I donâ€™t want to appear jaded, but at this point, if a nonlinear editor is still in the game, itâ€™s obviously extraordinarily functional, which makes updates somewhat predictable and incremental. More formats, more filters, some interface tweaks, that kind of thing.
At the risk of increasing my hate mail by 300%, Iâ€™ll use the Sony Vegas 9 upgrade as an example. The new version includes enhanced format support (native XDCAM and AVCHD editing, as well as support for the RED ONE .r3d format), support for 4K workflows and gigapixel image sizes, six new video effects, additional customizable layouts and new keyboard shortcuts, and â€œimproved audio-waveform drawing during recording.â€?
These improvements obviously took a lot of work, and will benefit current Vegas users immensely. But â€œimproved audio-waveform drawing during recordingâ€? just doesnâ€™t sound like the kind of feature that will make Final Cut Pro or Premiere Pro aficionados jump ship and buy Vegas.
On the other hand, then thereâ€™s the Vegas Pro Production Assistant software plug-in, basically a batch production tool that has a diverse range of automatable functions. It was developed in conjunction with VASST and looked incredibly useful in a number of scenarios.
For example, suppose you have to add a logo to ten captured video files, then output in three streaming formats. In Premiere Pro and Final Cut Pro, youâ€™d have to load each video file by hand, add the logo, export the file into Compressor or Adobe Media Encoder and then drag in the presets. Youâ€™d have to do this ten separate times, and if youâ€™re me, your blood pressure would be rising throughout the process because itâ€™s totally idiotic that in 2009, no oneâ€™s figured out how to automate this incredibly boring repetitive process. Well, now someone has, and Vegas Pro Production Assistant, which should ship on May 11 and also works with Vegas Pro 8, will cost only $199.
The product can also automate normalizing audio tracks, color correction and other filters, audio ducking functions (where the Assistant automatically lowers the volume of your main audio track any time thereâ€™s audio on the narration track), photomontage creation, lower thirds generation and more. Overall, itâ€™s a totally must have tool for current Vegas users, and if your current job description includes lots of repetitive work, it could be enough to think about picking up Vegas, even if just to automate these recurring tasks.