I'm working with Vegas 10.0 and want to create a simple (yet realistic) CGI golf ball in a scene. I've been recommended to try google sketchup; but that is as much as I know. Complete CGI beginner - any ideas as to where to start and what can/cannot be imported into Vegas in terms of 3d images.
[Jess Hinchliffe]"any ideas as to where to start and what can/cannot be imported into Vegas in terms of 3d images."
Vegas Pro cannot import 3D objects at all. There isn't even a plug-in to do this. :(
There is a plug-in to create a sphere which you could texture with golfball material. Boris FX Continuum Complete has a 3D Objects Unit that contains BCC Layer Deformer which can deform a flat plane into a sphere. What you would do is drop the golfball texture into your project and then deform it into a ball using the texture as the main material.
If you use something like Google SketchUp 3D, you would need to do all of your animation in SketchUp and then export a video file with an alpha channel if you want it to appear over your existing video. That means you need to use the QuickTime Animation codec or Uncompressed AVI file. I don't know if SketchUp is even capable of producing such a file with an alpha channel.
You could use a free 3D program like Blender but it's not easy to use at all. You could also use the free DAZ Studio which is much easier to use than Blender but there is still a learning curve. Both of these solutions require you to animate in the program and create a video file as output that you can drop into your Vegas Pro project.
Your easiest path is to buy Boris Continuum Complete (if you can afford it) or just the BCC 3D Objects Unit from Boris Continuum Units. I'm not sure if the latest BCC 9 works with Vegas Pro 10. That's a bit old. I know BCC 8 did but Boris doesn't sell older versions. So check for compatibility or upgrade your Vegas Pro to the latest version to use the latest plug-ins.