10 Vegas Pro techniques for power editing: Q & A

The Vegas Pro Webinar, 10 Vegas Pro Techniques for Power Editing, now up and available for on-demand replay at: http://www.sonycreativesoftware.com/vegaspro9webinar This is a fantastic resourse for Vegas pro users of every level!

Sony has posted some fantastic Vegas Pro tips and tricks on their website. Here they are some for you to enjoy:

Vegas Pro 9 Basic Editing Tips

Where can I find hot key information?

Choose Help | Keyboard Shortcuts for an index of keyboard combinations that perform the various tasks in Vegas Pro.

Is there any way to keep all the video timelines (tracks) at the top and all the audio timelines at the bottom?

There is no one-button method for doing this, but you can rearrange your tracks so that video is at top and audio at the bottom. To do so, drag a track by the track number in the track header and drop it where you want it. If you want to move several tracks simultaneously, hold the Ctrl key as you click on additional track numbers to add them to the selection and then drag all of them.

My project is completed, but have a gap at the front end. How can I slide all events to close the gap or delete the blank section at beginning of the project?

Use the post-edit ripple feature we discussed in the webinar. First, drag the first event in your project so that it starts at the very beginning of the timeline. Then, choose Edit | Post-Edit Ripple | All Tracks, Markers, and Regions.

If I make a mistake during editing (e.g. deleting a section), how can I recover at a prior edit point?

Vegas Pro has unlimited undo/redo capabilities, so you can always undo back to any spot in your editing history. To do this quickly, click the Undo drop-down arrow and scroll down the list of editing operations until you find one that represents the point in your project to which you want to return. Select that operation from the list and you’re back to a safe place.

Can you redo the ripple edits?

You can always use the Undo commands to restore your project to a previous state or use the Redo command to reapply the edits.

Can you split events on multiple tracks at once?

Yes, there are several scenarios in which you can do so. What gets split in the split operation depends on a couple of factors: what is selected, and what is touched by either the project cursor or the in and/or out points of a time selection. Let’s run down the possibilities.
  • No events selected, no time selection: Any event (regardless of what track it’s on) that the project cursor touches will split
  • One or more events selected, no time selection: Only events that are both selected and touched by the project cursor will split
  • No event selected, but a time selection exists in the timeline: Every event touched by the in and/or out points of the timeline selection will split
  • One or more events selected and a time selection exists in the timeline: Only events that are both selected and touched by the timeline selection in and/or out points will split

Event grouping can also play a role in the split command. For example, say you have an event on track two directly below an event on track one and the two events belong to the same group. Now, say you click the event on track one to select it and then press S to split it. As you’d expect, the event on track one will split, but so too will the event on track two even though you hadn’t actually selected it. Why? Because it belongs to the same group as the event on track one and the cursor touches it. This makes sense because when you add a video file to your project, Vegas Pro creates an event for the video and another for the audio, puts them on different tracks and groups them so they maintain synchronization. If you split the video event, you probably have a reason that also dictates that you split the audio event and Vegas Pro does this for you automatically. If there was a third event in the group, but the cursor does not touch it, that event will not split.

Does ripple work across different tracks, for example will it work across multiple video and audio tracks?

If you want it to, it can. There are three ripple-edit modes and one of those (All Tracks, Markers, and Regions) will affect all the tracks in your project. The other two modes (Affected Tracks and Affected Tracks, Bus Tracks, Markers, and Regions) affect any track on which you made an edit, so if you move events that sit on more than one track, each of those tracks is considered an affected track and the ripple applies to each of them.

Will ripple editing move markers as well?

It will if you want it to. There are three possible ripple modes. Two of those modes move markers as well as events. Choose Edit | Post Edit Ripple to see the three modes in the cascading menu. The names of the modes tell you whether or not that mode will move markers.

Do you suggest working primarily in auto-ripple mode (selectively disabled from time to time), or do you suggest using primarily post-edit ripple?

Different editors will have different answers to this question. Personally, I prefer to primarily work in post-edit ripple mode instead of working in auto-ripple mode. Automatic rippling has the potential to move things that you can’t see in your project and that you may not want moved. For instance, if you make an edit and there is footage so much later in your project that you can’t see it at your current zoom level, those events will move without you seeing them move. That could potentially be undesirable. In post-edit mode, nothing ripples until I take a quick moment to think about what exactly I want to happen. Then I can quickly choose which of the three ripple operations gives me the result I want.

That said, there are times when auto ripple mode works beautifully. For those isolated times, I turn auto-ripple mode on. But I always turn it off as soon as I’m done using it.

But, that’s just one man’s approach. Let the arguments begin!

Can you give me a basic explanation of takes?

Vegas Pro gives you the ability to add more than one media file to a single event. We call this adding multiple takes to an event. On the audio side, you might record several takes of a difficult guitar solo into the same event. You can then listen to the recording and switch to the different takes to find the one you like best. Or, you can split the event and use different takes for different parts of the solo until you piece together a passage that works comprised of several different takes.

On the video side, we use takes as part of our multicamera editing tools. When you create a multicamera track, Vegas Pro adds each camera to a different take in a single event. You can then split the event and change the take in order to switch to a different camera. The multicamera editing tools enable you to do this automatically as you watch your project and you can also make changes later manually.

The Q/A portion of the webinar includes a quick discussion of multicamera editing, so you might want to review that. You can also find a free video which discusses the entire multicamera editing process (along with takes) in the Les Stroud Vegas Pro Training Series at www.sonycreativesoftware.com/training.

How can I move a clip a certain number of frames in the timeline, rather than just dragging back and forth?

You can do this a couple of different ways. First, select the clip and choose View | Edit Details to open the Edit Details window. Choose Selected Events from the Show drop-down list, then change the value in the Start field and press Enter. This moves the event so that it starts at the time you specified.

You can also use keyboard shortcuts to nudge the event right or left in the timeline. Select the event (or multiple events) and press the 4 and 6 keys on your numeric keypad to move the event left or right by one screen pixel. Depending upon your zoom level, this may equal a move of several frames per keystroke. To move the event or events one frame at a time, press the 1 and 3 keys on your numeric keypad. Since this moves the event by just one frame regardless of zoom level, press the key as many times as you need to achieve the number of frame movement you want.

For yet one more approach, place your cursor at the edge of the event you want to move that's closest to the direction you want to move it. So, if you want to move the event five frames to the right, click the right edge of the event to place the cursor there. Then press Ctrl+G to highlight the value in the Cursor Position field. Type +5 and press Enter. This moves the cursor five frames later in the timeline. Now drag the event until its edge snaps to the cursor and you know that you have moved it five frames.

How do you create slow motion and stop-motion animation?

We covered a couple of different techniques for creating slow motion in the webinar, so take another look at that section of the presentation. In short, you can hold the Ctrl key as you trim the edge of an event to create slow or fast motion (depending upon which way you trim the event edge) quickly. For more control and to create speed changes over time, right-click the event and choose Insert Remove Envelopes | Velocity. Then add additional points to the velocity envelope and drag those points to the desired speed. To create a freeze frame, right-click an envelope point and choose Set To from the menu. Type 0 for the speed value and press the Enter key. For more information on using velocity envelopes, check out this article from our newsletter archives: http://www.sonycreativesoftware.com/news/article.asp?articleid=53.

How do you get the focus onto the timeline without moving the cursor to a new position?

To shift the focus to time timeline from any other window, press Alt+0 (that’s Alt+Zero). You can also press the Tab key to toggle focus between the timeline and the track list area.
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