Sony/MAGIX Vegas and Compositing Shots

I have Figured It Out!

When I made my Arrow Crack Video, and when I was making “Everything You Ever,” I tried to use my leet (or at least stubborn) video editing skillz to composite still images into the video.  In the crack vid, I really really wanted to put my logo on the ‘Vote for Blood!’ sign.

Well, it was difficult, because the shot was doing a car-drive by (or simulation thereof), and it was quite shaky.  I did try Vegas 10’s Image Stabilization… but I still couldn’t get the logo to NOT jink and slide around all over the sign.  No matter what I did.  :/  I even keyframed EVERY single blasted frame and FORCED the logo to be in the right spot, and it was just a wreck.

I didn’t try half so hard to try to get a reflection of the moon in the Lazarus Pit, because I knew how sucky it would probably turn out.  Yep.  It did.


Today, I was working with the Vegas 14 Pro trial, using that lovely bezier mask to composite two film clips together, Malcolm and the ghost of Rebecca (played by Shelly from The Crow).  The trial doesn’t have image stabilization (gah!) and the Pro version doesn’t have motion tracking at all, if motion tracking would have helped me with my woes.

But I decided to delve deeper into WHY stuff was jumping around all over.  Did the clips have different frame rates?  (No.  But, well, one WAS slowed down to 25% speed.)  Were the frames mis-aligned?  (Shouldn’t be, because I leave ‘Quantize to Frames’ turned on.)

I thought… hey!  I will render out my 25% speed clip and re-import it as a full speed video.  I do think this helped tremendously!  (Actually, I had to get the clip in Vegas 10 and render it out, because 14 kept dropping frames.  What’s up with that?  Video picture going along, then all of a sudden, black frame!  Wut?)

But the real epitome came when I was watching a loop of the composite shots, and I dragged the hand brake whatevever thingy, to slow down the playback to 15%.  That is when I Noticed Something!  The shot I was using as the backdrop would go move,move,move,stop; move,move,move,move,stop.  Three to five frames moved, then one where the frame didn’t change.  (I blame the NTFS 29.7 or some ridiculously NOT rounded number of frames per second.)

How to fix?

Well, I went into the secondary clip’s keyframes, turned on the button to lock the scrubber in the editor and the timeline, and then stepped through the whole sequence.  When I hit a frame on the main clip that didn’t move, I backed up one step, hit ‘Add Keyframe,’ then stepped forward until there was another moving frame.  ‘Add Keyframe’ again, and then right click the keyframe before that, and set it to ‘Hold.’  Where’s my picture?

Step-Step-Hold ends up looking like this.

Step-Step-Hold ends up looking like this.


Remember to do this AFTER you set up the basic motion and have refined it to a final stage.  Or what would be a final stage, if it didn’t jink around everywhere.  These intermediary positions will be correct, you just have to add the keyframes to nail them down.   Then the two clips will step-step-stop in time!


I hope this looks good when I render it out!  (No, I was so excited to write this down, I didn’t render it yet.)




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