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Sony Vegas Pro 9

COW Library : Sony Vegas : Jim Harvey : Sony Vegas Pro 9
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CreativeCOW presents Sony Vegas Pro 9 -- Sony Vegas Review


New York City New York USA

©2009 CreativeCOW.net. All rights reserved.


In this article, CreativeCOW's Jim Harvey takes a look the new release of Vegas Pro 9 and determines ...This is one of the most comprehensive editing suites out there and certainly the most comprehensive version of VEGAS to be released.



One of the things that I like about the Sony Vegas series is that they don't rush out and release new versions willy nilly. A version will come out and as people use it and feedback is received, updates will be issued to enhance or correct things in that particular release. All the while, the engineers and coders are working on the next version based on industry events and user input. The evolution of feature sets in Sony Vegas has been extremely timely and cohesive.

The new release,  VEGAS PRO 9 offers a host of new features starting out with the most obvious, the user interface. The interface opens with a darker palette (the previous version was a lighter color which many people changed  manually to lessen eyestrain and be more neutral in a darkened edit suite). While I personally didn't find the older colors to be bothersome, I must admit to liking the new look. On my 24" monitor, this color scheme seems to work nicely.

The new interface has a darker screen that is more neutral and easier on the eyes.
Fig. 1. The new interface has a darker screen that is more neutral and easier on the eyes.

There are also a couple of new layout options that have been added to customize the setup depending on the task at hand. Audio Mixing and Color Correction are specifically targeted at those tasks. Additionally, as always, you can further customize your layout to reflect your workflow preferences and save that scheme.

Custom Layouts for Audio Mixing (above) and Color Correction (below) simplify workflow.
Fig. 2. Custom Layouts for Audio Mixing (above) and Color Correction (below) simplify workflow.


Color Correction Layout allows the use of a full range of Tools such as Vectorscope, Waveform, Histogram and more.
Fig. 3. Color Correction Layout allows the use of a full range of Tools such as Vectorscope, Waveform, Histogram and more.

There are numerous smaller enhancements to navigation and workflow methodology that while in and of themselves aren't earth shaking, do make for a more streamlined workflow and create an easier user interface for editing tasks. Using certain keyboard combinations in conjunction with the mouse, you can pick different edit tools on the fly.

Those that use the Sony XDCAM EX and AVCHD formats will find that the new device explorer window will allow them to rapidly view and selectively import files directly to the timeline without the need for conversion. This gives a big boost time wise for the editor under pressure of deadlines. The clean interface also makes a big difference in working with these files.

In the other direction, users of VEGAS PRO 9 can now capture video from an SDI source directly to an XDCAM Compatible MXF file.  These files follow the XDCAM standard and are easily archived or used on the Vegas timeline immediately. It is enhancements such as this that clearly indicate that Sony is committed to future development of the VEGAS PRO series NLE. Their ability to keep abreast of new innovation and implement it in their software speaks well of their direction and should give users or potential users that extra bit of comfort to know that their edit software isn't going to be abandoned or left to languish. Right there is the price if admission in my opinion.

I'm not an audio guy and I rarely have to sync audio to video, but I can tell you that the audio guys that I do know all love the ability of Vegas to sync up audio precisely. The Non-Quantize edit option makes it a simple matter to place audio exactly where the editor wants it without having to fiddle around when trying to sync audio to various video events.

Probably one of the bigger additions is VEGAS PRO 9's ability to natively process and work with RED ONE(TM) r3d files. Support for all frame rates and resolutions is built in and the complete editing process can be accomplished from the VEGAS timeline. Red files can be layered out and exported to Open EXR or DPX format for transfer to a film printer or other graphics based process.  If you shoot in 4K, VEGAS PRO 9 can handle those projects as well. Coupled with BLUR-RAY Disc Authoring (TM) VEGAS PRO 9 can easily fit into any broadcast production work.

