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This is a mini-review for VEGAS Pro 16, where I will talk about some of the best new features that have been added to the program.

Vegas Pro 16 is showing that Magix and Vegas Creative Software is committed and serious about continually improving Vegas Pro, by adding many of the features that the Vegas Community has been requesting for a long time. The stand out new features for me in Vegas Pro 16 are: Motion Tracking, updated Video Stabilization, Storyboard workflow, High DPI Scaling, 360° Editing and improved Bezier Masking tools.

vegas pro 16 desktop 1280

Complete list of all New Features added to Vegas Pro 16

Check your build version

The final build version released for Vegas Pro 16 is build #424. To check which build version you have installed, open Vegas Pro and go to Help/About. If you have an older build version installed, you can download build #424 from this link.

All New Features

  • Video stabilization has been completely redeveloped in house to provide far better stabilization results
  • Motion tracking enables the user to follow the motion of on-screen objects and apply video FX and filters to the moving area
  • Bezier Masking OFX plug-in provides complete flexibility in creating multiple masks with simple to complex shapes, apply masks to the media or video FX, and use a motion track to have the mask follow selected objects in the video
  • Project Media thumbnails now feature hover scrub so you can easily review media files without first adding them to the timeline or Trimmer
  • The user can mark in and out points on each clip in the Project Media window, then preview just the material between the two points and add just that material to the timeline
  • In and out points can be marked separately on the same media in different bins–especially important in the new storyboard bins
  • Project Media thumbnails can now be resized in order to see more detail in the thumbnail
  • You can now preview multiple files sequentially in the Project Media window (including the new storyboard bins) either by selecting no files (in which case they will all preview one after the other) or by selecting specific files (in which case, just those files will preview)
  • Significant workflow improvements have been added to the Project Media bin system in the Project Media window
  • You can now drag a project media bin (including the new Storyboard bins) to the timeline to add all of the contents of that bin sequentially to the timeline
  • More logically centralized tools for adding media to your project through the Project Media window
  • Quick Start dashboard provides quick access to major workflow operations
  • Added color swatches to the Device Preferences to provide a visual indication of the Interface Type preference
  • Tiny Planet OFX plug-in for creative treatment of regular and 360 footage
  • You can now easily add a missing audio or video stream back to your project automatically synchronized and grouped with its partner stream
  • A button has been added to the Render As dialog box to instantly set the render to location to match the project file location
  • Robust auto-save and backup options have been added so the user can specify how often they want their project saved or backups created
  • The user can generate automatic subtitle events on a new subtitle track from TXT and CSV files, including support for timecode in and out information in a CSV file so that the subtitles end up in the exact desired position
  • A new menu item allows the user to remove gaps between selected events
  • The user has an option to export HDR metadata in HEVC 32 bit projects which can then be ready by sites such as YouTube
  • You can now split tangents on the Bézier Masking OFX plug-in so you can create curved masks with perfect accuracy
  • You can now preview HDR using the 10-bit OpenGL pixel format
  • A new script enables users to create text that is "pinned" to a motion tracked object
  • An improved interface makes the stabilization plug-in more intuitive and easy to use
  • It is now possible to automatically create subtitles based upon named regions in your project
  • You can now set any preset of the Titles and Text media generator as the default for the Insert Subtitles from Files and Insert Subtitles from Regions functions
  • You can now create subtitles by importing SRT files with the Insert Subtitles from files feature
  • Video scopes can now be set to display the NITS scale for HDR work, including for 8-bit projects
  • VEGAS now warns you if no track has been armed for recording when you start recording and enables you to specify which existing track or tracks you want to record to, or to create a new track and record to that
  • Replacing media in the Main Storyboard timeline now updates the project timeline
  • The user now has the ability to "pin" another video event to a motion tracked event
  • Custom frame rates can now be set when encoding using AMD and VCE render templates in the MAGIX AVC/HEVC formats
  • The Main Timeline storyboard no longer automatically reacts to changes on the timeline. A Refresh Storyboard button has been added to the Project Media window when viewing a storyboard which enables you to manually match the storyboard to the timeline
  • A Red background for the Main Timeline storyboard alerts the user when the storyboard is out of sync with the project timeline and must be manually updated
  • A dialog box warns the user that the Main Timeline storyboard cannot be altered until it is updated to be in sync with the main timeline
  • A Red warning bar at the edge of storyboard thumbnails indicates when the timeline event is longer than the media it holds
  • You can now set in/out points in the storyboard for audio-only files
  • You can now set in/out points in the storyboard for still-image files
  • The Storyboard now properly recognizes L and J cuts and orders itself appropriately
  • Added support for time stretched/compressed events hover scrub in and out point trimming, and storyboard refresh
  • A new OFX plug-in enables you to add video stabilization to 360° video
  • In addition to manual refresh to keep the storyboard in sync with the timeline, an automatic refresh option has been added so the storyboard refreshes after each timeline edit
  • An update notification feature has been added in order to keep in better touch with users when new product updates and fixes are available
  • DX12 based HDR external preview support
  • The video stabilization plug-in now has three modes for use depending upon the level of control desired ranging from basic mode with simple one-click operation, to expert mode with a powerful set of optimization parameter controls
  • Automation for Video stabilization parameters enables you to make adjustments over time or to bypass stabilization during certain portions of a clip
  • HDR Mastering Display Metadata for rendering HDR10 content has been added to the Project Media window
  • A filter option in the Render As dialog box filters the render formats and templates down to just those are are 360° compatible when you've specified your project as a 360°in the Video tab of Project Properties
  • Mechanism is now in place to inform users when a new update of the software is available
  • Variable Frame Rate files are now identified as VFR in Media properties, the Explorer window summary information, the Project Media window Details view, and the Project Media window media summary information
  • In cases where the user attempts to run the Copy Motion Track to PinP script without first applying the Picture-in-Picture plug-in to the target event, a dialog box provides instructions on how to properly make the feature work
  • A preference now enables you to choose between prioritizing audio/video synchronization or optimal file preview when working with Variable Frame Rate video media
  • Added logic to revert the video stabilization plug-in to Fast mode in certain rare cases where we can detect that it will return superior results over Accurate mode
  • You can now enter a value into the Smoothing text box on the Video Stabilization plug-in to achieve smoothing values far greater than 10
  • Support for HEVC 10-bit BT.2020 and BT.709 files
  • A new preference enables the user to disable auto detection for 360° files

