Advantages Easy to use, good results
Disadvantages Can be prone to crashing
|Instructions / Help|
|Ease of use|
|Ease of Installation|
|Range of extra features / functions|
|Value For Money|
Ok...so you've bought the camera, you've filmed your Nan falling over on holiday...now you want to edit the footage to amuse friends and families and perhaps to cash in on a well known TV show...But how do you do it?One way would be to invest you pennies in a piece of software called Pinnacle Studio Plus 10...
Pinnacle have been producing video editing software for donkeys years now and are one the leading companies in the field. The "Studio" line of video editing software is one of their core products and has been brought bang up to date with Studio Plus 10.Just like previous Studio products, this offers an easy "What you see is what you get" interface which allows even the most foolhardy or inexperienced user (and I am both) to create fairly professional looking projects.
The software is certainly user friendly and the help files and manual are pretty useful (quite a rare thing really!).The program will guide you through the whole process, from plugging your camera into the computer to producing the finished project in a variety of media. The program works in three main steps - "Capture", "Edit" and "Make movie" and within these categories you have a whole variety of options.
Capture mode allows you to import footage from a range of sources - most camcorders (except ones using Hi8 tapes), DVD players and VCRs. You can also, with a bit of jiggery pokery, import footage downloaded onto your pc from the internet. The software is also geared up to capture from HD camcorders for those of you lucky enough to have them!The capture mode will automatically detect "scenes" from the footage as you import it...although sometimes it does get this wrong and will break up footage where there was no natural break. This is not, however, a major issue and causes no real problems.
Moving on to the "Edit" section, this is where Studio Plus 10 really comes into its own. As on previous editions, the software allows you to simply drag and drop clips onto your movie time frame. You can choose alternate views of this timeline which will easily allow you to add in text over the footage, title screens, soundtracks (which can be matched to the length of your film), sound effects and voice-overs (if you really want to go to town).You can easily create title menus, either using some of the pre-prepared menus or using your own background images and text.
In addition to this, the software allows you to produce "professional" effects, such as transitions between clips, picture-in-picture scenes (with a little dinky clip playing in the corner of the screen) and even lets you loose with Chroma Key effects (which allow you to replace the background on footage with something different - the sort of technique used when they film the weather broadcast). All pretty smart stuff!In addition to this, the Edit facility will allow you to render the footage in the background, (hopefully) taking some of the time out of the final stage of producing your project.
Finally, the Make Movie section allows you to burn your footage to DVD, to record on VCR tapes create movies for websites or for your computer. Additional software can be bought to allow you to create podcasts and movies for PSPs.Pinnacle Studio Plus 10 also allows you to add still images into your films and to rescue footage from damaged tapes.
The software is easy to use, and the results it produces (while obviously depending partly on the quality of what you are putting in!) are pretty impressive. The only real downsides to the software are firstly, the size of the file on the computer - the software includes a lot of demo clips which can be dumped but take up quite a bit of file space.Secondly, a lot of the transitions in the software must be bought as extras which can be annoying, especially if you are a cheapskate like me!
Thirdly, as I've mentioned, the software can be prone to crash. You will need quite a lot of available memory on your p.c and in practice this means deleting most of your clips once you have completed and produced your project. The software (in my experience) only tends to crash during the rendering stage, which, if you have not already pre-rendered can be really really annoying (that doesn't really express how irritating it can be, but I don't want to swear in my review!). Rendering can take AGES if you have not pre-rendered and it is really best to leave it over night.However, that said, this is the best video editing package I've used. It offers pretty good value for money and is a massive improvement on its predecessor Studio Plus 9 in terms of reliability. I would recommend it to most, so long as they have the discipline to keep their hard drive fairly clutter free to allow the software to run smoothly.
So go on, buy a copy and bore your friends and family rigid with your holiday vids next time you see them....go on...you know you want to!System requirements:
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