Cyberlink PowerDirector 10 Ultra review

£50
Price when reviewed

Quick operation is also hampered by the lack of ripple editing options, which determine if and how clips shuffle along the timeline when earlier clips are edited. Ripple editing is essentially permanently on in PowerDirector, but its behaviour is complex and often not what we wanted. We found it worryingly easy for objects on different tracks to lose sync with each other.

PowerDirector now supports 3D, later than most of its rivals, but it’s an impressive implementation. 3D camera support and preview options are comprehensive, while exports are to YouTube 3D and Blu-ray 3D disc.

It’s easy to adjust the relative offset of left and right video streams. An Apply To All option proved particularly useful when correcting the horizontal offset for a batch of clips captured with a Fujifilm W3 camera.

There are 3D-aware additions to the transition, effect, particle generator and picture-in-picture object libraries, although many of these simply shift flat 2D layers in and out of the screen rather than creating a fully three-dimensional effect. However, there’s also an option to up-convert 2D video to a full 3D effect using the same processing that’s built into PowerDVD Ultra. It’s fairly subtle and we’re not sure who will get lots of use from it, but it was surprisingly pleasant to look at.

Cyberlink PowerDirector 10 Ultra - 3D tools

3D text is essentially flat layers that are placed nearer or further in 3D space, but it’s possible to place each word at a different depth, and start and end animations give them a sense of moving through 3D space. We were impressed to see that text grew bigger or smaller as well as having a stereoscopic offset as we adjusted the 3D depth control. There’s no real benefit to this, though, as this control can’t be automated.

There’s a generous dose of other new features, including the ability to create freehand drawings that play back, line by line, as an animation. Soundtracks can be normalised to balance out volumes, and beat detection places markers on the timeline to help video cuts move in time with music.

There are 10 new effects from NewBlue, but Colour correction still falls short of the standards set by Sony, Adobe and Avid’s consumer editors.

For all of PowerDirector’s impressive performance and features, we still prefer Vegas Movie Studio Platinum for its more responsive and precise controls and its superior effects. However, PowerDirector is once again a better choice for people editing HD video on slower PCs, and for those who want lots of fun features such as the particle generator and instant-results editing mode. It can now add superior 3D editing to its cap too.

Details

Software subcategoryVideo editing software

Operating system support

Operating system Windows Vista supported?yes
Operating system Windows XP supported?yes
Operating system Linux supported?no
Operating system Mac OS X supported?no

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