Import Sequential Videos, Change Frame Rate, and Encode HD Video in Sony Vegas

Have you ever had a bunch of video files in a row that you wanted to import into Vegas, without gaps, adjust the frame rate, and then encode so that it doesn’t take up so much room? I can help you with that. Or if you are trying to accomplish some of that, I can still help you. Follow along with the steps you need. I had to do this because I took a time lapse video that produced a bunch of files that needed to be combined, and at a lower frame rate than desired. Note: I am using Sony Vegas Pro 9.0.Vegas

1. Import sequential clips without gaps between them.

First, it’s easiest to rename all the files in order so that  they don’t get messed up. You could do 1, 2, 3 etc., or if, like me, your files have time stamps in the name, just make sure they are displayed as 2012-01-01 format, and military time if applicable so that am/pm doesn’t mess things up.

Start a new project with the desired settings, pay attention to the resolution you want. It’s easiest to keep the resolution of the existing videos. Click options, make sure snapping is enabled, and disable snap to grid and snap to markers, leaving only snap to all events enabled. This part is key to preventing gaps from forming between the videos.

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Then use the Vegas browser window to navigate to your files, select them all, and drag them to the timeline. Verify that there are no gaps between them.

2. Change frame rate by stretching video, not splitting or combining frames.

Go to file,  properties (or find the project settings, wherever that is in your version of Vegas), select the “Ruler” tab, and change “Ruler time format” to “Absolute Frames.” Select all of your clips in the time line at once, right click on one, mouse over “Switches,” and select “Disable Resample” at the bottom. Now render the video as you like, selecting the desired frame rate. The video will be shorter or longer depending on if you raised or lowered the frame rate.

3. Encode the HD video file to a manageable size.

If your files were like mine, an uncompressed, 11-minute, 1080p video will be around 100gb. Not only is this absurdly large, it is unplayable unless you are running 10-SSDs in RAID. It is just too much data for most computers to keep up with. I found an easy to use, free encoder that does a great job. Download it here: http://www.h264encoder.com/

Once you download it, you just open it, select your recently rendered file, choose the output file name and location, select the resolution you want to spit out, and click encode. It takes care of the rest.

I would recommend choosing one of the options with explicit resolutions. The ones at the bottom that claim “Same Size with Source” don’t really produce a file that is the same resolution. They create EXTREMELY low quality files no matter what, even on the “High Quality” option. I selected “Full High Definition (1920×1080)” because that’s what my video was and I wanted to keep it that way.

If your video gets to be very long, rendering to an uncompressed format will produce a prohibitively large file, so you will need to find a codec that works with Vegas to compress while rendering. This x264 codec seems to work ok: http://www.videohelp.com/tools/x264-VFW

Otherwise you will just have to do some research on the mind-numbingly dysfunctional world of HD video encoding. Good luck!

About Brian Johnson

Brian Johnson is a website developer and designer living in Minneapolis, Minnesota with a passion for code and WordPress. He spends his days building WordPress websites for small businesses, developing new code with the online community, and living life.