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Sony Vegas Pro 11 review

Verdict

Massive performance improvements are worth the upgrade alone; an outstanding update to a classy, powerful editor

Review Date: 10 Nov 2011

Reviewed By: Ben Pitt

Price when reviewed: £494 (£593 inc VAT)

Overall Rating
6 stars out of 6

Features & Design
5 stars out of 6

Value for Money
6 stars out of 6

Ease of Use
6 stars out of 6

PCPRO Recommended

It’s a little disconcerting when a software publisher releases an update but doesn’t bother to put a list of new features on its website. We half expected Vegas Pro 11 to be a damp squib, but the truth is quite the opposite.

Many of the new features stem from a move to a new effects plugin architecture called OFX. This first appeared in version 10 but only for a solitary new effect. This time, 36 of the 57 existing effects – including all our most commonly used ones – have been ported to OFX, along with one new in-house effect and eight third-party effects from NewBlue.

OFX enables a feature we’ve been requesting for years: keyframe lanes. Previously, each effect had a single string of keyframes, and this made it tricky to automate multiple parameters because the timeline became clogged with redundant keyframes. For the OFX effects, each parameter has its own keyframe lane, which is enabled as required.

Sony Vegas Pro 11 - lanes

It’s also possible to create curved paths between keyframes using Bézier handles. These are features that Adobe Premiere Pro has offered for years, and it’s great to see Vegas Pro finally catch up.

Sadly, Bézier curves and keyframe lanes haven’t found their way to the Pan/Crop or Track Motion editors, which is where they’d be most useful. As a result, moving videos and graphics around the frame remains clumsy compared to Premiere Pro. Position keyframes get in the way of Rotation keyframes, for example, and there’s only basic control over the speed and trajectory.

OFX also introduces another, even bigger, new development, however: GPU acceleration. Sony has wisely chosen the OpenCL framework, which means you should see benefits from a wide variety of graphics hardware. Testing with our Intel Core i7-870 PC and Nvidia GTX 275 graphics card, the improvements over Vegas Pro 10 were immense.

Sony Vegas Pro 11 - effects

With the preview window set to 1,920 x 1,080 and a light Gaussian Blur effect applied to an AVCHD clip, version 10’s preview frame rate dropped to 7fps. With version 11 it hovered just below 25fps with two instances of the same effect applied.

In another test, we stacked eight demanding effects on top of each other. Vegas Pro 10’s previews fell to 1fps, but version 11 managed 21fps. Rendering these same effects showed a 65% performance improvement.

These tests were designed to highlight speed improvements, so we also opened an old project created in version 10, and saw a 46% improvement in render speed. Basic decoding performance was up, too, with version 11 previewing six simultaneous AVCHD streams at 1080p whereas version 10 could only manage four.

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User comments

Advantage of being an amateur 3D animator

Sony Vegas Pro 11 looks phenomenal. Fortunately we amateurs can get away with the cheaper version.

Thanks to Sony Vegas Platinum I have recently been able to create and put "A new take on Little Miss Muffet" on http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zEp2fOTM0Ro for about a tenth of the cost!

By GeoffOakshott on 10 Nov 2011

Advantage of being an amateur 3D animator

I should have added that the cheaper Platinum version has also enabled Miss Muffet to be in full screen HD with background music and voice-over.

By GeoffOakshott on 10 Nov 2011

@GeoffOakshott

Thanks for the link, it is interesting to see what can be done with a reasonably priced package on a home PC.
However I am tempted to say "don't give up the day job" ;) But do keep working at an interesting hobby - Ardman started somewhere.

By milliganp on 10 Nov 2011

Any chance of a review of EDIUS 6

and EDIUS Neo?

By KieronSeth on 10 Nov 2011

As a long time user of Vegas Movie Studio, I was recently enveigled by one of Sony's "limited time offers" to upgrade to Pro V10 for a fraction of the above price. I'm now trying V11 with a view to spending the fairly reasonable (compared to Adobie anyway) upgrade price.

I have to say I am finding it fairly buggy. Hopefully Sony will patch it before to long (they have already issued one update since it was first released). I am using an AMD video card, which may or may not have to do with this.

I think the problem Sony have is that you have to really be quite an advanced Pro to notice any difference between the two versions to justify the vast price differential. Unlike Adobie, Sony do not make much effort to differentiate on looks or with "dumming down" hand-holding features on the "Am" version. Really unless you are making music videos and doing both audio and video yourself (Pro has very extensive audio capabilities rivaling specialist audio editors) you will be hard pressed to notice the difference!

By JohnAHind on 10 Nov 2011

Buggy and very Unstable

While the GPU Acceleration is supposed to bring in performance improvements, the new version is extremely unstable and buggy.
Check out the forums on Sony's website, CreativeCow etc.

Despite all the updated graphic drivers, and fresh installs, a lot of folks seem to be facing stability issues even with the latest 425 build.

While prior versions may have deserved 5 stars, this review is very misleading since it's specific to VP11. It should be 2.5 to max 3 stars at best in my opinion.

By AlSisley on 13 Nov 2011

Very Stable with right system

If anyone was more anoyed with memory error bugs and crushes I d be surprised,but I stayed with this system cos loved creative ease and freedom despite bugs.
Only lately I realised that this is amazing software and probably been misunderstood cos the system it require to run smoothly.

All I can say thank you SONY for such deal,as an struggling artist I know to appriciate power of this thing.

MY ADVICE IS RUN ANY SONY PLATFORM ON
I7(any) Win 7 64bit RAM 8GYG
RADEON 1G OR MORE(didnt test NVIDIAit is probably the samething)

I edit native 5d/7d files on 4-6 tracks something that FCP can dream about,with not a single crash.\ for AVC 1080P/25P 16Kcompression.
People who get crashes do not have enough memory on their system.
Misconception is that is CPU based,but Memory is cruicial for the rendering process...
I read this on some forum took advice and now I try to help others who had same problems in past(this happens to FCP and especially to CS5)

2GIG of RAM per CORE of your PC ideally QUAD CORE I7
so you need at least 8G.
if dual core then 4G,if single core then 2G,it wont crash,it will be slower
though.

Hope this will help you out guys.

It is awesome software and I am no salesman,just a struggling artist...

Cheers

By CreativeFilm on 21 Nov 2011

Render Speed compared,first impressions!!!

Just stummbled across this one.

That is why is 5 stars,
it also highlits importance of Graphic cards and system.

Just relieved that years of my experience with Vegas isnt going to be vaste,cos I ll have to learn "industry standards"
Premiere and FCP,especilly when 3D work,music video and voice over need best audio support where Sony
is above the rest,wow,first one to give us 3D Stereoscopic rendering,RED,XDCAM,4K,
EPIC,NXCAM,MVC,AVC....

Well done guys,you ve done some real good work in past year,it wont go unnotice with us less "industry standar applicators"
Thumbs up!

By CreativeFilm on 22 Nov 2011

http://www.videomaker.com/community/forums/topic/vegas-pro-11-to-vegas-pro-10-render-speed-comparisons

Cheers

By CreativeFilm on 22 Nov 2011

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