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Sony Vegas Pro Production Assistant Secrets

By Jeffrey P. Fisher

The Sony Vegas Pro Production Assistant (PA) is a separate plug-in that adds powerful functionality to their NLE. The plug-in streamlines your workflow by automating several common tasks so you can focus on the more creative aspects of your editing work. This tutorial looks at a few techniques that will get you up and running fast.

Building Templates
One of Vegas Pro Production Assistant's primary functions lets you build projects using a template-based approach. The plug-in then automatically populates the timeline with media and conforms the media to your template. If you use standardized opens and closes, you can slug the middle and quickly add media using the tool, refine your edit, and bang! Done. This is a terrific timesaver for those who produce many similarly structured segments for broadcast or the Web. The program ships with a few preset templates, but the real power comes from creating your own. Here's how:

Start a new Vegas project and begin to add the standard elements you need for the segment. These might include bars/tone, standard opening/closing graphics, lower-third titles, music elements, and more. After completing this part, you'll have the basic framework for your template.

Next you need to add the empty events or slugs to hold your media. Draw out a time selection and then right-click an empty video track and choose "Insert Empty Event" from the pop-up menu. This places a slug on the timeline. If your video will typically have audio associated with it, such as an interview, repeat the process for the sound. Right-click in an empty area of an audio track and choose "Insert Empty Event" from the pop-up just as you did for the video.

It is very important that the video and its associated audio be linked together. Ctrl+Click the empty audio and video event you just created to select them both. Make sure nothing else is selected. Right-click and choose Group > Create New from the pop-up menu (or use the keyboard shortcut 'G'). This will link the video and audio slugs together.

Continue to add slugs as needed to create the template framework. You can even add transitions to these empty events or leave them as straight cuts. If you create all the video slugs first, double-click one to create a time selection, then right-click in the audio track and easily add an empty audio event of the same duration. Any crossfade transitions will then be duplicated in the audio slugs. Don't forget to go back and Group the individual video and audio events together!

To make your template available to the plug-in, you must save it to My Documents > Sony > Production Assistant 1.0 > Project Templates.

Now launch Vegas Pro Production Assistant from its Desktop icon. Select the Template you just created from the dropdown box. Give your project a name and indicate the folder where you wish to save it.


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Related Keywords:NLE, video editing, Vegas pro production assistant secrets, video editing workflow

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