A closer look at the best new features in VEGAS Pro 16

My pick of the best new features in Vegas Pro 16 are in no particular order!

Video Stabilization

Since the dawn of time, the included Video Stabilization plug-in in Vegas Pro, has been very primitive and only worked in conditions were light stabilization was required. If you tried to fix video that was shaking and rolling in complex patterns, Vegas was not able to help and could actually make things worse. The developers of Vegas have re-built the Video Stabilization plugin from the ground up and it now works much better than before, however it is still not perfect. If you are working with seriously shaky video and Vegas is not producing the results you want, ProDad's Mercalli 4 Stabilizer is still the best option to use.

Please note: During the lifetime of Vegas Pro 16, the new video stabilization plug-in has undergone a lot of development and improvement.

There are 3 modes in the new Vegas Video Stabilizer: Basic. Professional and Expert. The Media FX window will show different sliders and controls, depending on which mode you select.

vegas pro 16 video stabilization

Motion Tracking

Motion Tracking in Vegas Pro is an item that has been on the Vegas Communities wish list for a long time. Motion tracking enables the user to follow the motion of on-screen objects and apply video FX and filters to the moving area. The ability to motion track is linked with the new Bezier Masking OFX plugin. This is because you have to place a Mask over the object you want to track first.

vegas pro 16 motion tracking

Adding Text to a Motion Track

You can also pin a Text Event to an object, by adding a Script to a video that has the Bezier Masking effect and Motion Tracking applied.

vegas pro 16 text script

vegas pro 16 bezier masking ofx

Bezier Masking OFX plug-in

The Bezier Masking OFX plug-in provides complete flexibility in creating multiple masks with simple to complex shapes, apply masks to the media or video FX, and use a motion track to have the mask follow selected objects in the video.

