Vegas Movie Studio vs Pro for aging newbie

DesertSweeper wrote on 11/8/2017, 9:28 PM

Hello Forum! I have mucked about a little with low end video editors over the years like Pinnacle and CorelVS but now want to up my game a little and start doing it properly. Do I start with Movie Studio or roll up my sleeves and dive in the deep end with Pro? I am semi-retired which gives me time...but highly complex learning curves present a challenge to the aging mind....I downloaded the pro demo and my initial reaction is 'gulp'...

Would it make sense to start with MS and then upgrade to Pro down the line - is it a smooth transition or a completely different beast that would require me to start from scratch?


Former user wrote on 11/8/2017, 10:54 PM

If you feel the price range for Pro fits your needs, go for Pro. The learning curve is actually pretty shallow. I think Vegas is one of the most user friendly interfaces, but it is more flexible that Pinnacle. I started with Pinnacle but once I found Vegas, I never looked back. There are plenty of tutorials and a great community here willing to help.

DesertSweeper wrote on 11/8/2017, 11:56 PM

Thank you david-tu, I just pulled the trigger and bought Pro as it is on sale for today only - $400

Now to breath and start the beginning. It all looks very daunting

Richard Jones wrote on 11/9/2017, 5:35 AM

Good luck to you. You've made the right decision. There are plenty of very helpful tutorials available --- see the list in the link mentioned at the head of the page.


DesertSweeper wrote on 11/9/2017, 10:52 AM

Have started already!

DesertSweeper wrote on 11/16/2017, 9:16 AM

Hi all, back again...So I have decided to shelve Vegas Pro 15 for now. It really is just way too different and complex for me, coming from the Corel VideoStudio world (and MediaStudio before that). I churned my way through the Vegas tutorials and then tackled my first fairly simple project but ran into one thing after another. Simple tasks in Corel are very complex here. And it is completely impossible to render - it always gets a little way in and then just sits there for ever. Any attempt to cancel does nothing (acknowledges the cancel action but continues to sit indefinitely) and finally I am forced to reboot the computer to kill Vegas. I am sure it just requires a re-boot of the mindset and I will come back to it down the line - I am doing something wrong somewhere. For now I want to crack on and edit my footage so I decided to go simple after all. So I went over to the Magix website to buy Movie Studio, but there I found a bewildering array of Video Editing Suites to choose from:

There is "Movie Edit Pro" (and variants called Plus and Premium)

There is "Video Pro X"

There is "Video Easy"

There is "Movie Studio 14" (and variants called Suite and Platinum)

I just want something that is easy to use with a simple flow of IMPORT>EDIT>OUT but it must work - Corel looks good on paper but fails to do most of the stuff it claims it can do - it bombs out or hangs or just plain lies most of the time. And then often it renders garbage. I don't mind spending more money if it does the job...I want to trim clips, add pictures and maybe a title or comment here and there, add a music track maybe...and then get a video file out that can play on my computer or upload to youtube. I only have FullHD or HD sources.

My computer is a Core i7-6850K with 32GB Ram and two 1TB SSD drives and Windows 7 pro and an nvidia Quadro P1000 video card.

3POINT wrote on 11/16/2017, 9:45 AM

From all listed versions of Video editing software you can download "30 days try before you buy" versions. It would have save you spending 400$. I would never have adviced you to start with Vegaspro, especially when you're almost a novice.

From the little editing experience you have (pinnacle and corel) I would advice to start with a trial of "Movie Edit Pro" or "Movie Studio" and see which package suits you most. When you later think you're missing some pro-features, you can always upgrade to "Video Pro X" or go back to "VegasPro".

vkmast wrote on 11/16/2017, 9:56 AM

I agree with 3POINT's recommendation to use trial versions first. If you choose to try the (basic) Movie Studio though, remember that "it lacks the ability to customize many different settings and will normally frustrate anyone needing to create videos that are a little more advanced. The difference between this basic version and the Platinum version is night and day."(Thanks to Dr Zen)

DesertSweeper wrote on 11/16/2017, 9:57 AM

Thank you for responding 3POINT, You are quite correct but I have it now and I will come back to it later. Let me re-phrase my question - of the listed and available software, which one would give me the right grounding so that I can progress, at a later date, smoothly to Vegas Pro?

Former user wrote on 11/16/2017, 11:22 AM

It sounds like you are having similar problems with Corel and Vegas, so odds are you will have problems with other video editors. You need to determine why you are having problems rendering so if you could post your system specifications as well as document any procedures that fail, we might help get that sorted out.

