Home videos are great fun but we seldom manage to record each scene on our cameras in exactly the right order to create a flow of video and sound that is pleasing and easy to watch. In many cases it could bore the socks off most viewers.
Home videos are great fun but we seldom manage to record each scene on our cameras in exactly the right order to create a flow of video and sound that is pleasing and easy to watch. In many cases it could bore the socks off most viewers. You can spend a lot of money on using professional software editing packages but, Ulead VideoStudio is surprisingly versatile and low cost, compared to Adobe Premiere, the choice of many professionals.
Ulead has been in the graphics and video game for some time now. Each new version of its wares seeks to make video editing easier and more professional looking and this latest version is no exception, adding facilities for streaming video for the Internet, direct HTML email, or saving your masterpiece to CD or to keep or send to family and friends.
If you look beyond the plastic interface look, which Microsoft has sought to make popular with Media Player, this is a very versatile package, allowing the most inexperienced user to trim and edit their videos with ease. With a little imagination and creativity, you can easily produce a very professional looking and enjoyable video using Ulead VideoStudio, first time. You will however need to be using Windows 98, ME, 2000 or NT 4.X although NT does not support IEEE 1394 cards.
The initial screen can be bit intimidating at first glance but, the manual explains it well. In addition, when you first start a project, help screens pop up to give guidance as you select each tool bar item. This is one program where you need to do some reading to find your way around, whether it be the Help screens or the manual, but you get the hang of it.
Clips, both Analogue and Digital, are stored in the Library and facilities are provided for fast batch capture from a Digital Video source. You will of course need video capture hardware. With a digital camera, Ulead will automatically break the input into clips, based on when you started or stopped recording, which can make it very easy to break up a tape ready for organising and editing.
Storage capacity for clips can be up to 2GB, even 4GB under some circumstances. These clips can be trimmed to one frame accuracy, using Zoom facilities, quickly and easily, and it has an Undo command for peace of mind. Trimming is possible either in the time line or the options panel. Facilities are also available for the insertion of stills in the video stream.
When it comes to putting together your masterpiece, it is simply a matter of dragging them down onto either a time line or storyboard work area. You can also use or set up templates, based on pre-existing projects, to speed up production. Transitions, or effects as they are called, are similarly dragged down into place and there are around 100 available.
Video filters are also available, which can be used to change the style or appearance of clips. There are 30 video filters which allow you to adjust Brightness, Contrast, Colour Balance plus many more. some even let you create an oil paint or watercolour effect on your clips. Previews of the effects or transitions can be viewed on screen quickly and easily, without the need for long-winded renditions. Really there is not much you cannot do, just use your imagination and you may end up with a world-class video.
Titling is a breeze, allowing you to create scrolling titles and credits. There are 16 different motions including rolls, fades and crawls. Shadows and 3D can be added and overlays can be used for special effects. You can even add motion to overlays.
When you have finished your masterpiece Ulead will help you create the right files for burning a CD or you can just put it back to tape or the Internet. Although not supported by Pineapplehead, Ulead also has a downloadable DVD production plugin called GoDVD for $US39.95.
What more can I say, except that I have worked with Adobe Premiere and now Ulead and find VideoStudio a great package with an easy learning curve - even a 32 page booklet instructing you on the basics of desktop video - and very good value for money.
This Review appeared in the June, 2001 issue of PC & Tech Authority Magazine