Movie Moguls Make It Happen: Video Editing
by The Reviews Team
Enjoy. Charles W. Evans, Reviews Editor
Power Director 3, by Robert Du Vernay
Power Director 3 , by CyberLink, presents the four functions necessary for to make a DVD/CD copy of your movie or videos. Director 3 will Capture your video (you’ll need a separate capture device), assist you in Edit, provide an Authoring process and will do the Burn your CD/DVD. This package comes with 190 pages of actual, printed documentation! You should look over and read the documentation. Video editing/creation is easy enough with this product but the operator (that’s you) does have to know what to press and when. Reading the documentation is a lot easier than having to go to a web site or view an electronic file when I need an answer! The interface is highly institutive, clear and readily understandable - a clean feel.
Capture: Straight from your DV/D8 recorder, directly from TV (is this TIVO - no, you need an analog/digital capture device), from a WEB cam, and analogy capture. You are only limited by what hardware and hard drive capacity you have at hand. A utility package is also provided which will capture VHS analogy video/audio, so don’t throw those old VHS tapes out. It also rips CD audio into MP3 files and provides VOX capture, if you want to dub. All of these various inputs are organized in the Media Library; this is good. The original item is preserved, and you pull copies into the current project. You can screw up, just don’t ‘delete from disk’ that is fatal. It don’t go thru the recycle bin, I promise you.
Edit: Just what it says! You can split a clip, chop it up, move ‘um about on a time line. And then, “glue” them back together, which is the trick. Either you move the “clip” to include or exclude frames or you and do it with a time key, going down to a 1/100 of a second cut. There is a frame advance button, which lets you position exactly to cut out a commercial from a recording, like a pro…right down to the beginning of the fade. You can grab a SnapShot for a title or just take a still. This adds new dimensions to Digicam footage, after the fact. Mute/fade out/override the existing audio track adding our music, effects, change volume…its all there. There is a handy preview window to check what you got, with a one click. Don’t forget to backup the project along the way.
Author: There are simply more options than space permits. PIP is interesting…but my TV isn’t big enough to enjoy that one. The final audience is the key determinate at this stage, you want to make a Streaming video (Quick Time) for the internet, copy it back in DV source, make a VHS, just a DVD / CD or …choice is yours. Put the titles and menu together, run in any special effects, audio or visual and go for it. Some review/re-reading of the documentation maybe in order.
Burn: Need a slide show? You can dump onto a CD/DVD and package it all up with a driver program, so Aunt Tilley in Kansas can play it on her computer, then punch out X copies of same! Disc utilities are provided so that you can erase those RW items, and even defrayment your hard drive. Also, duplicate a DVD. The speed of transcoding and re-compression was very good. My resulting DVD-RW output was ok, wouldn’t play in my DVD player but that is nothing new. As I said up front, this is a nice product.
After you get your Power Director 3, check immediately for program updates on their web site. They offer FREE Trial products. I did have trouble capturing from my analog card. Power Director 3 recognized my capture card and the audio connection but the capture failed. So I imported my MPG3 clips directly into the project and took it from there. All in all, this is an impressive product suited both for the inexperienced “editor” and more advanced users. I must stress that Power Director 3 and most of the newer video editing suites all require a top end CPU environment to operate effectively. For more info and updates go to: www.gocyberlink.com.
Robert Du Vernay is a HAL-PC member and is the senior instructor for the CD Burning for Everyone and DVD Burning for Everyone classes. He can be reached at email@example.com.
Pinnacle Studio 9: Simple, Powerful, Creative, by Jannice D. Morris
Studio 9’s main interface screen is simple, easy to navigate and understandable. Start by importing your digital file which you can either preview, then edit and burn to a CD or DVD. This program simplifies the movie making experience. New, advanced features include automatic editing capabilities and powerful one touch controls for improving old or damaged video. For the adventuresome, Studio 9 debuts new, powerful, creative options including audio tools for producing cinema quality movies and support for third party audio and video plug-ins.
Edit is the most extensive and time consuming if you choose to use too many features. Is it a favorite TV program? Use time slice to remove the commercials and insert a unique title with your own voice over (you’ll need a mic and sound card). The initial screen couldn’t be simpler. There are three tabs: Capture, Edit and Make Movie. There are many “hot spots” on this screen - ones that will appear when you make specific selections - very nice. And no wading through drop down menus, etc. Well designed.
Drag-and-drop your captured video footage onto the editing timeline or storeline (your choice, but I prefer the timeline) and quickly assemble a movie. Other features include the ability to import CD, MP3 and WAV audio files into your timeline, and export still frames that can be sent to your printer.
Want to quickly turn your recent holiday video into an enjoyable movie? Let SmartMovie edit your movie for you! With Studio's automated editor, you simply choose a video and song from your hard drive and select an editing style. With one click, Studio creates a professionally edited movie-complete with titles, transitions, and special effects-all synchronized to the beat and duration of the movie.
