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Vegas Pro 9 Editing Workshop
By Douglas Spotted Eagle
Focal PressCopyright © 2010 Elsevier Inc.
All right reserved.
Chapter OneGetting Started with Vegas
Installing Vegas is no different from loading any application, but certain settings, steps, and habits can make operating Vegas more pleasant and efficient.
Before loading Vegas, make sure that any installed antivirus software has been temporarily disabled. If a great deal of editing is to be done on this machine, it's worth considering building a separate user profile that keeps antivirus off at all times during the capture, editing, rendering, and printing-to-tape processes. Antivirus applications are notorious for stealing system resources and for popping up when least wanted.
Vegas may be installed either from a boxed-product DVD or from a downloaded executable file. If Vegas is being loaded from a DVD that came in a box, place the DVD into the DVD drive, close it, and follow the instructions as they appear on the computer screen. The Vegas installation starts automatically unless this feature has been disabled in the Control Panel.
Before you install Vegas 9, it will require that you update Windows XP. You'll need to load up the . NET 3.0 update, and you'll also need to install DirectX 9. Vegas 9 will not install unless these two steps are completed. Both are available from the Microsoft Website. If you're using an operating system newer than XP (Vista or Windows 7, for example), .NET 3.0 is already installed.
Complete the instructions given by Vegas's installation dialog box. Vegas may be installed to any drive; it's generally best to install to the C:\ (or boot) drive, unless the application will be used on a network boot. (Special licensing is required to run Vegas on multiple machines at one time; with network rendering this restriction will be important to observe.)
When installing Vegas Pro 9, you'll note that by default Vegas will not install the Media Manager. You may or may not want to install this tool. The Media Manager is exceptionally useful for long-form projects or for workflows that use stock media or require access to similar media throughout the project.
Register Vegas when prompted to do so; by registering, you'll be notified of product updates via email and receive other important information related to Sony Vegas Pro software.
You may register via the Internet, telephone, or another computer. Registration also gives users 60 days of free technical support and special discounts on new products.
The Basic Tools in Vegas
When Vegas launches for the first time, it's a blank screen with no media in it and it makes no assumptions about how the user will be editing with Vegas.
The three primary levels at which audio, video, stills, and graphics are edited and processed are as follows:
Event. Can be viewed as an individual piece of media on a track. Many events can be on a single track.
Track. A single line on a project Timeline, on which all events are placed. A project can have multiple tracks.
Project. The culmination of all tracks that contain events. (Filters may be inserted into the Project media in addition to the previously listed Timeline options.)
These terms are used throughout this book and the Vegas owner's manual.
Track Control Pane
The Track Control pane is where track names are listed and track-focused effects are added. Users can also define special behaviors of the individual track, such as routing to external audio cards for sound control/mixing and compositing behaviors for video. The Track Control pane is also where audio tracks and video tracks are inserted. Tracks can be inserted one of three different ways:
Select INSERT | AUDIO TRACK or INSERT | VIDEO TRACK from the menu bar at the top of the screen.
Use a shortcut key combination: Ctrl+Q (audio tracks) or Ctrl+Shift+Q (video tracks).
Drag media from the Explorer to the blank Timeline.
The Track Control pane can be expanded or contracted, depending on the desired workspace and information space. This feature is particularly valuable on single-monitor systems in which screen space is at a premium. Hovering the cursor over the line that divides the Track Control pane and the Timeline changes the cursor to a resize icon. Clicking the left mouse button when this icon appears allows the Track Control pane to be expanded or contracted.
The Track Control pane can be completely removed by using the shortcut keys Shift+F11. This step removes the control pane completely, so be aware that it's easy to forget that it's been hidden. (Shift+F11 will bring it back.) Using the up-arrow and down-arrow keys makes it fast and easy to move above or below a selected track. The currently selected track will be a darker shade than the tracks above or below. Multiple tracks can be selected by holding the Control or Shift key and clicking each track chosen for selection (similar to other Windows conventions). When multiple tracks are selected, any changes made to the controls on one track affect all tracks. This feature is useful when multiple audio tracks need to be raised or lowered in volume or for panning or bus routing. When multiple video tracks require changes to opacity or changes made in compositing modes, selecting multiple tracks is a fast way to affect all tracks simultaneously. Changes made to effect parameters will not affect multiple audio or video tracks, nor will track motion assigned to one track carry over to additional tracks when multiple tracks are selected.
Each track can be given a name for reference purposes. The track name becomes the default prefix name of the media stored on the Timeline when the audio is recorded.
Adding a name value to a track after recording audio does not affect the filename properties of the audio. Adding a name value to a video track does not affect the name properties of the video on the named track. Adding a name value to audio ripped from a CD or imported does not change the name properties of the audio file.
