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What software?

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What software?
on Oct 3, 2007 at 3:20:57 pm

Hello...I'm new to all this. I'm not a professional, this is strictly a hobby for me. I was wondering if I can get an opinion from you that are more experienced at this as to which software I should buy as my main one?

I guess the two most popular are Sony Vegas and After Effects and I assume that when buying one of those...I'd want to get the professional versions? correct? Of course, I'd want it to be PI friendly. I just thought I would ask would you guys thought. I can catch on to programs pretty good.

If it helps, with your advice, I have: Intel dual core E6600 (OC to 3.2) sapphire x1950 pro 512mb, 150 raptor and 300 seagate, windows xp and 2 gig of memory. I will be upgrading to a quad core soon. I currently use a regular sony Digital 8 handy cam, nothing special, but I'm looking at getting a cannon HV20 or something along those the "under $2000" range. I just want to have exceptional home movies with great looking special effects....along with doing some chroma things and cool looking title stuff. To give you an idea of what "level" I'm favorite current editing program is Magix Edit pro, but I'm pretty good on it. I'd say I've hit a creative wall with it now.

Any advice on which "main" program to get would be greatly appreciated. Looks like this is going to be an expensive hobby. LOL.

Thanks for your time.

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Re: What software?
on Oct 3, 2007 at 6:26:48 pm


Such decisions are very personal and I'm not a wealthy person, so I did a lot of online research to find a good win-win. Result:

--- I've worked in an earlier version of AE and one thing that drove me nuts was work-flow or ease of use. Not easy. So I got Sony Vegas.

Never been happier. The official forum at Sony for Vegas is also an active one which I visit just about every day.

And, if you act soon, you could get yourself a great deal too. If you go the route suggested, you could get yourself the newest Vegas Pro 8 for about $250.

Legit, the real deal.

If you don't want the upgrade right away, then you'll get Vegas 6 for only &99. Again, no joke.

(BTW, v.8 just had "Pro" added to the name, that's all. Not a different application, meaning the v.6 deal is a deal on the same, only earlier version of the professional version of Vegas).

Go see the Sept. 30th 4th posting (by me) in the thread here titled "Re: Loss of clarity and increase in size when exporting to PNG". It's one of the longest threads below.

Read the second part of my posting in which I talk about NLE and then go to the page at B&H. Once you get the steal-deal, and you upgrade to 8 by Oct. 31, you'll be all set to go.

Good luck.

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Re: What software?
on Oct 3, 2007 at 7:25:32 pm

Thanks soniclight, but a couple questions:

1. Did you do this? Did you buy the vegas 6 cd-rom and then upgrade via the sony software website?

Only reason why I ask this is because B&H says it's selling only the cd-rom, no box or manuals. To upgrade to Vegas 8 you will need the serial number from Vegas 6. So, I was wondering if you got yours from B&H and if it had the serial number on the envelope the cd-rom came in?

Yes, this way would save about $100 bucks. Every little bit helps.

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Re: What software?
on Oct 3, 2007 at 8:13:56 pm

I know at least of one person at the official Sony Vegas forum who did just that -- upgrade from the $99 deal. CD-only doesn't mean no serial number :) B&H is one of Sony's trusted retailers.

You don't get DVD Architect with it, but you will probably get it with the upgrade.

--- To make Fort Knox certain, just call B&H up and ask them about upgradaability for your own peace of mind.

You can also call Sony and see if you would get DVD Architect if you upgraded from that deal. Sony Media Software Customer Service (I.e. pre-sales questions):

--- 800 577-6642 9-11:30 AM + 12:30 TO 5:00 CST -- note the lunch break :)


Now, did I go this route? Unfortunately no:

I did buy my v. 6 from B&H, then a few weeks later, they put up the $99 deal. I was, well, not happy - lol. Since I've been on the Net for a while, it also seemed too good of a deal. Why would a veteran retailer do this?

So I called them and asked about the legitimacy of it. This was over a year ago and the deal is still up there, and as stated, others have taken advantage of it.

