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CyberLink PowerDirector 9 Ultra64 - More Layers, More Effects

By James Morris

Reviewed:

Summary

Our Score:

9

CyberLink capitalises on the potential of its new 64-bit engine by increasing the number of possible video and audio layers to 100. However, it’s worth noting that the TrueVelocity 64 engine is only part of the premium Ultra64 version of PowerDirector, not the cheaper Deluxe version, which remains a 32-bit app and is therefore a much less significant update over previous iterations.

Most effects can be varied over time using a new universal keyframing interface, making it easier to synchronise your changes.

PowerDirector 9 now has a broad range of video improvement tools found under the Fix/Enhance tab. These include what CyberLink is calling its TrueTheater technologies, and encompass lighting adjustment, stabilisation, denoising of both video and audio, and various video enhancements. The effects offer just a few parameters, to keep them simple, but you can use a split screen to compare the original with the results. We found the video enhancement filter offered similar abilities to Adobe's Shadow/Highlight for bringing out contrast and detail. These effects can all be keyframed, and this interface is now integrated and universal across most effects that support parameters varying over time. This makes it much easier to synchronise your effects.

The Particle Designer lets you create your own custom particle overlays, with a host of presets also included.

However, the universal keyframe interface doesn't include the Power Tools, which enable you to change video playback speed, play clips in reverse, or crop. Whilst the crop Power Tool can be keyframed, this instead relies on a separate dialog, which also doesn't preview any of your other effects. Rounding off the new filter additions are the Particle Effects. You can add canned snow or smoke effects as video overlays, or open the full interface and customise your own streams. These can't be keyframed, however, and even though they sit on a separate video layer you can't add keyframed motion and effects on top either.

Runadumb

December 15, 2010, 5:02 pm

I assume there is a trial version of this? Will give it a whirl at the wkend. Last summer I tried a number of video editing programs but they all seemed to have a problem with video I recorded on my Samsung NV8. Hopefully I have more luck with this, good timing too as I have some stuff I would like to put up on Youtube.


Glad too see more of these programs using the GPU as well. All that untapped raw power!

Stelph

December 15, 2010, 6:34 pm

@Runadumb - Have you tried windows Live MovieMaker?





I haveCyberlink PowerDirector 9 and its a very good program, but ibeen playing with Windows Live Moviemaker on my netbook and ive been surpised how good it is (for a free program), you can edit, add transtions and easily export to youtube or facebook so all the basics, and its easily worked with the 720p footage ive been using

Runadumb

December 15, 2010, 7:02 pm

@stelph Oh yeah, I installed it about a month or so ago (I think it was actually from a link you posted in another article) but totally forgot about it. If it fails me then Powerlink will be plan B. Cheers

Stelph

December 15, 2010, 9:42 pm

@Runadumb - no worries, ive actually been quite impressed with Live Movie Maker, it can doo all the main things I want to do with my videos (i.e. adjust brightness, change playback speed for slow-mo/faster playback, add transitions), infact the only thing it doesnt do is picture-in-picture which is where I think my copy of PowerDirector9 will come in, otherwise its great!

James Morris

December 16, 2010, 3:10 am

Windows Live Movie Maker is miles better than previous Movie Makers, with much wider file format support and more powerful features. But PowerDirector 9 (or Premiere Elements 9, Corel VideoStudio X3) can do a whole lot more.

nikoa2

April 14, 2012, 3:49 pm

This program is a disaster! Run like hell!
During one hour of video editing it crashes no less than two-three times. You have to restart and you are lucky if you have saved your work. Loading a project can take more than ten minutes if you have a couple of hundreds of video takes (usual thing I suppose). Output settings a very limited and to my taste minimal allowed bitrate is far too high. All that makes your video files very large.

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