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Customer Review

on 14 May 2013
Platform: PC|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I've tried various versions of Corel Video Studio Pro (they've dropped the Pro from this version, though) and always found it a bit 'My First Video Editor', however with X6 it may have stepped up a bit.

It's always had a fair stack of features, but customizing them has always been restricted or awkward meaning that anything you produce with it has a bit of an amateurish feel. It's never good using loads of the transitions and overlays included with NLE software, but if you can suitably customize the effects then you can end up with something unique and more understated (read 'professional looking'!).

It's still not massively intuitive when trying to customize things, but I did get further with X6 than I have with previous versions, so there's a definite improvement there.

The inclusion of ProDad Mercali and Boris Graffiti go a long way towards helping you make a professional looking production. These are very good tools and BG particularly, rather than the stock title effects, will really help a production.

New features such as 4K support and the motion tracking titles are interesting. I'm not sure why anyone with kit capable of capturing 4K video would use a budget editor like this right now, but I suppose as 4K kit comes down in price it may make sense to be familiar with a software package - I just don't see the 4K price coming down much very soon.

The motion tracking titles and overlays (and path editing for objects in general) actually works very well and creates some nice effects that are both smooth in appearance and effective. My only issue being that applying these effects is not as intuitive as it could be. Creating a motion tracking path and then replacing that with a title repeatedly resulted in titles that were far smaller than I expected - though they did track very nicely! If you do a search on YouTube you can find some Corel training videos that show a much simpler way of using the motion tracking (create the track without an associated object, then right click on the overlay you want to follow the track and associate that with the appropriate motion track) - tellingly it involves un-checking a default setting every time you create a track.. see what I mean by unintuitive?

I should, though, say that I am absolutely not dismissing the bundled effects. Some of them are very very nice. The clouds effect and the wave effect in particular are very well rendered and the waves effect in particular is very customizable meaning fluttering flags from images etc are very easy to create and very convincing. The simple transitions such as the fades, wipes, peels etc are very well done and genuinely useful.

A lot of reviewers have had stability issues with this version. I'm pleased to say that I didn't have any while testing - and that was a bug surprise to me. I'm a Pinnacle Studio user by choice - another product now owned by Corel - and the latest version of that software (version 16) has proven a nightmare on my hardware so I was expecting bad things here.

[UPDATE: After another few hours of testing this pretty heavily with some 1080p footage, motion tracking, various overlays and transitions I'm happy to say that I still have had no crashing issues whatsoever!]

The only 'stability' issues I did see were to do with plugins. When opening up the settings editor for New Blue effects I was briefly greeted by a screen promoting New Blue's wares, quickly followed by a registration screen. Unfortunately these screens immediately disappeared behind the main Video Studio Pro window BUT kept focus meaning that I couldn't click on the popups to close them, bring them to the front of the screen to interact with them or continue to work in the editor. (the fix was to right click on the task bar icon and select 'Close' which brought the dialogs to the front where I could cancel them. Video Studio pro did not close at this point but after closing the two dialogs I was able to return to the main screen and continue what I was doing!)

In the past I've uninstalled Video Studio Pro and continued using Pinnacle Studio and CyberLink Power Director to achieve everything I've wanted to do. I think X6 will be staying on my machine - not as my primary editing package, but certainly now a useful addition to my video toolbox.

[UPDATE: The extra few hours of testing have really bumped this package up in my opinion. My gut feeling at this point is that Video Studio Ultimate X6 will now replace Power Director as my second line NLE. It will probably actually be the first call for some project from now on.. and that's after more than 10 years of very heavy Pinnacle Studio use!]

[UPDATE June 2013: Well I've now had my first crash - last night on a project I've been working on for a good few weeks now. I was moving an overlay graphic and the application froze completely. I crashed out of it using task manager - a pretty sever way to shut down any application - and on restarting Video Studio offered to recover the project that was open when it crashed. It recovered perfectly and the only changes missing from the recovered project were the ones I was making to the position of the overlay when the application crashed! I hadn't saved the project for a good 20 minutes or so and had made a lot of changes in that time and all of those were recovered perfectly. Yet another big tick from me then - crashes are almost inevitable in complex software like this, for me the measure of good software is how well it recovers and Video Studio Pro did that brilliantly.]
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