And that worked just fine, as long as you were happy with the canned effects on offer. The Transition Designer is interesting, particularly for its ability to create transitions from any image. Just import and optionally crop your picture, and PowerDirector treats it as a mask, dissolving from the darkest parts to the lightest for the length of the transition.
You can play around with other parameters, too, flipping the image, adding a colored border, tweaking transparency, sharpness, even playing with transition speed you might have it start slowly and speed up, for instance. Whatever you produce can be saved to your transition library for easy access later, or sharing via DirectorZone.
Is this useful? You start with around templates, but these can then be customized down to the finest detail: Again, we really doubt that many users need degree control over the shadow direction of their titles.
Enhanced Video Stabilizer Shaky video is an issue with most home movies of any length, but PowerDirector includes an "enhanced stabilizer" which tries to minimize the problem. Unsurprisingly, the stabilizer can be very CPU-intensive. Still, the technology does deliver, even if you do have to wait. Cloud integration, H. This gives you 10GB of online storage space which you can then use to store project and media files, making them easier to access wherever you are.
Sounds good, although if you use this regularly than 10GB might be a little small. Projects can be continued on the desktop, or uploaded directly to YouTube or Facebook.
It all worked well for us and the app is scoring 4. An enhanced Menu Designer offers some useful extra functions. The technology can buy you a dramatic drop in file size, though. Thoughts PowerDirector has always tried to offer something to the novice, as well as the expert user, but this no longer works quite as well as it did.
Especially as there are far more capable tools available for free. Improve it, or let it go and concentrate on the features people really care about.
We have some issues with resource use, too. The program offers ten degree title options, including some with fly-in animations. You can also change up the fonts with over choices and apply effects like stroke and drop shadow. These titles stay in place as the viewer moves around, rather than just statically remaining over the image. But you can also move them around, change transparency, and scale, all using keyframes—pretty cool.
Once you've edited the content to taste, you output to H. MP4 format, and now to H. Alternatively, you can upload directly to Facebook, YouTube, and Vimeo. The exporter lets you choose a privacy level and resolution, including 4K as an option.
Action Camera Tools PowerDirector can of course import and edit footage from GoPro cameras, as well as from other action cameras from the likes of Sony, Kodak, and Ion. But the dedicated Action Camera Center under the Tools menu item appears when you select a clip. This offers effects like camera-profile-based corrections for fisheye distortion, vignette, camera shake, and color.
It also includes effects favored by action cam users, such as freeze-frame and time-shifts like slowdowns, speedups, and replays. The fisheye fix has an advantage over GoPro's own video editor in that it cuts off less of the edge of the screen, and in my test shot it distorted faces less than the GoPro software.
Stabilization isn't an option in the stock GoPro software, and CyberLink offers enhanced stabilization and the ability to fix camera rotation for a smoother look. The enhanced stabilization which takes much longer did a nice job of smoothing out bumpy shots, but I still occasionally saw some warping—a common artifact of stabilization technology.
The first offers buttons for replay and reverse, and speed effects. You choose how long a piece of the clip the effect should be applied to, and from check boxes you can choose Ease In and Ease Out options.
The tool lets you easily create fun effects that are prized by skateboarders, surfers, and other fun lovers. Another tangentially action-cam related capability is the ability to import and edit clips shot at a high frame rate, such as fps and fps. I imported a sample of the latter from an iPhone 6, and when I dragged it into my timeline, I got a warning box telling me the frame rate differed from that of my project, but Settings only offered a maximum of 60fps for a project.
A CyberLink contact informed me that the limit only applied to the timeline view, and assured me that fps content is preserved at output time. Adding a slo-mo effect to my test clip turned a hand clap into a terrifying bass thump. In PowerDirector, the tool simply freezes the action for a specified amount of time on selected frames. Motion Tracking Motion tracking lets an object, text, or effect follow around something moving in your video. You pick the Motion Tracker choice from the same Tools menu as the Action Camera, after selecting a clip in the timeline.
The tool makes tracking an object and adding a title, effect, or even another media clip a simple three-step process. You start by positioning a target box on the object you want tracked, then press the Track button, which runs through the video while following your boxed object.
