Corel VideoStudio Pro X6 Review
What’s awesome (and also slightly annoying) about the culture we live in today is that it’s so “media-centric.” At any given moment, whether anyone wants to see it or not, you and I can record a video of something and pop it up on the interwebz onto any number of sites.
Everything from your phone to a Go Pro can be used to record virtually anything, but what happens after you’re done recording? What if the recording isn’t as great as you were hoping, or you wanted to add some extras to it?
As it stands there are a variety of different ways you can edit your videos, but very few come close to the simplistic, yet incredibly deep and complex, Corel VideoStudio Pro X6. As the #1 video editor used in Japan, VideoStudio Pro is certainly in good hands as Japan is the center of camera tech and a giant in the world of video research and development. Hey, if it’s good enough for them, it’s good enough for us.
[quote_right]The “new” videographer is all of us.[/quote_right]The concept that Corel is trying to put forth with VS Pro X6 is the “new” videographer. We no longer live in a day and age where only professionals work with video editing; now, anyone from you and I to grandma can dabble in this stuff. The “new” videographer is anyone from an action photographer recording his/her latest bungee jump, to students and teachers, all way to those guys creating Minecraft videos on Youtube. The “new” videographer is all of us.
The thing you’re going to notice right off the bat is that VS Pro X6 has an interface that appears really confusing at first, but is actually incredibly intuitive. Those who are novices at video editing programs will probably have their eyes pop out of their head and run away screaming, only later to be found babbling in the corner to themselves incoherently. It’s a lot to take in for a newbie.
But stop and soak it all in. It’s all laid out the way it is for a reason. Upon opening the program, you’ll notice the UI divided into thirds. The upper left hand side is the preview window where the video that you are currently working on is displayed. Directly to the right of the preview window is a bevy of templates. The library is staggering; pretty much any effect, filter, transition, etc. that you can dream of is in this window. The bottom half of the UI is taken up by the final third; the Timeline. Here is where you’ll be doing the bulk of your editing, as this is where video clips will be dragged to.
Along the top ribbon you’ll also notice three options indicated numerically in a very prominent fashion with a 1, 2, and 3: Capture, Edit, and Share. With Capture, you can immediately use your computer’s webcam or any video recording device hooked up to capture video. You can even use The Screen Capture option to capture whatever is happening on your screen, sort of like a FRAPS or Camtasia. The only downside to the Screen Capture option is that it does not appear to work when you are gaming, so if you need to capture live gaming, you’re better off using something like FRAPS or the Roxio HD Capture device.
The Edit option is pretty self-explanatory; it’s where you do all your work and can be considered the main UI that I was describing earlier.
The Share option is where you finalize your project. Here, you can create video files, discs, export it to a mobile device, or upload it directly to any number of websites. Nothing too groundbreaking here, but it’s nice to have all these options consolidated.
At a base level, VS Pro X6 is not too different from most other video editing programs. However, it includes a number of new features that make it stand out from the pack. In addition to the main VS Pro X6 application, you also have a nice selection of extras included. The VS ScreenCap application is what I was describing earlier, the FRAPS-like screen capture program. DV-to-DVD Wizard is a nice little program that allows you to record video from a DV camcorder and burn directly to a DVD without going through a “middleman.” NewBlue FX is an additional suite of animated effects, picture in picture effects, and sound enhancement tools built directly into VS Pro (these are the templates that you’ll see in the right third of the main UI). And finally, SmartSound is a sound editor where you utilize sound effects, voice overs, and layer in music as well.
Perhaps the single feature that stuck out to me the most with VS Pro X6 is Motion Tracking. With this ability, you can track moving objects within a video and attach things like graphics, text, etc. Imagine taping your baby crawling around on the floor and attaching a thought bubble that follow the baby around with hilarious results. Imagine being able to attach a tracker onto a person that might have otherwise gotten lost in a crowd. I’ve had VS Pro X6 for nearly a month now and I still haven’t used all of the motion tracking features. It’s truly a powerful tool that’s extremely simple to use, and can immediately enhance any video you’re creating.
With the tracking tool, you don’t even need to place the tracker with the host object frame by frame. VS Pro will automatically generate a tracking path based on the host’s movement throughout the video. You can then go in and tweak the path however much you want, or just leave it alone if everything looks good to you. I rarely had to go in and adjust anything; the generated path was pretty accurate most of the time. If you do choose to modify the pre-generated path, you can even save the custom path to use in later videos. Very nice touch.
[quote_left]Now you can control functions such as aperture, shutter speed, ISO, and more all on your computer or Windows tablet.[/quote_left]Another cool feature of VS Pro X6 is additional functionality with DSLR cameras. DSLR Stop Motion Support allows you to hook up your camera and use it to capture images for us in stop motion animation. This allows you to create stop motion in the full HD resolutions that your camera is capable of. You can also use DSLR Enlarged Mode, which takes all the functions of your camera’s viewfinder and places them within VS Pro on your computer’s desktop. Now you can control functions such as aperture, shutter speed, ISO, and more all on your computer or Windows tablet.
The final feature that I want to touch on is the one I used the most during my time with VS Pro X6; the Subtitle Editor. Unlike other programs that I have used where you need to listen to the dialogue then manually insert the subtitles, the editor here will automatically detect the speech in your video and provide you instantly with a list of subtitles, all editable. Thank goodness for that, because while the editor was pretty accurate, there were a few flubs, some with rather humorous results. Apparently VS Pro’s Subtitle Editor seems to think that the baby gibberish that my daughter likes to speak is actually a random collection of inappropriate language. Funny stuff, but probably something that would give Grandma a heart attack. Apparently, another use for the Subtitle Editor is to create your own karaoke videos.
A few other features that I won’t spend too much time on is 4k resolution support, variable speed for slow mo or sped up effects, A cool Chroma Key effect which allows you to overlay a video clip onto an existing video clip and adjust the transparency of the top clip, time lapse effects, 3D video import and editing, and disc authoring options where you can create professional quality menus, print labels, include subtitles…all that jazz.
Honestly, I haven’t used a whole bunch off video editing programs in my day. I wouldn’t even really consider myself an expert by any means. I’m just a family man who likes to create clever little videos of his kid every now and then, and sometimes mess around with stuff for this site. It’s more a hobby than anything else, and I would never go around talking about video editing like I KNOW it. But that’s the thing; according to Corel, I fit the profile of the “new” videographer. The “new” videographer is anyone, and we should be able to have access to these tools.
VideoStudio Pro X6 is an amazingly robust editing suite that’s super easy to use. The trick is to give it some time. I know we live in a day and age of instant gratification and we want everything to work 100% NOW, but the more time you spend learning all the ins and outs of VS Pro, the more adept you will become at creating some truly interesting videos. There’s even a tutorial that pops up every time you start the program that offers you a bunch of videos (unless you opt to turn this feature off completely). Trust me, you’ll be glad you spent the time to learn this program when you’re the one making all the cool videos and DVDs and stop motion animations while all your buddies and family members are still talking into a webcam.