This is a simple introductory editing software straight from across the pond – the United Kingdom. With simple yet effective menus and an easy to understand timeline, this would be a great tool for the beginner editor. Like all beginner software it doesn’t have all the tools the big boys in Hollywood do but you can make a slick video with what you do have. Included in this product is DVD authoring which is a great add-on feature. Not only can you edit your videos, with the software, you can burn them to DVD and share them with friends.
When you first open Serif’s MoviePlus X6 you notice a simple quality about it. It opens a wizard that simply asks “What do you want to do?” then gives you three options, create, open or learn. When you choose to start a new project under the create section – it dives into the program. Here you will see a simple three window setup. On the top are two windows, the video preview window with the media window next to it. Underneath both windows is the timeline where all the editing takes place. The simplicity of this program lies in the media window because that is where you get everything you need.
We found that importing video was easy but it did drop a few frames. The missing frames didn’t make a huge difference to the final outcome of the video. Then we went to add pictures and songs from our computer and we found that navigating in the media window was straightforward and quick. We navigated with the explorer tab, selected the files, and then right-clicked and clicked on “add to project.”
As we mentioned before, all the editing is done on the timeline, since there is no viewer window to modify clips, it can be a bit cluttered. We did find that if you double-click a clip in the media window it opens another window which allows you to shorten the clip to the desired spot or length, but there was no way to import just the video or just the audio. After we dropped our chosen clips onto the timeline, we used the unlinking button to separate the link between the audio and video then delete the part we didn’t want. Something that we enjoyed about the simplicity of the timeline is that the clips have little handles to control fading from both ends of the clip. If you wanted to crossfade the clips you just drag one on top of the other and it creates a crossfade for you. When we went to make a title or rolling credits for the piece it was effortless with the media window. First you click on galleries, underneath that you will see a text button, click there and boom – all of the title effects you wanted. Find the one that is right for you, and drag it to the timeline. From there you can change the location, size, color and font style to what is best for your project. When we wanted to change the volume of our clip or fade it in and out we would look to the media window again. First we selected the audio track of the clip we wanted to edit, then we clicked on the “show key frames” button in the media window. This provided a volume line on the clip, which could be edited to make volume fade up or down dependent on your keyframes.
Storyboard or Timeline Editing
There is another way to edit with this program, a feature called storyboard. This is the simplest form of editing. All you do is move the desired clips to the storyboard box that says “drag clips here” and the feature takes care of the rest. It automatically adds a one-second crossfade between each clip and your movie is done.
Serif includes a few more cool features to spark your creativity. New to MoviePlus is the ability to flip, reverse or spin a video clip along any axis – most editing programs allow for flipping or reversing footage, but getting every angle in between opens up a lot of possibilities. You can get deeper into editing your individual video clips or stills by making adjustments to your lighting, color and exposure. If you want to add the Ken Burns effect to your stills, which is a combination of panning and zooming, there is a button for that. Each of these take your production higher in value.
Here are some other features that we found to be helpful for you when you start to edit on the timeline. You can record a voice over onto the narration track because it is a separate track on the timeline. You can create video and audio groups to help organize all of your video tracks on the timeline.
The installation of this product was easy and it takes up 1.75GB of space which isn’t a lot considering everything this program can do. We only had time to review the editing section and get an overall feel of the product. There is a DVD authoring feature that would entice anyone to try out this product. We found MoviePlus X6 to be fast at rendering – it took 22 seconds to render out a 10-second clip with three filters on it and a credit roll overlaid on top. When we exported the same 10-second H.264 clip at 1080p, it took 46 seconds.
The learning curve on this product is fast, after you know where things are, get over the European spelling of words, and figure out the quirks, you are on your way. This is a great simple editing software for all of you who want to add that Hollywood feel to your piece without paying that Hollywood price.
Includes: MoviePlusX6 Director’s Guide
Operating System:Windows 7/Vista/XP
Minimum CPU: IntelPentium 4 Hyper-Threaded processor or AMD Athlon XP processor
Minimum RAM: 1GB
Minimum Hard Drive Space for Installation:0.96GB
Batch Capture: Yes
Automatic Scene Detection: Yes
User Interface: Customizable with floating panes
Number of Video Tracks: Unlimited
Number of Audio Tracks: Unlimited
Nesting Tracks: Yes
Audio/Video Level Envelopes: Yes (known as adjustments)
Audio Scrub: Yes
Keyframe Animation: No
Number of Video Transitions: 80+
Number of Video Filters: 100+
Background Rendering: Yes
Real-time Software Previews:Yes
Optimized for Dual Processor/HyperThreading: Yes
Third-party Plug-in Support: No
Encoding Formats: MPEG, MP4, WMV, MOV, H.264, AVI
Batch Render: Yes (Video File Converter from StartUp Wizard)
DVD Authoring Software Included: Yes
- Group video in timeline
- Fast learning curve
- Simple layout and menus
- Lots of fun features (animated transitions, titles, and filters)
- Must import both video and audio to the timeline
- A little clumsy when transitioning between clips in the timeline
This is an easy to use editing software with lots of fun features that can make your videos look as entertaining as the content.
Andy Scheblein is a freelance graphic designer, videographer, and animator.