Ulead VideoStudio 10 Plus is a great editing suite for the absolute beginner. This version has many automatic features that make video editing much easier for the user. If you're someone who wants to start editing videos for the very first time or want something with more effects and DVD authoring options, take a look at Ulead's Video-Studio 10 Plus.
Installing VideoStudio 10 Plus was a breeze on a 2.0GHz Pentium M Toshiba laptop running Microsoft Windows XP (Home Edition) with 1GB of RAM. This version of VideoStudio 10 is the Plus version which adds a DVD authoring solution to the bundle. It took just a matter of minutes to install the software and start importing video.
Bells and Whistles
Upon launching the software for the first time we noticed the interface is a little overwhelming. With a multitude of menus, drop down menu boxes, tabs and miscellaneous buttons we admit that if you've never seen a video editing application you may get overstimulated and/or confused. This is the type of video application that you might want to consider taking it easy for the first go. Or in other words, it may take a little more than a couple hours to feel comfortable with the interface.
Nevertheless, VideoStudio 10 has some great automatic features to make video editing a simple process. The first one we found is the DV Quick Scan option under the Capture tab. With DV Quick Scan, VideoStudio 10 will scan your Mini DV tape from your camcorder or compatible device and catalog scenes. You can then choose which scenes you wish to capture to your hard drive. This takes some time, of course, as it plays through once making scene markers, then back again to record your selections. What's nice is that it takes a great deal of the brain labor out of capturing. However, you'll still need to know which scenes include the footage you want to edit. There are several other capture modes, a standard DV capture with complete device control, import from DVD or DVD-VR and import from mobile device (such as cell phones). It's also important to note that VideoStudio 10 can capture high definition video, too. Additionally, using Smart Proxies, even slower computers can edit high-definition video.
Time To Edit
Once we had our footage captured we were ready to edit. It's simple enough to do with a couple different options: a storyboard interface and a timeline interface. The storyboard interface allows you to drop in your video clips and other media as if you were building a slideshow. The timeline interface allows more control of your video, overlays and music. Either interface can be used depending on your preference.
The first thing worth mentioning is the shared program and viewer monitor. Whether you're viewing a video from the media library or something embedded in your timeline it shows up in the same monitor within the application. This can be confusing at times. You'll have to watch the window's display, which toggles between the two options, very closely.
Trimming clips and working within the timeline is really simple, which beginning users will appreciate since that is a great deal of what makes up the process of editing. The real fun for most beginners, however, is the over-the-top effects and transitions and, believe us, there are a ton. The shear amount of transitions is quite amazing and many of them actually look good, although, there's a fair share of cheesy ones that you'll probably never use (and you shouldn't... trust us). There's also a strong set of video filters ranging from bizarre special effects to basic image adjustments.
The unfortunate part of this software is the uninspiring title presets. After a strong show of transitions and video filters we expect to see something a little more exciting from the Titler. You might want to consider looking to do more of your titles in a graphic editor or get use to customizing those presets to fit your needs.
Finally, what's video editing without audio? Nothing, really. VideoStudio 10 Plus delivers some advanced audio editing features. You can control the gain (volume) of your tracks using rubber bands and key points so that music, voice-overs, sound effects and natural sounds from your video clips can be mixed together perfectly. You can also adjust for 5.1 surround sound channels, too.
Make It Plus
Once you have your video the way you want, there's a host of options for sharing your hard work. VideoStudio 10 Plus lets you export to a video and/or audio file, burn a disc (including DVD), export to a mobile device, playback on video screens, record to DV and share on the web. The "Plus" version of this software is the addition of the DVD authoring software. The DVD authoring process is also very simple for beginners. We really appreciated the auto-detect chapters feature, which automatically detects chapters within you video production. The menu templates were also a plus, looking incredibly sharp and adding motion menus to the mix. You think you're stepping into a completely different price point just within the DVD authoring side of this application. If you're on the fence about Plus or Standard versions of this software, definitely consider Plus.
It's hard to get lost during the capture process as the software helps guide you through some of the steps. The Titler works well, but was rather unexciting compared to the fanfare of the special effects. The DVD authoring side of VideoStudio 10 Plus is a real winner. The application seems somewhat overloaded with menus and tabs, but the trade-off is that a ton of features are nearby, including a multitude of transitions and video filters.
Trial Version Available: Yes
OS: Windows 2000/XP
Minimum: CPU Intel P4, M, D, Extreme, or AMD 64
Minimum RAM: 256MB (512 GB or more recommended)
HDD Space Required for Installation: 1 GB
Formats Supported: DV, HDV, DVD, Analog capture, MPEG-4
Batch Capture: Yes
User Interface: Timeline
Video Tracks: 7
Audio Tracks: 3
Nesting Tracks: No
A/V Level Envelopes: Yes
Music Creation Software Included: Yes
Keyframe Animation: No
Number of Transitions: Tons
Number of Video Filters: Tons
Background Rendering: No
Dual-Processor/Dual-Core/HT Optimized: Yes
Third-Party Plug-In Support: Yes
MPEG-2 Encoding: Yes
MPEG-4 Encoding: Yes
Batch Render: No
DVD Authoring Software Included : Yes
- HD editing
- 5.1 Surround Sound Audio Mixing
- Great selection of Transitions and Video Filters
- Cramped Workspace
- Single Program and Viewer Monitor
- Dull Title Presets
VideoStudio 10 Plus is a strong contender for first-time video editors or amateurs.
Mark Montgomery is a commercial television producer.
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