As a longtime user of Vegas, I didn't exactly embrace the selling of the application from Sony Creative to Magix.
I was concerned about long-term development and financial resources. I was also concerned about Vegas being dumbed down or stripped of features to make it easier to use.
I wasn't the only one with these concerns but like all customers, I had no choice but to follow along. That was around May 2016. Here we are at the doorstep of Fall 2017 and I can say without a doubt that those fears were not only unfounded but have faded away over the past year or so after Vegas moved to Magix.
Magix's release of Vegas 14 was still a feature rich release and that was a good start.
It also included some bug fixes, 4K video and other new features. This alleviated a lot of the worry. It was a solid release that addressed some previous problems and brought us some new toys too.
Now we have Vegas 15 with a slew of new features, plug-ins and an interface redesign to dock-able windows. I'm not one for interface changes either but I liked what I saw as soon as I opened version 15. It's basically the same layout with an arguably more aesthetically pleasing look.
The new features as listed on Vegas Creative Software site are:
Hardware acceleration from modern graphics cards and Intel QSV
Selectively paste event attributes
ACES 1.0 support
Picture-in-Picture OFX plug-in
Crop OFX plug-in
LUT OFX plug-in
User definable visible button sets
Redesigned track headers and timeline clip events
Instant freeze frame
Selectable background shade
Color-strength-adjustable icon artwork
Logical, modern docking window controls
You can immediately spot some useful new items such as the Instant Freeze Frame and LUT OFX plug-in. Picture-in-Picture support is another requested feature. Even with the additional features the new interface is still the star of the show.
I was not provided a copy for review as I am a regular user of the software and upgraded so I could experience version 15 without the clutter of company propaganda or being pointed to specific features. The thought in the back of my mind was "is this upgrade really necessary". While version 14 did allay some fears, and gave us 4K is was not a must have upgrade for all users.
Version 15 on the other hand comes with enough to make the upgrade worthwhile... particularly if you didn't upgrade to 14 previously. While a lot of the changes are in the interface there the new plug-ins, ACES 1.0 support and updated hardware acceleration.
Picture in Picture OFX plug-in now gives us the ability have real-time controls on the video preview window for precise placement and size. Crop OFX plug-in gives real-time control on the video preview too allowing the result of your crop to be seen instantly. LUT (Look Up Tables) OFX plug-in allows us to apply "LUTs to media, tracks, timeline clip events or even the entire project" if needed. ACES 1.0, the Academy Color Encoding System designed for production, mastering, and archiving of motions pictures is another new feature. According to info from Vegas Creative Software you can even upload to Facebook, Vimeo and YouTube directly from the Vegas Pro timeline.
Unlike the last upgrade which mainly brought us 4K rendering, version 15 has more to offer to encourage us to upgrade. I haven't really seen the faster rendering times it speaks of but the new interface seems very nice and comfortable to this longtime user... but, is it a MUST HAVE upgrade? I can't really say it is unless you see something specific in the new features. What I do see is a continuing commitment to developing Vegas in a manner consistent with its heritage as a top video editor and that is reassuring to know for longtime users.
M.D. McCallum, aka WarLord is an international award winning commercial graphics artist, 3D animator, published author, project director and webmaster with a freelance career that spans over 20 years. M.D. is currently working on VR projects and characters. You can learn more about MD at his website.