What's more is that support for those formats is already onboard as well as support for Microsoft HD Photo gives you as an editor to have more freedom to work with color correction and effects. With the added large image support, huge images are no longer a problem (gigapixel resolution). This is extremely important with the advent of today's megapixel cameras to be able to work with very large images affords the editor with more flexibility in creating sequences, cropping without the loss of resolution in HD projects and targeting the exact portion of the image that is needed. With the new functionality, it is unlikely that you will be able to feed VEGAS PRO 9 and image that it can't process.

Hi resolution Photos are easily handled in VEGAS PRO 9.
Figure 4. Hi resolution Photos are easily handled in VEGAS PRO 9.

Being able to tightly crop high resolution images with no loss of quality is a big bonus for editors when doing pan and scan work.
Fig. 5. Being able to tightly crop high resolution images with no loss of quality is a big bonus for editors when doing pan and scan work.

The new Starburst Filter make adding highlights to some footage one click simple.
Fig. 6.  The new Starburst Filter make adding highlights to some footage one click simple.

Effects have also been enhanced with six new lighting effects. Glint, Rays, DeFocus, Starburst, Fill Light, and Soft Contrast are self explanatory and can bring up marginal footage to express more depth and feeling. Keyframing these effects can add subtle or not so subtle effects to your footage.  Not having to rely on third party packages makes your edit that much faster as you can work directly inside VEGAS PRO 9 to get the results you need. You can refer to their website for a demonstration of the new plug-ins so you can see for yourself how effective these new tools can be for your project. Check this link: http://www.sonycreativesoftware.com/vegaspro9/lightingeffects

If you've followed my evolution with Vegas then you know that I am an enthusiastic supporter (actually a convert if the truth be told) of the software. I enjoy seeing this amazing piece of software evolve and improve with each new version. I know that there are still those who may be skeptical of the ability of VEGAS to operate in a professional environment or to deliver results on a par with other well known applications. To those unfortunate few, I can only say that ignorance is curable, stupidity is permanent. Sony VEGAS PRO 9 should get 5 cows simply for being as good as it is and as affordable as it is. If you are thinking of buying for the first time, upgrading or changing systems, you owe it to yourself to take a close look at what is offered in VEGAS PRO 9. You will be assured of a sophisticated package that will handle everything that you can serve it and never hiccup. If you're a beginner, this package is simple enough to get you started on the RIGHT path in terms of editing procedures and project construction. If you are an established professional, give this package a look and shake the dust out of your head and see where you can improve your workflow dramatically while delivering exceptional quality in a finished product. That translates into more money for you and happier clients which translates into more work for you, see the progression?

Just listing the supported formats will take a couple of paragraphs, but it's well worth it to mention. Here goes:

VEGAS PRO 9 will open AA3, AAF, AIF, ASF, AU, AVI, BMP, BWF, CDA, DIG, DLZ, DPX, DV, EXR, FLAC, GIF, HDP, IVC, JPG, M2T, M2TS, MOV, Sony MXF, MP3, MP4, M4A, MPEG-1 and MPEG-2 VIDEO, OGG, OPMA, PCA, PNG, PSD, QT, R3D, SFA, SND, SWF3, TIFF, TGA, VOX, W64, WAV, WDP, WMA, and WMV. There are formats there that I've never heard of, but if YOU use them then your day is complete.

Vegas will save to the following formats:

AA3, AC3, AIF, ATRAC, AVC, AVI, DPX, EXR, FLAC, HDP, MOV, MP3, MPEG-1 and MPEG-2 video, M2T, Sony MXF, OGG, PCA, RM, W64, WAV, WMA, and WMV.

That pretty much covers anything that you are likely to encounter, and VEGAS PRO 9 will encode those formats perfectly every time.

The Package also includes Sony DVD Architect 5.0 Pro which is an effective DVD Authoring Tool. Additionally, Sony now offers a Seminar Series which is a professional training set that will help new users (and older hands too) get the most out of Vegas PRO 9. In addition to the training, the VEGAS PRO PRODUCTION ASSISTANT is also available. The Production Assistant increases the functionality of the VEGAS PRO software. Using the production assistant enables you to automate repetitive processes to help you save time with your project. You can customize the process to suit your preferences and add watermarks, program id bugs, envelopes and batch processes.


