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Shares Our Verdict PowerDirector 16 makes it easy to edit degree videos, but there are a lot of other great features in this program, too. For Advanced editing control over degree footage New video collage feature Professional color matching, toning and effects Against Needed to reinstall the app following a Windows 10 update Certain color lookup tables are not compatible with the program Motion-tracking techniques felt a bit awkward at the outset For more information visit their website Anyone shooting with a newfangled degree video camera should feel pumped about the latest version of CyberLink's PowerDirector video editing package.
PowerDirector 16 trains a laser focus on editing degree footage from this burgeoning genre of consumer cameras and delivers an array of sophisticated post-processing tools. Last year's PowerDirector was one of the few consumer video packages to deliver degree editing, letting you import equirectangular files and process that footage for use in standard video projects.
This new version builds on that foundation to include stabilization, motion and object tracking and titling, as well as a host of other virtual-reality-centric capabilities for posting on Facebook, YouTube and Vimeo, or producing video for viewing on VR headsets.
All that sounds complex — and it is. But one of PowerDirector's neatest tricks for its consumer and "prosumer" audience is that it keeps the complexity under the hood, allowing you to dive right into any aspect of the program. Versions CyberLink PowerDirector 16 offers three stand-alone versions and two suites: We tried out the latest degree editing tools and a slew of other new features.
But when it comes to stereoscopic video shot for VR headsets, the problem is amplified with motion — people biking, running, dancing, kite surfing and generally horsing around. Nothing induces a migraine faster than shaky VR footage right up against your eyeballs. To that end, version 16 debuts a new algorithm that targets and corrects rotational and translational camera motion, providing even more complete degree editing capabilities. You don't need a pilot's license, just an alert set of eyes as you move the slider back and forth to fix your wobbly footage.
You can even split the preview right in the window to compare the before and after motion, which allows plenty of tweaking for the best results. Video stabilization now works on degree video via a slider tool.
You can watch before and after clips side by side in the preview window. PowerDirector's new Title Room includes special titles for these videos — a feature designed to keep their shape and position without warping or distorting them as your movie plays. Basic controls give you a large selection of fonts, and you can adjust the type size, color, kerning, shadows and text spacing.
More granular controls include starting and ending effects that let you set specific points of type entry and exit, and other effects. If you don't like the selection of degree titles, you can use any of the other ones in the room — just right-click to convert your choice to a degree title to accomplish the same thing. Custom-designed titles hold their position in degree footage. Motion and Object Tracking PowerDirector offers two new kinds of tracking for degree video — one for native degree footage, and the other for video destined for inclusion in a standard movie.
With a busy clip, motion tracking helps you highlight what you want the viewer to focus on. Motion Tracker gives you the tools for tracking and adding text or PiP objects to your track. This was especially true when attaching both text and media clips to the tracked object, as the bounding boxes for each overlap until you can properly place them.
With to-2D object tracking, this lovely couple commands the center of attention. The View Designer lets you incorporate degree footage into standard 2D videos. A new object-tracking feature can follow objects or people in a degree video and center them when converting to In the preview, the positioning is an approximation, and the previews sometimes looked odd as three objects moved through the video.
While this depends on the video you use and the object you are tracking, sometimes it was hard to visualize the final product until I actually viewed it in the timeline. PowerDirector's View Designer now supports the cool, hugely popular Little Planet projection mode, which makes it look like the subjects in your video are standing on a very small globe. As with the image stabilizer, you can accomplish this effect entirely with sliders that let you preview the effect in real time.
Experiment with fly-in and fly-out options in viewing the Little Planet. Collage Designer Sometimes, it's all about finding innovative ways to share photos and videos via social media. PowerDirector, like Adobe Premiere Elements, now offers an easy-to-use Video Collage feature, allowing you to create a single animated package with up to seven adjustable still and video modules.
You can access the Video Collage plugin via a pull-down menu at the top of the window; here, you can find some two dozen templates from which to choose. Create a video collage with up to seven videos or images. You can animate and recolor the various templates. Video Collage templates house both still photos and videos that can play concurrently. The designer lets you obsess over small details.
Adjust the playback timing, sequence and timing between plays; freeze the video; or display a color board, or loop. You can separately zoom or trim each video and tweak a slick frame animation. Color Matching PowerDirector 16's Color Match feature lets you align the lighting conditions of different clips by copying the color range of one clip to another. This feature could not be easier. Just choose a clip that needs improvement, and pair it with a reference clip whose lighting you prefer.
Click the Match Color button, and you're done. A slider adjustment tweaks the results. Another new color function lets you use color lookup tables LUTs to assign a specific color range to a set of clips. This process was somewhat more complex. To apply a LUT, you first need to search for and download a lookup table. Download and apply CLUTs to your videos. To complete the new color utilities for both standard and degree video, the app also includes controls for white balance, HDR and split toning, including options such as highlight and shadow variations of hue, saturation and balance.
All of these color controls operate with sliders that let you view a real-time preview, so they add some sophisticated features to the program that don't require any technical skill to use. There are several new ways to work with color in your videos. Audio Updates A new Audio Ducking feature renders spoken words more clearly by lowering the volume of background music or other sound while automatically optimizing the mix for videos with dialog or narration.
The tool uses sliders to determine sensitivity, the level of ducking you prefer, and fade-in and -out duration. The algorithm does the rest. Audio Ducking automatically marks frames where people are speaking and lets you adjust background music to hear dialog more clearly.
Its bit Intel Core iU processor runs at 2. I combined five clips into a 2. I timed rendering at both 60 fps and 30 fps. CyberLink is always a fast performer, and this version's under-the-hood improvements allowed my video to race through fps encoding in1: At 30 fps, the speed demon renderer clocked 1: That quickness mirrors the app's responsiveness to commands throughout the interface and its overall smooth and stable operation.
However, one glitch I encountered in my testing was that a Windows 10 update affected critical audio functions, and I wound up having to reinstall the program to get the audio to work again.
In addition, certain CLUTs did not work. Bottom Line CyberLink PowerDirector 16 — which might aptly be named PowerDirector Edition — brings degree video shooting and editing to the mainstream.
The motion- and object-tracking features offer immense control over media that can otherwise be difficult for both filmmakers and viewers. New color features elevate the app into a prosumer category for moviemakers who seek to create more artistic works.
But the app doesn't sacrifice its appeal to family shooters, as it showcases the new Collage Designer and easy-as-pie Little Planet feature. Performance is top-notch, too. Even if you're not stepping into the degree arena anytime soon, PowerDirector 16's video collage and advanced color-matching features make it worth the investment.
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