Corel VideoStudio has long been a mainstay of consumer and enthusiast video editing for Windows users. Full featured and easy to learn and use, Corel offers a top-notch choice for casual moviemakers at all levels. The new Ultimate X10 version ($99.99) embraces new consumer camera trends with some 360-degree editing features. Free specialty adjunct apps also come with the program, making it a good choice for video-editing novices who seek an easy way to crank out stylish and compelling videos for family and friends on social media.
The vast majority of VideoStudio X10 Ultimate’s core features are identical to the cheaper Pro version ($59.99), and differ only in some minor ways, including added variations in special effects, an extra output format and the inclusion of the Mask Creator. Ultimate includes a bonus collection of 14 premium-effects packs, including three new ones: NewBlue Titler Pro 1, ProDAD Adorage Effects Package Volume 9 - Particle & Object Effects, and Boris Title Studio.
Corel VideoStudio has a simple, unintimidating and friendly interface that makes the software's complex features deceptively easy to work with. In spirit, it’s close to Adobe’s Premiere Elements, especially with the four tabs at the top of the window: Welcome, Capture, Edit and Share. The Welcome tab — somewhat analogous to the eLive tab in Premiere Elements, offers access to tutorials, videos and templates.
A separate interface lets you tweak 360-degree video.Like Elements, it’s easy to see how the program works before delving into the manual. Several icon-based controls above the timeline open into their own windows, so you can zero in on specific tasks. Almost all major controls are accessible via a right-click on the timeline clip.
The dark interface, which resembles both CyberLink PowerDirector and Apple iMovie, features a multipane layout of source files, effects and video preview at the top. The timeline spans the bottom, and is joined by a series of buttons on the right side of the main window that allow access to transitions, titles and effects. Like Magix Movie Edit Pro Plus, VideoStudio lets you resize and move the panels, and pull them into separate windows. You get a choice of three custom interface layouts, and can switch between them.
VideoStudio’s interface is spare but inviting.
The latest version of Corel VideoStudio introduces a large number of new features that worked well in testing. A new mask creator helps you apply effects to specific parts of a video clip, thanks to dedicated brush and shape tools, including a smart brush with edge detection that makes it easier to select targeted areas. Video masks detect movement to match them to moving objects or backgrounds, while still masks stay stationary as the video plays.
Mask creator tools let you pinpoint exactly where you want to apply special effects.
A new time-remapping feature lets you add slow-motion or high-speed effects, freeze action, or reverse and replay scenes in your movie.
Time tricks can make your movie more intriguing.
Track transparency lets you precisely adjust track opacity for customized fade-ins, fade-outs, superimposed effects or multiple-clip visibility.
Track transparency affords flexibility over how much of stacked tracks you want to view at a given time.
You can also now also select multiple objects in the timeline and apply actions to them at the same time, or move the group as a single unit.
While CyberLink PowerDirector and Magix Movie Editor Pro Plus can import, edit and export 360-degree video, Corel VideoStudio’s capabilities with the format are more limited.
It lets you import 360-degree video, and pan and set points at parts of the video to show the footage at different perspectives so you can use parts of it in a regular video file. Viewing such projects requires a supporting environment like YouTube or Vimeo, or a VR viewer.
When you finish your movie, you can share projects online by uploading your videos to YouTube (in 2D and 3D formats), Facebook, Flickr and Vimeo, accessing your accounts from within the app, similar to CyberLink PhotoDirector, Adobe Premiere Elements, iMovie and VideoPad.
I tested VideoStudio on an HP Spectre x360 laptop running Windows 10 Home. Its 64-bit Intel Core i5 processor with a 5200U CPU runs at 2.2 GHz on an HD Graphics 5500 system with 8GB of RAM. I combined five clips into a 2.5-minute video shot at 60 frames per second and rendered the projects to MPEG 4 at 720p. We timed rendering at both 60 frames per second and 30 fps.
VideoStudio X10 emerged as one of the speediest encoders.
VideoStudio X10 Ultimate emerged as one of the speediest encoders. It galloped through a 30 fps render in 1:11 and sprinted through the 60 fps render at 3:30. There were no issues with performance and all components worked as advertised.
Corel VideoStudio Ultimate X10 is a top-notch consumer-oriented package with many fun, pro-level features that are easy enough for novices to navigate. Those looking for more powerful features should check out Cyberlink PowerDirector 15, while Mac owners should get Adobe Photoshop Elements 15. Still, Corel’s 360-degree editing functionality, mask creation, time remapping, group objects and other features make it one of the more advanced, but accessible editors available on Windows.
Screenshots: Jackie Dove