In this tutorial I show how to accurately slow down high frame rate video using Sony Vegas Pro and Sony Movie Studio Platinum.

Many modern video cameras and DSLR cameras can shoot in frame rates above 24, 25 and 30 fps, like 50 fps and 60 fps (frames per second). Some of the newest cameras like the Go Pro Hero 3 Black Edition can now shoot at 1280x720-100p and 1280x720-120p.

The main advantage of shooting video at these higher rates, is that it gives you the ability to create very smooth and clean slow motion video effects, once you slow the video down using the tools in Sony Vegas and Movie Studio. To get the best quality slow motion video, you should be aiming to reduce your original high frame video back down to a standard frame rate like 24p, 25p or 30p.

Methods for Slowing Down Video

There are three different ways you can slow down video with Sony Vegas Pro and two ways with Sony Movie Studio Platinum.

Method One

You can manually change the playback speed within the Video Event Properties box for the video. This method is the quickest way to slow down your video very accurately, each and every time.

Here is a quick reference speed conversion chart you can use. Find the original frame rate in the left column that matches your source video. Then enter the playback speed rate from the right column into the Playback Rate box.

Method One can be used in both Vegas Pro and Movie Studio.

Video Event SettingsSpeed Conversion Chart

Original Video   New Video     Playback
Frame Rate       Frame Rate    Rate

50fps       →        25fps       =      0.5
60fps       →        30fps       =      0.5
50fps       →        24fps       =      0.48
60fps       →        24fps       =      0.4
100fps     →        25fps       =      0.25
120fps     →        24fps       =      0.2
120fps     →        30fps       =      0.25
200fps     →        25fps       =      0.125*
240fps     →        30fps       =      0.125*

 *Please Note

Since making this tutorial, I have discovered that Vegas can only be slowed down to a minimum of 0.250 Speed. If you need to slow any video down below this value, like 0.125, you will need to do a TWO STEP process.

Slow it down to the limit of 0.250 first and then render your video to 60fps. Then drop this new video back into Vegas and slow it down to 0.5 speed. When this gets rendered a 2nd time, it should be equivalent to 1/8th speed.

 

 

 

Method Two

The second method involves holding down the CTRL button on your keyboard and then hovering and holding down your mouse pointer on the right edge of your video in the timeline, and then dragging the video to the right to slow it down. If you want to speed it up, just drag to the left instead.

When you hover the mouse pointer on the right edge of your video, the icon will change to a box with a two way arrow and squiggly line underneath.

A percentage speed box should appear in the Audio Layer for the video, once you have slowed it down. If the information box does not show, then go into View in the top toolbar and turn Active Take Information ON.

Method Two can be used in both Vegas Pro and Movie Studio.

Slowing down video on the timeline

Method Three

The third method can only be done in Sony Vegas Pro only. Vegas Pro has a powerful tool called a Velocity Envelope, which gives you the ability to vary the video playback speed continuously over time. By adding keyframe points along the Envelope, you can set the playback rate to change from point to point. You can even set the nature of the curve between each keyframe point, which means you can change the degree of accleration bewteen each point.

To activate the Velocity Envelope tool in Sony Vegas Pro, simply right-click on your video in the timline and go to Insert/Remove Envelope - Velocity.

Vegas Pro Velocity Envelope Tool

How to create a High Quality Render of your Slow Motion Project

To create a really high quality render of your project, you can turn ON Two Pass rendering. 

If you go to Render As and select Mainconcept AVC/AAC .mp4 and then select one of the sub-templates like Internet HD 1080p, then press Customize to access full settings.

Now go to the Video tab and turn Two Pass rendering ON.

Two pass rendering does exactly what it sounds like. It renders your video once like normal and then goes back for a 2nd pass to create a finer detailed render.

 

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If you already own an older version of Vegas Pro, you can purchase a discounted upgrade via this link.

 

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About Derek Moran
Derek Moran is the author of all articles on Movie Studio Zen.
You can find me on YouTube, , FacebookTwitterRead more about Derek...

