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Glenn DeLaune takes a look at Vegas 4 Editing Workshop

COW Library : MAGIX Vegas : Glenn DeLaune : Glenn DeLaune takes a look at Vegas 4 Editing Workshop
Glenn DeLaune takes a look at Vegas 4 Editing Workshop
A Creative COW "Real World" Book Review


Glenn DeLaune takes a look at Vegas 4 Editing Workshop

Glenn DeLaune Glenn DeLaune
Extreme Video Productions
Lafayette, Louisiana, USA

© 2003 Glenn DeLaune and CreativeCOW.net. All rights are reserved.


Article Focus:
Videographer Glenn DeLaune takes a look at Vegas 4 Editing Workshop by Douglas Spotted Eagle and concludes "...This book is a must have for anybody that owns Sony Vegas 4 editing software. From the beginner to the master, Douglas Spotted Eagle uncovers many secrets and tricks you can use on your next video editing job. Whether you are a video hobbyist or a full-time editor, if you are using Vegas 4, get this book. It will definitely be a good investment." This book is published by CMP Books and is part of their DV Expert Series.


Click here to order Vegas 4 Editing Workshop from amazon.comAbout the author: Douglas Spotted Eagle is a multi-talented award winning recording artist. He has worked on numerous film productions and has also performed with the likes of Willie Nelson and Kenny Rogers, just to name a few.


Being a user of Sonic Foundry (now Sony) products for years, I thought I knew my way around Vegas 4 fairly well. After reading this book and actually going through the sample exercises, I realized that I had only scratched the surface of what this amazing piece of software can do. In this review I will briefly go through the book and point out some of the highlights.


Layout:
Vegas 4 Editing Workshop is written very well. In the first two chapters Douglas touches on what type of computer system is required for today’s video editing and even gives you the basics behind the DV format. There is also a ton of information on how to put together a system that can be used for video editing and multi-track audio recording. The rest of the book is all about Vegas. There is even a chapter on DVD Architect. Vegas 4 Editing Workshop takes you from the basics of getting started, all the way through to the final output of your project. Accompanying the book is a CD-ROM that includes sample media, veg files and other programs you can use with Vegas. You can follow along with the exercises in the book and really understand what you are doing.

Let’s Dive In: A very nice forward written by Rudy Sarzo was impressive. Douglas Spotted Eagle definitely gives credit where credit is due. Chapter one is very important as it covers all of the hardware necessary for video editing and multi-track audio recording. I found this chapter very informative. Chapter two explains the basics of the DV format and screen sizes, resolutions, etc.

Getting Started: Chapters three through six completely cover the editing process in Vegas 4. From the installation of the program, to the capturing of your video and using transitions, filters and other add-ons to edit your video. After going through the tools and basics of the program in chapter three, I was surprised at how much I didn’t know about Vegas 4. Sure, I read the manual when I first installed the program, but for some reason it just wasn’t as easy to understand as it is here in this book. Douglas’ writing style is concise and “to the point”, not confusing as some manuals can be. Although I have been capturing my video successfully for a few years I was amazed at all of the options available today for the capturing process. Some of you may want to use new or alternative capture methods. This is all discussed in chapter four. Vegas 4 Editing Workshop is a great book to have simply because it is the most informative source on a program that has world-class potential in an ever increasingly competitive NLE market.

Chapter 5 covers transitions and filters that are free with Vegas. Included on the CD-ROM are demos and full programs of filters and transitions that can be installed and used within Vegas. In this chapter there is also a great keyframe example veg file. You can open the file right from the CD-ROM and learn all about keyframing.

Working with plug-ins in Vegas is covered in chapter 6. I was exited to learn that there are many powerful plug-ins and add-ons available for use with Vegas 4. You will also find demo versions of some plug-ins on the CD-ROM. Pixelan Spicefilters looks like a great plug-in to add to your editing tool box. These transitions and filters can take your editing to another level.

In chapter 7 Douglas covers all you need to know about audio tools in Vegas. Included in this chapter is information on creating a basic setup for multi-track recording and mixing of audio. Dolby 5.1 setups are also discussed. I found this section very interesting and it de-mystified the whole subject for me. I will soon be converting to a 5.1 mixing setup and by reading this section I was able to make some clear educated decisions as to what I will need for this configuration in my studio. Vegas 4 includes a ton of audio effects that Douglas covers in detail. He also suggests other add-on Direct-X plug-ins that might be useful to you (some of which are found on the CD-ROM in demo form). I was also happy to find audio test tones and other test media on the disc which were very useful in checking the overall sound quality of my own speaker setup.

Compositing in Vegas 4: Chapter 8 covers compositing in Vegas 4, from simple text overlays to the most complex montage of images. You are only limited by your imagination here (and computer processing power). I have found that when it comes to compositing, if you can learn to think “outside the box” you can create some very interesting looking compositing effects that can rival some Hollywood movie production. While reviewing this book I was also in the middle of editing a long form hunting video. After going through this section on compositing and layering I actually had to go back to the beginning of the hunting video and re-edit the opening titles using tricks I learned here. The opening titles of that hunting video are some of my best work to date.

Color Correction: This subject is thoroughly covered in chapter 9. Vegas 4 has some very powerful color correcting tools. You will actually learn how to manipulate the color of your video and still images. These techniques can be used as special effects or to fix the color of video that may have been taped in bad lighting situations. There are also explanations on how to make your DV footage look more “film-like”.

Chapter 10 covers the streaming media tools included with Vegas. It was a treat for me to learn the tips and techniques of compressing video and audio from Douglas, who is known for his compression and mastering techniques. He uncovers many of the mysteries of compressing your media for delivery on the net. It’s nice to know that I have all of the information I need to make my next internet based video the clearest ever. You will find many tips on how to get the most out of the compression process so your video will be as clear as possible when being viewed over the internet.

DVD Architect: This program is covered in chapter 11. It was designed to work in conjunction with Vegas 4 or be used all on it’s own to author DVD content. You will learn how this program works from the beginning stages of DVD authoring to the most advanced stages of titling, chapter/scene selection and 5.1 audio options that are available on DVD media.

The Final Chapter: Chapter 12 is the final chapter and the one I found most interesting. It covers every aspect of outputting your final video to the desired media. There are some rendering options here and Douglas goes through them all, giving you all the particulars on each level of the output process. Coming from the “audio side” I found the section on Mastering in this chapter most useful. With a clear understanding of all the options available to you as they are explained here, your next final project will be better than your last. High-Definition video and scripting are also covered in depth in this chapter. Finally, the book closes with eight full pages of keyboard shortcut commands that are sure to make your next editing job faster, easier and more enjoyable.




Conclusion: Vegas 4 Editing Workshop is a must have for anybody that owns Sony Vegas 4 editing software. From the beginner to the master, Douglas Spotted Eagle uncovers many secrets and tricks you can use on your next video editing job. Whether you are a video hobbyist or a full-time editor, if you are using Vegas 4, get this book. It will definitely be a good investment.

Cow Rating: 4.75
The reason for the .25 deduction is because there were a couple of typos and some missing and miss-named media on the CD-ROM. The greenscreen.avi was missing and a few files had -1 added to the end of the file name. There were also two veg files missing from the disc.




Glenn DeLaune
Extreme Video Productions
http://www.extremevideopro.com






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