Conclusion:

This is one of the most comprehensive editing suites out there and certainly the most comprehensive version of VEGAS to be released. The question that I get most from users is "Is it worth it for me to upgrade from PRO 8 to PRO 9? My answer is a qualified Yes. If you plan to work with current formats, have clients who are using the RED ONE(TM), need to work with a variety of formats, then I think that you would be foolish NOT to upgrade your existing package. At the price point currently available on the street, this is just too good a deal to pass up.

5 cows for the extraordinary functionality, all the enhancements, ease of use and price point.








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  Sony Vegas Tutorials   •   Sony Vegas Forum
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Re: Sony Vegas Pro 9
by Sam Meddaka
I was leaning towards FCP but after trying Sony Vegas 9 and Sound Forge 10 for four days now, I had a 360 change of mind. Vegas is an amazing and stable software capable of doing whatever I want it to do. Your review and a few others were enough to seal the deal for me. I just can imagine the editing posibilities for Vegas 9 if coupled with Geoforce Quadro FX 4800 video card. Any thoughts in that regard?
concerns on 9 pro
by greg gustin
am using the trial
cannot import *.ifo (as I could in version 9 and 9 platinum)

why not? or if yes, then how?
and why no render to flv??? for simple web posting?
Magic Bullet?
by James Baker
I am wondering if Vegas Pro 9 comes with the full Magic Bullet Looks plug-in??? Also, can you burn AVCHD discs on a regular DVD??? Any info is greatly appreciated!
suported formats you said m2t, and m2ts, what about mts
by Shawn Bossick
my panasonic records in AVCHD the files come off the camera as .MTS, I've been on vegas for 6 years, personally like it, just bought my new AVCHD panasonic camera, vegas works with my MTS files, but not smooth, I curently have a 3 gig HRz dual core processor, 4 gigs of ram, 1333 fsb, and windows xp 32 bit, I did not see on your list that vegas works with AVCHD .MTS, was thinking I am going to have to buy a quad core, 8 gigs of ram and a 64 bit operating system, will this work with my brand new Panasonic HMC 150 smooth, like I said now it works but very jumpy, PLEASE HELP
THANK YOU
When's the Vegas 9 Patch coming?
by Tom Fiorini
Jim:

I recently learned the hard way about the glitch in Vegas 9, in which it won't re-load my copied titles and backgrounds from one instance to another. Any info on when this is going to be fixed?

Thanks~
Vegas 9 upgrade value
by Howard Batt
Gee Frank, I hope you took advantage of the trial. It sure sounds like Vegas is not for you. Me? I love it. Especially Vegas 9 Pro. Works wonderfully, it's fast, it's easy to use and makes magic everytime.

Jim Harvey's look at Vega Pro 9
by Frank Schonlau
To my opinion the "bang for the buck" is miniscule. If you don't own a Red One, and who does, it's wasted money. It is a joke to comment on a background colour change from white to grey as one major improvement. Sound like $100 for one RGB value changed.

I find it disturbing that Sony's Vegas Pro 9 neglects downward compatibility as I happen to have 1 TB of DV AVI type I footage. Vegas Pro cannot handle the audio!

Maybe I'm a little old fashioned, but for a programme with that price tag I expect a printed manual.

Regards,

Frank
Sony Vegas Pro: Sony Vegas
by Frank Schonlau
Well gentleman, I'm sorry but I can't tune in with your glorification of Vegas Pro 9. That truly sounds too much of a marketing hype.

If you are not into the newest and hottest cameras, than there's not much more than a change from white to grey? Wow!

