08. Import Sony Vegas Projects to After Effects

Posted in: OK - Sep 29, 2009 36 Comments

In this tutorial you will see how to import a Sony Vegas project to After Effects.

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Hi, I’m Gyorfi Szilard, from Bluefx.net. In this tutorial, I will show you a quick trick – how to import Sony Vegas projects into After Effects.

Sony Vegas is excellent for editing video. In After Effects, editing audio can be difficult, but Sony Vegas is great for it. So let’s see how to edit video and audio in Sony Vegas. This will be a simple project, to demonstrate how to transfer the project back to After Effects. I have two video files, and one audio file. As you can see, you can scrub the timeline like this. Now you can make cuts – I like to hold down the layer and press S. You can edit really easily with Sony Vegas. We can also make edits to the audio, fade it up, make it shorter, trim it. Here we have our small project. Now, here comes the fun part. If you want to transfer the Sony Vegas project, with all the edits, into After Effects, you need to save it in a special format. Go to File—Save As… Now, at the file type, select Avid Legacy AAF file format.

Now, open After Effects and select the AAF. You can hit OK if the import log appears, which is unimportant, and you can see that After Effects made the folder, and you can see all the components of the Sony Vegas project, and it made for us a composition with all the edits. Open the composition, and you’ll see that we have the video edited just as it was in Sony Vegas. This can be very useful, but there are a couple limitations. If the videos had audio layers, then it would make a separate track for the audio too, so you should shut the audio layers off if the video has them. What are the limitations? If you faded the music, or made any changes to the volume, After Effects won’t see those edits; it will have the same volume, and is not faded in. By the way, I hit L two times, and you can see it’s not faded. We hear the audio, it plays like this, and in the Sony Vegas composition you can hear this nice fade. This is a limitation, but all the same, it can be very useful, especially for timing audio to the video.

I hope this was useful! My name is Gyorfi Szilard, visit my other tutorials, and other Sony Vegas tutorials are coming up. Make sure you subscribe to my Twitter at www.twitter.com/bluefx, because I post new articles and tutorials there, so you can easily know when I make a new one. Thanks again! See you soon.

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36 Responses to “08. Import Sony Vegas Projects to After Effects”

  1. Reply Ahmed Fadliev says:

    Well thanks for the tut. I’ve used vegas many times, I would use it in the future and this tip is gonna help me for sure. But I want to ask you, why don’t you prefer Premiere for editting sound and video instead vegas?

    • Reply Gyorfi Szilard says:

      Hi Ahmed

      Hmm good question, I have used Premier and Vegas too, I prefer Vegas because it is much faster and more user-friendly , but at the same time a professional editing tool. For example: I was doing a multicam edit first in Premier, it took me 4 :30 hours, when I edited the same project in Vegas it took me less than 3 hours and I was still learning how to properly edit multicam videos in this application. I will create a post/tutorial about using Sony Vegas vs. Adobe Premier


  2. Reply Rodrigo says:

    Great man! Perfect 8D

  3. Reply Luis says:

    Awesome video I have been looking for something like this for quite a while. I’m new to the whole editing process and I can’t tell you how much I have stressed on this issue. I had CS3, with an AVCHD video camera that recorded files in .mts, which adobe CS3 does not recognize. I could never quite figure out how to get files from vegas to after effects without loosing any quality. I’m currently away from my computer to actually try this, but what happens if I make video effect changes to the video file in After Effects and then I save the .aaf file? Will these changes show up if I open it in vegas?

    • Reply Gyorfi Szilard says:

      Thank you Luis for your feedback. I have a suggestion, try to rename the file extension from .mts to .MPG. This way you could be able to edit the videos more easily. Unfortunately you can`t save from After Effects to aaf. format. This only works in Sony Vegas. Would be cool to have the feature in AE too.

  4. Reply Bob says:

    This may work if the video/audio files are editable within Adobe but for example Xvid files will not load. I tried editing a fanmade trailer and Adobe just errored out. I have not tried this with normal DV files or anything though….but I could have really used this for my 22 min short film.

  5. Reply tedy necula says:


    This is great and I realy need it for making stabilize motion.

    But I have a problem, in save as I have not AAf format.

    I have platinum 9.0

    What should I do?

    • Reply Gyorfi Szilard says:

      Hi Tedy

      Thanks, hmm strange. I just installed Sony Vegas 9 , it dose have the aaf file format in the “Save as “menu.

      Maybe you could reinstalling the app, if this won`t solve the problem try to contact the Sony support team. I`m sure that they will have a solution.

  6. Reply Laci says:

    Ãœdv! Magyarul írok, így könnyebb. Tedy-hez hasonlóan én is 9.0 verziószámú Vegast használok (Vegas Movie Studio HD 9.0c), és mentési lehet?ségként a “Save as…” menüben csak a .vf formátumot kínálja föl. Elképzelhet?, hogy megszüntették ezt a funkciót? Esetleg elérhet? valamilyen plugin?

    • Reply Gyorfi Szilard says:

      Laci is saying that he has Vegas 9.0 but can`t find the .aaf format in the Save As dialog.
      I am not sure why this is happening, on my version the format exists, I use Vegas 9.0, if anibody has an explanation , possible solution, please let us know.