And then you choose what you want to follow the tracked object. As mentioned above, the degree tracker worked extremely well, but the 2D tracker still lost track of my subject's face when he turned around, a common limitation in such tools. I fixed this pretty easily by stopping the tracking, realigning the box, and starting tracking again. It's easier to get a track correct than in Corel VideoStudio. Adobe Premiere Elements' motion tracking tool also lost track of a skateboarder in my test footage when he passed behind a pole.
For attaching text to motion-tracked objects in PowerDirector, you can easily attach a mosaic, spotlight, or blur effect, and you get a good choice of many fonts, colors, and sizes. You can even rotate the text with a handle. One thing I'd like to be able to add, however, is a speech bubble, something offered by Adobe and Corel. Content-Aware and Multicam Editing PowerDirector can analyze your clip for people, zooming, panning, speech, motion, and shaky video.
This enables you to select or reject areas of interest or boringness. Premiere Elements has a tool that lets you manually pick your favorite moments, but it's not automated like PowerDirector's. The Edit using Content Aware Editing right-click choice processes a clip, and then it shows a dialog with tracks for each of the detected events, such as Zoom, Pan, Faces, Speech, Shaky video, poor lighting, and more.
Clicking on any of the detected clip segments lets you easily select or deselect that portion of the clip for use in your project. Note that this feature doesn't work with degree content. With so many people shooting events simultaneously with their HD camera phones, multicam is no longer just for professionals.
PowerDirector allows up to multicam tracks, but what this really means is that you can sync that many tracks by audio in the main timeline. The actual multicam-switching interface still just has four video sources.
When I used Audio Analysis, my two clips synced perfectly. The program lets you choose which track's audio should be used, or you can import a separate audio track. Hitting Record played all angles synchronized, letting me switch among them. The tool creates sub-clips labeled 1 to 4 for the camera angles, with adjustable split points.
When you're done cutting, the clip sequence appears on the regular timeline. Subclips are in separate tracks, but you can't adjust the cut points there without losing footage and messing up the synchronization. The multicam designer itself lets you adjust these. Thankfully, you can also reopen a multicam sequence in the designer after you've sent it to the timeline. In all, it's a well-done and powerful tool. To use it, you simply create a new project, and drop an existing one onto the timeline.
This creates a tabbed interface above the timeline, which lets you edit the nested project separately from within the new main project. If you're into keyframe editing which allows precise control over when effects begin and end based on exact frames you choose PowerDirector is there for you. It offers picture-in-picture PiP , overlays, motion, cropping, and time codes. All effects and adjustments can be pegged to keyframes. You get over transitions and special effects to choose from, including ten from NewBlue.
Transitions are easy to add, and the program can decide what material before and after to use when you drop this kind of effect to a join line between clips. A search box lets you find a specific type, like Page Curl. And you can even create custom transitions using your images with the Alpha set of transitions, which rely on masking and transparency.
It's fun making a transition out of a friend's head, as shown below. PowerDirector's chroma-key tool lets you shoot someone with solid-color backgrounds usually green and create the appearance that they're in an exotic scene by choosing a different background.
CyberLink has simplified the controls from four to two: Now there are just Color Range and Denoise controls. You can now add more than one color key, too.
I tried this with an orange and gray background and with a yellow and gray background. These color choices showed me why pros use green: The orange background keyed out my subject's lips, and it was harder to get the correct mask. With a greenscreen, the keying worked well. Even in the default mode, I noticed none of the green halo I sometimes see around test subjects in other programs. The Mask Designer lets you add transparency to mask objects including your own images and text.
It was pretty fun to use my mugshot as a mask over a flowing river in the test video below. As with just about every effect, you can use keyframes to gradually ease in and out of these mask effects. The Title Designer gets even more powerful in version 17, adding new effects like fire, electric waves, and neon, along with a good selection of fly-in animations.
Two-color gradients, lighting, and glow are also at your disposal. These can give those weekend George Lucases blockbuster opening credits. You can also put boxes around text to get a button, which you could use as your Subscribe button on online media.
The program offers preset PiP grids—from 2 by 2 to 10 by 10—and your clip tracks snap to fill the resulting spaces. And none of the competition can preview these types of movies without stop-and-start jerky playback.
AI painting style filters were popularized by the iPhone app called Prisma. Now PowerDirector offers plugins that perform similar magic on you video clips. Four packs of these AI styles are available with PowerDirector CyberLink plans to produce new AI packs on a monthly basis for subscribers. Note that they're not small, at around a MB download. You don't get to these new styles from the Effects tab, but from the Plugins menu choice. Effects already include non-AI Chinese Painting.