I could have saved myself about $300 dollars had I been psychic :)

As to the difference between that $99 deal and the usual regular packaged one, not much: You get a hard copy "get started" manual and keyboard shortcuts fold-out thingy with the latter.

I never used either one. The in-program Help files + forum are all I need.

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Tech Diver
Re: What software?
on Oct 4, 2007 at 4:03:59 pm

I too am a Sony Vegas user and I am extremely pleased with the product. I'm sure there are other NLEs out there that are generally comparable in functionality, but I have heard that Vegas has an especially easy work flow. I have only used one other NLE by Pinnacle that I was very unhappy with, and switched to Vegas because of its rock-solid stability. In fact, during the three years in which I have been using Vegas it has never crashed or hung up. Another thing that I like about Vegas is that the forum members are very helpful at problem solving. It is a very friendly and open environment where you can discuss competitive products and not be sensored. There is no bashing of products or people that I have yet seen. All very professional.

Regarding work flow and ease of use, any system can be made to work for you once you get used to it. There are a great many folks who use and love After Effects though it might be a little hard to use at first. Whichever tool you wind up getting, invest the time to learn it as thoroughly as possible and it will serve your needs.

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Elvis Deane
Re: What software?
on Oct 4, 2007 at 8:04:53 pm

There is an overlap in what the two can do, but they are very different programs. You can edit in After Effects, but it's not ideal for it. You can composite in Vegas, but it's not great at it. Ideally, you'd have both. I had Vegas for a long time and it was never enough to do visual effects compositing, or good titles. I've edited things in AE, but it's timeline isn't that simple to view and navigate as one that's part of an NLE.

Vegas 6 is a good solid editor. I'm still using it as there hasn't been that much in the last two versions that I felt I absolutely needed. If you do get the HV20, I guess you'd need the latest version to edit HDV footage.

You have to ask yourself what you want to do. If it's effects, compositing, and motion graphics, AE is the clear winner. If you want to edit videos with the occassional effect, go with Vegas.

Elvis Deane!

The Apprentice Magician's Guide to particleIllusion

Wilbur of Wumbaberry

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Re: What software?
on Oct 4, 2007 at 10:26:42 pm

Thank you all for your input. It helps my decision alot more than when I first started. I also appreciate Elvis's comparison of the two in a simple beginner's language. That was great!

So....I think I'll get Vegas and then later on get AE. I'm very happy I found this site.

Thanks again, to you all.

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Re: What software?
on Oct 5, 2007 at 2:15:11 am

I never got into AE very deep at all, and I had a really old version (3.1), so I can't comment on it with any solid authority.

That said, I disagree a bit with with Elvis saying one can't really composite or do effects in Vegas, or titles. (On the latter and While v.1 of it, Vegas Pro 8 now has a decent title/tiler.)

My signature visual style which I carried over from still work is VERY effects intensive -- dreamy, mystical, etc. It can take 2-4 to 6 layers for just to get a PI PNG to do what I want it to do.

In short I have no problems compositing or getting creative in Vegas (6 or 8). My main obstacle can be, uh, patience :)

There are some very pro people there who know far more than I and I have yet to see a posting lamenting compositing -- or effects for that matter.

As for Vegas Pro 8's ProType tiler, well, we're all giving our feedback and so it's bound to only get even better in v.0 :)

Now, as to real-time preview when using such, well neither Vegas or any other company has gotten that one down to a totally smooth ride - lol.

Does AE probably do a better job overall at compositing?

From what I know and have read, yes, but not by that much.

Vegas Track Property settings, envelopes, etc. are pretty decent IMO. Pan/Crop and 3D Track Motion in Vegas isn't anything to spit on either.

Nor are the in-prog transitions and effects, incl. basic but powerful stuff like 3 wheel Color Correction to Magic Bullet.

So for those who don't have New York ad agency budgets, I still believe that Vegas provides the most all round capabilities. Adobe is top of the line in many fields, but it also ain't cheap.

Hence why I suggested Vegas in this thread: he's not some company with bottomless fiduciary pockets.

