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Darren Kitchen
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aside form the noob pwning, Sony Vegas ROCKS. It's the most intuitive and powerful video editing system I've ever used. Some may argue that Avid or Premiere or Final Cut Pro are more powerful, but by how much? And does 10% really matter when a mortal can actually learn Vegas without a 700 page manual anyway? Plus it's less expensive to boot. I give Vegas 11 out of 10 stars.

(Though FCP is my second choice)

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How does vegas compare to After Effects? I know its more of a composition thing, I've used After Effects for the majority of my video editing, just seems to work damn well.

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Cant comment on after effects as i've never used it. from what i hear its a badass tool for doing special effects. what's your take on it?

OT: I'm in need of a compositing tool that will allow me to add gunshots to digital.

From what I've seen, After Effects is more like photoshop for video. Never done a video longer than 15 mins with it though. For putting together shots that don't don't need much tweaking its probally overkill though.

But if you want to radically alter the footage (ie make blacks black) its so much easyer to use. Although the new rounded mac-style interface to version 7 is pants... Would rock on a multimonitor setup.

As for gun shots, there's always rotoscoping... ;-)

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rotoscoping. now thats something I'd truly love to try. What was the name of that recent film that was all rotoscoped. Did I miss it? Is it even out yet. Damnit, had some good actors in it too...

The hardest part about the gun shots is keying them with the action. if the camera is panning left and the motorcycle being shot up is driving away the bullets cause sparks which need to both move with the camera and get smaller.

Armadaender, thanks I have a lot of fun with it. Take 100 and keep 10 :)

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A Scanner Darkly Not missed it yet, it was due for a 2005 release but the animation team was far to small & unorganized.

As for gun shots, it depends how much effort you want to put into them. You can use off the shelf stuff like EffectsLab that just draws them. But since a muzzle flare only lasts for a few seconds you could just photoshop them into each frame. Or create them in a 3D modeling program like lightwave and composit them in frame by frame with something like Sapphire Plug-ins. Depends what works faster for you though. What are you going for? Realism or style?

I've always wanted to try making a movie out of 6mp stills, but with people in it. Kinda like the Smashing Pumpkins video for Thirty Three (made by Yelena Yemchuk).

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turning stills into movies is fun, especially once you get photoshop involved. your imagination is the limit and framerate doesnt matter.

I was actually talking about gun bursts on the ground, walls, other objects. the sparks. we dont have money to do them in RL so they have to be done digitally. as for the muzzle blasts i figure photoshop would work but I also have to account for the lighting on the characters face while the gun blasts. without it the shot looks uber fake.

im going for realism, however if i dont quite make it i'll just say it was my artistic interpretation or something of the sort ;)

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Hmmm... a cheap way would be to mark the impact points, (with a dot of marker or white-out), and then track that point across the scene (frame by frame, then generate a path from it). Then parent the composite impact animation to that tracking point and manually tweak the depth/distance from the camera. Then just blend the compsosite image in with a bit of rotoscoping on each frame for a perfect finish. Time consuming, yes.

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