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Exporting Microsoft PowerPoint Slides into Sony Vegas

I mentioned in my post about my video studio, I thought I had my conversion of PowerPoint slides to Vegas licked. As it turns out, I decided that I wanted to spend a bit more time on it. Certainly driving up the resolution (to a ridiculous amount) made the text work, but it still wasn’t quite there. I didn’t relish the idea of using the chroma keyer to drop out the background of the slide (as this technique required) and was just generally not happy with how “hackish” it seemed. So I took a new approach, which ended up with very good results.

First, I exported PowerPoint to Enhanced Windows Metafile (EMF) again. Then I took them into Adobe Illustrator and exported them as PSD files. Why didn’t I use SnagIt any longer? Well, SnagIt — as nice as it is — exports a white background even if there’s nothing there. Once I exported to PSD with Illustrator I could import into Vegas — with transparency. Thus I didn’t have to rely upon the chroma keyer in Vegas any longer.

There were a few more bumps along the way. First, I had to set the background to transparent. I did that by going to the master and setting the background to a solid fill that was 100% transparent. The net effect is that it didn’t get exported in the EMF

Second, the exports I got were of varying sizes. Basically, they were the bounding box that fix around the text on the slides. So to resolve that I put lines on the edges of the slide master and then set their transparency to 99%. The net effect was that every slide had the same dimension and therefore I could import them into Vegas and they didn’t shift sizes or move around. Yea, technically the outermost pixel on each slide is shifted slightly by my nearly transparent line, but as a practical matter that doesn’t really hurt anything.

So the end result is that I have a clean looking import that doesn’t rely on chroma keying (so it will render faster and cleaner). I’d love to say that there was a more straight forward way to do this — but if there is, I’ve not found it.

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