So to sum up, Vegas isn't Pinnacle Studio, nor can it do what far more expensive apps can do. But it's a real NLE with a nice toolbox of tools and versatility.

And/but in the end, whatever one's preferences or budget, it still comes down to what applies to any art form:

--- It's who and how the tools are used that separates mediocre from stunning work.

Without an eye and instinct (and some willingness to learn what the tools one has can do), having all the highest end progs in the world won't change the essential quality of the outcome.

It's just like PI:

--- It can be used for cheesy and run-of-the-mill effects, but... with some elbow grease and creative intuition turn out stuff that can stun the eye and heart.

(I ain't quite there yet, but I'm definitely slowly but surely working on it :)


P.S.: Am I biased? Sure, I'm a believer in Vegas -- and grateful that I could afford any NLE this good.

As Alan knows, I'm not exactly Bill Gates in the wealth department.

And I do the same "postive P.R." for PI at the Sony Media boards when PI is mentioned, as well as offer advice when I am in a position to do so even though I'm still learning.

IMO, both Vegas and PI are truly "democratic" programs:

WiTHIN reach of those outside of the sometimes clcky-y and snobby circles of "the Biz" (I live in Los Angeles CA and while not directly in said biz, I do know a teeny bit about that kind of stuff.)

So to me, Vegas's and PI's accessibility in that way is worth all the tinsel in Tinsel Town. For the people, by the people, etc.

OK, 'nuf pontificating here.
You get my social drift :)

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Tech Diver
Re: What software?
on Oct 5, 2007 at 12:34:35 pm

Yes you CAN do compositing with Vegas, but there are some limitations. For example, Vegas supports 3D planes which you can move and intersect, but no other 3D objects of greater complexity are supported. For that, I use Boris Red both as a Vegas plugin and as a stand-alone compositing tool. Red supports spheres, cylinders, extrusions, etc. along with excellent text generation. However, with Vegas 8, the text generation issue has been solved. Yes, AE probably does do a bit more but for a significantly higher price and learning curve. But Vegas is not far behind in its abilities. It all comes down to what sort of projects you plan to work on. I do a lot of corporate videos with elaborately lit spinning logos and products that rise up from pools of water, etc. I also do a lot of space simulations of satellites/probes where I typically show a planetary fly-by or atmospheric burn-up. I do all this with Sony Vegas and Boris Red.

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Aharon Rabinowitz
Re: What software?
on Oct 7, 2007 at 12:07:09 am

Just to weigh in here - I have both programs.

Yes, you can do basic compositing with Vegas - but as an effects and compositing package it is EXTREMELY limited when compared to AE. Don't even compare them. It's no contest. There is no one who uses both programs regularly would even compare the 2 as serving the same purpose other than to say what Elvis says above:

AE is for compositing and effects but CAN edit (badly)
Vegas is for editing but CAN composite and do effects(very basically)

If you were going to compare any adobe product with vegas, it would be premiere, not AE. In the same way you would not compare Microsoft word with Excel, but would instead compare it with WordPerfect, that's what you should be doing here.

If you want to add effects into your editor, there are plug-ins for that, but as stand alone, video editors are not designed for heavy-duty effects.

So ask yourself - are you going to do more compositing and effects or more editing?

If it's both you may want to consider getting both? Or you could get both AE and premiere which are more integrated. Although Vegas is a much easier program to use, hands down.

For the record, I edit all of my tutorials in After Effects. Not because it's the right tool for an editing job, but because I couldn't do any (or at least most) of my motion Graphics in Vegas (or premiere, for that matter)

Anyway, just my thoughts.


Aharon Rabinowitz

Click the link below to subscribe to the Creative Cow After Effects Podcast, and get free AE video tutorials:

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Re: What software?
on Oct 10, 2007 at 6:38:12 pm


I did what you suggested and it all came out well! Got the Vegas 6 for $99 and then upgraded today for $149.

The upgrade also comes with DVD ARC. pro 4.5

Thanks for the info dude! Good job.

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