Anyone into video production is, at the very least, familiar with VEGAS. This long-standing software has been available forever and has become a staple. Reasons for this are plenty, but the core is the same: user experience.
In this article, we’ll delve into VEGAS Pro 21 to check its features and whether this iteration has what it takes to continue with its legacy.
User-Friendliness at Its Finest
It goes without saying that anyone needing software such as VEGAS is, at the very least, someone inclined to work with video professionally. After all, if you want to edit a short clip to post on TikTok or send it to your friends, you can use simple editors that even let you use some effects.
Conversely, there’s a lot of competition in professional video production software. There is a lot of professional software around with great features. The problem here happens when the developers confound the word “professional” with cumbersome, unintuitive, needing a course to understand it, and others.
VEGAS has been user-friendly forever, and it’s one of its significant strengths, no matter the version. You can add effects easily, cut and edit video in a way even a child could understand, and create transitions with a simple drag and drop.
Everything, including automation, compositing, cinematic titling, and coloring, is as simple as it gets. And make no mistake: results will be professional-grade.
Some of the VEGAS Pro 21 Highlights
So, what’s the deal with VEGAS Pro 21? First, you need to know there are three tiers: Edit, Suite, and Post. We’ll look at the Edit tier since it’s the essential one and its most salient features.
This is better summarized in a single phrase: no more manual masking. Thanks to Z-Depth, you can add objects, titles, and effects anywhere between the foreground and background with little effort.
Cloud-Based Text to Speech
VEGAS Pro’s Text to Speech feature, now powered by cloud computing, offers a wider range of languages, accents, tones, and voices to all subscribers, eliminating the need for a full update to access new additions.
Yes, there’s automated masking, too. Gone are the hours of painstakingly masking subjects. It tracks moving objects incredibly well, thanks to frame-by-frame analysis.
A suite of tools is designed to reduce noise levels, video stabilization, and eliminate flicker from lights. If you have old 4:3 footage, you can also fill the black bars on the sides.
While others charge you separately for this, VEGAS Pro 21 allows you to use 3D models with dynamic lighting and shadows. It’s incredible for sci-fi projects but also when props are lacking.
With VEGAS Pro 21, you don’t need to purchase extra effects for your projects. It has more than 390 built-in, all of them excellent. It includes complex stuff such as mesh warps and lens flares.
Your First Day Using VEGAS Pro
Let’s say you’ve never used professional video editing software before. What does it look like if you purchase VEGAS Pro to edit your first video? While there are endless workflow settings and your needs can vary, it’s almost as simple as working with a phone video editor.
You choose your project settings, import the assets, and then simply drag and drop footage to the timeline in the lower part of the screen. Select different tools, such as cutting and moving, to position them in the right place.
Need to superimpose footage? Simply drag another file and drop it a little higher (or lower) than the first one, and it automatically creates another track. You can quickly work with chroma keys as well.
Want effects or fine-tune colors? Simply browse the FX section and, again, drag and drop it either to the entire track or a specific part of the footage. You can watch the results on the upper right or an external monitor.
Transitions are also a breeze. You can choose your favorite one and drop it in the timeline. Conversely, you can move the handles as you do in other video editing software. Flexibility is a major asset in VEGAS Pro 21.
When you’re done, render the video. You’ll need to choose the format and other settings. That’s it!
More VEGAS Advanced Elements
Even though VEGAS Pro 21 Edit is a highly competent piece of software, you might want additional possibilities if you’re into filmmaking or more advanced projects. This is when the Suite and Post tiers come into play.
With VEGAS Pro Suite, you’ll get additional software such as the also-beloved Sound Forge. This audio editor has been used for mastering since the 90s and is as powerful as ever. It also brings ACID for music composing.
Then there’s Mocha VEGAS for stabilization, Boris FX Primatte Studio for chroma-keying, and more.
And if you get the Post suite, you’ll have a complete video workstation for even the most demanding projects. It includes motion tracking technology, meaning you’ll never again have to automate effects for moving objects, a soul-draining task manually. There’s also 3D compositing, a powerful image editor, and more.
There’s also a subscription model, where you can enjoy any of the three tiers for a monthly fee, and it includes cloud features and VEGAS Content, a massive library of stock footage.
In a Nutshell
VEGAS Pro 21 is a complete video workstation that allows newcomers and professionals to leave aside the cumbersome and archaic ways of others to concentrate on what’s important: working in a straightforward manner at a professional level.
The Edit package is extremely generous, offering features others lack, making it far more robust than other entry-level software. And, for most, this will be all they need to edit professional-looking videos and films.
You can explore the Suite and Post tiers for additional features if you need more. How do you know you need them? Trust me, when the time comes, you’ll know it.
Summing up, there’s video editing, and then there’s VEGAS Pro video editing. I know which one I’d choose. What about you?