Ulead VideoStudio 9
Price$ 199.00 (AUD)
This version of Ulead's flagship program offers a trio of video-creation modes to cater for all movie directors, regardless of experience.
The program's new DV (digital video) to DVD Wizard mode, which reduces the video-authoring process to just a couple of steps, is particularly welcome. Although it's not the first ever automation wizard, Ulead's software provides the fastest way we've seen to produce a video DVD from scratch. This is thanks to the program's ability to quickly scan scenes from an attached DV camera.
You can view thumbnails to select the clips you wish to batch import, then decorate them with pre-built theme templates - intros, titles, music and menus. These might not be quite up to cinema standard, but they're easily good enough for amateur use.
VideoStudio's Movie Wizard is designed for newcomers. Its simplified interface limits editing to adjusting clip sequence and in- and out-points. As with the DV wizard, this program can take the grunt work off your hands, automatically dumping badly shot or out-of-focus clips before applying theme templates - should you have selected the latter option.
VideoStudio's Editor mode offers a more powerful, seven-step authoring process, wrapped in the traditional video-editing interface - a clip library on the right and a multi-track project timeline below.
As well as the standard storyboard and timeline views, an audio window lets you make visual adjustments to soundtrack and microphone levels. The Editor mode's capture options are comprehensive. Content can be culled from DV camera, DVD or disk, then added to the library using the same quick method as the DV wizard.
Equally notable is an extra video overlay track which supports transparency. At its most simple, this means you can add things such as logos on top of your main footage.
The most dramatic new feature here is support for Chroma key (see "Chroma therapy"). When you a shoot a subject against a single-colour backdrop you can remove this so that the subject appears to be in the scene shown in the main video track.
Much more useful for everyday editing is the addition of Flash animation overlay clips. You can mask or frame the main video track this way.
As well as resizing clips to provide a picture-in-picture effect, you can distort video in the overlay track simply by dragging one of the nodes surrounding the clip. It works in real time and, sensibly, the video remains editable in its original dimensions.
As usual, VideoStudio 9 has managed to pack in some stunning transitions and effects. The pick of a pretty outstanding bunch is a sublime photo album transition that makes it look as though you're turning the pages of a book between clips. Niggles and video-editing programs tend to go hand in hand, but here they relate only to interface issues such as odd button placement, and these flaws are overshadowed by ease of use elsewhere.
The program's versatility is especially marked when it comes to sharing video. Alongside standard export options, including DVD-Video Recording, you can now work in smart phone and PDA-compatible formats. It's a nice touch.
VideoStudio's increasingly polished wizards mean novices will get up to speed quickly. Even experienced moviemakers may be surprised at the results they can achieve with this powerful bargain. There's a lot more under the hood than you'd expect from a mid-range package and it's extremely good value.
VideoStudio 9's new chroma keying abilities mimic the technique used in television weather reports, where a presenter is filmed in front of a blue background, which is filtered out by a compositing process then replaced by a map.
You can achieve a similar effect using VideoStudio by filming your subject in front of a flat colour background and adding the footage to the Overlay track. In the clip's Attributes tab, simply select "Apply overlay options" and choose Chroma key as the type. Choose the Sample tool and click on the area to be made transparent, or select a colour matching the background from the palette. The background of the overlay should now disappear and the main video track will show through.
In general, we found it best to use a green or blue background. Using red tended to apply transparency to flesh tones. Don't expect spectacular results first time, and know that there are dedicated alternatives such as ULTRA 2.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Smart LED Bulb LB130
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Acer Swift 7
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Huawei Mate 9
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Lexar® Portable SSD
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Google Daydream VR headset
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
Dell XPS 13 laptop
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Surface Pro 4
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Star Wars Death Star Bluetooth levitating rotating speaker review
- 2 Finally! LG OLED TV 2016 range review
- 3 Fetch TV Mighty review: Better than Foxtel
- 4 Fetch TV Mini review: Make your TV a smart TV
- 5 Panasonic Viera DX900U UHD 4K smart TV review
Latest News Articles
- Village Roadshow aims to block 40 pirate sites
- Analysts peer into Microsoft's rumored Windows 10 Cloud
- Google lets users get social with Maps
- Microsoft unveils a bonanza of security capabilities
- Here's how Evernote moved 3 petabytes of data to Google's cloud
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- How to quit Pokemon Go (or to start enjoying it again)
- Japan's pop culture, anime-friendly, J-Pop shrine, Kanda Myojin
- The top 10 best and worst tech gadgets and products of 2016
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- CCSenior Storage System Engineer - NetApp SpecialistNSW
- CCCommercial Contract AdministratorACT
- TPICT Contracts Compliance ManagerWA
- CCLevel 2 IT Service DeskQLD
- CCSalesforce DeveloperNSW
- FTApplications DeveloperACT
- TPJava DeveloperVIC
- TPIT Project CoordinatorVIC
- CCSenior Technical SpecialistNSW
- CCLevel 2 IT Service Desk OfficerQLD
- FTFull stack Developer - Senior (Java or C# and AngularJS) x 3QLD
- TPProduct Owner - Cloud SolutionsQLD
- CCFront-End DeveloperQLD
- FTTechnical Consultant MS Dynamics AXQLD
- CCNetIQ Development & SupportNSW
- FTStorage Solution ArchitectVIC
- FTDynamics AX Functional Consultant (Supply Chain Modules)QLD
- TPInformation Management SpecialistVIC
- FTSenior Dot Net Backend Orientated DeveloperNSW
- CCLevel 2 IT Service DeskQLD
- FTSenior Web DeveloperNSW
- FTEnterprise Architect l Practice Manager - Archimate 3.0, eTOMNSW
- FTPerformance TesterACT
- CCBusiness Test Lead - BRT/UATNSW
- FT.net Developer (Front and Back end)QLD