Further aiding its adventures into the third dimension, Vegas 11 now supports MVC and MPO file formats, which are respectively stereoscopic 3D video and still image files types. However, we found Vegas 11 didn’t automatically detect side-by-side AVCHD from either JVC’s Everio GS-TD1 or Panasonic’s HDC-SDT750. Instead, we had to select each clip individually and tell the software to use the appropriate half-frame side-by-side setting, which was rather laborious for a folder full of footage. Also, when we tried to import the GS-TD1’s MP4-based MVC, Vegas 11 could not interpret it as 3D, which is a shame because this is currently the best quality 3D available at the consumer level.
When you’ve imported your 3D and set it to display the way you want, you can edit it as normal. The full gamut of video filters can be applied, and you can switch to viewing just one of the sides to adjust colour and perform other corrections more accurately. You can also tweak the 3D effect itself using the Stereoscopic 3D Adjust filter. This provides a fair amount of control, including alteration of the vertical and horizontal offset, zooming the clip and cropping into the frame (which is handy with Panasonic’s version of side-by-side 3D, which doesn’t use the whole of the frame), keystone, rotation, and flipping the footage horizontally or vertically. To help with these adjustments, you can view the 3D effect by switching the project to anaglyphic mode and donning the coloured glasses supplied in the box.
To go with the 3D video, Vegas has support for 5.1 soundtracks imported from camcorders with this recording option, although this has been around for a while. Surround sound editing is relatively basic. The project will automatically give you the option to switch to 5.1 mode, and then the various audio signals will be loaded into their own tracks so you can adjust their volume independently. We found Vegas could cope with Dolby Digital 5.1 audio from non-Sony camcorders just fine. However, whilst you can adjust the surround positioning of stereo tracks, the component tracks of a 5.1 signal can only have their volume altered, not switched within the positional soundscape.