consists of seven virtual rooms which allow you to add
content, apply effects, add titles, apply transitions,
mix audio, apply voiceover/narration and define production
chapters or scenes. Content which is added in the Media
Room can consist of audio, video, still images and color
boards. There are 57 special effect filters available to
assign to your content in order to achieve that look you
desire. The text and titling features are fairly easy to
use with 41 title templates and a Title Designer which
allows you to define text attributes, styles and properties
and also title animation characteristics (which are limited
to beginning and ending behaviors in this version).
room features over 143 transitions, which are really very
easy to apply. The audio mixing and voiceover rooms are
pretty basic but effective nonetheless, though you will
no doubt need a microphone to create narrations or descriptive
voiceovers. The final room is where you decide how chapters
are defined, There are three basic settings for this and
again it's easy to use.
which includes the now traditional production timeline,
also features six utilities for working with content. Not
all these utilities appear at once as they are dynamically
linked to the type of content currently selected. These
utilities are Magic Clean, Magic Cut, Magic Fix, Magic
Motion, Magic Music and Magic Style. Each utility performs
a clearly defined role in the PowerDirector tool kit.
Clean is designed to very effectively enhance your production
video and image-based source material. The test footage
I tried came out looking sharper, brighter and more vibrant.
Magic Clean also does an excellent job of removing unwanted
noise. The split view preview showing before & after
views is especially useful and a must in any application
doing this kind of clean up. The white balance features
and audio cleaning capabilities are very well implemented
and a pleasure to use. I had some footage with a constant
hum in the audio track and Magic Clean all but eliminated
Cut in essence acts as a smart editor by removing static
and uneventful scenes from your clips. It allows you to
automatically select scenes based upon a number of predefined
criteria, all of which are automatically calculated into
the mix when Magic Cut analyzes your footage. The Scenes
with Moving Object feature is excellent, allowing you to
use a slider to determine just how much movement to allow
into your footage. This is an excellent feature for the
amateur videographer, but not ideal for the pro who will
most likely opt for a higher-end solution anyway. The audio
capabilities for this tool have also been well handled
with the addition of a feature which matches your footage
to the length of your background music or soundtrack.
Fix is really very straightforward in that it allows you
to repair imperfections in your source materials, including
red eye, poor focusing and camera shake. Although not entirely
foolproof, this feature is quite simple and effective when
Motion is great for inserting and applying motion effects
to your still images or footage. This capability can be
used automatically or manually and with a fine level of
definition. It's an excellent feature for creating motion
presentations from digital images such as holiday snaps,
family events and school projects. Intercutting between
video and still imagery can create a great sense of focus
and style. It'll be interesting to see how this feature
is improved as PowerDirector is updated as it already does
a good job.
Music uses SmartSound Technology to compose theme music
for your video based upon a genre which you select. This
was to me the least satisfying of the tools in the application
as the royalty free library which comes with Power director
is somewhat weak. Of course you can also use your own music
via the media room, an option which I definitely prefer.
Style allows you to apply a visual style to your footage.
With it you can apply one of 12 thematic styles including
vacation, birthday, romance, fast motion and old movie.
Old movie was a fave as it runs your footage through a
filter which creates a sepia look and adds scratches and
noise to enhance the aging effect. The styles are well
implemented but some of the templates need a little work
as they are somewhat unrefined and show some artifacts
as they blend with your source footage.
of these features are well done and show some promise and
what's more are fast to use. The interface is really quite
basic and therein lies its strengths it helps us to work
with the software pretty much as the developers intended,
allowing you to achieve your production goals.
phase of creating your DVD or video with PowerDirector
5 requires you to produce and burn your project, both of
which the software performed with little or no trouble.
I created a DVD of an old project I had which needed to
be archived and created a menu for the DVD so that I could
navigate through the project easily. PowerDirector 5 did
it all without a hiccup—a very satisfying end to
a few hours of playing with this excellent application.
of the templates and styles need to be refined. I'm not
entirely won over by the interface. The text handling could
also do with some work in its implementation as well as
its user interface.
to use and configure. Plenty of transitions, effects and
features. It hits its target right on the nose—home,
home-office, and SOHO users. PowerDirector 5 is a powerful
consumer-centric video and DVD authoring tool, and with
its support of video formats like MPEG2/4, DIVX, DVD and
several HD compliant formats, it proves itself to be quite
powerful. If you are an enthusiast looking to easily create
short promotional videos, home movies and DVDs then look
no further. I recommend PowerDirector 5.