Tip___________________________________________________________ It's often said in the digital world that "If it ain't labeled, it don't exist." This is somewhat true in that cataloging media correctly at all levels is critical to locating and maintaining files. In today's digital world, files accumulate very quickly; be sure to get in the habit of good track, file, and project management.
The Track Control pane is also where volume, panning, and bus controls take place in an audio track, as well as track-level audio processing. Each track has an FX button on it, via which either default processing or custom plug-ins can be inserted. (See Chapter 5 and Chapter 7 for more details on video and audio plug-ins.)
The Timeline/Track View is where the majority of the work takes place. This location is where all audio and all video files are displayed, edited, and viewed during the editing process. The Timeline may be expanded or contracted both horizontally and vertically to suit the preferences of the user. This area displays all media found in the project and can be zoomed in for sample-accurate or frame-accurate edits or out for overall views of the entire project, regardless of length.
In addition, the controls for starting and stopping cursor movement and playback in Vegas are found in the Timeline/Track View.
The following controls can also be controlled by these shortcuts:
Play from start: Shift+Spacebar
Go to end: Ctrl+End
These controls can also be programmed in third-party hardware, such as the Contour ShuttlePRO.
Next to the Transport bar control is a small yellow triangle used as a shuttle/scrub control. When you're playing media from the Timeline, this control can be slid to the right to scrub through audio/ video during playback. The indicator will stay at the faster or slower speed until the yellow triangle is double-clicked. Double-clicking will restore the speed to the normal playback rate.
Scrub may also be achieved by pressing the J, K, or L key during playback. J reverses audio and incrementally increases reverse speed if the key is continually tapped or held down. K pauses playback, and L scrubs forward while incrementally increasing speed as the key is tapped or held. Speeds of up to 20× are possible within Vegas. To control the incremental speed adjustment and how fast it implements, choose OPTIONS | PREFERENCES | EDITING and select the JKL/Shuttle Speed option to suit personal preference. As a personal preference, High is my chosen setting.
The Contour ShuttlePRO, Space Station AV, and Bella Keyboard all can be used for incremental shuttle control. Setting the shuttle speed to High provides the most common use of the shuttle wheels on these hardware tools.
Above the Timeline is a series of tools on a toolbar that can be customized for individual use. These tools can be removed from the top of the toolbar by selecting OPTIONS | CUSTOMIZE TOOLBAR to add/remove them from the view. The toolbar space can also be double-clicked to call up the Customize Toolbar dialog box.
In the Add/Remove Tools view, select tools for display and click the Add button. Choose the tools to remove from the toolbar and click the Remove button. Audio editors might not want to see tools related to video, just as video editors might not want to see tools relating to audio. These tools are shortcuts to common editing tasks. All these tools found on the toolbar can be accessed using keyboard shortcuts as well.
The dockable workspaces are found at the top of the screen in a default setting. Because these areas are dockable, they can be arranged to suit any specific need or desired appearance for efficient workflow. This feature greatly benefits users who have multiple monitors, since the Timeline can be stretched across multiple monitors and/or the docking windows may be stripped off and placed on any monitor. Vegas supports multiple monitors, and users will best appreciate editing with two or more monitors.
The three primary windows used in Vegas are the Explorer window, the FX window, and the Video Preview window. Clicking the View menu at the top of the toolbar opens several dockable windows. A checked box next to the window name means that the window is open.
The exception to this rule is that the Timing window always defaults to the top left of the Track View window. The Timing window can be docked or floated freely at any point, based on personal preference. As with all docking windows, the Time Display window can be expanded or contracted. Unlike other docking windows, however, the background or number color in the Time Display window can be changed by right-clicking the display and selecting Custom. This feature is significant in a dark studio in which the time display needs to be large and not distracting.
Expanding the View of a Docking Window and Undocking Windows
Docking windows have always been a challenge to view when several windows are accessible, but Vegas offers a great solution to the issue. Not only can docking windows be torn off and their locations saved as templates, but for the single-monitor user of Vegas, each docking window has a button that expands the selected docking window to the full width of the docking area. Click the horizontal triangle on the upper-left corner of the docking window and watch the window expand to fill the entire docking area.
For users of earlier versions of Vegas, tearing off a docking window has sometimes been a bit of a challenge if the small handle area of the docking window isn't accurately grasped. The most recent versions of Vegas make this much easier; with any area on the left-hand side of a docking window being grasped, the docking window may be moved. To move a docking window into the docking window area without having the window actually dock, hold the Ctrl key while clicking on and moving the docking window. This will allow the docking window to rest wherever it's released.
Excerpted from Vegas Pro 9 Editing Workshop by Douglas Spotted Eagle Copyright © 2010 by Elsevier Inc.. Excerpted by permission of Focal Press. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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