A rarely used Sony Vegas feature

We went to eat at “Pasta Pomodoro” with JBQ last night and as usual, we started talking geek. I started telling him about a pet peeve of mine: “Wouldn’t it be nice if I could save in a lossless codec my final cut video but to also save a ‘reference’ file to tell the video editor where the ‘splits’ are so I can re-edit that in the future? Sure, I wouldn’t be able to have layers, transitions and plugin information, but at least I would have the cut information, which is most important. Right now, I am forced to keep 12 GBs per tape footage on the hard drive, while I am only using 1/10th of that usually.

And he replied: “That’s not the correct way of doing things. The right way would be to save only the portions of the .m2t or DV .avi files you are actually using. These formats can be chopped off and saved without a re-encoding, so this way you don’t lose quality at all. And you get to keep all your plugin, transition and other project information in the project file! It should also keep 10 seconds of extra footage left and right of your cuts!“.

At that point I thought: “Hell, that’s why JBQ is a software engineer, and I was just a petty programmer” (there’s a difference).

So, when we came back home I opened Vegas and tried to find such a feature. I was ready to fire up a feature request if there was no such feature. And yet, there is. Both on Vegas Pro and on Vegas Platinum (not sure about the plain version). Vegas 8 Pro is able to cut/save .m2t and DV AVI without re-encoding, while Platinum 8 can do only DV AVI (although it’s safe to assume that the next version should be able to do .m2t too). All you have to do is to “save as” your project, and check that “Copy and trim media with project“. The next screen will even ask you how many extra seconds left and right of your trims you want Vegas to save.

Very cool feature!


DT wrote on February 17th, 2008 at 6:28 PM PST:

This has long been a standard feature of high end audio editors such as Sequoia–the project is exported along with a user defined extra tab so you can shift the fade if you change your mind, but still preserve the original bits. Sony probably incorporated this from their experience with audio.

Kevin wrote on February 18th, 2008 at 1:05 PM PST:

The “correct” way to edit for a long time was to capture a highly compressed version of the tape. The clips you imported then would be labeled with tape/reel numbers. Then you would edit. Then when you went to print to tape the editor would recapture only the required video at a higher resolution. And you could just save the EDL file and the physical media if you wanted to work on the project again later. This saved a lot of harddrive space, and more importantly render time. Render time on the old Media Composers was god awful.

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