Corel VideoStudio Pro X5
In terms of bang for your buck Corel VideoStudio Pro X5 is hard to beat!
By David Hague
Once upon a time there were two very successful companies that dominated the PC world (pre-Windows this is and before the Mac became more than a tech-nuts plaything). Let's call them Corel and WordPerfect.
Then things got messy when one bought the other, Adobe bought Aldus and Microsoft became a juggernaut. The world of WordPerfect/Corel started to crumble and for a period, they floundered around as they fondly remembered the glory days.
For a while it became quite muddy with other companies getting involved or bought (ULead springs to mind off memory) and frankly, I don't think I am being unfair when I suggest they were not taken very seriously.
Today however is a different story and while it is still fair to say that Corel has struggled in the video editing market - in Australia at least - compared to say Adobe, Sony, Apple and others, I suspect the latest carnation of VideoStudio Pro X5 will change all that.
Corel VideoStudio Pro X5
And oddly enough, I say this not because of any improvement over its standard video editing approach as this retains the 3 step approach that many programs of this type use - Capture, Edit, Share. No, not at all. This version has some truly ground breaking features.
While this 3 step approach is simplistic and almost wizard driven, and indeed there are wizards in VSPX5, the amount of functionality and flexibility in the package is enormous and in some cases, even unique and novel.
For example, in the Capture mode there is the ability to important images direct from Canon dSLRs to create stop motion video. But even more impressive, and I suspect many will buy VSPX5 for this feature alone, you can use the Capture utility to capture the PC screen including any movement, animations, mouse clicks, hyperlinks etc. Once you have captured whatever you want, you can add voice overs, effects, transitions and so on to create a complete and polished screencast (as Corel call it). There are other programs that do this, the major one probably being Camtasia, but when matched dollar for dollar there is no contest.
In concert with this, the full HTML5 spec is supported allowing hyperlinks to be embedded plus on screen cues and chapter points into video. To help beginners in this area, the package ships with a number of HTML5 templates. Exporting of video can of course be exported to Vimeo, YouTube, DVD Disc, Blu-ray or even mobile devices direct from the program.
Another innovation is rotoscoping, a facility once only available in very high end packages such as Adobe After Effects. Rotoscoping is where you trace over live footage to create an animation. Other higher end functions include timelapse, strobe, effects fade, on live footage painting, chroma key and importation of multi-layer graphics from PaintShop Pro. Footage from 3D camcorders such as from Panasonic and Sony can also be edited. A basic Smartsound implementation for music generation is included.
HD video is very processor intensive; it needs a powerful computer to edit it. Due to this, VSPX5 has proxy support; a lower resolution of your files is used to do the editing, add effects and so on, and then when it is ready to output to whatever medium you are exporting, the real footage is acted upon. Additionally, VSPX5 is optimised to take advantage of the latest multi-core processors from Intel and AMD thus using their power to the maximum (plus video graphics from NVidia).
The number of tracks has been increased to cater for all this extra "oomph". It is now possible to have up to 20 overlay tracks for video, photos, graphics and titles, two subtitle tracks and four audio tracks.
While other packages may have more than this number, in reality this is plenty for anything other than the most massive project.
Corel VideoStudio Pro has grown up. And this is just the base version. In the Ultimate edition you also get included Vitascene, Mercalli and RotoPen from ProDAD, Boris Graffiti 5.4 and New Blue Motion Effects and Titler EX.
Perhaps, and it may be just me, the UI of VSPX5 looks a little simplistic and cartoonish, but the reality is that this is like looking at a Canon XA10 camcorder and saying it's a toy. Under the bonnet (NOT the hood note!) there is some serious, serious power.
Bang for buck wise, at AUD$99, Corel VideoStudio Pro X5 is hard to beat. That is not a typo, yes Ninety Nine Australian dollars. The ultimate version is even better value at AUD$129.
For more information and to download a trial version go to www.corel.com.au/videostudio.
Here are a set of screenshots of VideoStudio Pro X5 in action.
|Dual Monitor Support|
|The DVD Production Interface|