As mentioned, our trip to Exmouth involved around 400 video clips, and of course, while we all try our best to minimise useless shots, these will happen from time to time, along with the necessity for multiple takes and always, always, having too much “head and tail” butting up to the bits of a clip you actually want.
So, what is the best way to only have the content you want and discard the rest?
This is the actual art of editing, and any good NLE will give you the tools necessary for this job. In the case of Vegas Pro, these tools include marking in and out points, markers, regions and bins.
There are a number of ways to achieve these ends in Vegas Pro; many like to edit directly on the timeline, cutting and dicing the sections of clips they want and discarding the rest, building the video project as they go, often using different tracks for different sections of the completed product.
Personally, I prefer to use the Trimmer window, find the in and out points of the various clips I want and add these to the appropriate bin. Once completed, I can then compile the finished video using these marked clips.
I also find it useful to utilise the Regions and Sub-Clips options, letting me precisely name the exact portions of clips I want, making identification easier. This means I am not stuck in the rut of say, car-1, car-2 or man-in-crowd-1, man-in-crowd-2 type labelling.
Contour Shuttle Pro 2
At this point, it is worth telling you about what I consider the NLE editor’s Very Best Friend – the Contour Shuttle Pro 2.
Yes, you can use keyboard shortcuts and your mouse to slice up your clips and move them around, but for years I have been using this device that for me, speeds things up immeasurably.
In simple terms, the Contour Shuttle Pro 2 consists of a double wheel affair at its centre – one for quickly shuttling through a clip – and a jog wheel for fine tuning. Additionally, you have 15 buttons that can be user defined, or the Contour Shuttle Pro drivers come pre assigned for dozens of popular packages.
For Vegas pro, I have created my own set that consist of Go To Beginning / End of Project, Go To Next/Previous Marker, Split, Add Marker, Add Region, Add In / Out Points, Create SubClip, Play/Stop, Zoom In / Out and Add to Cursor (Timeline placement of a clip).
So where do I start?
Initially all my clips are loaded into the All Media bin, so what I want to do is select each one in the Trimmer (an option exists in Preferences to let you automatically add to the Trimmer window when you double click a clip) and then using the Shuttle / Jog controls, scrub through a clip until I find an interesting In point, mark it, and then repeat the process for an Out point. I then drag this clip to an appropriate bin – say scenery, or landscape, or beach – whatever.
Sometimes, a clip may have more than one potential in/out point, so I simply find these and then drag the clip again to the relevant bin.
If I want to also label a section, I can press R (or the button I have set on the Contour Shuttle Pro) to create this Region, and label it. When I drag the clip to the bin the Region labelling goes with it.
Alternatively, I could create a sub clip, and with this, Vegas Pro asks me for a name, and then creates a “virtual clip” from the main clip and I can save this in the appropriate bin.
Once all the clips have been defined, I then go through and build my video accordingly.
Of course, this means I need to create a “story” to make it interesting, and here is where we get to the REALY fun and creative bit!
I try and write a story out beforehand, a script if you will, and build the video as close to this as I can in a rough mode, and then fine tune it later. There are many tools that assist in this area, and the most popular is probably Final Draft.
But you can use any text editor or word processor in reality, it all depends on how much sophistication you want.
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