The other engine innovation is support for GPU acceleration. CyberLink PowerDirector 8 can benefit from both NVIDIA and ATI hardware, but different aspects of the software are accelerated depending on which of the two types of card is in your system. An ATI card will speed up MPEG-2 and H.264 encoding, whilst an NVIDIA card just does H.264. However, NVIDIA’s CUDA can be called upon to power a number of PowerDirector’s effects. If a compatible card is detected when the software is loaded, the NVIDIA logo appears in the splash screen and supported effects get a logo in the corner.
(centre)”’The DirectorZone now hosts video samples with timeline previews to show exactly how the effects were created”’(/centre)
There are some more minor productivity enhancements as well. It’s now possible to highlight a section of the timeline, copy it, and paste it elsewhere. All layers within the section are copied. So if you have a multi-layered portion, you can repeat the whole thing very easily indeed. Full-screen output to a secondary monitor is now supported. Just toggle this next to the preview window, and you’ll see your project in all its glory on your extra display.
CyberLink has also expanded its DirectorZone online community. This now also offers the ability to link a YouTube video to the project which created it. A schematic of the project plays in time with the video, so you can see precisely how each effect was created. This clearly has potential for learning new tricks, although there weren’t many examples uploaded at the time of writing.
(centre)”’The Video Rotate effect within Power Tools lets you spin your video by 90, 180 or 270 degrees”’(/centre)
A lot of effects capability was added in PowerDirector 7, but CyberLink hasn’t rested on its laurels for version 8. There’s a new tab at the top of the timeline called PowerTools. This contains four clip motion and resizing effects, with some more detailed than others. As the name implies, Video Reverse simply plays the clip backwards, with no other parameters to configure. The Video Rotate tool allows you to turn the video round by 90, 180 or 270 degrees, with no other options. Strangely, you can’t apply it to picture-in-picture tracks, though.