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PapaJohn's Newsletter #182

Vegas Movie Studio 8 - first look

The year is ending and it's time to clean up some left-over stuff and think about what's in store for 2008. One of my left-overs is a box with Vegas Movie Studio... Video Editing and DVD Creation Software... sitting on the sidelines for over 2 months ever since I bought it from Fry's at an offer that was too good to say no to... $60 (net of zero after free shipping and $60 in rebates).

The box doesn't say it can handle HD files, but I thought it could... I've got a few downloaded 1080i samples from a Canon HV20 camcorder to check it.

As the world turns, I see more cameras and camcorders that don't work directly with Movie Maker... so my toolbox of software is becoming even more important than ever. To be comfortable handling all the different types of video files, to be ambidextrous with XP on the left and Vista on the right, maybe Vegas Movie Studio will play a key role... or maybe not. Let's take a look.

Before getting into it, here's a couple notes.



What's Patrick Leabo up to??

Those of you who use Transition Maker 2 know the great work that Patrick Leabo does. Although he's not planning to update TM2 to run on Vista, I see a number of forum posts that shows him exploring and having fun with Vista.

Click the picture, a link to his 40 second sample video collage at Putfile.... done in Vista.

To see how he did it and try something similar yourself, here's the forum thread in which he's sharing the details.

2008 - more about Vista


This year saw the initial wave of change from XP to Vista... I expect 2008 to be mostly about Vista. And with all the HD TV sets sold this holiday season, there will be much stronger interest in HD.

 I just signed up at an active Canon HV20 forum with over 5,000 members... to help me learn about things like '24p pulldown'. I don't have an HD camcorder but it's never too soon to find out more about them.

Today I got my first iCard from an Apple store in Alabama... as I did my part in helping some friends and family members move from Windows to Apple systems this year... I'm hoping they give me better feedback about how things work... or not... in that environment.

... back to the main subject


Vegas Movie Studio


Movie Studio InstallationThe installation disc is a DVD, not a CD... with two software apps

  • Vegas Movie Studio 8.0
  • DVD Architect Studio 4.5

The default installations go to:

c:\Program Files\Sony\Vegas Movie Studio 8.0


c:\Program Files\Sony\

DVD Architect Studio 4.5

There were no issues with the setups, entering serial numbers, and doing online activations/registrations...

Initial Startup... immediately followed by the first updates

There was one DLL error message during the first opening of Movie Studio (I said OK and kept going). The install was followed by a notice that updates were available...

I downloaded and installed v8.0c (81 MB) and v4.5c (58 MB).... no issues installing on top of the previous installations, and this time there was no DLL error when opening the app for the first time.

Main Working Window of Movie Studio 8

After a quick look, and with the aid of some neat animated built-in help that points exactly to the icon or button you are looking for, and all but makes the choices and presses the buttons for you, I had...

  • imported some test files... including a pinball 720p high def wmv file and three 1080 MOV clips from a Canon HV20 camcorder.
  • created a text clip
  • added an audio MOV file
  • saved the project file... a .vf file

I was looking at this timeline, previewing it in the monitor at the lower right. All was being previewed fine... all but the text clip, which I need to do more homework on.

Movie Studio

That's enough for the first quick check. I don't need any real content. It's time to turn the project into a video file.

Save Movie

The main menu under 'File' showed 3 possible choices... 'Make Movie...', 'Render As...', and 'Publish...' Let's see what each offers.

  • 'Make Movie..

    Make Movie
  • 'Render As...

    Render As
  • 'Publish...


I first opted for 'Render As...' and picked the widescreen NTSC DV-AVI option. Rendering

Bad choice... it happened so quickly that I almost missed taking a snapshot... 7 seconds to get a DV-AVI file!!! That give me much confidence that I had a good file. Good videos take time to render.

I saw only blackness and heard nothing when I played the saved 80 MB DV-AVI file in WMP and previewed it in Movie Maker 2.1. The file size seemed OK but the contents were totally missing.

The second try was to the NTSC DV option. That one took 8-1/2 minutes to render. It was 280 MB in size and looked great in Windows Media Player... all but the text clip which I hadn't done right.

I took the sample into Movie Maker to annotate it and make a

Newsletter #182 Sample

Of course the quality of a website file of 7 MB is far short of the 280 MB DV-AVI file, not to mention the starting HiDef files... but you get the idea. The rendering worked fine.

Main Working Window of DVD Architect Studio 4.5

I put the DV-AVI file I had just created into the DVD menu, along with two WMV files. One was last week's holiday Photo Story and the other was a sample file from Movie Maker... the previews of all three looked great.

I didn't take any time to make a good looking menu. My goal was simply to run a quick check of the full process.

DVD Workspace

Here's a snapshot of the DVD preview in Architect Studio.

DVD Preview

DVD BurnedAfter a little previewing, I hit the 'Make DVD' icon to do the transcoding and burn a disc.

This was on my XP laptop. When I got the good news note and the drive door popped open, I put the disc back in the drive to check it in Media Center software.

It played well on my el-cheapo $29 DVD player also.

Conclusion and Closing... and What's Next?

Vegas Movie Studio was a pretty positive experience... here it was Friday morning and I didn't have a newsletter topic, just this unopened box sitting next to me for months. A few hours later I've gone from A to Z and watched a great-looking DVD made from WMV and MOV high def clips. Video making doesn't get much easier or better.

I now have another software package that is easy to recommend.

Have a great week and a Happy New Year!!


I look forward to comments and discussion about this and other newsletters on the forums at: 01c301c849e0$1ceac8f0$0132a8c0@Hummer

Windows Movie

Movie Maker, Photo Story 3, DVD Maker, Expression Media -
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I'm involved in anything and everything that supports the users of Movie Maker and Photo Story, and adding more regularly. Some are free and others reasonably priced.

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© 2007 - PapaJohn; Microsoft is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other countries.

About John 'PapaJohn' Buechler from
John 'PapaJohn' Buechler John "PapaJohn" Buechler, of Kalamazoo, Mich., goes by PapaJohn online. An avid user of Movie Maker since its first release, and a regular supporter of the community of Movie Maker users, John received a 2003 MVP award from Microsoft for that support. In March 2003, he started a comprehensive website about Movie Maker 2 at He maintains the website, writes books and articles, teaches, and provides support services - all for the community of Movie Maker 2 users. An engineer by formal education, John is a computer database and multimedia expert by business and personal experience. He co-authored the first book about Movie Maker 2 and is actively working on a second one. You can find his advice in the Windows XP Movie Maker newsgroup and in the Windows Movie Makers Forums.

This newsletter is republished with permission of John "PapaJohn" Buechler.
Please note that this is an archive of newsletters and some information may become outdated. PapaJohn, and the webmaster of this site, provides this information "AS IS" with no warranties.

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