 

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  • This commment is unpublished.
    Andy · 06:19 11/04/2017
    Thanks Derek,
    I have tried that. Not quite what I was expecting, I still see even 1% slowmo with cameras like mine on youtube, but it was a great help, I sharpened a great deal and there is another way I can do slowmo;)
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Derek · 16:09 08/04/2017
    I don't use Twixtor, so I can't help you with that.
    Forget completely about Twixtor for now and go back to basics.
    If you are recording at 120 fps, the best setting for "slow motion" is to slow down to [b]30 fps[/b] (but no less than this !).
    So using [b]Method 1[/b] from the article above, set your Playback Rate = 0.25 and you will get perfect slow motion.
    To help improve your slow motion, I recommend turning off [b]Re-Sampling[/b] for your GoPro video.
    Right-click video on timeline and go to Switches/Disable Resample.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Andy · 21:12 04/04/2017
    Hi all,
    Please check it out what could be the problem. Slow mo is at 1:10. This is not the first video and I cannot find the solution for a smooth and clear slow mo as appear on youtube all the time. It is a Gopro 4 Silver. 720, 120FPS, medium. Low light off, protune off. What else is necessary to do? I use Sony Vegas Pro 13 with twixtor pro. It should be excellent quality even with 1%, but this one is 10% and is blurry:(
  • This commment is unpublished.
    DoctorZen · 16:44 02/11/2016
    Yes that is a Vegas Pro feature only - it's called "Nesting Projects".
  • This commment is unpublished.
    ERic · 15:54 02/11/2016
    I'm missing how to load an existing project into a new working project as a clip. Is that a Vegas Pro only feature? I'm in Movie Studio Platinum 13.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Derek · 15:51 06/10/2016
    I had a LARGE list of emails to reply.
    I just posted a reply and now see you discovered same answer I just sent :woohoo:
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Derek · 15:48 06/10/2016
    You probably don't have the default EDIT MODE set.
    Look at toolbar below timeline and keep pressing [b]D[/b] until your see [b]Normal[/b] highlighted.
    Now hold CTRL and drag end of video.
    If it is still not working, you need to reset the program by following these instructions:
    https://www.moviestudiozen.com/doctor-zen-faq/573-how-to-reset-sony-software-to-default-settings
    Derek
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Anonymous · 12:09 05/10/2016
    Aaah... I've worked out that the squiggly line won't appear if 'Fade' is highlighted down the bottom.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Rach · 11:28 05/10/2016
    Hi Derek:

    I'm coming from Vegas Platinum 11 to Platinum 13. I want to slow the footage down in the way that I'm used to... which is Method 2 above.
    When I hover (with Control down) I do not get the squiggly line at all.
    Do you know why? I'd rather not have to go into Properties etc.

    Thanking you,
    Rach
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Derek · 19:48 29/09/2016
    When you are using that method, you can't really use Audio as well.
    Most people using your method do not use Audio from Video and use something completely different like music or sound effects.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Yaman Dopeman · 17:59 29/09/2016
    Yea I know that method, but then i don't achieve the efect that the video goes slowly from normal speed to slow-mo ?
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Derek · 00:55 28/09/2016
    If you use Method #2 and use CTRL and drag, both the Video & Audio will slow down together.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Yaman Dopeman · 00:41 28/09/2016
    Hello Derek, i have one problem:
    I want to make my normal speed video go slowly to slow-mo with the original sound included, for that is perfect that velocity adjusting for video, but there is one big problem that the sound of the video is still in normal speed is there a possibility to adjust the same velocity for the sound ? i am not able to find it on my own :/
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Derek · 14:46 25/08/2016
    The first thing I said at beginning of article, is that 2 methods will work in Movie Studio Platinum versions. So yes, this will work in Movie Studio Platinum 13. There is only one method out of the three, that is for Vegas Pro users only.
    Method 1 & 2 will work for you :cheer:
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Sami · 07:06 25/08/2016
    Hello Derek, can i do the same thing with Movie Studio Platinum 13? If so how?
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Derek · 18:43 13/07/2016
    If you are using Vegas Pro and are talking about using the Velocity Envelope tool, this is normal for video to start lagging when you add effects, because your CPU is trying to process video in real time. Once you render the project, it should play back smoothly. Drop your Preview Window to a lower quality setting while you edit, should help. Also make sure you have your GPU turned on if you have one. Go to Options/Preferences/Video/GPU Acceleration.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Chloe Dean · 15:42 13/07/2016
    I have 1080 pixels and 30 fps video. I put a keyframe at 10% but it lags. Is something I did wrong?
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Derek · 18:20 04/06/2016
    I'm not sure if this will work in the basic version. You will have to try to find out.
    All my Movie Studio tutorials on this website are made with the Platinum versions, because you have full control.
    The non-platinum version is only very basic and not designed for more complex functions.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Johnathen · 07:43 04/06/2016
    Does this work for Movie Studio 13 as well? ThanksxD
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Aria · 13:24 17/04/2016
    Thank you!
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Derek · 11:20 16/03/2016
    Thanks for your message Johann.
    I did learn this trick after I posted this article.
    I will make sure to update this with your tip.
    Cheers Derek
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Derek · 11:19 16/03/2016
    Hi Seattle Don
    Thank you very much for your message posted back in January 2016 on Movie Studio Zen There was a bug in my websites comment system, which meant I did not know you had posted this and I am just reading it now in March 2016.
    Cheers
    Derek
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Johann · 16:40 15/03/2016
    Hi Derek,

