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Summary: CyberLink PowerDirector 6  (6/2007)

    by Douglas Dixon

Capture Mode
Edit Mode
Produce Mode
Create Disc Mode

CyberLink PowerDirector 6 is designed to make video editing straightforward and simple, especially for home users who want good results quickly and with a minimum of fuss (www.cyberlink.com). While PowerDirector supports higher-end features like the new high-def formats and widescreen DVD, its focus is on "magic" automated assists for video editing, and sharing through portable devices (Apple iPod and Sony PSP) and the Web (YouTube).

Key new features include improved Magic editing tools, advanced options for PiP overlays, support for high-definition video and widescreen aspect ratios, a new DVD template designer, and easy publishing on the web.

There's now just a single version of PowerDirector priced at $89 (instead of the previous Standard, Deluxe, and Premium - plus additional add-ins). Released in March 2007, it's available as a boxed retail product, or as a 417 MB download.

You can try out CyberLink PowerDirector for yourself by downloading the trial version from the CyberLink website -- it's a 30-day trial with some other limitations, and 192 MB.

The PowerDirector interface is built around a four-step workflow, using the Mode buttons at the top of the screen:

  • Capture mode: Capture from camcorders (DV, HDV), TV, PC cameras, CD, DVD
        Batch capture, Detect scenes
  • Edit mode: Import Media, Trim, Fix/Enhance with Magic Tools
        Add Effects, PiP Picture in Picture Objects, Titles, Transitions,
        Audio Mixing, Voice-Over Recording, DVD Chapters, DVD Subtitles
  • Produce mode: Export to Video File, Streaming Video
        Write to DV/HDV Tape, Upload to YouTube/MediaMax
  • Create Disc mode: Author and burn DVD, Design menus

      
        CyberLink PowerDirector 6 with Magic Movie Wizard

See below for a summary of these workflow modes, highlighting the new features.

     Find CyberLink PowerDirector on Amazon.com.


Capture Mode

   

Input Devices

Select input device icon at the top left of the screen
    DV camcorder, HDV camcorder
    Channels from TV, Digital TV
    Live from PC Camera, Audio from PC Microphone
    Rip tracks from CD
    Titles and chapters from DVD
    Capture formats: MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, AVI, DivX

DV Capture

DV Backup: Capture direct to DVD burner
 DV Batch Capture:
        - Manual: Select clips by In/Out time
        - Automated: DV QuickScan splits tapes into clips, then select clips to batch capture

Special Features

Add Text Captions: To DV/TV media, as overlays

Still Snapshot: Grab still while previewing in Capture mode or playing clips in Edit mode

Scene Detection

After capture, analyze clips in Capture or Edit modes
    Detect by changed timecodes (DV), or by analyzing content of scenes
    Extract audio: From clips in Media Library


Edit Mode

   

Import Media to Media Library

Video: HD MPEG-2, DVR-MS, DV-AVI, DAT
    MPEG-1, MPEG-2, VOB, VRO,
    WMV, WMV-HD, MOV, MOD, 7DivX, live capture
Image: GIF, BMP, JPG, TIF, PNG, PSD
Audio: WAV, MP3, WMA

Media Library - "Rooms"

Media Room - Library of clips
Effects Room - Video or image effects
    NEW: Multiple video effects onscreen
    PiP Objects Room - Picture in Picture overlays (static, motion, decorative)
    Alpha-blended objects
    NEW: Preset and user-defined motion paths, accompanying PiP audio
Titles Room - Text titles
    NEW: Dialog / speech balloons
Transitions Room - Transition effects between clips
Audio Mixing Room - Mixing across audio tracks
Voice-Over Recording Room - Record narration from microphone
Chapters Room - Set chapter markers for DVD (manual, or regular intervals)
Subtitles Room - Text captions
    NEW: Video subtitles, Import txt and export srt files

Storyboard / Timeline

Storyboard view: Arrange clips in sequence
Timeline view: Edit multiple elements over time
    Master Video Track: Main video and image clips
    Effect Track: Special effects applied to clips in Master Video Track
    PiP Track: Video/image clips and objects over clips in Master Video Track
    Title Track: Title overlays and effects over clips in Master Video Track
    Voice Track: Narrative voice-over or second audio clip
    Music Track: Main audio and music clips

Editing Clips

Trim duration (can use separate Media Viewer), Multi-trim, Split, Align
Adjust playback speed: 1/2 to 2X with audio, 1/10 to 10X when muted
Adjust color and brightness
NEW: Adjust Aspect ratio: 4:3 or 16:9
NEW: Auto save projects

Slideshow Designer

NEW: Create photo slide show, to specified style
Normal, motion, cell, collage, photo scrapbook styles

Magic Tools

   

Magic Movie Wizard: Automatically build edited movie from collection of clips
    Use pre-defined style, add transitions, effects, additional music track
    Control balance of use of videos and photos
    Then can do further editing and refinement before exporting

Magic Style: Creates professional movies with pre-designed style template
    Opening sequences / title, transitions and effects
    NEW: Particle effects and alpha-blended PiPs, Closing video

Magic Cut: Condenses long videos into shorter clips
    (like Magic Movie Wizard, but on a single clip)
    Choose scenes with dialog, moving objects
    Select longer or shorter duration

Magic Clean: Cleans audio, video and image clips.
    Photo/video: Color, lighting adjustment, white balance
    NEW: Correct backlight & lighting, white calibration
    Audio: Noise reduction

Magic Fix: Stabilizes videos, enhances photos
    NEW: Video: Stabilizes shaky videos using motion compensation
    Photo: Remove red-eye and sharpen photos to enhance focus

Magic Motion: Adds zooms and pans to image clips
    Random, Zoom, Pan and Zoom, set focus

Magic Music: Adds background music to fit durations (SmartSound)
    Select music by style, adjusts the playback to fit video / slideshow length
    Fine-tunes audio for smooth cut-off


Produce Mode

   

Production Wizard

Export to Video File: For computer playback
    AVI, MPEG-1, MPEG-2, DivX
    NEW: High-definition MPEG-4 AVC (H.264)
    NEW: Export file for Apple iPod / Sony PSP
Export to Streaming Video: For Web playback
    Windows Media WMV, RealVideo or QuickTime Movie
Write Back to DV Tape: Record back to DV camcorder
    NEW: Write Back to HDV Tape: Record back to HDV camcorder
Upload to YouTube: Share on the Web
NEW: Upload to MediaMax: Archive/share on the Web
    Streamload.com - 25 MB of free online storage

NEW: Batch Produce: Multiple projects to multiple formats


Create Disc Mode

   

DVD Menu Designer

Menu style, customize buttons, text, objects, music, background
NEW: Widescreen menus
NEW: Moveable buttons and thumbnails, Support imported images
Burn to DVD: DVD-R, DVD-RW, DVD+R, DVD+RW, DVD-RAM
    VCD/SVCD: CD-R, CD-RW
Burn to DVD folder


CyberLink PowerDirector