We're big fans of the underdog, and in today's editing software arena there has emerged such a contender - competing with the likes of Adobe Premiere Pro, Avid Media Composer, and Apple Final Cut Pro. This fourth contender is Vegas Pro from Sony Creative Software and we take a closer look at their newest version, Vegas Pro 12, to give you a quick basic overview of Vegas Pro 12's Graphic User Interface (GUI), its basic layout, and then highlight some of its great new features. You may find that Vegas Pro 12 can be a real champion for your editing needs.
The Vegas Pro 12 GUI Basics and Project Properties
The Vegas Pro 12 GUI has an upper Docking Windows section, and a lower Track View Section. The Docking Windows section is where all the video content will be located and managed, and consists of Trimmer, Preview, Vegas Explorer, and Project Media windows. The lower Track View section is the timeline editor, where that content is assembled in the proper order.
The Trimmer window is used to trim your video clips to their desired length, and is comparable to the source window in other editing programs. The Preview window is primarily used to play back clips, and the display is shown in the small default window, full screen, or on an External Monitor using special graphics cards.
The Vegas Explorer window is newly enhanced and shows Vegas-compatible media files that reside on your hard drives, flash drives, or camcorders. Major file formats for standard definition, HD, and 3D video are supported. Media can be dragged and dropped directly into the timeline from the Vegas Explorer Window. The Project Media window displays all media used in your project. Each window can be moved to a customized location more to your liking.
Project Properties, both video and audio must also be set up before editing begins. Fortunately, Vegas Pro 12 has a full range of video project types from the template pull down menu. For the video we captured with a Sony camcorder, we used the HD-1080/60i setting. Audio properties were defaulted at 48kHz/16-bit, but if you have an advanced sound card, you can select higher performance settings.
New Vegas Pro 12 Features
There are so many new features in Vegas Pro 12 we can only highlight a few. These new features and improvements help all users, from prosumers to professionals. All Vegas Pro 12 users will benefit from an expanded edit mode (easier ways to see before/after frames at the edit point), and GUI improvements, such as a new Toolbar Icon for Splitting edits, and more comprehensive tool tips. There are also new Trimming features and improved Timeline enhancements, Project Media Updates (16x9 thumbnails) and Project MediaTagging, updated 64-bit Sound Forge audio plug-ins (including four Noise Reduction 2.0 plug-ins along with Acoustic Mirror, Zplane élastique Pro time-stretch, and Wave Hammer), and Titler Pro 1.0 from NewBlueFX which allows you to create 2D and 3D titles with animation.
Professional editors will enjoy the new Project interchange feature that lets them import editing projects from other editing programs and graphical applications, including Final Cut Pro 7, DaVinci Resolve 8, Adobe Premiere Pro CS6, and Adobe After Effects CS6. You can also export your Vegas Pro 12 projects to those programs, as well as Final Cut Pro X. Other new pro features include P2 support, and masking tools. With P2 support Vegas Pro 12 can natively ingest DVC Pro 25/50/100 and AVC-Intra 50/100 MXF encoded video files from Panasonic P2 series camcorders. New FX Masking can be used to mask an effect, which is useful for blurring or pixelating areas like a person's face or a logo.
System and Hardware Requirements
Vegas Pro 12 is a powerful, full-featured editing program, that requires a 64-bit Windows operating system(OS), not the 32-bit Windows OS that many people currently use. Vegas Pro 12 migrated to 64-bit because that gave it more access to system RAM, which is critical to completing editing projects in less time. Hardware requirements are a Windows PC, with at least a 2.0 GHz (multicore or multiprocessor CPU for HD or stereoscopic 3D), 4GB RAM minimum, and 500MB of free hard drive space for installation. For our testing desktop, we used a "home brew" Intel Core 2 Duo 2.33 GHz CPU, with 4GB RAM, a 2TB SATA hard drive, a Pioneer Blu-ray DVD burner, and Windows 7 Ultimate/64-bit. Vegas Pro 12 performed well in this arena.
Those who want a professional editing program without fuss should give Vegas Pro 12 a look.
Operating System: Windows Vista SP2 64-bit/Windows 7 64-bit/Windows 8 64-bit
Minimum CPU: 2.0 GHz Dual Core processor or better
Minimum RAM: 4GB/8GB recommended
Minimum Hard Drive: 500MB required for program installation
Graphics Card Memory: 512MB min.
Other Versions Available: Vegas Pro12 Edit, without the DVD Architect Pro for $400 (download) or $480 (boxed)
- More affordable than the other pro editing programs for Windows.
- Provides pro features.
- Works with a wide variety of video formats.
- Free trial.
- Has a learning curve to become adept with its rich feature set.
Vegas Pro 12 is a full-featured editing program for Windows PC/64-bit OS systems, that provides you with a complete end-to-end solution for capture, editing, visual effects, titling, disc authoring, and creation.
Sony Creative Software Inc.
$680 boxed/$600 download
Tony Gomez is a veteran producer, editor, videographer, digital photographer, and reviewer of consumer and professional digital imaging and video products, with over 30 years experience.