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However, VideoStudio Pro X2 does have one big new capability. It's called Painting Creator, and is a mini cut-down version of capabilities usually found in high-end compositing apps like Adobe After Effects and discreet Commotion. You get a selection of simple painting tools, including a regular brush and airbrush, crayon, charcoal, marker pen, and even a particle tool. You can draw static images with these tools, but the fun really starts when you press the record button. Then your painting strokes are captured as a macro, which you can play back, edit and augment.
When you have finished your paint animation, the macro is rendered out as a video file which is added to the video media library. You can then drag this to the timeline like any video file. Transparency is added automatically, so you can superimpose the files over still images or moving video. However, you can't directly edit these painting animations once they are rendered. They will need to be redone and re-rendered, although the Painting Creator applet does save each macro you record automatically, so you don't have to begin from scratch.
Painting Creator is quite limited in features. Brushes can only be round or oval, although you can use one of 38 different texture options. You can also choose a single colour or still image as a background, rather than simple transparency. So Painting Creator has lots of potential for video fun - such as animated map annotations. No other video editing app at this price has a tool quite like it.
So that's the biggest innovation in VideoStudio Pro X2. The remainder of the additions are far smaller, but still useful nonetheless. You can add animation to your still image slideshows automatically with the Auto Pan & Zoom function. You can either apply this to a single image by right clicking on it, or select a whole series to animate multiple stills at once. The library of overlay graphics has been extended with 15 new Flash animations and 20 new object and frame combinations.
The only new filters of any note come in the shape of a bundle from NewBlue. This consists of five film-look presets, which produce much more professional results than the Old Film filter provided before (which is still available if required). There are numerous customisation options available for each preset, too, further extending the different effects you can create, such as shaky hand-cranked cameras. Or you can tweak the manual parameters.
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