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Tutorial: Streamlining Video Encoding in Sony Vegas Pro

In this fifth tutorial in our six-part series on Sony Vegas Pro 11, we're going to talk about the Render dialog box. Every project you work on, whether it's delivered on the web, or even on DVD or Blu-ray Disc, has to go through a rendering stage, so you'll find yourself getting quite familiar with it as you do more project. In Vegas Pro 11, Sony has added some new features to the Render dialog, and they've totally revamped the way that it works.

Rendering is usually the last thing you do in a Vegas video project. In the book Vegas Pro 11 Editing Workshop, Douglas Spotted Eagle equates rendering to "baking a cake." With a cake, you mix all of your ingredients together, such as flour, eggs, milk, and oil, and you bake it at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. The cake you wind up with is a finished product, and you can no longer extract any of the original ingredients.

Rendering is similar, in that your audio tracks, your video tracks, titles, generated media, EQ settings, sound effects, and video filters all get combined together, frame by frame, to make a finished file. Although you cannot adjust anything in that rendered file, the difference between a rendered Vegas project and a baked cake is that in Vegas, you still have the project file you can refer back to and adjust to taste.

Before we start heating up the oven, let's take a closer look at Vegas Pro 11's Render As dialog, which is where things really get cooking for Vegas video encodes.

Choosing an Encoding Format

The encoding format you choose is completely dependent upon how and where the file is going to be viewed. Some of the most common output formats are for streaming over the Web and used for popular sites such as YouTube and Vimeo. Vegas Pro gives you over 20 output formats, and literally hundreds of templates and presets within those formats.

Now, in Vegas Pro 11, the interface you use to create those renders (Figure 1, below) looks completely different from previous versions, so let's take a look at a couple of these things.

Sony Vegas Pro 11

Figure 1. The Vegas Pro 11 Render dialog

Figure 2 (below) shows a typical Vegas project file, with multiple audio/video tracks, and generated media.

Sony Vegas Pro 11
Figure 2. A typical Vegas project file

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