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Old March 3rd, 2010, 05:29 PM   #1
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Trying out Sony Movie Studio Platinum Pro

I'm doing a side-by-side comparison of Sony Movie Studio 9 and imovie 9 on my 2-year old macbook pro laptop (4 GB ram--1TB G-Raid HD). Does anyone know why the footage in the preview window for imovie 9 looks crystal-clear in all its HDV glory whereas looking at the same footage on the Windows side in Movie Studio 9 looks like VHS quality? I also note that the audio in imovie 9 is normal whereas in MS I can hear brief momentary drop-outs.

Is this to be expected of Sony Movie Studio (and I presume Vegas) and am I not to be worried when it comes time to render out to dvd?
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Old March 3rd, 2010, 06:06 PM   #2
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I should also provide this information...the preview monitor in Movie Studio says "Preview; 360x240x32" and "Project: 720x480x32" (Keep in mind I don't have a manual and am using the 30-day trial version at the present time.)
Given that I shot the HDV footage with a Sony HC-3 at 1080i, does this suggest I have something set wrong? Sorry if this is a stupid question....but the Project Media bin says the video is 1440x1080x12. Why the difference?

When I imported the same footage into imovie, I chose the "large" size used for importing 960x540 pixel resolution. It looks absolutely stunning on the mac side.
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Old March 3rd, 2010, 06:34 PM   #3
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the preview window is set up to give the maximum playback rate, NOT the maximum quality.... AND movie studio does not touch any hardware accelerating features that iMovie may be able to tap into on the mac platform. Vegas in all its variants is a CPU bound software only editing system.

You can change the playback quality from Preview, Normal, Best, etc to gain greater quality. However this may drop the framerate some to compensate.
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Old March 3rd, 2010, 06:35 PM   #4
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Coming from Vegas Pro 9, can't be sure it is exactly the same, but you should set your properties in the same as the footage you are preview. At left upper corner trying clicking on the pulldown menu, and see if a properties diaglogue can be selected, if so selected it, and then select HDV . That may give you better preview. Preview is processor intensive in Vegas and I assume the same in Movie Studio.
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Old March 3rd, 2010, 07:58 PM   #5
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Hey, that works! I went to "Properties" and found that it (or I) had selected DV for the "template." I clicked on HDV (1440x1080) to match my Sony HC-3 output and voila, the preview window and the thumbnails all look better. Still NOT the pristine quality of the mac but ALOT better than before.
As long as the blu-ray and SD dvds will look just as good as what imovie or FCP can produce, I'll be happy.

But one more question...at what stage, if ever, does one evaluate the picture for fine details when using Vegas, given that the preview monitor seems to be a weak link in the chain? Is this a matter of my getting an external monitor to use for evaluation?
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Old March 3rd, 2010, 11:31 PM   #6
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I dont' generally bump up to high quality until I"m working on color correction (aka about the last possible step).
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Old March 3rd, 2010, 11:49 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Lynne Whelden View Post
...But one more question...at what stage, if ever, does one evaluate the picture for fine details when using Vegas, given that the preview monitor seems to be a weak link in the chain? Is this a matter of my getting an external monitor to use for evaluation?
Before, during, and after editing would be my answer. You can hit the Preview - Best - Full at any time to see the full res.

I'm not sure how things run in parallels or bootcamp or whatever, but, Vegas (pro) can also preview to full-screen, either to an external monitor or to the primary monitor.

I don't agree that "the preview monitor seems to be a weak link in the chain". It is processor-bound, as noted above. This has weaknesses and strengths, but, there is always an opportunity to preview at best quality. This won't always be at full framerate, but seems to do the trick in terms of evaluating footage, trading off framerate vs. picture detail, and running on some pretty vanilla systems without hardware acceleration.
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Old March 4th, 2010, 01:24 AM   #8
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Also dont' forget that you can always render a dynamic ram preview, or a temp AVI that will stay with the project till you change anything in that loop area. That is how i preview at high quality in real time.
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Old March 4th, 2010, 07:34 AM   #9
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I can see I'm going to have to get a manual. I'm in the dark here.

So many questions...I just noticed that my screen resolution factors in here as well. Is it just personal choice as to 1920x1080 or whatever? (This is an NVIDIA system. On the mac side the screen resolution is set at 1920x1200. The image truly is stunning on that side. I literally can read the stiches on the proverbial fast ball! But on the windows side at the 1920x1080 resoution it just lacks the punch.)
Choosing "Preview"...then "Full" only seems to magnify the image but doesn't cause the window to fill the entire screen. What am I overlooking?

Incidentally, I went back to "Project Properties" and noticed a choice has to be made for "Full-resolution rendering quality." The default mode seems to be "good." Wouldn't I want to choose "best"?
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Old March 4th, 2010, 08:26 AM   #10
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I can see I'm going to have to get a manual.

Sony Creative Software - Download: Manuals

Choosing "Preview"...then "Full" only seems to magnify the image but doesn't cause the window to fill the entire screen. What am I overlooking?

Set the Preview window to Best-Full.
Assuming you don't have another monitor connected to your computer, clicking the "Video Preview on External Monitor" button (an icon at the near top left above the Preview window) may allow you to use your laptop screen for full screen preview.

Incidentally, I went back to "Project Properties" and noticed a choice has to be made for "Full-resolution rendering quality." The default mode seems to be "good." Wouldn't I want to choose "best"?

I have a quad core PC and do a lot of slide shows so mine is always set to "Best" for maximum picture quality when making DVDs.
You may also need to customize your render options so that it's set to "Best" as well as this option doesn't automatically follow through on a render.
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Old March 4th, 2010, 11:03 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Lynne Whelden View Post
Incidentally, I went back to "Project Properties" and noticed a choice has to be made for "Full-resolution rendering quality." The default mode seems to be "good." Wouldn't I want to choose "best"?
Not necessarily. In most cases "good" is fine for your render. "Best" is needed when using still images or resizing video. If you're not resizing, stick with "good". But it doesn't hurt if you want to go to "best" - you just might not GAIN any advantages depending on what you're doing.
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Old March 4th, 2010, 11:11 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Mike Kujbida View Post
You may also need to customize your render options so that it's set to "Best" as well as this option doesn't automatically follow through on a render.
I don't have Vegas Movie Studio Platinum - but in my experience with Vegas Pro, the rendering quality on an actual re-render is via a slider control in the render options for the given preset. For the DVD presets it is set to maximum by default. The full-resolution rendering quality setting applies mainly to the display and to the source input if the "Adjust source to better match project/render settings" checkbox is checked.

Last edited by Randall Leong; March 5th, 2010 at 10:51 AM.
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Old March 4th, 2010, 10:51 PM   #13
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Thanks, guys! You're the best! And Vegas is great too!
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