After a couple of controversial releases with seemingly minor visible changes (but plenty of changes under the hood adding the OpenFX API, GPU acceleration, 3D video, and compatibility with many new video formats), Sony has now released Vegas Pro 12. Version 12 has added many new usability features that users have been requesting for many years. It also has now dropped 32-bit and is now only available as a 64-bit application.
When you add your first clip onto the timeline you may very well see one of first changes – a dialog that reads “Do you want to set your project video settings to match this media?” Now you no longer need to remember to adjust your property settings when starting a new project. Just drag your first clip to the timeline and you can immediately set the project properties to match.
The Vegas Explorer screen has also had a face lift. Forward and Back buttons have been added. You can also recall CD info on this screen now. A list of favorite folders can also now be created. The Explorer window and other dockable windows have also gained new flexibility. In the image above, you can see Project Inspector, Montage Magic, Edit Details, and Video Scopes are all docked into one docking area. Now vertical docking is allowed in addition to horizontal docking. Custom Command extension positions are also now saved so they will no longer be moved to the end of the list. This simply means more flexibility in how you can create your screen layouts.
Pro 12 is also more friendly with other NLEs adding the ability to import and export other project types. You can now share files between Premiere/After Effects/Final Cut Pro and Vegas. Naturally some features won’t properly translate between NLEs but moving a base project to the other video editors will now be a much easier process.
Many usability changes are included. When adding new points on a velocity envelope, one of the options in the right-click context menu is now 0%. Previously you either had to use a script or choose “Set to…” and manually type in 0. Other newly added percentages include 50% and 200%. An “Extended Edit Mode” will allow using the keyboard. While most of this could be done in previous versions, it’s now more visible and easier to use. J & L cuts are also easily create now by simply holding down the Shift key or Ctrl-Alt-Shift and adjusting the events. You no longer have to ungroup or ignore event grouping to create the J or L cuts.
Three new effects have also been added: Lab Adjust – lets you manipulate images in LAB color space, Layer Dimensionality – lets you add depth to images and video that contain an alpha channel, and Color Match – lets you automatically match the color between clips. Pan/Crop Masks are also much easier with presets for creating square or oval/circular masks. A new “Apply to FX” option will also let you limit the mask to the effects in the effects list instead of to the entire image.
Support for additional file formats as well as better GPU support has also been added. Properties of multiple Project Media items can now be adjusted at once. Video proxies can now be automatically created for faster previews. And many other features have been tweaked. The new features have really simplified many processes and continues to make Vegas even easier to use.
About the Author
Edward Troxel owns Jetdv Scripts which writes scripts and custom commands for Sony Vegas Pro. Edward wrote the first commercial script for Sony Vegas called Excalibur which was first released in April of 2003. Since then, Edward has written many other private and commercial scripts including the recently released Montage Magic. Edward has a Vegas forum containing many “Tips, Tricks, and Scripts” newsletters explaining many techniques in Vegas. Edward also works for NewBlue, Inc, a maker of video effects, video transitions, and audio effects which work with all major NLE’s.