How to Edit Video with Sony Vegas

Sony Vegas and Sony Vegas Movie Studio are very powerful editing applications. This article applies to all versions from Sony Vegas 7.0 and up. You will learn the basics steps including: importing, editing audio and video, splitting video or audio tracks, special FX effects, velocity control such as slow motion and more.

To start a new project, go to File/New. This will give you a number of options. One question will be where do you want pre-rendered files saved. Before you answer this, make a plan for organizing your work. If you later need to move the Vegas files, the program won’t find them. So make a new folder for every project and keep all the files for that project in one folder.

For this exercise, we’ll keep the default project settings.

They are NTSC DV (720×480, 29.970 fps). This is for standard definition video with the aspect ratio of 4 x 3 and the standard frame rate. Leave the other options alone for now.

To import video from your camera or a deck you will need a USB or Firewire cable depending of the connection of your camera. To bring VHS footage in[to a computer you will need a VCR and a DV camera. simply plug the VCR into the DV camera. Then plug the DV camera into the computer. Cool, huh?

Now you can import the video you wish to edit. Select File/Capture Video and choose the video. If the clips are already on your hard drive, you can go to File/ Import Media. You can also simply drag and drop a clip into Vegas from a folder.

When you click “Capture Video,” Vegas will ask if it is DV or HDV. Choose the appropriate answer. The Sony Video Capture window will appear with options for Capture, Advance Capture, and Print to Tape. Choose Capture. Plug your camera or video deck into the computer. It should be automatically recognized as a device. Choose the start point where you want to capture and begin the capture. When you see where you want to stop the capture, click stop.

To import clips, photos or music that are already on the computer, you can drag and drop or go to File/ Import Media. You can drag an item directly to the timeline of Vegas. The Side to Side arrows rewind and fast forward through the clip.

Press Control A and drag the item to the beginning of the timeline. The Up and Down arrows will zoom in and out of the frames. This magnifies the timeline and enables you to see all of the frames or very few of the frames. This can helpful if want to see the beginning and end of the project or clip. There is a trimmer you can select, but that is a little advanced. You can do everything you need without using the trimmer.

You can delete any video or audio clip by selecting it with the cursor and hitting Delete on the

keyboard. To shorten a clip, click on the beginning or end of the clip and pull it toward the middle of the clip. You can also split a clip in two by placing the cursor precisely where you want to split, then press “s.”

At the end of each clip on the timeline are two small buttons. The top button is Event Pan/Crop. It lets you pan or crop a clip (called a video event). The bottom button is Event FX. You can click to add effects to the event or edit the effects chain. Select the entire clip or just select the frames you want and group them by right clicking. Any effect you apply will be applied to all the frames you selected. Sony Vegas comes with quite a few plug-in effects installed in the program.

Motion Control also called a Velocity Envelope can speed up or slow down the footage. Split exactly the clips you want, right click and select Insert/Remove Velocity. This puts a green line in the middle of the clip or scene. Move the line down for slow motion or move the line up for fast motion. Right click the line and you can set markers which allow you to gradually speed the clip or gradually slow it.

Render your video into a format you can use. Choose a region to render or render the entire video. Go to FILE/RENDER As. Select a format such as .mov, .wmv, .mpeg, .avi or others. Enjoy your video!

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