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CyberLink PowerDirector 7 - CyberLink PowerDirector 7

By James Morris



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Aside from bringing in your own video, image and audio assets, you can also import from Flickr and Freesound (a royalty-free audio library) directly. Simply supply your login details for either service (or sign up when prompted), and you can then search their databases within PowerDirector, preview sounds and images, then download your choices straight into the media library. The Flickr connectivity gives you direct access to your own account, so you can bring in photos you uploaded. You can also choose the size to download. The Flickr access can be used without an account, too, and we found this was sometimes preferable as otherwise the applet kept expecting us to authorise its use on the Web, each time we accessed it.

Audio effects from Freesound and images from Flickr can be imported straight from the web into the PowerDirector media library.

PowerDirector has traditionally had a competitive level of support at import and export stages. Where it has fallen down in the past is the all-important middle stage - the editing itself. This is where CyberLink has focused most of its attention. In the past, you could only have one extra layer of video, and only one effect could be applied to a clip at once. This would also be static, with the same settings through each clip's duration.

CyberLink has answered one of the criticisms of previous PowerDirector versions by allowing up to six picture-in-picture tracks.

With version 7, you can now have up to six Picture-in-Picture tracks, and layer seven effects. This is still a far cry from Adobe Premiere Elements, but it will be enough for most editing tasks. Best of all, effects can now be keyframed. So you can vary intensity at different points during a clip's duration. This is easily achieved using the Effects tab, which provides simple tools for adding keyframes and navigating between them.

Effects can now be layered and keyframed - two more major deficiencies in previous versions of PowerDirector.

Basic image enhancements are still found amongst PowerDirector's Magic functions. Magic Clean essentially includes colour correction tools, such as Lighting Adjustment which lets you adjust brightness. This also includes an Extreme Backlight setting, which can help you counteract the negative effects of shooting your subjects against a bright background. The Color Adjustment tool covers sharpness as well as brightness, contrast, hue and saturation. White Balance can be adjusted via colour temperature or picking white.

Magic Fix is simply CyberLink's name for video stabilisation, counteracting shaky camerawork. But this can now be adjusted for strength, rather than taking a one-size-fits-all approach. However, whilst Magic Clean and Magic Fix can be used with other effects, the Magic Cut and Magic Style functions, which edit your video for you automatically, wipe out any effects and editing you previously applied. Unfortunately, the keyframing ability also hasn't been carried forward to the Magic tools.


August 17, 2008, 9:57 pm

Does this new version allow for the most basic of video editing: mixing two camera shots of the same event (like a concert) to sync to a single audio track, be it the track from one of the videos or a separate audio. Of course, without a professional time tracking codes, a really fine job would be impossible. But "good enough." This would entail being able to see the multiple tracks playing at the same time or perhaps syncing to the wave form of the two audio tracks. So many of these mid level video editing programs give hundreds of transitions we really don't use. PIP isn't IT, exactly, though I imagine if I enlarged the area of the PIP to fill the entire screen. The other troublesome element of this, which I found using iMovie (and it was just alternative shot), is if you cross dissolve to the alternative track, it layers the sound as well, cross dissolving both shots visually and audiowise. One wants to keep core video going, always in sync with the audio track, and then play with two-track cross dissolves above it. Who really needs PIPs to do cartwheels and float around, when this basic video editing element is missing. Or IS it on this program? Possible?

Geoff Harper

September 8, 2008, 8:21 pm

No one else ever commented on this one? Carol has described EXACTLY what I need to do. I currently have V6 and am struggling a bit. Does no one have any suggestions?


December 24, 2008, 12:21 pm

I'm no expert but here is what I would try.

Download a copy of the free VirtualDub program. Load video 1 into VirtualDub. In the audio menu set the audio to none and save as AVI. Do the same with video 2. Pick whichever video has the better audio and save the audio separately. You end up with 2 new video files containing video and no audio and 1 file containing just the audio. Then in PowerDirector (or whatever editor you have) import video and audio tracks. Switch video tracks to your hearts content. Since the video tracks have no audio the single audio track plays by itself.

There may be easier solutions (eg. can you just mute the audio in your video tracks in the editor and use that with a separate audio track?). I have not done any video editing for a few years, but am getting back into it so I just ordered PD7 based on the reviews I've read here and elsewhere.

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