vegas pro 16 bezier masking ofx

Hover Scrub feature for Project Media thumbnails

Project Media thumbnails now feature hover scrub, so you can easily review media files without first adding them to the timeline or Trimmer.

vegas pro 16 hover scrub thumbnails

Re-sizing of Project Media thumbnails

You can also hold your CTRL key down and roll the wheel on your mouse to re-size the thumbnails in the Project Media window.

thumbnail resizing

Tiny Planet OFX plug-in

Tiny Planet OFX plug-in for creative treatment of regular and 360 footage.

vegas pro 16 tiny planet ofx 1

vegas pro 16 tiny planet ofx 2

Add missing Audio or Video streams

You can now easily add a missing audio or video stream back to your project automatically synchronized and grouped with its partner stream.

vegas pro 16 add missing stream 1

vegas pro 16 add missing stream 2

vegas pro 16 add missing stream 3

Vegas Advanced Save Utility

Robust auto-save and backup options have been added so the user can specify how often they want their project saved or backups created.

vegas pro 16 advanced save 1

vegas pro 16 advanced save 2

Generate automatic Subtitles from TXT, CSV or SRT files

The user can generate automatic subtitle events on a new subtitle track from TXT and CSV files, including support for timecode in and out information in a CSV file so that the subtitles end up in the exact desired position.

vegas pro 16 bezier insert subtitles 1

vegas pro 16 insert subtitles 2

Close Gaps between Events

A new menu item allows the user to remove gaps between selected events.

vegas pro 16 add missing stream 2

vegas pro 16 close gaps 1

vegas pro 16 close gaps 3

Create Titles & Text Preset for Subtitle generation

You can now set any preset of the Titles and Text media generator as the default for the Insert Subtitles from Files and Insert Subtitles from Regions functions.

vegas pro 16 subtitle generation titles text presets

Dynamic Storyboard & Timeline interaction

In addition to manual refresh to keep the storyboard in sync with the timeline, an automatic refresh option has been added so the storyboard refreshes after each timeline edit.

vegas pro 16 storyboard timeline synchronization

360° Video Stabilization OFX plug-in

A new OFX plug-in enables you to add video stabilization to 360° video.

vegas pro 16 360 stabilization

360° Editing

To create a 360° video or discover the interactive capacity of recorded video footage you have to set the project to a 360° project. To do so, select the Properties option from the File menu or click the Project Properties button on the main toolbar.

vegas pro 16 360 output

HDR Colour Support

HDR Mastering Display Metadata for rendering HDR10 content has been added to the Project Media window.

vegas pro 16 HDR Output

HEVC 10-bit BT.2020 and BT.709 files

Support for HEVC 10-bit BT.2020 and BT.709 files has now been added to Vegas Pro 16.

Variable Frame Rate Video

Variable Frame Rate files are now identified as VFR in Media properties, the Explorer window summary information, the Project Media window Details view, and the Project Media window media summary information.

Are you using the latest build version for Vegas Pro ?

If you are not using the latest build version for Vegas Pro, you will be missing out on many new features and bug fixes! Unfortunately Vegas does not immediately notify users when new build versions are released - I hope Magix can remedy this, because many users seem to be using out-dated build versions without realizing it.

For anyone that currently owns Vegas Pro, you can easily check which build version you have installed by opening Vegas and going to Help/About. Patches (build updates) for Vegas Pro are always first announced and available from here on the official Vegas Forums.

In the FAQ section of Movie Studio Zen, you can now read the full build update history for all current versions of Vegas. These release notes will be continually kept up to date and list all new features and bug fixes for each build version of Vegas Pro that gets released.

Vegas Pro 16 update history and download links

 

Please note: I would like to explain why I am publishing a review for Vegas Pro 15, 2+ years after it's release. Due to ongoing health problems with myself, I haven't uploaded any regular content to this website for almost 3 years. I am now returning to regular content creation here at Movie Studio Zen and also on YouTube and Facebook, and wanted to write a few short articles to fill in the gaps, before I jump back into the deep end of the pool.

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