it occasionally when I want a 'virtual camera' to soar over an image. It looks particularly effective when used on a screen capture. I used this technique briefly when putting together a tutorial recently for a well known Vegas fx developer.
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Old September 29th, 2009, 01:20 PM   #13
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That's brilliant thanks guys. I know what I'll be playing around with this weekend. I'll let you know how it goes.

Thanks again

Dave
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