4 video editors: Pro results for ambitious amateurs

Video-editing software now offers features formerly only available to pros. We review four of the top packages (with video examples).

By Serdar Yegulalp, Computerworld |  Software

Speaking of capture, owners of DSLR cameras -- such as my Canon Rebel XS -- can use them as full-motion video capture sources if the camera supports it, or use them to perform remote-controlled stop-motion capture. Note that any camera that works as a capture source can perform stop-motion capture, but with a DSLR's lenses you generally get much better capture quality than, say, with a webcam.

Video projects can be exported to a wide array of formats; for example, you can export a file encoded as H.264 or WebM so that you can embed it into an HTML 5 page. Projects can also be written to DVD or Blu-ray, exported to tape and tapeless cameras or uploaded directly to popular video sites such as YouTube and Vimeo. All of these options are wizard-driven, and can either use canned presets for common media types or be hand-tuned for the best results (for example, one-pass vs. two-pass compression).

The Ultimate edition of VideoStudio X6 includes a passel of add-ons, essentially plugins integrated into the main program. Among them are SmartSound QuickTracks, an audio library that adds automatically generated soundtracks to videos in a variety of styles, and adds a number of third-party effects from proDAD, such as RotoPen (which lets you draw on an image) or Mercalli, a video-stabilization plugin about on a level with the one in PowerDirector. One add-on that is a full program is Boris Graffiti 6, a very powerful titling and text-animation tool. It requires a good deal of expertise to use since it isn't anywhere nearly as straightforward as VideoStudio X6 itself, but its output is extremely slick and professional.

Bottom line

Corel VideoStudio Pro X6 is clearly aimed at non-technical users, but contains some powerful features, has a great titling add-on "Boris Graffiti" as part its suite bundle and supports many top-of-the-line video standards.

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Corel VideoStudio Pro X6 has a new task-based layout; there's a useful screen-capture feature; you can track the movement of an object and then overlay it.

CyberLink PowerDirector 11

$54.99; Ultra edition, $79.99; Ultimate edition, $103.99; Ultimate Suite edition, $199.99 OS: Windows XP and later

CyberLink PowerDirector 11 takes some of the high-end features from Adobe's and Sony's products, and wraps them in an interface reminiscent of Corel's for ease of use -- right down to the "Capture / Edit / Produce / Create Disc" workflow menu along the top of the screen. While the results aren't as full-bore professional as the Adobe and Sony suites, they're still impressive, especially at these prices.

Originally published on Computerworld |  Click here to read the original story.
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