Corel Video Studio ProX5 Ultimate edition
I run a design agency and now have a requirement to use Video in our websites and presentations to clients. We have always done this by linking to Youtube or using Flash. Both these are workable but not very professional if something goes wrong. We write for the PC, Linux and Mac platform with iPhone and iPad support.
To find software that integrates with other software without using external third party software. Also I want a video editing packages that is easy and fun to use and most of all stable while in use. I am testing this on a core i5, 16Gb DDR 3 RAM, 128GB SSD drive and a 1TB hard drive with onboard graphics. I am reasonably e3xperienced in video editing.
The Corel software loaded easily with the minimum intervention from me. The whole process took about 5 minutes. I registered and was ready to go.
The interface is well laid out but all the tools are there as you need them. The system works using a workflow layout. First import clips, edit clips together, add effects and publish and save. It's all very logical and easy to use and get to grips with. After this basic series of operations the user can then add more advanced option like sound edits, background music and fades. The included filter pre-sets work well but can be tweaked by the user if needed. There are lots of effect from useful ones like camera shake correction and exposure to more gimmicky filter effects for those so inclined.
You can layer clips which is great for me to make presentations look less dry and corporate. I managed to quickly do one with a nice woodland background as a trial. Over all the editing process is logical and easy to get to grips with but powerful enough to get much more out of it as experience and confidence grows. The more advanced feature allow multiple layers, Stop motion animation and time lapse which are useful if you need them. I can see film students loving the flexibility here.
The clip input interface takes video information from most common file types and converts them as necessary into your chosen output format. This is useful if you have many file types. There are clean up options which will go some way to re3storing older clips imported from VHS and older cameras. This works well but I found the presets over brightened and made everything a little too contrasted for my liking. A few tweaks of the presets restored everything to my liking. Yes, it that easy to use.
On my machine with the SSD drive everything was very slick, I could never go back to a hard drive only machine now. I expect a lot of the speed was due to the SSD but it was amazing for the amount of CPU time and load needed. This would appear to be a very fast package if run on a modern machine.
This has a great deal of options. The most interesting on for me was to be able to save the video file for use in HTML 5. You can also go direct to Facebook, Flicker and YouTube. If you choose these options the clip is automatically compress for best quality and speed of access. It works well in practice. The HTML 5 is great as you can add interactive hotspots to jump around clips and I can see myself using this more and more to gain interactivity and input during clips.
You can also output pahone and Pad compatible version of videos.
DVD and Blue-Ray authoring
You can save to both formats and this is an automated process after a few tick boxes are filled in. I have only saved a few DVD's out of curiosity and they worked fine and playe3d on my computer and TV with no problems. I don't have the luxury of a Blue-Ray writer but the menus look pretty straight forward.
In use this is a fast and stable piece of software. This is great for a video editing package as most other I have tried have frozen of fallen over at some stage. I have clocked up quite a few hours on this package with no glitches what so ever. I see from reviews that some people have had issues but I expect this is down to machine bottlenecks rather than the package. Video editing software uses a lot of CPU, RAM and system bandwidth so it needs a good machine. I think the SSD drive helps here and now the price is coming down it is a wise move if you use memory and CPU intensive software like this that demands high speed from the data disk. Once I have finished a project I save it on a hard drive so that I keep SSD workspace clear. It's a different way of working but it is a better way in my opinion.
This software actually comes with a decent manual that walks you through the basics, a rare thing these days! There is also online support and 'how to videos' so support and training is very well covered by Corel.
In the Ultimate package Corel throws in loads of effects, transitions and templates and some auxiliary software to add effects.
Any weaknesses ?
The title generator is a bit basic but this is really nit picking here. Apart from that I would recommend this as a good beginners to intermediate package and if you need HTML 5 support for websites then this has it out of the box. It is PC only and no Mac version so my employees won't touch it as they love their Mac's.
Well this package is a keeper for me. It does what I need it to do and is easy to use, I have not written that about software for a long time !