Corel VideoStudio X4 review
Still simple to use and with some innovative added features, but it isn’t a major update
Review Date: 15 Mar 2011
Reviewed By: Jonathan Bray
Price when reviewed: £67 (£80 inc VAT)
Features & Design
Value for Money
Ease of Use
Video editing software, even cheap consumer packages, can be daunting and impenetrable but Corel VideoStudio X3 managed to ease the learning curve better than most. X4 hasn’t changed that winning formula, instead focusing on adding extra features and tweaking the already excellent interface.
What made VideoStudio X3 such a great video editor for novices was its simple, easy to understand workspace, powerful array of features and its performance on modest hardware. That’s very much the case in this latest version: the main editing window is still clean and uncluttered, and there’s a host of decent effects, transitions and titles.
Support for proxy-editing (a feature Vegas sorely lacks) also remains in place, meaning previews remain smooth, even when working with Full HD files on modest hardware. That’s a major consideration for those whose wallets won’t stretch to a new Sandy Bridge laptop just yet.
There are new elements, however, one of which is the ability to customise the workspace by undocking and rearranging the various elements of the editing window. In practise, the process isn’t entirely intuitive, but once you figure out that you have to drag elements over one of four small arrows to dock them, it works pretty well. You can also save up to three layouts for quick access or hit a key to return to the default.
More successful is the small improvement to the media management interface: instead of being limited to a single virtual folder, you can now create and manage multiple folders. This seems a small improvement, but it’s a boon if you need to reuse elements across many different projects: video and audio clips, photos and artwork from all your projects can now be accessed with a click or two, and without having to go through the rigmarole of reimporting at the beginning of each job. Corel has also now brought the disc authoring functions into the X4 interface, where previously it took you out to a separate interface.
That’s all well and good, but hardly enough to persuade customers to upgrade. Instead, Corel hopes its other major new features – time lapse, stop-motion and 3D – will do the trick. They’re certainly fun to use. The time lapse function lets you take collections of photographs taken at preset intervals, customize the speed and turn them into a video clip for use in editing.
Alternatively, you can transform long sequences of video and speed them up massively to achieve a similar effect, with the option to drop frames at regular intervals for that familiar time lapse stutter.
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