For quick editing, the Instant Project button lets you call upon a selection of pre-produced templates from RevoStock to produce a flashy edit. The templates are provided in both standard definition and HD. You simply drop in your own images or video instead of the placeholders, although the projects are primarily aimed at animating photo slideshows. Instant Project has been facilitated by the new ability to drag a clip whilst holding down Ctrl, which automatically replaces the target with the clip being dragged, so all attributes are carried over to the new clip.
The titling effects have been improved, and you can now have two title tracks, for more elaborate text animations. There are two more audio tracks as well, with some new filters to go with them. Working in tandem with the extra music layers, you can now add SmartSound Auto Music, which is a quick way of creating a soundtrack for your video. This loop-based music is automatically arranged to fit the required length, and can even be adjusted for mood and instrumentation.
There are a few enhancements at the Share output stage. Blu-ray authoring now includes fully animated menus, titles, transitions and effects, and you can author HD to standard DVD media. VideoStudio now supports MPEG-4 H.264 encoding, either for the Web or Blu-ray. The direct upload for web streaming abilities have been enhanced, with Vimeo now included alongside YouTube. Strangely, if you want to upload to Facebook and Flickr, you will need to use the Express app instead. Corel also throws in some bonus content on the installation DVD, but the video is low resolution so not particularly useful.
VideoStudio has been one of the most powerful sub-£100 video editing packages for over a decade, and it's great to see it continue to flourish under Corel's ownership. The more fluid real-time filter engine makes it easier than ever to try out different ideas. Our minor stability quibbles aside, VideoStudio Pro X3 is a strong contender for your money. We still think Adobe Premiere Elements 8 offers just that little bit more control and power, as it supports a greater number of overlay tracks. But for most editing tasks, VideoStudio Pro X3 is just as good, and it's a little easier to get to grips with for the new user, too.