Has Vegas been ahead of the game all these years?

paul_w wrote on 5/8/2012, 7:59 AM
I have always took for granted that all NLEs allow you to throw most camera and media formats straight onto the timeline without having to transcode everything first.
Never even gave it a second thought other than knowing it can have performance advantages during the edit process. Previous older versions of Vegas could not handle Canon DSLR footage efficiently, although it has always been able to at least work with DSLR footage albeit slower than other formats. These days, its not a problem at all.

Today, just reading Philip Blooms blog, it seems one of the highlights of Premiere CS6 is the fact it can handle multiple formats on the timeline. My point is, didn't we already have this years ago?

Here is a direct copy of what Philip Says in his blog:

Adobe: What would you say is the best thing about working with Adobe Premiere Pro CS6?

Bloom: The ability to play various formats on the timeline is wonderful. I’ve recently been editing native footage from the new Canon 5D Mark III. Even with a totally new format like the Mark III, Premiere recognized it and let me work with it natively, whereas other NLEs would not recognize it and try to convert it. Another documentary I’m editing has a mixture of footage, including RED Epic, Sony F3, Panasonic AF100, and Canon Cinema EOS C300. If I was working in Final Cut Pro I would have to transcode everything to ProRes, which would take a long time. I also just shot a documentary on a boat using a Canon C300 and was able to just offload the cards, throw the footage on the timeline without transcoding, throw on some color grades, and do rough edits in my cabin. The ability to edit these different types of footage natively is huge.

and his full blog is available to read here:

Just thought i'd mention this.



Former user wrote on 5/8/2012, 8:16 AM
I mentioned this kind of stuff several times to FCP editors. Many of the "wow" improvements of FCP a few years ago were the norm for Vegas. Multiple formats without conversion, preview without rendering and audio capabilities.

Dave T2
farss wrote on 5/8/2012, 8:23 AM
Nothing particularly new about this, at least as far back as CS4 Adobe were showing off the ability to edit video from different cameras on the one timeline.

There's a good reason to discourage this though, it's more CPU and memory load. Given that pretty well every video stream we're likely to be putting onto the T/L uses a long GOP, the entire GOP has be decoded and buffered in RAM. The decoding process is also CPU intensive. So getting all your ducks in a line before you get going means all that work is done once only instead of being repeated a zillion time as you edit.

This is as true for Vegas as any NLE. I regularly edit a mix of HDV and XDCAM EX. One or the other will playback at Best/Full at full fps, depending on what my project settings are, but not both. Perhaps if I had a faster machine with more RAM things might improve but it clearly proves that there is a cost involved in doing this.

Laurence wrote on 5/8/2012, 8:53 AM
I just wanted to point out that the compression in both HDV and XDCAM EX is the same mpeg2. The problem in this case is the resolution 1440x1080 vs 1920x1080. If for instance you use the lower resolution SP mode on the EX, the dimensions will match and so will the video compression. The only thing different will be the audio (which is data compressed in HDV but not in XDCAM). A mix of HDV and SP mode 1440 x 1080 XDCAM plays very nicely, and even smart-renders into either format.

Sometimes this is preferable because the Vegas scaling (either 1440 up to 1920 or vice versa) won't give you as nice an end result as working end to end in a single dimension.
paul_w wrote on 5/8/2012, 10:17 AM
On the point of scaling, while checking out the trial version of PP6 yesterday, it seems if you mix different format dimensions on the TL, its not automatically scaled to fit the project. e.g, i was mixing 720 x 1080p with 1920 x 1080p and as a 1920 project, the 720 shows as a small screen. As expected, because its a smaller dimension. But in Vegas, this is taken care of transparently. Again, something i normally don't even think about. But i guess it should be thought about more because as mentioned, scaling the image must degrade it in one way or another.
Getting it all conformed before hand, sure. But working with Vegas and just dropping media in there just seems to be second nature to me. Seems like a back step to have to transcode footage before use. These days our machines are able to be fast enough to just handle all this. And only now it seems CS6 is catching up [and FCP never did] . I find it interesting that Vegas has always been able to do this.

craftech wrote on 5/8/2012, 11:15 AM
Has Vegas been ahead of the game all these years?

SCS didn't know how good Vegas was all those years until they dreamed up Vegas 11.

SuperG wrote on 5/8/2012, 12:19 PM
Normally, I'd agree with the notion that handling multiple video types on the timeline increases complexity and impacts performance. However, today's PC's are so much more powerful that the costs for that multi-video timeline are paid for...in most cases.

Remember when Cineform was practically a requirement to edit HDV?
farss wrote on 5/8/2012, 5:56 PM
"However, today's PC's are so much more powerful that the costs for that multi-video timeline are paid for...in most cases."

That's true but all that extra processing power does is move the brick wall. On top of that we now have codecs that are more CPU intensive to decode or video that uses no codec at all e.g. RAW.

Having been in this game for ten years Nirvana has always remained just over the horizon. Today I could spend a bit of money and almost certainly have a brief respite editing HD but then in a few months I could be looking at 4K RAW on the T/L.

[r]Evolution wrote on 5/8/2012, 6:14 PM
Has Vegas been ahead of the game all these years?

Ahead in some regards, yet behind in others.

SuperG wrote on 5/8/2012, 7:49 PM
"That's true but all that extra processing power does is move the brick wall."

It's the nature of the game. As soon as something's mastered, it becomes obsolete...
TheHappyFriar wrote on 5/8/2012, 8:28 PM
The power never helps. Computers got more powerful, dedicated hardware was removed to edit video and things slowed back down. Got more powerful and editing DV was a breeze, HD became the new standard. Soon we'll be back to square one because something new will come along that will take up more resources and we still won't be able to do a video wall w/o rendering some kind of preview.
PixelStuff wrote on 5/8/2012, 8:36 PM
TheHappyFriar wrote: "Soon we'll be back to square one because something new will come along..."

That's probably going to be 120fps at 4K. Then maybe at 8K.
Laurence wrote on 5/8/2012, 8:53 PM
If you look at audio, you have various mp3 qualities, CD quality (44k at 16 bits) and way beyond what someone like me can here: 24 bits 96k. I've seen 32 bit audio as well. Is there any point to these higher formats? Well I use 24bit recording all the time for live stuff because I can normalize it and dither it down to 16 bits for much better quality than you would be able to get recording at 16 bits. As far as the higher frequencies: they are useful for recording things that you are going to slow down for sound effects: much like high speed film is good for slow motion.

Anyway, the progress slowed down a little after it went past what people could actually hear, and the most popular formats are things like mp3 that are a compromise between size and quality somewhere near the limits of most people's hearing.

I expect something similar in video. Extreme quality on discs, only to be eventually made irrelevant by downloads that are a compromise between the quality people can actually see and bandwidths that are practical.