Advanced Editing - Help Needed

BSP Jay wrote on 11/9/2006, 5:01 AM
I an tryin to figure out or even find out if this is possible. I want to be able to cut out parts of video. It's hard to explain. Im looking for something much like a magic wand tool in photoshop where you are able to cut out portions of a picture, but in this case, pieces of the video. I dont know if it is possible in Vegas but I am trying to find some answers. Any feedback would be great appriciated. Thanks.


Jay Gladwell wrote on 11/9/2006, 5:13 AM

Need more information. Can you provide an example of what you're trying to accomplish? Where have you seen this done before?

Jimmy_W wrote on 11/9/2006, 5:19 AM
Search Bézier masking tool. Vegas help should be able to get you started in using this feature.
newhope wrote on 11/9/2006, 5:24 AM
There are a number of ways of doing this in Vegas, my Mac Pro is currently in OSX at the moment not XP so I'll have to rely on my memory but...

Firstly under the Pan and Crop tool which is available from the right hand end of every video segment, still image etc on your video tracks select the Mask tool (the check box under Position) and you can draw Bezier shapes which can be key framed for size, shape, movement, made positive, negative soft edged in and out or both and the transparency adjusted to any level.

There is also the Cut Out video filter in Video FX which gives you a range of geomtric shapes which can be altered, soft edged and key framed for movement size and position etc

You could possibly use color 'chroma' keying to make specific colours in your video transparent.

These are all standard functions in Vegas and you can find more details for using them in the Help menu.

None of these quite function like the Magic Wand in Photoshop, except for Chroma Keying, but I've used the Mask tool and key frames it to follow movement and 'cut' the subject out of the background.

Undoubtedly other will offer more as well as third party plugins that add more possibilities.

New Hope Media
BSP Jay wrote on 11/9/2006, 5:28 AM
thank you guys for the feedback. I edit montages for professional halo 2 players. I have broken into the gaming world in the last 6 months and have become known as a top notch editor. I like to cut out certain parts of the bg environment and replace them with images or solid colors. BTW, at the moment I am only running Vegas Platinum, is this feature only usable in the full version?
TheHappyFriar wrote on 11/9/2006, 7:51 AM
might be available for the full version, yes. But that's what you want to do & that's the best way to do it (if it's a static camera shot, you can do the different (or something) ot make the MC stand out).

Clever handle too. ;)
Tim L wrote on 11/9/2006, 9:57 AM
The bezier mask tool (in the pan/crop window) mentioned above is only available in the full version of Vegas. It is not available in Vegas Movie Studio or Vegas Movie Studio Platinum.

For anybody that didn't quite catch it above, BSP Jay's second post indicates he is editing Halo 2 video game movies -- video captures from a PC or XBox or something of somebody playing video games. So he has no control over background or chromakey or anything.

Looks like Bezier masks are about the only option in vegas -- very time consuming, but maybe okay for short clips?

Is there some easy way to export a frame-by-frame sequence of stills that could be imported to Photoshop for magic wand selection (kind of an edge-detecting auto-trace, I presume) and then re-imported into Vegas?

Tim L
TheHappyFriar wrote on 11/9/2006, 10:30 AM
someone controls the player who's the camera. no different then us using a camera when we shoot. I've done chroma keying before in games (works quite well if you set it up properly)

there's no easy way to do this automatically unless the camera doesn't move. i know there's tools that modify groups of TGA files but I don't believe HaloPC does TGA's, so Vegas would be the best bet.
Tim L wrote on 11/9/2006, 12:56 PM
Okay, Friar, I guess I didn't realize that (about controlling a "camera" player, etc.)

How do you do chromakey in these things? Have the camera-player with an alternate version of the map that has plain-colored textures for walls and floors? (Just guessing, and that's all I could come up with...)

If you can control the camera player, and stick to a static (non-panning) shot, maybe you can snag an "empty plate" of the background, or construct one from empty portions of multiple frames, and use a difference mask to eliminate the background? (Again, I'm talking a bit beyond my experience, but maybe somebody else can fill in the details.)

And anyway, if this IS possible (using a difference mask), its another feature thats not available in VMS Platinum, which only has Source Alpha and Multiply compositing modes.

Tim L
BSP Jay wrote on 11/9/2006, 4:10 PM
Well I really want to use this tool for a number of reasons. For an intro to the next video I am doing I want to have a white static background and only show the mastercheif from a 3rd person view. I.E. I will record my screen but only capturing the movements of the other play. The only way to acheieve this is to cut out the background and from what I have read it seems the only way is by masking. I have tried to do frame by frame in photoshop but it took for ever. Anyways, I cant find a link for the plugin anywhere, and anyone could help me out that would be awsome. Like I said before, I only have the Platinum Edition, I dont have the money to buy the full right now. So if there is any way I can get my hands on this mask some one please let me know. Thanks again guys.
winrockpost wrote on 11/9/2006, 4:16 PM
you could download the fully functional trial version of vegas, 7,, mask is not a plug its integrated into the program, if it works for you , check ebay for vegas 6 ,it also has the mask feature
TheHappyFriar wrote on 11/9/2006, 6:21 PM
re: tim l

yes, for the chroma keying you treat it jsut like in real life. Here's an example (the 2nd video down). Lots of cool use's. :)

re: BSP

how long is the clip you want have the background "cut" out of? Like tim said, if you can get the exact same moves w/o a character in the view you can just have the computer show the difference. Basically, even if you did it in Vegas you'd do it kinda frame by frame, but since you're in the video app & you can do key frames, it makes it a little easier.Is there a specific reason you want to have the MC cut out of the whole background? If the background is a drasticly different color (IE the MC is blue & the background is red) you can do a combo of a mask & a chroma key. That might give decent results.

A clip would make it easier to help you. :)
rs170a wrote on 11/9/2006, 6:59 PM
I don't have the money to buy the full right now

B & H still has Vegas 6 on sale for only $99. DVD Architect isn't included in this price but, if you don't need it's capabilities, this is still a great deal.

DrLumen wrote on 11/9/2006, 8:03 PM
I've done something similar but with another game. If you can get a shot of only the background and the camera doesnt move, you can use a difference mask (search here for threads on difference masking). This may be what Friar is referring to.

If the camera moves, you will have to try to align a background only sequence with the live action - not easy to do in a game. It may be easier than doing it by hand though.

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BSP Jay wrote on 11/10/2006, 1:55 AM

will post link to a sample vid and screen shots in the morning. I dont know how long the clip is going to be, it depends on which song i decide to use.
BSP Jay wrote on 11/10/2006, 6:16 AM

here is a screen shot. i dowloaded the v7 trial and started to play around with it. the mask tool is exactly that of the pen tool in photoshop/illustrator so i am already very familiar with it. I will use this same cut out to do certain effects but what i want to do is to have a purely white background and be looking at a master cheif i.e not the first person shooter view. also if anyone has any suggestions on editing techniques i am open to them. i am always looking for new ways to "wow" the audience. I am going to start workin on this. Its going to be around 1-1:30 trailer. I will post the link when done to see what you guys think.