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Pinnacle Studio 14 is a very mature video editing system targeted mostly at home users and video editing enthusiasts, but certainly not limited at these groups. Any application that continues into double digit versions has to be a good app with a lot of functionality, and Studio 14 is one of those application's that has its own ecosystem of support with books, online sites, and video tutorials. Within the scope of this review, the Studio 14 workflow will be covered as well as some video tutorials from Class on Demand, which offers video-based tutorials for Pinnacle Studio as well as many other creative applications, both consumer and professional level.
Studio 14 features a new interface that evokes simplicity. It retains the tabbed workflow featuring Import, Edit, and Make Movie tabs located at the top of the main window. To the right is the preview window, which can be expanded and collapsed via the slider at the top. You can also launch the help system and there is a link to the Pinnacle Studio website. The tabs are set up in the order you would make a movie; First you Import your content, then you Edit it, and finally, you distribute, or make your movie.
The Import tab is where you import the media that you want to use in your projects. You can import straight from a video camera or from a folder on a hard drive or other storage device. Once you've imported the footage that you need, you can begin to assemble your project using the Edit tab.
As has been the case for many years, you can edit in either Storyboard mode, which shows you the first frame of each clip in your project, or Timeline mode, which is the way professional editors work. You can easily switch back and forth between the two editing modes. A text view mode is a third option. When in the Edit tab, you have access to all the tools that make your projects unique.
These include access to the transitions, including 2D, Alpha Magic, Hollywood FX for Studio, Flying Windows, Extra FX, Family Fun 1, and Fun Pack. You can preview any of these transitions and effects by simply clicking on them. They will then preview in the preview window. There is also a huge collection of montage themes which enable you to combine several video clips into a single clip that you can add to your project.
Pinnacle Studio 14 features a variety of different titling templates that you can add to your project. These range from standard titles, to new motion titles. The titling tool has a range of tools to further tweak your text, including making adjustments to the Face offset angle of the text, the size, blur, and fill, as well as the shadow offset angles, size, blur, and fill.
The Motions tool enables you to further tweak your titles, with capabilities to make your titles fly off the screen, grow, ripple, get taller, rubber band, movie trailer, and more. These features are all in addition to the standard text tools such as bold, italicize, underline, font size, and font style.
Once you've added your titles, your next step is to make your movie. The Make Movie tab is where you render out your finished project to any one of a variety of file types or presets. You can save your movie to AVI, DivX, Flash Video, iPod, MOV, MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-2 TS, MPEG-4, Real Media, Sony PSP, Windows Media, and 3GP. You can export your projects out to disc, to a video file, video tape, and even to widescreen format YouTube and Yahoo! Video. Disc support includes DVD, AVCHD, Blu-ray disc, HD-DVD, SVCD, and VCD. There are also several presets, including Nintendo Wii SD, which is a new feature in this version of Studio, full screen DV, and MJPEG in various sizes.
Pinnacle Studio 14 comes in several software only configurations, as well as software/hardware combinations. The pricing starts at $49.99 for Studio HD, to $99 for Studio Ultimate, to Studio Ultimate collection at $129 and includes a green screen for green screen special effects. Hardware/software combinations start at $99 for MovieBox Plus, which adds an analog to digital converter box, to $149 for MovieBox Ultimate, which adds Boris Graffiti, Red Giant Magic Bullet Looks, proDAD VitaScene. For more information, visit www.pinnaclesys.com