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Summary: CyberLink PowerDirector 7  (8/2008)

    by Douglas Dixon

PowerDirector 7 Versions
PowerDirector Interface
Capture Mode
Edit Mode
Produce Mode
Create Disc Mode

CyberLink PowerDirector 7 is positioned as a comprehensive, semi-professional video editing tool (www.cyberlink.com). It really has stepped up as a convenient and powerful tool. combining a straightforward interface, well-packaged technology assists, plus extensive support for editing high-definition video formats and authoring to Blu-ray disc. For a consumer-priced tool, it's easy and quick, even when working with HD material.

   

The  PowerDirector 7 interface makes video editing straightforward and simple, especially for home users who want good results quickly and with a minimum of fuss, including "magic" automated assists for video editing, and sharing through portable devices (Sony PSP) and the Web (YouTube).

The Ultra version adds end-to-end support for high definition / widescreen video, from importing to editing and output, with advanced authoring features for burning to DVD and Blu-ray Disc.

This new version also adds online access to CyberLink's DirectorZone online community for video editors (directorzone.cyberlink.com), to share and download elements from a library of custom effects and templates, plus access to photos from Flickr (www.flickr.com) and sounds from Freesound (www.freesound.org).

    Product:  www.cyberlink.com/PowerDirector
    Press release (5/08): 
        CyberLink Launches PowerDirector 7, the Video Editing Software for Creating Movie Masterpieces
            www.cyberlink.com/eng/press_room/view_1707.html

Key new features of PowerDirector 7 include support for new high-def video formats, online access for  downloading and sharing media and editing elements, plus editing enhancements and improvements.

  • HD editing support includes AVCHD video, Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound, and authoring to Blu-ray disc.
  • Online integration includes downloading and sharing effects and templates via Director Zone and searching and downloading photos from Flickr and sounds from Freesound.
  • Additional editing enhancements include improved performance, adjustable editing workspace, easier media management, keyframe video and PiP effects, improved Magic tools, and 3D slideshows with beat detection.

PowerDirector is available in two versions: Deluxe for $69, and Ultra for $199, with support for high-def AVCHD disc capture, authoring, burning and Blu-ray disc authoring. Released in May 2008, it's available as a boxed retail product or as a 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 240 MB (www.cyberlink.com/multi/download/trials_4_ENU.html).

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

     Find CyberLink PowerDirector on Amazon.com.


PowerDirector 7 Versions

- PowerDirector 7 (Deluxe) - $69

- PowerDirector 7 Ultra - $119

  • Blu-ray authoring: Burn to Blu-ray disc, Blu-ray content on DVD
  • AVCHD disc capture, authoring, burning

New in PowerDirector 7

  • HD video editing: AVCHD (Ultra)
  • Blu-ray authoring: (Ultra) - with menus (BDMV), direct to disc (BDAV)
        Blu-ray content on DVD - AVCHD & BD
  • DVD authoring: Dolby Digital 5.1, Subtitle button, Play All / Play Scenes menus
        Download / share menus via DirectorZone
  • Magic Clean: Apply multiple fixes at once, Extreme backlight correction
  • Magic Motion: Preset motion paths for photos
  • Editing Workspace: Adjustable windows, Faster response, Media library tools
        Sort and display tools for effects libraries, 1-click compacted timeline
  • Video effects: Adjustable keyframes
  • PiP Effects: User-defined key frame effects, Access PiP designs via DirectorZone, 6 tracks
  • Slideshows: Beat detection, 3D styles, Editable "cell"
  • Photo editing: Aspect ratio options for cropping
  • Video subtitles: Display date/time info as text overlay
  • Online Resources and Creative Community
    - Director zone: Download / upload effects and templates
            Subscribe to other creators
    - Flickr: Download own, friends, Creative Commons photos
            Search via tags, names, or descriptions
    - Freesound: Download sounds, Search via tag

System Requirements

CyberLink recommends:

  • AVI Capture/Production: Pentium 2 450 MHz or AMD Athlon 500 MHz
  • DVD Quality (MPEG-2) Profiles: Pentium 4 2.2 GHz or AMD Athlon XP 2200+
  • High Quality MPEG-4 and WMV, QuickTime, RealVideo Profiles: Pentium4 2.4 Ghz or AMD Athlon XP 2400+
  • AVCHD and MPEG-2 HD Profiles: Pentium Core 2 Duo E6400 or Athlon 64 X2 5000+

