Several weeks back I wrote about Vegas 19, the video editor that is part of the POST suite of tools over at Vegas Creative Software. I was surprised to see the depth of the tools offered including Vegas Effects, a functional clone of After Effects. Since that time, I have had the opportunity to use the editor and as an old AE user, I can say that it is indeed a close sister to that product.
Apparently, Effects is the fruition of a project between Vegas Creative Software and FXhome. The editor is part of the “full stack production” of Vegas POST. It isn’t exactly an also-ran either but rather a full-featured timeline-based editor with an interface that looks and feels familiar.
So familiar that I had no problem using the editor for the first time. I was able to adapt to the user interface quickly and I would imagine anyone with After Effects experience would adapt just as quickly. With the near-zero learning curve, I was able to use the editor straight away on projects I had pending. While none of the projects were advanced they did contain enough editing, titling, and audio to be good tests.
A lot of us will be familiar with the workflow of editing together clips with layers of effects and 3D composites to achieve the final result that can then be exported (rendered) directly from the application or added to a queue. In fact, the exporting seemed far simpler from Vegas Effects than After Effects can be in some situations.
Vegas Effects Interface
The application is loaded with effects too, over 800 visual effects according to the information on the Vegas Creative Software website. There are major effects like Particle Generator, Chroma Keying, Presets, Masking, 3D Composting, Behavior Effects, Color Adjustment, Clone Tool, Cinematic Titling, Motion Tracking, Crop-Pan-Zoom and exporting camera tracking data with the new FBX camera export feature. This can bring camera tracking data to other applications like Unreal Engine.
To speed things up you can specify high quality to low-quality proxies or no proxies at all. It also comes with BRAW support to work with Blackmagic RAW media files for “lossless quality with high dynamic range”.
The timeline is standard fare with expandable menus that hold other tools and features that facilitate animation via keyframes and conventional methods.
I can understand the need to bundle a special effects editor to include with the POST suite of tools as its sister applications like Vegas Image (another FXhome collaboration) and Sound Forge Audio Studio bring a dimension of creativity that few other editors, video or special effects, can match.
Sound Forge has long stood alone as a creative sound studio package that enhances the quality of audio as well as make newbies sound like professionals providing that much-needed boost to the creative ego. When you start adding up the other tools it becomes apparent that Vegas 19 POST is far above any mere video editor with a few bells and whistles.
It also becomes clear that Vegas Effects is the real deal when it comes to layering or compositing special effects and video. It is a definite contender to Adobe’s formidable After Effects matching many tools and features of the latter with a familiar user interface and functionality. With Vegas Effects, you can create a wide array of looks, treatments, and motion graphics without leaving the Vegas Creative pipeline. Vegas Effects is a competent production tool in the Vegas 19 POST “full stack production” pipeline.
M.D. McCallum, aka WarLord, is an international award-winning commercial graphics artist, 3D animator, published author, project director, and webmaster with a freelance career that spans over 20 years. Now retired, M.D. is currently working part-time on writing and select character development projects. You can learn more about MD on his website.