Berlin-based MAGIX has given VEGAS Pro editing software the love it may not have received from Sony.
MAGIX acquired the Windows-only VEGAS Pro last May from Sony Creative Software, along with VEGAS Movie Studio, Sound Forge, SpectraLayers Pro and other software.
The latest version, VEGAS Pro 14, comes with improvements, new features and new plug-ins. “We worked hard to improve the performance and stability with this version,” says Gary Rebholz, product owner for the VEGAS line. Rebholz has been working with VEGAS Pro since it was with Sonic Foundry, then Sony, and now MAGIX. “We hit the ground running and knew stability was a major focus. We resolved more than 40 bugs, so users now have a much more stable work environment.”
New features include the ability to natively bring important codecs (i.e. video with different data compressions), such as ProRes and HEVC formats, into the editing timeline and final video. With HEVC, editors can create smaller video files, helpful for streaming and storage, while still maintaining high quality. (In prior versions, they needed to download Apple QuickTime in order to import and create ProRes files.)
Rebholz is proud of “the number and variety of video formats that you can use within the same project, and even the same track. There are so many formats and flavors now, it’s difficult to keep up with all of them. But VEGAS Pro has always been famous for this.”
VEGAS Pro 14 also includes an increased maximum range for its velocity envelope (basically, to speed up or slow down video). This change lets editors set the velocity from -100 percent (the video would play at normal speed, but in reverse) to 1,000 percent (10 times normal speed), up from a previous max 300 percent. When your lead throws the perfect punch, you can slow down the hit landing in the villain’s cheek with much more control.
New plug-ins involve image stabilization, advanced titling and other nice benefits. The proDAD Mercalli V4 image stabilizer plug-in steadies shaky video, whether from a handheld, GoPro or drone camera. Smart plug-ins are geared towards editing and delivering in 4K: “smart zooming analyzes the video and does intense calculations to get the best zoom possible, while preserving the image quality in an adaptive way,” says Rebholz.
“VEGAS Pro’s stabilization allows me to use less expensive consumer drones without built-in sensor stabilization,” says Ben Feldman, chief innovation officer at Prototype Productions in Ashburn, Virginia. Feldman also uses VEGAS Pro to document new devices his lab creates: “We really need it to handle time lapse and slow motion.”
VEGAS Pro 14 retails for $599. VEGAS Pro 14 Edit, which does not include the plug-ins, retails for $399, while VEGAS Pro 14 Suite, at $799, includes 3-D object creation and manipulation among other bonus effects. MM
This article appears in MovieMaker‘s Winter 2017 issue. Images courtesy of Magix.