Just about all digital camcorders record their videos in HD (High Definition), so knowing how to convert your videos to HD is essential if you want them to have the best quality when uploaded or streamed to. A television. Sony Vegas allows you to quickly choose a preset from a wide variety of choices, in order to render fast in HD.
Part 1 of 2: Configure the project
Step 1. Activate your GPU acceleration
If you have compatible graphics installed, you can use them to speed up rendering time and to take some of the processing off your CPU. Click on Options and select Preferences from the bottom of the menu.
- Click on the Video tab.
- Click the drop-down menu next to "GPU Video Processing Acceleration" and select your graphics card. If it is not compatible, it will not appear in the menu.
- Click Apply, then click OK to close the window.
Step 2. Open the project properties window
You can open this window by clicking the Project Properties button below the preview panel or by clicking File → Properties. This will open a new window where you can adjust all the details of your project.
You can adjust the project properties before you start editing your video
Step 3. Select a template
At the top of the video tab, you will see a "Template" drop-down menu. You have a list of models you can choose from, but if you're rendering HD there are only a few you need to pay attention to.
- If you are shooting in NTSC (North America), select “HDV 720-30p” for 720p or “HD 1080-60i” for 1080p.
- If you are shooting in PAL (Europe), select “HDV 720-25p” for 720p or “HD 1080-50i” for 1080p.
- The main difference between NTSC and PAL is the frame rate (29, 970 vs. 25).
- If you are shooting using a higher frame rate than NTSC or PAL standards, such as 60 fps, choose the appropriate model for the resolution you want.
Step 4. Change the order of the fields
If you are rendering a video in 1080p, you need to change the order of the fields in your images. Click on the “Field order” drop-down menu and select “None (progressive scan)”. The video will be smoother.
Step 5. Check the rendering quality
After selecting your template, look for the “Full resolution rendering quality” drop-down menu. Check that it is set to "Optimized".
Step 6. Select the deinterlacing method
Most modern videos are shot in progressive mode so there is no need to deinterlace. Click on the drop-down menu and select “None”. Another method could result in unwanted scrambled lines in the final video.
If you are rendering at 1080p, select "Merge Fields", as most 1080p videos still use interlaced frames
Step 7. Check the “Adjust source media…” box
This will allow you to reduce the risk of small black bars appearing on the edges of your final video.
Step 8. Save your model
Once you are done setting up your custom template, you can save it for easy access later. Enter a name to help you recognize it in the Templates menu, then click the Save button. Your custom template will be added to the list, allowing you to quickly select it in the future.
Step 9. Click the Audio tab
Here you can adjust the audio settings of your project. Here are a few things you need to check to ensure the best sound quality for your video.
- The sampling frequency (Hz). It should be set to 48,000, which is DVD quality.
- The quality of resampling and stretching. It should be set to "Good".
Part 2 of 2: Convert Video
Step 1. Open the “Convert As” menu
Now that the properties of your project have been set, you can choose how you want to convert the final video. You will find the "Convert As" button in the toolbar or in the "File" menu.
Step 2. Select an output format
Under the "Convert As" menu, you will see a list of available formats in the "Output Format" section. Even though there is a lot of discussion about which video format works best, in general three formats are still considered to be the best for HD videos.
- MainConcept AVC / AAC (*.mp4; *. Avc)
- Windows Media Video (*.wmv)
- Sony AVC / MVC (*.mp4; *. M2ts; *. Avc)
- MainConcept guarantees the fastest video rendering times if you use GPU acceleration.
- Sony AVC is the best option with older versions of Vegas.
Step 3. Expand the format you want to use
For example, if you want to use MainConcept, expand it to display all the models available with that format. Choose the one that best matches your video.
- For MainConcept, if you are making 720p video, choose “720p HD Internet”. If you are shooting 1080p video, choose “1080p HD Internet”.
- For Windows Media Video, if you are making 720p video, choose “6 Mb / s HD 720-30p” (NTSC) or “5 Mb / s HD 720-25p” (PAL). If you are making 1080p video, choose “8 Mb / s HD-30p” (NTSC) or “6.7 Mb / s HD 1080-25p” (PAL).
Step 4. Personalize the template
Click the Customize template… button to open a new window with all the template settings. Note: this is a different window from your project properties template and the following settings only apply to MainConcept.
- Uncheck the "Allow source to adjust frame rate" checkbox. This helps prevent possible jerks in the final project.
- Check that the "Frame rate" drop-down menu displays the same as what you set in the "Project properties" window.
- Adjust the bit rate for small file size. If you want the final project to be lighter, lower the average bit rate which is at the bottom of the window. The final video will be of lower quality. A 720p video can go as low as 5,000,000 in average value and 10,000,000 in maximum value.
- Change the "Encoding mode" to "Convert using CUDA, if available". This will force the program to use the GPU to participate in rendering, which can significantly speed up processing.
- If you are using Windows Video Media format and making 1080p video, check the "Image size" drop-down menu in the custom settings window. By default, WMW selects 1440 x 1080, which results in a skewed picture. Set it to “(Keep original size)”, then set “Pixel Aspect Ratio” to 1000 (square).
Step 5. Start rendering
When you've set all the rendering options, it's time to finalize the video. Click on the "Convert" button at the bottom of the "Convert As" window to start processing the video. A progress bar will appear and you will see the frame counter below the preview window advance as the rendering occurs.