Wants Shadows on the Scrolls
I read your review of Sony’s Vegas 6 NLE software in the December ’05 issue of Videomaker magazine. I learned to edit videos on a computer about four years ago using Sonic Foundry’s Video Factory II. After finding out how much easier it was to edit video this way, I gave up using two or three VCRs and running the signals through a Videonics Titlemaker and MX-1 SEG to add titles and effects. About two years ago I upgraded to Vegas 4 which I am still using today.

I was interested in your review of Vegas 6 to see if I was missing anything important. It looks like you were impressed with the new features in this software. I am not yet into widescreen and Hi-Def video productions, so I am not sure I need to upgrade yet.

One feature I would upgrade for is drop shadows on their scrolling credits. Could you let me know if it has scrolling credits and if you recommend me upgrading if I am not yet interested in HDV work.

Frank Grimaldi

Ashe County, NC

Thanks for the email, Frank. We would say there are many reasons to pay for the upgrade to version 6.0 of Sony’s Vegas but drop shadows are not one of them, unfortunately. We figured out a work-around by duplicating our credit scroll and then applying a Gaussian Blur to the bottom layer. It is easy to adjust the position of the blurred layer so your drop shadow is exactly where you want it. Maybe it will be a preset in version 7.0 but it is possible in this version with a bit of work. And it looks good.

–The Editors

Buyer Disputes
Regarding your Buyer Beware! Article in the February 2006 issue, I’ve found it’s best to handle a credit card dispute with a registered letter to the credit card company. And some credit card issuers provide an on-line dispute form. The charge is then temporarily removed pending resolution. Usually a confirmation is sent to the cardholder by mail.

A letter may still be the best course if the issue is particularly contentious or if copies of receipts, etc. must be supplied.

Peter Vander Veld

Malvern, PA

A Final Word on Final Draft
In my business the 2-column script format is King. I was excited when Final Draft AV 1 came out a couple of years ago and excited AGAIN when I was invited to be a Beta tester for version 2.

Regrettably, the problem that made me abandon Final Draft AV 1 was not even addressed in version 2–and I let the Final Draft people know on more than one occasion that it was a show stopper for me. Not all of us can work comfortably with small type on a computer screen.

For years, Microsoft and other word processor packagers have offered on-screen text scalability. In MS Word you can size the screen text as a percent of actual, or you can select “page width” or “text width.” Point being, if you can see at all, you can scale a Word document to an on-screen text size that’s comfortable (and it has nothing to do with print size).

Alas, Final Draft AV’s on screen presentation cannot be scaled. Your screen shots on page 23 of the January 2006 edition tell the tale. What you see there is what you get on screen. No options in “magnification.”

There are some marvelous features built into the software that I miss, but for the time being I’m still writing 2-column AV scripts in Word using the Table function (NOT the format “columns” function).

Using Word has one other advantage over Final Draft AV. Despite claims of export ability, you can’t move out of the Final Draft AV format so a client can add, subtract or change your script and expect to get anything returned that’s easily imported back into Final Draft AV.

Most scripting software has this problem (at least that’s been my experience). And after 25 years in the business/industrial/educational video and multimedia marketplace, I say without reservation that clients and subject matter experts are going to want to edit the script on their own.

Doug Widner

Altruist Media

Midway, KY

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