More significantly, Corel claims that VideoStudio Pro X3 is twice as fast as the previous version. This primarily comes courtesy of hardware acceleration for Intel Core i7, Nvidia CUDA and AMD graphics. But Smart Proxy remains, and has allegedly also been enhanced. Smart Proxy creates low-resolution copies of your footage to use when editing, so that previews will be faster. Corel harnesses hardware acceleration to provide effects that can render in real time. Most filters can now be keyframed, too, allowing you to vary the effect parameters across the duration of the clip.
VideoStudio Pro X3's real-time rendering abilities are noticeably better than previous versions, as claimed. Our test system, sporting an AMD Phenom X4 9550 quad-core CPU running at 2.2GHz, with 6GB of RAM and Nvidia Quadro FX 1700 graphics, is not particularly cutting edge but it still managed to play back Full HD video with a filter applied quite smoothly. Multiple layers or filters did slow things down considerably. We also found this version of VideoStudio occasionally unstable on our test system, although this was admittedly running a 64-bit version of Windows Vista. But, overall, editing is much more fluid in X3 compared to X2 and previous editions.
There are new real-time effects, including a sample selection of NewBlue FX filters, which also support keyframing. These include an Active Camera effect, which inserts realistic shake to your footage; an Air Brush filter; a self-explanatory Crop Borders; a Detail Enhance video sharpening filter; and a Water Colour simulation. There's also a new Picture-in-Picture applet from NewBlue, which provides much more powerful 3D, border and shadow capabilities than the basic overlay track motion control, and all parameters can be keyframed. However, Corel hasn't explained that you also need to apply a mask to the overlay track to make the underlying track visible beneath, something we suspect most novice users will find extremely hard to figure out on their own.
The new AutoSketch filter is particularly good fun. This takes the first frame of a clip and draws it as if by hand. The RotoSketch filter makes your video look as if each frame has been hand-drawn, which is not something you will need everyday but can be amusing nonetheless. You can now also apply filters to overlay tracks, allowing an even greater range of blended effects.