DesertSweeper wrote on 11/16/2017, 11:52 AM

My PC is super-stable and carefully patched - I am an IT MSP Consultant. I spared no expense on the build with high-end kit and I keep it clean. I use it all day for Remote Monitoring and Management and it does not miss a beat. It is not overclocked yet has liquid cooling and a Workstation-class ASUS mainboard with high-end ecc memory. The issues I have with Corel are well documented on their forums. And their support is beyond dreadful in technical matters. I know I should probably be running Windows 10 but I am loath to leave Windows 7 which will be my last Microsoft OS before I hang up my hat (started with MS-DOS back in 1984). My rendering issues with Vegas are likely to do with the bewildering array of options when trying to produce output. I managed to render one project that had an 81MB file loaded with a small simple audio-track that produced a 900MB MP4 file! When I choose what I think is the right option it says the file will be about 100MB but it always stalls. I have just downloaded Movie Edit Pro Premium and Movie Studio 14 Platinum to play with...let's see how I get on with those two!

3POINT wrote on 11/16/2017, 12:25 PM

Let me re-phrase my question - of the listed and available software, which one would give me the right grounding so that I can progress, at a later date, smoothly to Vegas Pro?

For a smooth transition at a later date to VegasPro, ofcourse VegasMovieStudio (Platinum version ofcourse as vkmast also advised) is optimal. It has almost the same UI, tools, workflow, guality and stability as VegasPro. It also has an extra Renderwizard which will help newbies to export their movie with a mouseclick.

EricLNZ wrote on 11/16/2017, 4:59 PM

Plus, and very important, you will get useful help here. And there are other helpful forums such as Dr Zen and Creative Cow to name just two.

DesertSweeper wrote on 11/16/2017, 9:51 PM

Thank you for your continued encouragement folks. I want to talk about the concept of "intuitive software". So I played around with Movie Edit Pro Premium (MEP) for a few hours and if anyone is interested in my brief review and why I deleted it - let me know. Suffice to say that it is just not a good product. Then I fired up Movie Studio 14 Platinum and of course it is instantly vastly superior to MEP. But it has its own quirks - the benchmark project that I am trying in all the various suites involves a simple background video of changing colours with static images overlaid. I am helping a friend with her Yoga project. So I bring in the video clip and then add the images on a second video track. Every suite I do this with pulls the images in at the same relative start as the video-clip...except Studio-pro that dumps them all at the very end of the video you have to scroll all the way over to the end, grab all of them and slurp them back to the start. Not a deal-killer but an example of a WTF happened here moment - not even the similar Vegas Pro did that. Then I need to set the time of each image according to how she has labelled it e.g. 1-5.jpg is image number one that should display for 5 seconds. Now you would imagine this is an easy task...but do you think I can find this option in Studio 14? Nope. Right-click on the image - zip. Drag it while holding down the CTRL key and you can shorten or lengthen it - but it doesn't tell exactly how many seconds it will be - all you get is a relative time marker up above the time line - where it would be in relation to your start. So you need to calculate it by knowing the default duration and then adding or subtracting the relative difference displayed...225 images...forget it. As a note of comparison here are my findings for this simple task in the other programs I have played with:

Vegas Pro15: View > Window > Edit Details then select one or more images and set the time in that window. It works and is great when selecting multiple images of the same duration, but still no simple right-click and set time option.

Movie Edit Pro Premium: Now while I quickly loathed this product for serious omissions (e.g.not possible to import media from a network share!), it does have right-click and "Change photo length" and you can apply it to multiple images. Cudo's for supplying an intuitive and obvious feature.

Corel VideoStudioX10: In typical fashion Corel has a bug (everything in Corel works half-heartedly). Right-click on an image and you get "Change photo duration"...but ONLY if it is a single-track project. Add another video track and boom, that option is now greyed out ever-more. Then your only option is to drag the end of each image, which does display the length-time as you drag it. A pain in the butt but at least you can set an image to the exact duration you want. The workaround is to first set your images duration, then bring in the video clip. However you CANNOT select multiple images unless they are adjacent. I kid you not. In CorelVS, if you want to select the first, fith and seventh image - it's just not possible. You can only shift-click images that will select EVERYTHING between the first and last. This is the kind of half-baked stuff that drove me from CorelVS in the first place.

Movie Studio 14: No option that i could find intuitively. If I double-click on the photo I can see how long it is in the lower-right hand corner...but then when i try to drag-adjust it - nothing anywhere display the true time of the photo's duration - you just get a relative-to-where-you-started-on-the-timeline indication as mentioned in my intro. So I google and find the bizarre answer: yes you double-click the slide and then you go to the displayed duration in the extreme lower-right and you can type in a new time. This has the effect of changing the highlighted object's duration "shadow" you can drag the image in or out to that indication. For 225 images...pick me up off the floor.

Back to my opening statement: "Intuitive Software". Is setting the duration of a static image such a rare and exotic thing to do in the world of video editing? Why do cheap and nasty programs like VS and MEP offer this in a simple intuitive "here it is" way, but you have to go digging in the expensive stuff?

