Corel has released the VideoStudio Pro X7 video editor, which features full 64-bit performance, especially for multi-track and even 4K projects, plus a new FastFlick, easy video creator and a variety of tweaks for an easier video editing experience.
The trend today in intermediate video editing is towards suites of tools, especially in the absence of breakthrough developments in new video formats or technologies. For example, the recent CyberLink PowerDirector Suite combines sophisticated video editing with separate photo, audio, and even color correction applications, and Adobe’s Premiere and Photoshop Elements combine the image and video editors with a separate Organizer tool with automated media analysis.
In contrast, Corel has kept VideoStudio Pro X7 as a simple stand-alone video editing tool, focused on its core audience. From novice consumers that need quick and easy editing to create nice-looking results, to multimedia enthusiasts that may have multiple cameras and want creative flexibility. VideoStudio Pro X7 also targets additional markets with some of its more distinctive features, including action videographers, who can use image correction, and slow-motion/time-lapse effects, and educators, who can take advantage of screen capture, stop motion, and chromakey.
The trend today in intermediate video editing is towards suites of tools.
The base VideoStudio Pro X7 video editor is attractively priced at $80. This is the full version, available both in 64-bit and still in 32-bit versions. Corel also offers the VideoStudio Ultimate X7 bundle for $100, which adds seven 64-bit special effects packs, from NewBlue for color correction and effects, proDAD for animations, effects, and stabilization, and Boris Graffiti for titles and effects.
The core VideoStudio Pro X7 product includes the main application, plus two additional tools: FastFlick for template-based videos and screen capture for recording demonstrations and tutorials. The product also includes built-in NewBlueFX effects and SmartSound for soundtrack generation.
FastFlick is new in X7, provided as a stand-alone tool, available either from the desktop or within the main application. The idea is to quickly turn a collection of photos and videos into a fun production, complete with photos and videos animated against background designs, with foreground graphics and music to fit with a holiday or other theme.
FastFlick uses a three-step process to first choose a template, then import photos and video, and finally save the resulting video. If you have time and interest, you also can customize the template design, including editing text overlays, enabling smart panning within the photos, and adjusting the background music and matching the music to the video or vice versa.
Then save the resulting video, direct to Web sharing sites, or as a file on your computer. Plus you can export your creation as a project into the main application, so you can use FastFlick to quickly do the hard work of creating the flow of the animations, and then further customize and enhance the result in the VideoStudio Pro X7 editor.
VideoStudio Pro X7
VideoStudio Pro X7 itself has a traditional and unobtrusive design, with the major video editing panels and associated controls easily at hand. There are three tabs, for the Capture, Edit, and Share workspaces. The Edit tab has the expected Preview window, multi-track timeline (or optional storyboard view), and Library panel for access to media, plus templates, transitions, titles, graphics, special effects and filters, and paths.
For straightforward editing, the most-used editing tools are directly available as button icons on the interface, along with assists including the sound mixer, motion tracker, and subtitle editor. Deeper options are available in the right-click menu, including multi-trim and variable speed.
For more sophisticated video editing, you can customize your work from the options panel, which slides out into the Library panel, or can be accessed by double-clicking on an element in the timeline. With overlay effects filters, for example, you can add multiple filters and tweak them individually, including applying masks and chromakeys, aligning to the frame, controlling motion and fading, and adjusting filter options with keyframes.
The new 64-bit engine can leverage the latest processors and additional memory to provide significant performance gains. Corel shows VideoStudio Pro X7 to beat VideoStudio Pro X6 by rendering up to 68 percent faster for HD multitrack projects with hardware acceleration, up to 153 percent for 4K projects, and up to 854 percent with smart rendering (processing only the changed regions of the video).
VideoStudio Pro X7 Enhancements
Beyond the 64-bit internals, Corel has focused VideoStudio Pro X7 on providing easier editing and creative effects. FastFlick is one example of this, along with a cleaner look for the interface and a complete refresh and expansion of the included content library, with new templates, transitions, effect filters, and graphics (plus the Ultimate version with the 64-bit effects pack).
The X7 release provides more customization options, including saving filters as favorites and custom profiles for batch conversion. For import and export it provides more project formats for HD editing including MPEG-4 and AVCHD, and revamped sharing options for online and saving AVCHD to SD card. And for editing it adds more single-press keyboard shortcuts, HD preview for more accurate visualization of the final rendered frames, new color patterns and backgrounds libraries, and a collection of additional overlay transitions for overlay tracks.
The batch conversion feature allows you to create custom profiles for export formats, and then select a group of video files or VideoStudio Pro X7 projects to be converted to a selected format. VideoStudio Pro X7 will then batch process the list of files, while you can go on and do something else.
Corel has done a nice job of stepping the VideoStudio Pro X7 video editor up to full 64-bit support, and reworking the interface to improve the editing experience. The FastFlick tool can help new users quickly turn out impressive-looking projects, and provides a fast-start to build an animated project for further customization.
The VideoStudio Pro X7 interface is straightforward, with everything at hand for basic editing. The result is a significant number of tools, but logically organized and identified clearly with friendly icons and helpful pop-up explanations. Corel also provides extensive assistance for novice to experienced users, including online help, a PDF user guide, and the Web-based Discovery Center with video and written tutorials, and additional support resources.
At the next level, especially in the slide-in options pane, VideoStudio Pro X7 offers a still relatively straightforward interface for delving into more advanced options, including animated and keyframed overlays and effects.
And then there's even more fun tools if you have the need, including time-lapse and variable-speed effects, screen capturing, motion tracking with customized tracks, stop motion animation, and subtitle editing.
You can try out the VideoStudio Pro X7 video editor for yourself for 30 days by downloading the free, fully-functional trial version, for either the 64-bit or 32-bit version.
Tech Specs System Requirements
Trial Version: Yes, 30-day, fully functional; 32-bit or 64-bit Windows
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 8/7/Vista/XP, with latest service packs installed (32-bit or 64-bit editions)
Minimum CPU: Intel Core Duo 1.83GHz, AMD Dual-Core 2.0GHz (Intel Core i5 or AMD Phenom II X6 recommended)
Minimum RAM: 2GB of RAM (4GB or higher and 1GB of VRAM or higher recommended)
Minimum Hard Drive Space for Installation: 3GB
Third-party Plug-in Support: Yes
Minimum display resolution: 1024 × 768
Other: Windows-compatible sound card and DVD-ROM (for installation); recordable Blu-ray drive required for creating Blu-ray discs;
internet connection required for accessing online features and video tutorials; internet connection may be required to verify the serial number during installation
- Both 64-bit and 32-bit versions
- FastFlick easy-editing mode
- Streamlined and refreshed interface
- Basic color adjustments
- Audio filtering limited to music and voice tracks
Doug Dixon covers digital media at Manifest-Tech.com.