Exporting Your Video from Vegas 4 or 5

Essentially this part is very very easy, but there are some things here that people make mistakes on so it's worth going through what you need to do.

Firstly, your export settings should be identical to your project settings in every way but the codec. This means that in order to get the same looking amv out of your project that you saw in the preview window then you need to keep all the settings exactly the same. The only exception to this rule, as I have said is the codec.

Secondly, in this guide we are going to export the audio separately as well as part of the video file - this will give us easy access to the audio stream later on.

Also, this guide is geared towards compression with software codecs - if you are using the features of a hardware video editing card (such as a DV card) then you should consult the manual for that card. Of course, it should be equally possible to still use these settings but you will lose any realtime rendering benefits (and archiving benefits with DV).

Exporting the Video

Ready? OK go to File > Render As...

Render As...   Render dialog box

You will then see the box show here.

Save as type: This will select what video format to export as. We are not using Vegas to make our final distribution file - instead we are making a lossless avi file which we will compress later. However, if you are using hardware DV and want storage on a DV tape then the DV templates may be what you need. For most users, though, Video for Windows (*.avi) is what you want.

Template: There are various Templates available but we are going to make our own. Note that it is very very unlikely that you will ever want to choose 'Stretch video to fill output frame size'. You should export at the same resolution that your footage was in and that your project was set as. Any resizing can be done later, and more accurately, in AVIsynth.

Choose an appropriate folder and name for your file. Once you have done that, Click Custom...:

Export > Custom - Project Menu

Template: This is the template that it will base the settings on before you change them to your custom options. Choose the Default Template (uncompressed) as shown above.

Video rendering quality: A no-brainer here - change it from Good to Best

Now choose the Video tab:

Export > Custom > Video

Obviously you will want to Include video.

Frame size: This should be the same as your source, which should be the same as your project - so choose (Use project settings)

Field Order: this, again should be EXACTLY the same as your source which you should have worked out when you started the project. Progressive (non-interlaced) footage should be set to "None (progressive scan)" and interlaced footage should have the same field order as your source footage. This is a very important setting.

Pixel Aspect Ratio: If like me you are exporting to lossless avi then choose 1.000

Video Format: This is the important part. There are only 2 things you could ever want to choose here - HuffYUV (included in the AMVapp) or Uncompressed (unless you are using the native options of a hardware card). Occasionally I get errors with my HuffYUV files which result in what I call 'dirty frames'. This could be just my system but whenever this happens I resort to using uncompressed RGB. It's big as hell but it works.

HuffYUV actually has 2 modes of compression - YUV and RGB. You should always export RGB as it is the native editing colourspace of the program - this ensures that everything will look as it is supposed to.

To make sure that HuffYUV compresses the footage in RGB mode, and to set up other options, choose 'Configure' next to the compressor.

Exporting Huffyuv

In RGB compression method you should always have Predict Gradient (best) selected. This will make sure that when Vegas sends the codec RGB footage that it is compressed as RGB and not as YUY2.

The other options in the Huffyuv settings are not actually important when exporting from Vegas. Enable RGBA compression is useful if you have used Alpha Channels but this is mostly a feature you would need more for Adobe After Effects. Enabling this option in Vegas would just give you needlessly bigger files.

When that is all set up, click OK and return to the Video menu.

Choose 'Interleave every frame' - it doesn't matter as we will export the audio separately but just in case you are not, this option will weave the audio to each frame.

The rest of these options are fine. Go to the audio menu:

Render > Custom > Audio

Now, as we are going to export the audio separately you don't really need to Include audio... but there's no harm done if you do. If you do, you will probably want the settings above unless you have used something other than a CD for your audio in which case you should export with the same properties as your source audio. Whatever you do - always export uncompressed.

You should now be good to go. Click ok, check your filename is correct and render that video.

Be warned, these files are big. If you are using Windows 2000 or XP make sure that you export to a hard drive that uses the NTFS file system otherwise long amvs might exceed the 2 gig file limit on old FAT32 drives. If you are running windows 98 then you are going to be limited to 2 gig - if you can't export the whole movie for this reason then you will have to select a frame range and export it in two or more sections. You can join these later in AVIsynth as follows:

AVIsource("C:/part1.avi") + AVIsource("C:/part2.avi") + AVIsource("C:/part3.avi")

Hopefully this wont be necessary and you can export the whole thing. Make sure you have enough space on your drive - you'll need around 2 to 4 gig for a video.

Once you've exported your video, you can export your audio stream separately for easy access.

Exporting the Audio as a Wav file.

Again, go to File > Render As... but this time, instead of choosing Video for Windows (.avi) you will want to choose the option below which is called Wave (Microsoft) (*.wav)

Now click custom... and you will get something that looks like this:

Render > Audio > Custom

Format: PCM (Uncompressed)

Rate: This is probably going to be 44100 Hz as that is the sample rate of CDs. If you used DVD audio as a source you may have to set this to 48000 Hz. Check your source before setting this option as conversion is not a good idea.

Bit depth: 16bit

Channels: Stereo

All pretty simple stuff. Click OK and save your wav file.

Now you have a master archive of your video as avi file wav file. You should backup these somewhere.

These files are now ready for clean-up and compression into a distribution format.