      Koszi Laci

      Sony Vegas 9.0

  7. Reply Jay says:

    AAF import and export (or saves) are not available in the 64 bit version of Vegas Pro 9. They are available in the 32 bit version though.

  8. Reply Paul says:

    Tedy mentioned platinum 9.0 which is the consumer version, maybe it doesn’t have AAF.

  9. Reply Alex Azzi says:

    Excellent Video, and definatly puts to rest a lot of consern from many poeple that are weary of feeling that they have to render out of vegas, work in after effects, then render out from after effects to finalize in vegas, then render the final product.. mainly the consern of losing quality after all these various renders.. this however.. solves the “from vegas into AE” …

    i have a question though…. once u are finished doing the effects in AE off of the .aff prefix, what does one need to do to get the project back into vegas with all the new work done from after effects with out any loss of quality or added compression?

    hope this question made sense.

    thank you


    • Reply Gyorfi Szilard says:

      Hi Alex, thanks

      I have been searching for a way to export the edited files from After Effects back to Vegas, but I did not find a good solution. I render the videos out and then edit theme in Vegas if I need to.

  10. Reply charlesM says:

    Nice video tips there.

    i have a question, when i tried to put my render projects in sony vegas from AE it lost some video quality?

    what is the problem?

    any suggestion?

    • Reply Gyorfi Szilard says:

      Hi Charles,

      It could have more causes:
      1) you are rendering in to a compressed, delivery format from AE, this is making the video lose quality. If file size is not a big issue for you, I recommand that you render the video in Qtime, animation codec. This is a lossless codec, meaning you are not loosing video quality. A good alternative, that I also use, in Qtime Photo -JPEG, this codec renders fast and the quality loss is barely noticeable

      2)Vegas automatically reduces the quality of the video when you preview a video so that the video plays smoothly and dose not jump. This happens often if you work with HD videos, this happens only in the preview, the video will have good quality when you render.

  11. Reply charlesM says:

    very nice.

    thanks pal

  12. Reply Karen says:

    Hi Gyorfi
    Thank you for this video. I was looking for exactly that! :-)
    I have a bit of a problem though. I have imported the aaf file into AE and it creates the folder with all the files, but when I open the composition all the clips are on the same track. Shouldn’t the clips have their own track each? I tried earlier with a different edit which had some transitions and speed changes applied to it etc. just to see what it would look like in AE and when I opened the composition the clips were placed into a seperate track each, but they all started at the same time, so not the way I edited them. I have not worked with AE a lot so I might just be doing something wrong here. Thank you for your help.

  13. Reply D4 Manager says:

    How about using proxy and then save project?

  14. Reply yadi says:

    hii i have a problem with Vegas, when a i render my video the new blue effects appears in the video, how can i erase it? is urgent
    thank uuu!!

  15. Reply yadi says:

    i mean the new blue effects sign appears in the final render how can i remove it? sorry my english jaja

  16. Reply Schedule says:

    Maybe you should edit the post title Import Sony Vegas Projects to After Effects | BlueFx |After Effects Templates and Tutorials to something more generic for your subject you create. I enjoyed the blog post yet.

  17. Reply Joseph says:

    hi, i have CS5, it will not read .aff files?

  18. Reply Dan says:

    Hi, so it sounds like if we already have made a lot of sound fx edits on our project’s clips within Vegas 8, our workflow regarding AE should be to work on specific clips individually by:

    1) Withink Vegas, save the clip you want to work on as .aaf file
    2) Import that .aaf file into AE
    3) Within AE, add video (and any new audio) FX
    4) Render the AE comp to QT format using Animation codec
    5) Import the new QT file back into Vegas
    6) Repeat steps 1-5 for all clips for which you want to add AE fx.
    7) Render final project file from Vegas


    • Reply Gyorfi Szilard says:

      Correct, this is how I do it. The only obstacle is that AE CS5 is not supporting aaf files any longer. So we have to use AE CS3

  19. Reply Dan says:

    Thanks, Gyorfi! Whew, good news for me that I “only” have the CS3 version of AE. Looks like I finally caught a break! :)

  20. Reply Dan says:


    Hope you can help me out…

    I’m working with a very large Vegas composition (a movie) and I need to work on individual clips at a time within AE. However, I can’t seem to find a way to export the individual clips from within the Vegas project to AE as .aaf files. I thought I should be able to delete everything except the portion of the timeline in Vegas that I want to export, save that as a separate file, and then save it as an .aaf to be imported into AE. When I try to do that however, I’m finding AE continues to import the entire project no matter what I do.

    How can I achieve this without rendering out each section in Vegas first or without going back to my raw, unedited original footage clips?

  21. Reply Victor Franjo says:

    Is it possible to reverse the process?

  22. Reply joel says:

    I was so happy to see this tutorial until I noticed it was removed in the 64bit version. WTF Vegas? I’m really thinking of switching to Premiere now with the 50% discount.

  23. Reply Tim says:

    Thanks so much man! This helped me a ton. I wasn’t sure if I had to edit in Adobe Premiere in order to import the edits to AAE to do the vfx. This saved me a lot of time!

  24. Reply shah says:

    thank for this video tutorial……

  25. Reply Vegasaur says:

    Recent versions of Vegas Pro can export to Adobe Premiere projects, which can also be opened in AE.

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