Sony Vegas Pro 11 review

Price when reviewed

We’ve seen GPU acceleration bring dramatic benefits before, notably in Premiere Pro CS5, but it’s unusual to find it based on such broad hardware support, and for the acceleration to be available for such a large number of existing effects.

Vegas Pro 11 also bundles a new titles editor called NewBlue Titler Pro. It’s immediately impressive, with a fast, friendly interface and the ability to extrude and move text in 3D space. We like its ability to format and manipulate individual characters, but it’s disappointing that keyframe animation is only per text object and for a reduced set of parameters.

There are stylish animation templates ready to drop onto text objects, but control over them is fairly limited. Output quality is excellent, though, with support for textured fills and reflections. The latter gives a texture that moves as the object is animated.

We like NewBlue Titler Pro a lot, but it’s disappointing that Sony didn’t develop these itself and incorporate them into the existing ProType Titler. It means Vegas Pro users now have four titles editors to choose from, including the Titles & Text editor introduced in Sony Vegas Movie Studio Platinum 11, all of which have their own strengths. We’d prefer one editor that does it all.

Sony Vegas Pro 11 - text effects

A new Sync Links feature provides a useful addition to the Group command and ripple editing options, creating a one-way link between two objects. For example, a titles object that’s linked to a video clip can be moved independently on the timeline, but when the video clip is moved, the titles object will follow it and stay synchronised. This is a similar concept to Apple Final Cut Pro X’s magnetic timeline, but Sync Links is much more controllable and predictable. The only downside is links must be made manually and individually.

Other new features include greater control over the Stabilize effect, allowing the user to specify stabilisation and pan smoothing amounts independently. There’s still no way to explicitly limit the crop amount, though. Effects, transitions and media generators are now arranged into subfolders, which makes them much easier to browse.

There’s added support for RAW image files and the Red Epic camera, integrated YouTube uploads and a revamped Render As dialog box taken from Vegas Movie Studio Platinum.

This is a tremendous update, with new creative tools, improved workflow and a massive boost to performance. For the first time, here’s a professional-quality editor that can handle 1080p video on a typical modern PC with no need for expensive, esoteric hardware or to compromise preview quality for smooth performance. Existing users shouldn’t hesitate to upgrade.

With an overhauled Pan/Crop editor, it might have knocked the mighty – and mightily expensive – Adobe Creative Suite Production Premium out of our A-List. The gap between Vegas Pro and Premiere Pro is smaller than ever, though, and Sony’s editor is the better choice for those who don’t produce complex animated graphics.


Software subcategoryVideo editing software

Operating system support

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

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