    Nice vids and tutorials.

    Just a tip on this one - you foudn that in SVp you can only slow down to 0.250, and your workaround to go slower was to render the first clip and then slow that one down again.

    Well - you don't need to [u]render [/u]the first one. Just save the first one as a Project, and then load that project as a clip into a new project. Slow the New project down, and then render.

    Regards

    JOhann
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Seattle Don · 04:46 30/01/2016
    Hello Derek. Yet another quick and effective tip. Your solutions seem to always be at the top of my google results and have saved me a lot of time and frustration. I haven't encountered a problem that does not have a solution, and your simple explanations have convinced me that the Sony NLEs are the only way to go (after struggling with most of the others). THANKS!:woohoo:
  • This commment is unpublished.
    justfaced · 16:52 21/01/2016
    Avdshare Video Converter will take change MP4 file frame rate as an example and it can also serve to change AVCHD, MTS, M2TS, MXF, XAVC, ProRes, MPG, AVI, FLV, MOV, WMV, MKV and almost all video format frame rates
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Derek Moran · 13:30 23/05/2015
    Hi Alberto

    I have also experienced the same problem once. The problem is being caused by certain types of Video Codecs. There are literally 100's of different variations of video codecs and no one program can support all of them. In your situation, the video is not getting read properly.

    Is the video playing back at the right speed ?
    If you used the Match Media function when you imported your video, I will assume your Project Properties have been set to 120fps. If the video is playing at the correct speed, manually override your Project Properties from 120fps back to a Frame Rate of 29.97fps.

    To get better playback in the Preview Window, lower the quality setting to Draft or Preview quality while you edit. Please note that this does not effect your final video quality.

    Regards
    Derek.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Alberto · 11:34 23/05/2015
    Hey Derek, I need help. I have a video that is 720p 30fps but when I put it in Movie Studio 12 it says it's 120 fps. Why does it say that and also is there a way to lower the frame rate so it can play on the preview more smoothly so I can edit more precise. Please respond soon.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Derek Moran · 16:48 27/01/2015
    24 / 30 = 0.8
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Housni · 14:10 27/01/2015
    30fps To 24fps = ???
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Leonard · 17:54 17/10/2014
    Thank you again, for answering my messages (so fast!)!

    Wish you all the best!
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Derek Moran · 14:14 17/10/2014
    Hi Leonard

    Thanks for the excellent message :lol:

    Movie Studio Platinum only has basic Slow Motion - no variable is available. There are no cheap third party plugins to do this either.
    If you want to do variable Slow Motion, you must buy one of the Vegas Pro versions.

    There are no sales on at the moment.

    Regards
    Derek.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Leonard · 07:54 17/10/2014
    By the way, is the 30% off still available?

    Please, please, please?
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Leonard · 07:40 17/10/2014
    Dear Mr. Derek,

    YOU, SIR, ARE GREAT!
    Paid or not paid, you HELPED ME SO MUCH, while many customer services with paid people to service people can NOT do a good job, as I have seen here!

    I do not intend to flatter you, but I think I fell in love with Sony video editing options!
    I am currently a Corel Videostudio user, but, I don't see any reason to still stick with that app.
    I have tried the Sone Moviestudio 13 Platinum Trial today, and I must say: WOW!