Edit movies, add titles, music, narration and special effects and then output a finished movie back to analog videotape, DVD and the web. Pinnacle Hollywood FX Plus, which provides hundreds of additional 2D and 3D transitions and video effects. Makes it easier than ever to add titles, transitions sound effects and background music to your movies.
Audio and video restoration tools:
Output Formats : (no DivX)
The Basics: Simple as One, Two, Three
Studio 9 software is as simple or advanced as your movie maker needs demand. Step one, is a fast automated import and logging of raw footage into albums from almost any camcorder or other digital source. Step two, imported footage is transformed into your story with one click using the SmartMovie feature. For the more advanced devotee, Studio 9 combines a multitude of creative editing tools and powerful features that include transitions, titles, video and sound effects and automatic or imported music making options. At step three, after your movie is completed, it can be burned onto a CD or DVD, transferred to tape or published on the web. You’ll have a tendency to use many of these. Don’t. Use these effects sparingly for the most dramatic effect.
Studio 9 is a vast improvement over vs. 8 and contains as much or as little as you wish to use and it is fairly easy to use most features. I forgot to include in last month’s mini-review how very nice it is to have a real, helpful and informative PRINTED user manual. A well illustrated, 282 pages of practical assistance, but you have to read it ! This is a powerhouse, versatile program that a novice can appreciate. For more info and updates go to www.pinnaclesys.com.
Jannice D. Morris is a HAL-PC member who is a staff archivist for a graphic conversion firm.
Ulead VideoStudio 7: Surprisingly Capable, by Rodger Marion
I produce short video lectures that are part of courses I teach. They are available to students on the Internet as streaming video files. Recently I filmed a new lecture and used UleadVideoStudio 7 to edit it.
Installation and Setup - Installation on a laptop (2GHz Pentium 4M processor, 512MB of RAM, Windows XP) was simple. After installing from the CD, I installed an updated version from the Ulead web site. Generally, I accepted the default preferences with two exceptions. Whenever you add a clip to the time line, the program inserts a transition effect between them, and so I set the default to be a crossfade. Also, to be able to use the Split-by-Scene feature, I set the Capture Format to DV mode. I did not need technical help, but the Ulead web site offers a number of support options.
Capture - The video and audio were recorded using a DV camera and a wireless lavaliere microphone. The video was transferred to the laptop using the Firewire (IEEE 1394) interface without problems. Whenever I stopped the camera between shots, VideoStudio divided the material into separate clips and put them into the Video Library.
Assembly and Trimming - I selected five clips for the final movie and dropped them on the timeline. VideoStudio put a crossfade between each shot. After selecting and trimming the shots, I saved the file to work on later. Upon opening the file the next day, VideoStudio could not find any of the clips and I manually re-linked each one. The remaining project information was intact and later I saved and opened the project file and it found everything. The previews played back well both on-screen and on a TV. Overall, work flow is often cumbersome as the program tries to “help” you at each step of the process.
Audio - VideoStudio has several options for audio, and at least one limitation. I wanted to remove a few extraneous sounds from a clip. I could split the audio from the video and then I could adjust the volume of the whole clip but not portions of it. On the plus side, you can add a Voice and/or Music track. You can record a voice-over audio track, and you can record music from a CD. Also, audio files can be imported and dropped to either the Voice or Music tracks. I used one of the music files provided to add music at the beginning and end of my lecture.
Titles - The title tool was fairly flexible. I needed to create four titles and while it remembered the font, initial font size and color, I had to manually redo the title duration and shadow parameters each time. I shot the video in 16:9 aspect ratio, and the program does not recognize this format so the letters in the titles are stretched horizontally when viewed in 16:9. Regardless, the titles do look good.
Output - My lectures are available to students as RealVideo files. I discovered that while VideoStudio would create RealVideo files, I had no control over the properties of the output file. The properties are fixed as 320 x 240 and 8 Bits Mono. My video was shot in 16:9, and I needed to output it at 312 x 176 and 16 bits stereo. So, I had VideoStudio output a MPEG-2 file and I ran it through Discreet Cleaner XL to create a RealVideo file. You can view the lecture, using the RealPlayer, at teamideal.utmb.edu/de/reflection_7.ram.
Conclusion - Ulead VideoStudio 7 is a very capable program within its limitations. The documentation is clearly illustrated and useful. Please read it. There were a number of things I could not do with it, but I am quite happy with the movie that I edited. VideoStudio is a reasonable, economical, and straightforward option for the novice video maker, but will satisfy more sophisticated users. As a professor, I give a B+. For more info and updates go to www.ulead.com.
Rodger Marion is a HAL-PC family member and member of the Telephone Help Committee. He develops movies of simulated patients for the University of Texas Medical Branch, where he is a professor. Web site - www.corsairstudios.com and contact at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Charles W. Evans is a HAL-PC member and the Magazine’s Reviews Editor who can be contacted at email@example.com