EDIT: While MEP had some fundamental programming flaws that were immediately apparent - it did seem intuitive to me - so I figured, why not try its older sibling Video Pro X? WOW - we have a winner in the easy-to-use, easy-to-find stakes! Pro X addresses almost all of my gripes with MEP. I was able to import my video clip, place the images, set their time (it has MEP's right-click "Change photo length" option) and easily choose to render it to MP4 (something well-buried inside Vegas and still cannot get it to work). It produced a compact perfect video and audio clip. Gripes? Well right up front - why on earth does Pro X and MEP not allow you to browse your network neighbourhood? I have a 10Gbit Network with high-speed NAS boxes housing all my video from over the years - you gotta first drag the stuff onto "my computer" to bring it in. There is an option to add a network path to the search-for-media feature but that lists ALL indexed locations as well - so you can get thousands of result unless you know the exact name of what you are importing. And then my next massive gripe is why no right-click to split the clip? Ok I learned that tapping the "T" key does that, but back to intuition - what does it cost to put that option there on the context-menu - it is available on every other product I tested? And adding effects? Here Vegas Pro and MEP are way easier. Intuitively I still cannot figure out how to add an effect in Pro X - I will have to go searching. Still my immediate impression of Pro X is that this is where I should have spent my Vegas Pro money.

vkmast wrote on 11/17/2017, 12:27 PM

Re the (non-intuitive?) "quirks" in MS 14 P you mention in the first paragraph.

I bring in the video clip and then add the images on a second video track.

Don't double-click media, drag it if you don't want it added to end of your project.

I need to set the time of each image

In Options > Preferences > Editing tab you can choose "New still image length (seconds)."

Maybe better still, use the MSP's Slideshow feature (Insert menu) (even repeatedly), where you can choose e.g. Placement and Duration. If media is on the timeline as events, read e.g. an ancient post by DGates here.

Re the Movie Studio 14 paragraph.

I google and find the bizarre answer: yes you double-click the slide and then you go to the displayed duration in the extreme lower-right and you can type in a new time.

V 13 showed the event length, but this was changed in v 14. But you can use Group option (see the linked post) and you do not need to click on every still/event. Make the appropriate Timeline selection and type a new (selection length) time. You get the cursor where you need to Ctrl+drag to. (a bit of math needed though)

Is setting the duration of a static image such a rare and exotic thing to do in the world of video editing?

See above.


These may not be as intuitive as you'd wish but they work. After a while you may find that MSP has often (maybe too?) many ways to do what you want.


DesertSweeper wrote on 11/17/2017, 11:34 PM

vkmast thank you for your input. The new still image length only helps to get the majority set right. But in my case images were mostly different lengths to fit certain exercises. I saw the post you mentioned as I trawled posts before my comments. I am simply highlighting that what really should be a simple option on any editing program is made complicated on some. They all have workarounds to issues but my point is that intuitive simplicity will always win, especially for getting newbies up to speed. I am persevering onwards and upwards!:)

vkmast wrote on 11/18/2017, 2:23 AM

I'm not wanting to dispute anything about your sweep for the intuitive simplicity needing no workarounds. But you single out that "images were mostly different lengths to fit certain exercises" and adding them to the timeline is made complicated with no simple option. That's where the Slideshow feature (btw, not included in VPro) helps.

First Add Pictures i.e. your images of x sec duration. In Settings choose Placement and Duration and other parameters if you wish and Create. The images will appear on the timeline where you wish. Then delete your first images from the Pictures tab and keep repeating the process with your images of different lengths. I admit that MSP probably has more of a learning curve compared to those so-called PHD editing programs, but to me this feature is almost like a PHD option.


DesertSweeper wrote on 11/18/2017, 2:28 AM

Let me try this vkmast...will also teach me about creating a slideshow...

EricLNZ wrote on 11/18/2017, 3:22 AM

VK - please excuse my ignorance but apart from "Doctor of Philosophy" what does PHD stand for in the video world? I've not heard it before.

vkmast wrote on 11/18/2017, 6:19 AM

@EricLNZ, "a consumer PHD (Push Here, Dummy) program".

DesertSweeper wrote on 12/2/2017, 8:46 AM

So I have been playing with all the various Magix Video Editors and have pretty much made up my mind - but here's a curiosity: I am trying to put together almost 200 clips taken with an old Sony CyberShot Camera, and not one of the 5 Video Editing products Magix sells will open the AVI files. They all complain about a missing codec. Now I can appreciate that without a codec there is no understanding of the structure of the file. But what I don't get is why that cheap and nasty Corel VideoStudio, that I am dumping for something better, opens them without any hesitation at all. How is it possible that a cheap consumer editor like Corel VS can get that right - but Vegas Pro 15 or for that matter Video Pro X cannot? Why does Corel include support for a Sony codec...but Vegas (ex Sony) does not???

vkmast wrote on 12/2/2017, 9:42 AM

@DesertSweeper Some pointers in this thread. Note the request for MediaInfo details. You might want to continue with this issue on the Vegas Pro or Movie Studio forum.

DesertSweeper wrote on 12/2/2017, 10:04 AM

Thank you vkmast