There are two important editing aspects to the making of any high end pvp flick; video and audio.
This is a short tutorial on video editing using the WCM standard video editing software, Sony Vegas.
I'm currently using version 8.0, but it's similar enough to its predecessors that if you have an earlier version, you shouldn't have any trouble applying anything I speak about here.
Keep in mind, these are going to be some very, very simple concepts. But it should be enough to nudge you in the right direction.
Also, I am no Vegas guru. For the most part, everything here is self taught and thus likely flawed. Feel free to comment on anything you feel should be altered or included. If you have any specific questions, I can try to help.. But I make no promises that any of this is pertinent, efficient, or useful in any way. :]
Also, you'll have to click on most of these images to see them fully.
Creating a new project is obviously the first step. Most of this is self explanatory, but a few things are important and should be noticed. Before you create the vegas file, keep in mind the resolution you're frapsing at (see How 2 Maek A Moovie - Frapsing). If you're not entirely for sure what the dimensions of your footage is, you can check by right clicking the frapsed clip, going to properties and the summary tab. Like this!
Anyway, just be sure to set your Vegas file properties to match the dimensions of your frapsed footage. Otherwise you get skewing and loss of quality and letterboxing.
There are also a few other things to note.
I've pointed out the important things here.
- Project frame rates of 25 or 30 are standard.
- Changing your Field Order to Lower field first will make actually working with your material a little bit easier, however note, change it back to Progressive Scan when you render. Nobody ever ever ever wants to watch interlaced movies. Ever. Hear me? So if you're going to forget to change it back to None (Progressive Scan), don't bother changing it to begin with.
- Keep your pixel aspect ratio at 1.00.
- And again, don't forget to set your dimensions to those of your frapsed footage!
If you've never worked with Vegas before, then I'll just throw up a quick layout explanation. I expect most of you who are interested have at least fucked around with the program and know this much. Skip this if you haven't literally just downloaded Vegas.
Vegas 7.0 uses a slight variation on this layout, with the timeline at the top and the media manager/tabs and the video preview on the bottom. It really doesn't matter, you get the idea.
For those absolutely lost:
- There are two kinds of tracks in the timeline. Audio and Video tracks. In this picture here, the top most track is an audio track, the middle track is a blank parent video track I use for parent Track Motion (not usually used in pvp videos, so ignore it), and the third track there is just a standard video track with two clips in it.
- The video playing in the top right is for previewing purposes. It allows you to see the changes you've made to your clips. Keep in mind that if you throw any effects onto the clip (blur, color correction, etc), the clip will not play at its full speed, because Vegas has to render the changes as it plays. Still, an obviously necessary tool.
- In the top left, we have the primary way we interface with our clips and with transitions or video effects. The tabs at the bottom of this window are pretty self explanatory.
- Under Project Media, you'll find the video and audio clips you have ready to use in the video as well as stored media Vegas has had to generate (like texts or gradients).
- Under Transitions, you'll find simple preset transitions (like fade to black and wipes).
- The Video FX tab contains the bread and butter of over-the-top Vegas editing. We've got the awesome TV Simulator along with some things that are actually useful, like the Chroma Keyer and Color Corrector (if you haven't already moved on to After Effects for these things).
- Any of these Video FX or Transitions can be applied to clips in the Timeline by simply dragging the effects onto the clips. You can apply the Transitions to the clips by dragging the transition to the end of the clip you wish to use the transition on. If you have two clips laying right next to each other in the timeline, you can also drag the transition onto where the two clips meet and it will automatically use that transition to flow from the first clip to the second. Neato.
This is where you'll spend most of your time in Vegas. It's a pretty simple concept, actually. You've got a string of video clips and audio clips that play from left to right. Just transition your clips, throw in some effects, and then osnap you have a pvp video. Honestly, it doesn't get much more complicated than that. Still, we're covering the basics here, SO...
Alright, so I'll explain each of these things:
- The mute button disables both audio and video tracks.
- The solo button disables all BUT the tracks selected as solo. This works independantly for audio and video clips. Soloing a single audio clip will mute every other audio clip while soloing a single video clip will mute all but that video clip. It's lovely!
- The volume and pan sliders obviously adjust audio volume and panning (as in, noise coming out of your left or right speakers)
- The video fx button (the thing that looks like the puzzle piece in the lower right hand corner of the clip) opens up the video fx menu. I'll go into the menu later, but it's where you go to alter any video fx on the clip. Also, it changes color from this grey to green if an effect has been applied to the clip.
- The pan/crop button (it's above the Video FXbutton and look like a, uh, crop button) opens the pan/crop menu. This is a very important menu that allows you to alter the position, size and masking of each clip. Because the menu has a timeline of its own, this allows you to move any clip you'd like across the screen. This is also how you zoom. I'll go more into that later.
- The composite mode button allows you to change the way in which that entire video track interacts with the tracks below it. Useful for overlay effects.
- The blue line on the first video clip represents opacity. This blue line can be drawn down by mousing over the very top of the clip until your mouse changes to a hand. Drag down to lower the clip's opacity for the entire length of the clip.
- The green line is the clip's velocity envelope. By default, the velocity envelope is hidden but can be brought up by right clicking the clip, going to insert/remove envelope, and clicking velocity. This is the method by which you control the speed of a given clip. You can add keyframes to the velocity envelope by holding down shift and clicking on the line at a point on the line. This allows you to speed a clip up or slow it down (or reverse it) when and how you want to. :) Like this.
The general idea behind the timeline is this:
String video clips along from left to right by dragging them onto the timeline. You can drag the clips around and connect them end to end, like they are in the picture above. Then you string along audio clips in the same way. Throw on some effects by dragging them from the Video FX tab mentioned above or by clicking the little puzzle thing also mentioned above.
Here are some simple things to keep in mind, however.
Vegas makes fade ins and outs very easy. If you're simply fading a single clip in or out, you can drag the top left (for fade-ins) or the top right (for fade-outs) corners of the clip. Drag them in towards the center of the clip and you'll see something like this:
See the blue line on the left of the clip? This represents a fade-in. Mouse over the corner of the clip until it changes to the Fade offset indicator (looks like a quarter circle with an arrow pointing left and right). Drage the fade offset indicator to create the fade. Right clicking the Fade offset indicator opens up the menu you see here on the right. This allows you to change the fade type.
Simple fading transitions between two clips are easy to do, as well. Set up a fade transition by grabbing one click and dragging it into another. The familiar blue line will appear. You can mouse over until you find the the fade offset indicator and use this to adjust the length and type of fading. Now, you can also go to the Transition tab near the Video FX tab and drag a transition onto these blue lines here to create a transition of that that is the length of the current fade transition.
Now, for navigating the timeline.
By clicking anywhere on the timeline, you move this blinking little line thingy to that position. This line thingy sets the point at which your video clip plays when you hit the space key.
If you click on the empty space in the timeline and drag, you create a loop region. Assuming you have Loop Playback activated (it's the swirl button at the bottom of the timeline), this sets up a region that, when you hit the space button, will loop continuously.
A few more useful things to know: Using the mousewheel zooms in and out on the timeline with the timeline marker as the focal point. Holding Shift and using the mouse wheel allows you to travel to the left and right along the timeline.