Magix Movie Edit Pro 17 Plus review

£58
Price when reviewed

“Magix Movie Edit Pro 17 Plus is the world’s first 3D video-editing program,” the website proudly boasts. That isn’t counting Roxio Creator 2011 or Sony Vegas Pro 10, both of which we reviewed before Magix’s new editor was announced.

Erroneous claims aside, this editor’s 3D support is impressive. Three forms of 3D preview are available: anaglyph for use with the supplied red/cyan glasses, interlaced on a polarised 3D monitor or frame interleaved for Nvidia 3D Vision systems. Importing footage and defining it as a 3D clip worked without fuss with Panasonic’s 3D camcorder, the HDC-SDT750, and Fujifilm’s Real 3D W1 and W3 cameras are listed as supported too.

We were surprised at how easily the software merged footage captured with a pair of normal AVCHD cameras mounted on a stereo crossbar. Their soundtracks were used to synchronise the timing of the two clips, and an automatic spatial align feature positioned them for the best possible 3D effect.

Magix Movie Edit Pro 17 Plus

There’s a simple control for moving 2D clips in and out of the 3D plane, although we wish it was labelled “In” and “Out” rather than +/-50. Sadly, the 3D distortion tool carried over from the previous version isn’t stereoscopic – it skews the shape of clips to give a sense of perspective, but the left and right eyes see the same image.

There are 26 3D transitions, although many of them don’t make geometric sense, with clips disappearing into the distance even though they’re overlaid on top of a supposedly nearer clip. We really like the 3D text objects, which convey a sense of solidity rather than just being laminate text that moves in and out of the screen.

The only real problem with 3D shooting and editing is that it’s so easy to make a hash of it. The online Help provides a few pointers but it could go much further. Pushing the 3D effect beyond its limits – either deliberately, or more likely, by accident – often leads to a stereoscopic image that isn’t just confusing, but a strain on the eyes.

Then there’s the problem of finding a suitable camera. It’s great the software can accommodate footage shot with a pair of normal cameras, but they need to be identical models that support manual exposure and focus to avoid problems. We also found our cameras’ bulk made it impossible to mount them close enough together for ideal alignment. Despite our delight at achieving vaguely successful results, it was more of an interesting diversion along the lines of stop-motion animation than something we’d use regularly. Anyone who has invested in a 3D video camera will probably feel differently, though.

Details

Software subcategory Video editing software

Operating system support

Operating system Windows Vista supported? yes
Operating system Windows XP supported? yes

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