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Sony Creative Software's new consumer level Video Editing software is now called Movie Studio Platinum 12.

*Special Update January 2014*
The latest range of Sony Movie Studio software is now released. Please follow these links to read new reviews:
Review of Sony Movie Studio Platinum 13
Review of Sony Movie Studio Suite 13

New Name Change

This new version which was released in the first half of August 2012, now replaces what we knew as "Sony Vegas Movie Studio HD Platinum 11" or "Sony Vegas Movie Studio HD Platinum 11 Production Suite". So the names have been given some Zen treatment with the removal of "Vegas" and "HD" out of the title of the core program, and "Production" has been also been dropped from the Suite version.

New Features included in Movie Studio Platinum 12 version

  • Windows 7 and Vista 64 bit and 32 bit support
  • GPU Acceleration
  • Up to 20 Video Tracks
  • Up to 20 Audio Tracks
  • New Editing Tools
  • Improved Stereoscopic 3D Controls
  • Added 3D BluRay Disc and Internet Templates in the New Project Wizard
  • 20 Sony Sound Series production music files

New Bonus Features included with Movie Studio Platinum 12 Suite version

  • 50 Sony Sound Series production music files
  • Sample Pack of New Blue Video Fx and Transitions
  • New Blue Titler EX  - 3D Text creation plugin
  • Magic Bullet Quicklooks by Red Giant - over 100 Colour Grading Templates

**Please note that the "Suite" version includes everything from the Standard Version as well as all the bonuses.

Programs included

Movie Studio Platinum 12 also includes a copy of DVD Architect Studio 5.0
Movie Studio Platinum 12 Suite includes DVD Architect Studio 5.0 and Sound Forge Audio Studio 10

Closer look at Important New Features

64 bit Support - Massive Performance Boost !

This is definitely at the top of the list of Major Changes to the Movie Studio Platinum program and the main reason why existing users of Version 9, 10 or 11 should consider upgrading to Version 12. Up until now, Vegas Movie Studio HD Platinum was only ever a 32bit program, which means it had to follow the rules of 32bit computing - even if you had Vegas installed on a Wizz Bang 64bit Machine with tons of memory, storage and a fast multi-core CPU.

With the explosion of 1080p and 720p HD Video creation in the world over the last couple years, people have been discovering very quickly that you need a decent computer to Edit and Create HD Video files. Otherwise you may experience extreme lag problems in the Preview Window and see the program just simply freeze up due to not enough basic memory being available.

A decent computer equates to the following components all working together:

  • A 64bit Machine using Vista or Windows 7 64bit as the Operating System
  • More RAM (memory) than the stock standard 4GBs of a 32bit computer
  • A fast 4 Core CPU like the 2nd & 3rd Generation Intel i5s and i7s series
  • Large and Fast Hard Disc Drive storage with the capacity of 1 or 2 TerraBytes (1000 GigaBytes)
  • Icing on the cake is a SSD - Solid State Drive which Windows, your programs and Movie Studio can live on

So now the loud cries from Vegas Movie Studio users around the world have finally been heard and answered by the Sony Creative Software engineers. When you purchase Movie Studio Platinum 12 now, you actually get TWO versions of the program just like Vegas Pro 11 users do - a 32bit AND 64bit version. Which means if you are on an older 32bit computer system or laptop you can still use Verison 12 with no worries. Most computers you can buy today are ALL 64 bit now and it probably want be long before this is all you can get.

What does 64 bit Support actually mean ?
64 bit Support means that Movie Studio Platinum 12 can hypothetically use all the available spare memory (RAM) installed on your computer that isn't being used by other resources. It also un-locks the Power of your 4 or 6 Core CPU, so that the Maximum number of Rendering Threads are utilised.

RAM is important for a couple of major things in Movie Studio. It gets used a lot during the Rendering Process and is very useful when creating large complex projects full of 1080p video. Another way you can now use this RAM is for Dynamic RAM Preview mode. Dynamic RAM Preview gives you the abliity to Render small test portions of a project to Full HD Settings and then play it back during Editing. To use this tool you simply drag out a "Loop Region Area" and then press Control + "B". How much RAM you set aside for this must be manually set in Preferences before you start.

If your computer has enough DIMM slots, then I encourage you to add more memory to your computer if you are a hard core Video Editor. RAM has become incredibly cheap now so it wont break the bank. I use 16GBs of RAM now and my perfomance is lovely. I suggest a minimum of 8GBs will make you very happy indeed.

