Sony Vegas Movie Studio HD Platinum 11 review

Price when reviewed

Competition among low-cost video-editing software has been hotting up in recent months, but Avid Studio and CyberLink PowerDirector couldn’t quite knock Vegas Movie Studio Platinum off its A-List pedestal. Now it’s Sony’s turn to put Platinum even further ahead.

Its close ties to Vegas Pro are demonstrated by the arrival of 3D editing. The implementation is closely based on that of Vegas Pro, although Platinum doesn’t include 3D Track Motion for rotating and animating media in 3D space. As such, it’s more of a platform for editing clips from a twin-lens 3D camera, rather than creating 3D effects from scratch. There’s a simple 3D effect that can be used to raise text out from the screen, but otherwise, 3D footage passes through the editor much like conventional 2D footage.

Sony Vegas Movie Studio HD Platinum 11

This isn’t a criticism, though. Format support is comprehensive, and so too are preview options, with red/green anaglyph glasses included in the box and support for Nvidia 3D Vision displays. 3D export options include 1080p uploads to YouTube, complete with the necessary tags for the 3D effect to be handled correctly.

It’s even possible to generate a disc that conforms to the 3D Blu-ray standard. This uses independent, full-resolution video streams for the left and right eyes; other editors simply generate standard Blu-ray discs with the 3D effect rendered as a split-screen or anaglyph. However, 3D Blu-ray authoring is possible directly only from the timeline (the accompanying DVD Architect Studio software is unchanged in this release), so these discs lack menus. They’re also restricted to two fixed render templates – 720/60p and 1080/24p. The Blu-ray 3D specification also supports 720/50p video, and its omission here could be annoying for European users.

A new Titles & Text editor introduces 24 animations with names such as Fly in, Action Flip and Earthquake. They look smart but they’re not the easiest to incorporate into a project. Animations are picked from a dropdown list, but adjusting their pace or combining different ones for text as it appears and disappears is clumsy and unintuitive. The old system, whereby static text objects are animated using the same Pan/Crop controls used for video, has its limitations – most significantly, the inability to animate individual characters – but at least the controls are straightforward and consistent with the rest of the software. That method of working is still available, though.

While the Animations dropdown list is a little crude, animating other parameters – the text colour, position, drop shadow and so on – is more sophisticated. It’s done using keyframes but, unlike Vegas Platinum’s effects, the Titles & Text editor has individual keyframe lanes for each parameter, plus Bezier curve-based editing. This makes it easy to animate a text object’s size and position, for example, without clogging up the colour parameter with redundant keyframes.


Software subcategoryVideo editing software

Operating system support

Operating system Windows Vista supported?yes
Operating system Windows XP supported?yes

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