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Media Services

This guide gives an overview of digital media resources offered to faculty and graduate students by the Scholar's Commons. You'll also find tutorials, links, and advice for all students.


Importing and Capturing Media



Importing Media Into Sony Vegas

The following steps apply if your video is already in a digital format and saved onto a computer-readable device. To import video from tape (DV, HDV, VHS, or similar), see the next section.

Click on an image to the right to display a larger version.

Look for the 'Project Media' pane.

Make sure you can find the Project Media pane; it's the landing pad for the media you'll use in your video. Later, you'll edit and build the sequence on the Timeline while previewing your work in the Video Preview pane.

If you can't the areas shown in Fig. 1, use the View menu to open the pane:

  • display the Project Media pane by clicking View->Project Media (or ALT+5)
  • display the Video Preview pane by clicking View->Video Preview (or ALT+4)

Gather your media assets.

Vegas is format agnostic, which in the end means that the application doesn't force your videos to conform to any particular standard before you edit them. The basic rule is

if either the Windows Media or Quicktime player can play the video, Vegas can edit it.

Vegas can also handle a wide range of image and audio filetypes, as well as other Vegas projects (.veg files)! The ability to nest Vegas projects allows you build longer videos from short sequences, which leads to a more efficient workflow where you spend less time looking for a particular clip and more time actually perfecting your final video.

See Fig. 2 for a short list of filetypes acceptable to Vegas.

Use the File->Import menu item for more import options.

Sometimes you cannot simply drag-and-drop certain filetypes or the media contained on some devices—DVD camcorder disks in particular—directly into the project media pane.

If you're project involves the use of two or more NLEs, you'll need to use this method to import AAF files.

See Fig. 3 for clarification.

Use the dialogs revealed in the View menu to import footage from professional HD and cinema cameras.

The View menu (Fig. 4), outside of providing the ability to display or hide nearly all of Vegas's workspace panes, also gives access to the 'explorers' for XDCAM and other HD/Cinema devices.

Drag and drop your media assets into the Project Media pane.

Ninety percent of the time, dragging and dropping your media assets into the Project Media pane will be the only step you need to take before editing your footage on the timeline. Vegas occasionally chokes on certain containers (.VOBs, .mov) or corrupt files, and will crash as a result.

Very large files—greater than 4GB or so—or videos encoded as .h264 or contained within a .VOB (DVD files) can cause Vegas to stop responding. Be patient. Eventually the application will re-animate.

See Fig. 5 for a screenshot of dragging-and-dropping in action!

Capturing Media From Tapes With Sony Vegas

Successful completion of the following steps rests on the assumption that you have access to a device capable of playing the media from which you'd like to capture video.

Strozier library's equipment can handle VHS, S-VHS, VHS-C, mini-DV, and DVCAM tapes. If your tapes are not in one of these formats, you'll need to bring along your own player. The camera with which you filmed the footage is usually the best option.

The procedure outlined in the steps below is applicable only to standard definition (SD) video.

Click File->Capture Video to open the video capture application.

Vegas uses an external application (vidcap60.exe) to capture SD video from sources on tape. Open the application by clicking File->Capture Video. Vegas will ask whether you plan to capture DV or HDV video. Choose DV unless you know otherwise. See Fig. 6.

Capturing the video.

Fig. 7 provides a visual overview of the procedure outlined below.

Upon starting the video capture application, Vegas will ask you to name the tape you are capturing. Do it—should something happen during the course of putting together your video, and you either haven't saved your Vegas project or your Vegas file becomes corrupt, at least you'll be able to find and salvage your captured footage. Click 'OK' after naming the tape.

Provided you left the 'Don't capture any clips right now' radio button selected while completing the task above, you'll now be able to control all aspects of the capture. Make sure the 'Capture' tab is active. If it isn't, click on it.

Click the green play triangle to see your input video in the capture application. If you're capturing from a digital source, and you've used a Firewire cable to connect your device to the computer, the play button will also begin playback of the tape. If you're capturing from an analog device (VHS), you'll need to press 'play' on the device as well.

Cue the tape to a few seconds before the segment you wish to capture, then click the circular Capture Video button. Again, if you're capturing from an analog device, you'll need to press 'play' on the device.

After the segment of video you wanted captured has completed, wait a few seconds, and then click the square stop button. Press 'stop' on the analog device.

Completing the capture.

Fig. 8 provides a visual example of the steps below.

Vegas will think for a moment after you stop the capture, and will then present you with the 'Capture Complete' popup. This popup allows you to review, rename, or delete whatever clips you just captured. Click 'Done' to dismiss it.

Next, a 'Save As' window will appear. Dismiss this window—it has nothing to do with saving the clips you captured. It's asking you to save whatever custom settings you used in the video capture application to capture your footage.

Vegas saves everything you capture.

Importing the clips.

Once you've completed the capture, Vegas will automatically import the clips into the active project. If only the video capture application is open, open Vegas and follow this procedure.

The three most important areas of the Vegas interface.

A short list of filetypes acceptable to Vegas.

Using the File->Import menu.

Using the View menu item to reveal the camera and device explorer dialogs.

Dragging and dropping media items into the Project Media pane.

Opening the video capture application: File->Capture Video.

Starting and stopping the video capture.

Completing the capture.

Importing the captured clips.

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