Before we praise Sony for introducing access to newest gadgets, what about very basic interests. Apart from owning an AVCHD camera I have 1 TB footage from my previous DV camera which doesn't work with Vegas Pro because AVI DV type I is not supported. And that shouldn't be a big deal. I've spent ages with Sony's support line and they don't appear to care about that format. Of course it's not impossible to convert AVI DV from type I to type II, but wat's the problem for Sony to implement this?

Another point is that a programme of this kind and withthis prive tag should have a proper printed manual. Remember just a few years ago the really neat manual you got with the purchase of Ulead Media Studio Pro? That was an editing programme that offered a whole lot more than Sony does today. Okay, the Ulead audio was rubbish, but all the extras make Vegas Pro look meager. And it surely didn't get any better with version 9.

But let's get back to Vegas Pro 9. We normal users now have a grey screen. For 100 bucks. Oh yes and the DVD architect as bonus. That's it? How about a free upgrade from version 8? The "bang for the buck" for upgrading from version 8 to 9 is miniscule.

Editing P2 footage
by Jim Harvey
I recommend using RAYLIGHT to convert your P2 footage in order to edit in Vegas;

http://www.dvfilm.com/raylight/

It's well designed, works flawlessly and has excellent customer support. It is what I used when I owned my P2 camera.

While Vegas will open Sony MXF Files, I did not try it wiht a Panasonic MXF file as I did not have access to a P2 camera at the time. I should have pointed that out in the article. However, using RAYLIGHT, you can have a workflow that is virtually seamless. IT's a well established program and I have never see it exhibit any problems.
Sony Vegas and HVX200 P2 media
by Josh Bowren
We also shoot in Panasonic HVX200 as well. There is a very solid, worry free plug-in called Raylight.

http://dvfilm.com/raylight/ultra/index.htm

For $150, this little guy runs in the background, you'll never know it is there and magically allows Vegas to read Panasonic MXF. The footage looks beautiful. Then just output to what ever HD, SD or web files you need.

Note: Raylight has had trouble with video preview when set to draft on my system. I didn't really matter preview and full resolutions frame rates were fine.

Welcome to Vegas, keep digging around the software. I edit on Final Cut for the local news. I like Final Cut a lot, but I am always running back to Vegas to edit my freelance jobs. I have yet to find anything another edit platform will do that Vegas won't.

Soap Box:
I have also editing R3d files from the RED camera. WOW !!! Bing Bing Bing. This is where Vegas will take over the world. I took the files from the camera, dropped on to a 4k time line and edited away. My computer bogged down a bit (it was only a dual core) but I could edit just fine. I know the end product would be fine. Not to bash Final Cut, but working with Quicktime proxies and converting EDLs later. No good. When I was done in Vegas, I output to DPX for Digital Cine and I was done !!!

Josh Bowren
@Josh Bowren
by Ralph McCarron
I used Vegas 9 for a 20 minute short with RedONE 4k no problem. I have Vegas 11 - 64 bit and I am doing a 90 minute feature. I have all of the clips imported into bins by Scene number. Vegas crashes on me every 15 minutes?? I can find a solution? I have an i7 Intel 3.20GHz with 12 gigs of ram?

@Ralph McCarron
by Luis Cosme
That is horrible my friend. I feel for you. I would uninstall the whole thing and re-install first, tho I'm no expert, but what Operating System are you using?
Sony Vegas Pro 9 and P2 Footage
by Luis Cosme
I went from Final Cut Pro on a mac to Premiere on a PC almost a year ago and though I still have both systems, I recently edited an entire music video on Vegas and I have to say... With a quick reading of the "quick start" in no time I was navigating and felt comfortable with the Vegas interface to the point where I actually like it a lot! Specially that little window that opens up and lets you do camera pans key-framed with such ease! (I love that feature)I also love the way the transitions and effects are laid out. It takes a lot of the guessing and "try this one and see what it does" out which is great. The only thing is..... I shoot most of my stuff with my HVX200A on P2 Cards. I understand that in Vegas there is no drag and drop or direct import possible. Can someone comment on that?


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