PowerDirector Interface

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 / Digital 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, Write to HDD Camcorder, Upload to YouTube
  • Create Disc mode: Author and burn DVD / Blu-ray, Design menus

     

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: MPEG-2 HD, DVR-MS, DV-AVI, DAT
    MPEG-1, MPEG-2
    VOB, VRO -- with Dolby Digital 5.1/2.1
    WMV, WMV-HD, MOV, MOD
    TOD, MPEG-4 AVC (H.264)
    AVCHD (M2T)
    DivX (codec not included)
    Live capture
Image: GIF, BMP, JPG, TIF, PNG
    [REMOVE?] PSD
Audio: WAV, MP3, WMA
Video Capture: DV, HDV -- both Widescreen (16:9)
    Audio, Digital & Analog TV, AVCHD disc
   
Import scenes from DVD camcorders
    DV live mode: DV-->MPEG, DV-AVI
Audio capture: Microphone, Audio CD

NEW: Online Resources and Creative Community
- Director zone: Download / upload effects and templates
        Subscribe to other creators
- Flickr: Download own, friends, Creative Commons photos
        Search via tags, names, or descriptions
- Freesound: Download sounds, Search via tag

Media Library - "Rooms"

Media Room - Library of clips
Effects Room - Video or image effects
    Multiple video effects onscreen
    NEW: Video effects: Adjustable keyframes
PiP Objects Room - Picture in Picture overlays (static, motion, decorative)
    Alpha-blended objects
    Preset and user-defined motion paths, accompanying PiP audio
    NEW: PiP Effects: User-defined key frame effects, Access PiP designs via DirectorZone
Title Room - Text titles
    Dialog / speech balloons
Transition Room - Transition effects between clips
Audio Mixing Room - Mixing across audio tracks
Voice-Over Recording Room - Record narration from microphone
Chapter Room - Set chapter markers for DVD (manual, or regular intervals)
Subtitle Room - Text captions
    Video subtitles, Import txt and export srt files
    NEW: Video subtitles: Display date/time info as text overlay

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 (up to 6)
    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
Adjust Aspect ratio: 4:3 or 16:9
Auto save projects
Pack projects: for use on other PCs 
NEW: Editing Workspace: Adjustable windows, Faster response, Media library tools 
    Sort and display tools for effects libraries, 1-click compacted timeline, Freeze frame
NEW: Save/load library, library subfolders, mark clips, fit to timeline

Slideshow Designer

Create photo slide show, to specified style
Normal, motion, cell, collage, photo scrapbook styles
NEW: Beat detection, 3D styles, Editable "cell"

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 templates
    Opening sequences / title, transitions and effects
    Particle effects and alpha-blended PiPs, Closing video

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

Magic Clean: Cleans audio, video and image clips.
    Photo/video: Color, lighting adjustment, white balance
    Correct backlight & lighting, white calibration
    Audio: Noise reduction
    NEW: Add multiple fixes at once, Extreme backlight correction

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 Motion: Adds zooms and pans to image clips
    Random, Zoom, Pan and Zoom, set focus
    NEW: Preset motion paths for photos

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
    DV-AVI, AVI, MPEG-1, MPEG-2, DivX (codec not included)
    High-definition MPEG-4 AVC (H.264)
    Export MPEG-4 H.264 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
    Write Back to HDV Tape: Record back to HDV camcorder
    NEW: Write Back to HDD Camcorder: Transfer back to hard disk camcorder
Upload to YouTube: Share on the Web [REMOVE StreamLoad/MediaMax]

SVRT / Fast Video Rendering: On AVI, MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, AVCHD (M2T)
Batch Produce: Multiple projects to multiple formats


Create Disc Mode

   

DVD Menu Designer

Menu style, customize buttons, text, objects, music, background
Widescreen menus
NEW: Download / share menus via DirectorZone
Moveable buttons and thumbnails, Support imported images
NEW: Subtitle button, Dolby Digital 5.1, Play All / Play Scenes menus
Burn to DVD: DVD-R, DVD-RW, DVD+R, DVD+RW, DVD-RAM, Double-Layer DVDs
    VCD/SVCD: CD-R, CD-RW
NEW: Encode Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound
Burn to DVD folder
NEW: Blu-ray authoring: (Ultra) - with menus (BDMV), direct to disc (BDAV)
    Blu-ray content on DVD - AVCHD & BD


CyberLink PowerDirector