    The workflow is so fluent and free of "slowmotion" workflow like I've been used in Corel.
    I can't believe it.
    In Corel I had Smart Proxy activated all the time, but, man, it moves so slowly - even without effects activated.
    With basic effects, like a plugin or two, I can not even play the project in editing mode, without to feel that I am watching a '90s webcamera (with 5fps per second).

    With Moviestudio, it works so FLUENTLY!
    Fluently, on a LAPTOP, editing FULL HD material (from a Canon T3i camera)!
    It's like playing with it. I love it!

    I am really impressed.
    I can finally say goodbye to the pain with that software.
    I also tried Power Director, from Cyberlink, also moves so sloooow,
    although they marketing it as "super duper fast, bla bla".

    Why I landed on this particular topic, is that I will miss though, the variable speed option, in Corel, to perform variable slowmotion like in Vegas Pro.

    Pitty that Moviestudio does not support something like that.

    If you could suggest how could I achieve something similar like that (maybe with a 3rd party plugin), then I will like to play with this software every day, for the rest of my life.

    Thing is, I do not need something Pro like Vegas, since I am an amateur learning the filming universe, and at the moment I do not produce for anyone, nor do I own expensive cameras etc.

    Thank you again for everything that you do!
    Quality material!

    And, as asked, if you have time to reply to me, in regard to the slowmotion thing,
    that would be AWESOME!

    Yours,

    Leonard
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Derek Moran · 16:36 02/08/2014
    I don't know of any way to sync the audio using Method 3.
    When film makers use Method 3, they are not using the original audio track.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Jack · 14:04 30/07/2014
    Is there a way to sync the audio with how much you slow down the video with method 3? I'm trying to make a gradual drop in speed but the audio stays the same.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Lars · 07:01 21/04/2014
    Another method that preserves quality lost in the intermediate rendering stage is to create a separate project (with same settings as your original project), slow the clip to the minimum (i.e. 0.25), and save it with a unique name. In your main editing project you can open the new slow motion project as if it were a video clip, and slow it down again. On the second slow down there will be a little extra math required to exactly match your output frame rate, or you can just experiment with what works best. As far as I know this method preserves the original's quality and allows you to edit it as usual.

    Thanks for the great site Derek!. The tutorials you've posted here over the years were a life saver when I first entered the vegas world.

    Cheers, LRH
    • This commment is unpublished.
      Derek
      • Moderator
      · 11:29 21/04/2014
      Hi Lars
      They say you learn something every day.
      I will have to try your method out.
      Thanks for the tip and leaving a message.
      Cheers Derek.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Verkurkie · 15:51 27/01/2014
    Thank you very much for this write-up! Very useful!
    One question though: i have recorded some clips at WVGA/240 fps with my new gopro 3+ black edition and Sony Vegas detects the 240fps but it won't let me set the playback rate lower than 0.250 ... i would like to set it to 0.125 as you suggested in your article but Vegas won't let me!

    Any suggestions?
    • This commment is unpublished.
      Derek
      • Moderator
      · 17:34 29/01/2014
      Hi Verkurkie
      It looks like I have made a mistake with my information. I am not sure why I did not pick up on this beforehand.
      Anyway, 0.250 is the maximum you can go in one step. If you want to slow it down to 0.125, you will have to do a 2 step process. Slow it down to the limit of 0.250 first and then render your video to 60fps. Then drop this new video back into Vegas and slow it down to 0.5 speed. When this gets rendered a 2nd time, it should be equivalent to 1/8th speed.
      Sorry I took so long to reply to your message - I have been swamped with questions at the moment.
      Regards
      Derek.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Darci · 05:37 10/10/2013
    How can I Export Project Files from Sony Vegas to Sony Movie Studio Platinum 12.0 or one to another?
    • This commment is unpublished.
      Derek
      • Moderator
      · 18:56 13/10/2013
      Hi Darci
      Unfortunately you cannot Export Vegas Pro files into Movie Studio and vice versa. The code that each program uses is different, so they are not compatible.
      Also, Vegas Pro .veg files and Movie Studio .vf files are forwards compatible only !
      Meaning, you can only open older versions of Vegas Pro in newer versions of Vegas Pro and not the other way around. The same applies for Movie Studio. Newer projects files made with newer versions cannot be opened in older versions of Vegas Pro or Movie Studio.

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