How to Edit Video with Sony Vegas


Are you looking for an easy, yet professional way to edit your video? Sony Vegas is an ideal way to achieve professional quality videos with ease. This explanation will use Sony Vegas 7.0. There are newer versions, but the basic controls remain the same.Read on to learn basic skills of importing, exporting and rendering; basic editing skills such as adding audio, splicing video and moving video; and where to find FX and velocity control.

Things You'll Need

  • Sony Vegas
  • Video footage/pictures
  • Additional audio (optional)

First Steps

  • Go to: File, New. This will bring up a new project where you will select your desired options. It will also ask you where you want your prerendered files saved. Be organized! (If you ever need to work on something in the future, but you've move these files somewhere else in the meantime, Vegas won't be able to find them.) Make a new folder for your items. For learning purposes, keep the default settings: NTSC DV (720x480, 29.970 fps). This is for your standard aspect ratio (4x3) and a standard frame rate. You'll notice other tabs such as Audio, Ruler, Summary and Audio CD. Just stick with Video for now. This is all you will need to get started.

  • Select your options and decide what folder you're placing your data in. Then import your video to edit. To import you can select File, Capture Video. Or, if your video footage is already on the computer, just go to File, Import, Media. You also have the ability to just drag and drop media into Vegas from a folder.

  • Click Capture Video. The program will ask if it's DV or HDV. Select what applies to your camera. A window called Sony Video Capture will pop up. This gives you the options to Capture, Advance Capture, and Print to Tape. After plugging in your camera with the appropriate method, the program will automatically recognize your device. Proceed to capture the video, which will import into Vegas.

  • Importing from a file is as easy as drag and drop, or File, Import, Media. Either way the media will fall into the Vegas Timeline ready for editing. Just select what media you want to drop, either from the Import menu or using drag and drop, and you're ready to begin your edit. (Note: Import Media or drag and drop also works on pictures and audio.)

  • Begin some basic edits, now that you have your media in place.

Basic Edits

  • Hit Ctrl A and drag your media to the beginning of the time line, if necessary. Use the Up and Down arrows to zoom in and out of the frames. If you use the Up arrow as far as it goes, you will see all of the frames. Use the side-to-side arrows to rewind and fast-forward through the timeline. You can select and use the trimmer, but it isn't necessary. That's getting a little more technical.

  • Delete visual or audio clips by selecting the undesired and simply hitting Delete on the keyboard. If you want to shorten the length of a clip, simply click on the end or beginning of the clip with your mouse, and drag it to the middle to your desired length. If you want to cut (or splice) a clip in two, simply zoom in with the Up arrow, scrub through with the side arrow, and hit S to splice exactly where you want.

  • Apply simply effects. If you look at the end of each frame, you will see there are two buttons: Event Pan/Crop and Event FX. You can also step things up with plug-ins, although out of the box Vegas has a lot of plug-ins ready to go. Select all of the frames you want to have the same effect: group them by right-clicking and going to Group. Then when you apply anything to one frame, it will do it to them all.

  • Speed up or slow down a scene using Velocity Envelope, which many call Motion Control. Just go to the desire section you want to add slow-motion to. Splice exactly the scene desired, then right-click the scene and select Insert/Remove Envelope; Velocity. This will make a green line appear in the middle of the scene. You can move it down for slow motion, or speed things up by moving it up. Right-click the line to assign markers. With markers, you can gradually speed things up or down.

  • Render your video. Just take your loop region at the top of the time line right above the times. Make sure you're at the beginning of the video. Drag it to the end of your video. Go to File, Render As and select an option. You can render your video in many formats, such as .mov or .wmv.

Tips & Warnings

  • These are just the fundamentals to editing video with Sony Vegas to get you started.
  • If you want to import footage from your camera, you will need the appropriate cords that came with your camera to upload (such as USB or FireWire). If you have VHS, you will have to have a unit that can plug into your computer.

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