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How to Save a Project in WMV Format in Sony Vegas

Updated on February 21, 2013

WMV is a Windows file format that was designed for streaming video. It's quality is comparable to MP4 with some tweaking and with a small file size, it's optimal for uploading to file streaming websites such as YouTube.

Rendering WMV in Sony Vegas 11
Rendering WMV in Sony Vegas 11 | Source

How to Render in WMV with Sample Template

  1. After your project is finished, go to your File window and select "Render as". The rendering window will pop up. Change the name of your project and select where you would like to save your project.
  2. Scroll down and choose any of the templates under WMV (we will be customizing the settings so it doesn't matter which you pick).
  3. Choose "Customize Template"
  4. Under the Audio tab, change the mode to CBR and the Attributes to: 192kbps, 48kHz, stereo (A/v) CBR. Leave the other two settings at the default.
  5. Under the Video tab.
Change the Mode to: Bit Rate VBR (Peak)
Format: Leave default
Image Size: Leave as your project settings, or click custom
Frame Rate: Default would be 29.970 (NTSC), online video is 30
Average bit rate: 4M
Peak bit rate: 6M

Enter a name into the template and click the floppy disk to save your settings for later.
Enter a name into the template and click the floppy disk to save your settings for later. | Source

6. Save your settings by entering a name in the template and clicking the save button next to it.

7. Once done tweaking your settings, click OK and then hit Render.

Do You Usually Use VBR or CBR?

See results

Encoding Terms and Recommended Settings

Improving your rendering quality is easy once you understand a view of the terms in your rendering options. Learning how to use them will allow you to get the optimal file, both in size and quality.

CBR or Constant Bit Rate: is a method of encoding that renders each frame with the same bit rate. Each frame will be encoded in the same quality (bit rate) which is a good method if you're encoding for a DVD or medium that has a maximum bit rate requirement or if you are trying to fit your video into a fixed file size.

VBR or Variable Bit Rate (Peak): is a method of encoding that allows for variable encoding per frame. This option allows for better quality as frames that require more encoding (bit rate) will have less compression than others. Rendering time will increase with this option, but the results are well worth the extra minutes that it takes.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
192MB, 3:00 - Test One95MB, 3:00 - Test Two49MB, 3:00 - Test Three
192MB, 3:00 - Test One
192MB, 3:00 - Test One | Source
95MB, 3:00 - Test Two
95MB, 3:00 - Test Two | Source
49MB, 3:00 - Test Three
49MB, 3:00 - Test Three | Source
Render Settings for Test Two
Render Settings for Test Two | Source

Improving Quality by Testing Render Settings

With all rendering settings, to achieve the best quality, testing the settings is necessary. Encoding videos is very different between live action, animation or even game settings. There is no one template fits all option.

One of the best ways to get the settings you want is to do quick render tests. Render out 5-10 seconds of your video and tweak the settings each time, noting the file size, time and quality of each.

Below I have three tests that I rendered to test the quality on my live action footage. After comparing all three and considering their size and quality, the render settings I would choose is the second test. The quality is not perfect, but the file size is low enough to allow me to upload to youtube without it taking hours and still look good.

Quick tip: be sure to take screenshots on action shots as it is easier to tell the quality of motion blur than a static frame, especially if you're using VBR to render.

My Chosen Render Settings

Mode: Bit rate VBR (Peak)
Format: Leave default
Image Size: Leave as your project settings, or click custom
Frame Rate: 29.970 (NTSC)
Average Bit rate: 4M 
Peak Bit rate: 6M

192kpbs, 48khz, stereo (a/v), CBR

After picking your settings, be sure to upload to youtube or other video website to test. These websites further compress your files, so you may end up having to test more options if your quality degrades too much after uploading.

Improving Render Settings

  • If your video is blocky and low in quality, increase the bit rate.
  • If your video has a huge file size and the quality is the same as the original, lower the bit rate.
  • The perfect render settings will meet in the middle between file size and quality. You should see a slight compression on your quality and a file size that is not huge.
  • Always remember to push your settings a little farther, until the quality is unacceptable to you. This will draw the line for your bit rate and give you a boundary of where not to go over or under.
  • Streaming websites like Videmo and YouTube also have guides on their website with recommended settings that are worth trying out.


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    • CarlySullens profile image

      Carly Sullens 

      5 years ago from St. Louis, Missouri

      You explain things so well. Great Hub.


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