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CyberLink PowerDirector 9 Ultra64 - More Layers, More Effects
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.
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.
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.