- 0. Introduction
1. Getting started
Sony Vegas is a video editing tool. It features a lot of effects and add-ons for both simple and complex video editing, thus is quite popular among gamers and YouTubers. More info: Vegas (video editing software) wiki. Have in mind (Sony) Vegas is not a free software!
In this guide it'll be shown how to set up basic properties, import a video, edit it and render. Let's start!
1. Getting started
Once you run Sony Vegas (after version 13 it's called just "Vegas" or "VegasPro" and is published by Magix, not Sony) you should see a screen which looks similar to this:
Then the following window pops up:
This is an example of one of my (SAMP) templates. You can adjust these settings manually or you can open existing project video properties, adjust it to your likings and then save it under any name you wish. Once you've started adjusting these properties the question is: what & how? Well, what you're interested in is this first tab as it's what actually gives the visual appearance.
Width & Height: This represents dimensions of what your final output should be. Your preview window will be set to this resolution, and it'd be good if this matched the resolution your clips are recorded on (source clips). Check your recordings folder -> right click -> Properties -> Details -> Frame width, Frame height -> these are the numbers which should be in your project media properties as well as in rendering settings (we'll come to that later on).
Frame rate: This represents fps of your video. You can check fps of your video the same way described above. Note: this is NOT your in-game fps, this represents fps of your recorded clips (most common values nowadays are 30, 50 and 60). You might play the game on 100 fps, but your footage might be written down/recorded in 50 fps.
Full resolution rendering quality: Set this to "Good" or "Best".
Start all new projects with these settings: I recommend you placing a checkmark here. I play around with different settings such as resolution and fps so I don't have this checked but if you mostly play on constant resolution and fps, I recommend you to check this.
The rest is not that importatnt, therefore leave it as it is.
Now it's time we import our media/video. Click on the icon presented below (alt. File->Open)
After you click it you'll have to locate your video. Once you do it it'll be placed on the timeline:
Note that you have the ruler - where the ruler is, so is the preview. Currently I've placed my ruler somewhere in the clip, and accodring frame has been shown in the preview. You can click the Video Preview on External Monitor icon (next to Properties above preview window) to see what your current clip looks like. We get something like this:
Note the blur, the "ghostyness". We obviously want to get rid of that to make our clips sharper and more enjoyable. That type of blur can be disabled by doing the following: right click on our (sub)clip->Switches->Disable resample, which is shown down below
and new result is:
The side-blur is now gone.
Now our video is ready for rendering (which will reduce its size), but let's demonstrate how to add some simple effects!
2.1 Basic editing
CUTTING/SPLITTING CLIPS: you can split your footage anywhere you like by marking the clip and pressing S. If you want to get rid of a part of the clip, you can of course delete it by pressing DEL.
SPEEDING UP/SLOWING DOWN: come to the edge of your (sub)clip and once your indicator changes, press & hold CTRL and drag the clip left/right. Note how dragging it left reduces the total referent time (length) of your clip, so dragging it left = speeding up.
ZOOMING IN/OUT: You can access this effect by clicking on Event Pan/Crop... in bottom right corner of your (sub)clip.
In the picture above, it's also visible what splitting & speeding up do to the timeline appearance. Speeding up shows "waves" on the (sub)clip and splitting sets the border between clips. When we click on the marked icon, the following menu appears.
We can play around with the rectangle as we like, but it's good to have a few things in mind. Of course I'd recommend you to play around these buttons a bit, but for decent video I recommend you setting it up like I did (this way there will be no black bars). Mark Lock Aspect Ratio (upper left-side corner) and Sync Cursor (bottom part, below the sub-timeline). Lock Aspect Ratio will keep Width:Height ratio constant, which will help in adjusting your zoom well. Sync Cursor is a useful thing which will sync your ruler movements (in both main and sub-timeline), which gives you a better impression of what your video looks like. With green colour, I've marked a tiny rotated square which is called keyframe. Each keyframe defines a separate position of the zoom/focus cursor!
This type of editing will zoom in to my character at the time span of 5 seconds. It will continuously zoom in from the position defined by the first keyframe (green) to the position defined by the second keyframe (blue). In case you want to zoom out or if you messed up, you can always click right click on focus-rectangle -> Restore.
FADE IN/OUT: come to the upper edge of your clip and drag the subsection which Vegas offers you. The more you drag the longer fade in/out effect will be. If you press on the tiny thing at the upper edge at the middle of the clip, you'll change the opacity of the clip.
2.2 Adding Vegas effects
Besides the basic editing, you can add Vegas' pre-defined effects. In this category you can find over 50 plug-ins (effects) and some of most popular ones are: gaussian blur, black and white, light rays etc... You can access the video FX menu by clicking the button in bottom right corner, next to zoom in/out button:
what opens is:
You can apply any effect you wish by double clicking on it or selecting the effect and pressing "Add". Have in mind that it's important to animate effects as you don't want them to take action in temrs of miliseconds. In the following example, I'll show how to use Gaussian blur effect.
First we add the effect, and we press the animate button (clock) and we add the first keyframe. Keyframe is automatically added if there's a change made to the effect, but it's also possible to add it manually by pressing + square below the sub-timeline.
Then we select the frame where we want the effect to end (or take maximum amplitude), we adjust the values and add the ending keyframe.
Now we animated blur so it arises slowly. Here's the example of a frame in between our keyframes. You can see it has soft blur which is in between blur of 0 and 0,02.
2.3 Combining multiple layers, adding a text
You can add a new layer by pressing at the left part of the screen and select Insert Video Track. Tracks in Vegas are sorted by priority! That means track with index 1 has the priority over track with lower indexes. That means if your clips overlap and if there's no transparency involved, only the first track will be shown.
We use these facts to add a description or a title to our video.
Now let's add some kind of a description/title. Drag the ruler where you want your text to appear, select the upper layer/video track (because you want the text to be OVER your clip) and press Insert->Text Media. The sub menu opens, you enter in a text, and that's it. Here's how to do it:
Simply said, rendering is a process of transforming your project to a video. You can start the rendering process by clicking File->Render As... Then a menu with various predefined templates opens, but your goal is to create your own. For SAMP videos, I recommend Sony AVC/MVC or Main Concept AVC/AAC predefined template, which is easily adjustable to our likings/needs. Choose one of those, press "Customize Template" and adjust it. Here's how to open it as well as the example of middle quality adjusted Main Concept template (which is still more than enough for YouTube):
Okay, let's take a look at a few important parametres here.
Frame size: this is the resolution/dimension of your final output video. It'd be optimal if this matched the resolution of your original footage.
Frame rate: this is the fps value of your final output video.
Bit rate: simply said, the higher the value, the better the average quality of the picture.
Once you've adjusted your parametres, you can save your template by attaching a name to it and pressing disquette button.
Later on, you'll have your rendering template saved and all you have to do is press Render and wait till it completes. The time it takes for rendering to be completed depends on your hardware.
|| Additional notes:
If you wish to publish your video to a video hosting site such as YouTube, have in mind that you can save your own time by smart choice of these parametres. Down below are some useful links regarding supported resolution, frame & bitrates on YouTube.
List of common resolutions
YouTube supported video parametres
I hope this introduction was a bit of a help if you're a Vegas beginner. Enjoy your high quality videos!