The new styles open a new window, where you need to open the clip for the effect again. So it's not really integrated into the editor as the old Effects are, which work right on timeline clips selected. The effects, like those from Prisma, are quite entrancing and beautiful. I do wish you could adjust their strength with a slider, but I guess that's up to the AI, rather than my inferior intelligence. You can trim the clip you're applying the effect to, and then you hit the Transform button.
It's not superfast: A second clip took two minutes to transform. In editing Go Pro 4K footage, performance is better than I expected, not even slowing down with complex transitions. Being first with 4K capability is a real feather in CyberLink's cap, but much of the competition, such as Corel VideoStudio, also supports 4K.
It can even attempt to convert 2D content to 3D. I downloaded several 3D samples, including high-definition content, and PowerDirector had no problem displaying it. Once you've got your 3D content in the program, you can add 3D transitions, particles, and titles.
Audio Audio tracks in the timeline by default show waveform lines, and you can turn up and down volume by grabbing and dragging them. The Audio Room, a simple track-volume mixer, features Normalize buttons for each track to even out clip sound levels.
It's also easy to create voiceovers with the Voice-Over Recording Room, accessible from a tab sporting a microphone icon. CyberLink's WaveEditor is a separate included app that lets you correct distortion, equalize, generate reverb, and apply a few special effects.
It also includes VST plug-in support for third-party effects. You get loads of canned background music, and the standard video editor includes beat detection, which puts markers on the timeline at music beats so you can synchronize clip action. For really advanced mixing, recording, syncing, cleaning, and restoration, there's AudioDirector included with the Ultimate Suite edition.
With this separate app you can easily apply effects and fixes that are preserved when you later open them in PowerDirector. New in AudioDirector is Auto Remix, which fits soundtrack music to your video length. It can take any song, analyze it, and often convincingly shorten or lengthen it. But you need to manually enter the new length time; it doesn't bring your movie in for automatic fitting.
You can see where the edit occurred with a squiggly line. Listening to the result, I couldn't tell that the music had been cut at that point. Automatic ducking doesn't add quacks to your soundtrack. Instead, it automatically lowers background audio during dialog on another track.
It didn't do much for a loud concert video on top of an interview but worked better with a standard background track. Performance CyberLink's investment in bit optimizations and graphics hardware acceleration has paid off. Other speed-boosters include OpenCL Open Computing Language support and intelligent SVRT, which determines how your clips should be rendered for the best-quality output and fastest editing. In my latest round of performance testing, the program remains the fastest among its peers.
I tested rendering time by creating a movie consisting of four clips of mixed types some p, some SD, some 4K with a standard set of transitions and rendered it to p30 MPEG-4 at 15Mbps, H.
The test movie whose duration is just under 5 minutes took 1: The next-best competitor this year was Pinnacle Studio 22, with a time of 1: Both of those handily outpaced Corel VideoStudio's 4: Its render speed with OpenCL acceleration enabled is nothing short of astonishing. During rendering, PowerDirector also shows you the time elapsed, time remaining, and what frame in the movie you're at during the process.
The latest version's Precut, Nested Projects, and advanced titling features bring it closer to the professional level.
It features a native bit, fast-rendering engine and supports a wide variety of formats including UltraHD 4K resolution x , offering the power and flexibility to efficiently work with footage from most sources. The interface is designed to be very intuitive, allowing for simple and enjoyable operation. PowerDirector 14 Ultimate is loaded with creative tools, effects, and transitions, such as Motion Tracking, Screen Recorder, and Picture-in-Picture Designer, and also includes cinematic 3rd-party effects packages. It supports up to tracks on the timeline, so you can drop in numerous video, audio, and photo files and effects to make your project just what you want it to be. The different PowerDirector 14 versions -- Ultimate Suite, Ultimate, and Ultra -- all share the same video editing features. Key Features Transition Designer Create unique transitions from any image or logo using alpha channel masks to control their shape. Title Designer Customize a title's motion, font size, gradient color, border, blur level, transparency, and reflection. Picture-in-Picture Designer Overlay animated objects on your videos and use simple transforming tools to create engaging video collages.