GPU Acceleration

Just like Sony Vegas Pro 11, Movie Studio Platinum 12 now has the ability to harness more of the processing power in your GPU (Graphics Processing Unit, Graphics  Card) to assist with Rendering Video. Specifically, GPU Acceleration can be used when rendering to the Sony AVC and Mainconcept AVC formats.

Additionally, many of the Sony Video Fx plugins and Transitions have now been upgraded to be GPU Accelerated as well, which obviously helps improve user experience while editing and rendering.

Requirements for GPU Acceleration
In order for GPU Acceleration to work properly, you must have the right kind of Graphics Card installed in your computer. Nvidia Cards that are CUDA enabled and ATI cards that are Open-CL enabled, will both work in Movie Studio Platinum 12. They also must be using up to date Driver Software for things to work as well.

Here are the specific requirements that must be met for GPU Acceleration to work:

Requires a CUDA-enabled GPU with 512 MB or more RAM and driver 270.xx or later.
GeForce GPUs: GeForce GTX 4xx Series or higher (or GeForce GT 2xx Series or higher with driver 285.62 or later).
Quadro GPUs: Quadro 600 or higher (or Quadro FX 1700 or higher with driver 285.62 or later).

Requires an OpenCL-enabled GPU with 512 MB or more RAM and Catalyst driver 11.7 or later with a Radeon HD 57xx or higher GPU. If using a FirePro GPU, FirePro unified driver 8.85 or later is required.

Movie Studio Platinum 12 "Suite" - Main Bonus Features

The Suite version has some great new bonuses, which I always believe are defintely worth the extra investment, because you end up with a full Production Suite of very useful programs and plug-ins that can create just about any project you can dream of.

The three big components are:

  • NewBlue Sample pack with NewBlue Titler EX
  • Magic Bullet Quicklooks
  • 50 x Sony Sound Series production music files

New Blue FX

NewBlue includes 6 x Video Fx plugins with 73 x Premade templates between them all that can be simply dragged straight onto the timeline without having to do anything else.

The NewBlue Titler EX is a pretty cool plug-in which gives you the ability to create 3D looking Text and Graphics that can add a real professional touch to your projects.

**Please note that the many NewBlue Fx and especially the Titler EX, defintely need a decent GPU installed in your computer for them to work at all. If you don't have a decent dedicated Graphics Card installed, these plugins willl simply not work properly at all, because they require a large amount of processing power.

Magic Bullet Quick-looks

This is the first time Magic Bullet Quicklooks has made an appearance as a bonus feature. There are over a 100 presets which you can choose from to create practically any mood you can dream of. Magic Bullet can add a many types of Colour Grading directly to your video without having the need to learn complex Colour Control Fx Plugins. This is a great time saver and especially useful for Short Film makers who are learning the ropes of Video Editing and Colour Grading.

Sony Sound Series

With Movie Studio Platinum 12 Suite there is a new collection of sample production music files that are all Royalty Free. So if you are making a Video for YouTube or Vimeo and need to add some Sound to your project, you can safely use this music to jazz up your videos.


OK. So I could keep talking here for ages about all the other components which are part of Sony Movie Studio Platinum 12. You still get all the same features that have been present for quite some time now in all previous versions. If you want to look at the niity gritty of the Technical Specs, then you can read about this on the official Sony Creative Software website.

If there are any new people reading this article who have had no experience before with Sony Vegas Movie Studio software, then you may like to watch two in-depth videos I made about Vegas Movie Studio HD Platinum 11, which actually show the heart of this software off.
Sony Vegas Movie Studio HD Platinum 11 Included Tools and Video Fx Review
Sony Vegas Movie Studio HD Platinum 11 New Version Introduction and Review

Most people by now will probably be asking is it worth Upgrading to the NEW Movie Studio Platinum 12 ?

If you are using a low powered or older computer, and it is only a 32bit, then I would say stick to whatever version of Vegas Movie Studio HD Platinum you are currently using.
If like myself you have a 64bit Computer with a 4 x Core CPU and decent graphics card installed, then I reckon it is definitely worth investing in Movie Studio Platinum 12 or Movie Studio Platinum 12 Suite - I highly recommend the Suite Version. Remember that anyone who already is a current owner of any Vegas Movie Studio software, qualifies for the special discounted Upgrade Pricing which is available only through Sony Creative Software.

Screen Shots of the Program

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Ethics Statement
I did not get paid by Sony Creative Software to write this review. I only recommend products that I actually use myself and have tested by using them under normal working conditions.

Derek Moran
August 2012


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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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