Corel VideoStudio Pro X7 and VideoStudio Ultimate X7 are the current versions of Corel’s popular consumer editing software.
VideoStudio is a well matured and stable product that has been under constant development by Corel for a number of years now.
It’s development has been largely market and technology driven however what sets it apart from many is Corel’s responsiveness to its existing user base.
They have been tapping into the collective user experience whether good or bad, on their excellent “user to user” forum for some time now and have not just tried to passively defend their program to their customers but have proactively sought both advice and ideas for future updates.
VideoStudio Pro X7 is a great example of what can happen when a software company like Corel listens to their customer base and makes an effort not to just correct errors but to satisfy their needs.
The result of this smart move has been a giant leap forward in the functionality, usability and stability of this final release candidate.
I have no reservations in recommending Corel VideoStudio Pro X7 or Ultimate X7 to anyone looking for editing software at this level.
The program does everything it is supposed to do, does it very well and easily holds its own against the competition in the consumer grade editing software market.
In fact with this latest release Corel are beginning to close the gap between the consumer market and the fully professional programs such as Premiere and Vegas.
You can take a look at the video below to get an idea of what the software has on offer.
What’s New in Corel VideoStudio X7
VideoStudio Pro X7 vs. VideoStudio Ultimate X7
Before I get into a full review of the program’s features and performance let’s first of all take a look at the difference between the standard Pro X7 and the Ultimate X7 version.
The software is competitively priced within its market however by going from the Pro to the Ultimate version you get some serious bang for your extra $20.00!
The two versions are basically the same except that with the Ultimate X7 you get everything in the Pro version plus a premium special effects pack including 7 apps that take the software to a new level.
It is important to note that these individual modules are integrated into the overall program and it is these that give VideoStudio Ultimate X7 the pro tools appearing in many of the consumer level products these days.
Some brands have opted for completely separate modules as add-ons and others like Corel have simply turned to the experts in their respective fields and incorporated those features into the main program.
Neither system is superior to the other however the difference is in how the company has achieved the integration. In the case of VideoStudio that integration has been executed very well.
- NewBlue FX ColorFast
A complete set of pro level color correction tools as well as color grading.
- NewBlue FX Motion Effects
Offering more than 100 preset motion effects.
- Boris Graffiti 6
A complete array of Pro-quality titles and graphics.
- proDAD Mercalli SE
Correction tools allowing for video stabilization plus more advanced features like rolling-shutter compensation.
- proDAD VitaScene LE
A fully customizable transitions, filters and film-style effects package.
- proDAD Handscript Animation
A titling tool allowing for onscreen handwriting effects.
- proDAD RotoPen
A tool for creating rotoscope style animated effects for maps, graphics and photos.
So What’s New?
The first thing to take note of in this new version is probably a little dry and technical to most people but marks an important development in the Corel VideoStudio history.
The new version has been totally rebuilt on 64-bit architecture.
Before I get into that keep in mind that if you are running a 32-bit machine then the software will run absolutely fine on that type of system.
What this means if you do have a 64-bit system is that the program can now take full advantage of the entire RAM available on your computer as well as other resources.
The result of this is greater stability and overall much faster performance when it comes to heavy tasks requiring a lot of RAM and processing speed.
It is most notable when working with HD files, scrubbing through the timeline, previewing projects and final rendering.
Whilst the VideoStudio user interface was always one of the better ones around this year they have given it a bit of a spruce up.
They cleaned up the lines, changed some of the colors to make the feature pop out a little more and made it more customizable to each persons particular needs.
They have also done some work on the Libraries to make them easier to access and organize.
The Need for Speed!
VideoStudio was always pretty good in the Smart Rendering department.
The software can scan and analyze existing projects and render to a new file without re-rendering sections that were already compliant with the desired output parameters.
This feature has been improved with the new version and Smart Render can now be used with UltraHD files.
Overall rendering times for all file types have been vastly improved with the software now able to muster all available processing power from the system and deploy it in the most efficient way.
Thank the gods of video editing they finally fixed this.
One feature of many consumer level editors is that they often have an alternative interface which allows a wizard based easy editing solution.
A sort of “follow the steps” process which allows the creation of a project by just following the steps.
This feature in VideoStudio in the past has been… well… a bit if a clunker really!
Good to see they have finally thrown it out and started again!
The original appearance of the Screen Capture module within VideoStudio was OK but no big deal.
Last year they fixed it and since then it has worked well.
This year they have cleaned it up a bit and along with the redesign of the software you can now launch the Screen Capture module separately without having to have the entire core video editor running.
They have also improved the Sharing section of it to make getting crisp, clean screen captures easier.
Custom Naming for Video Files
OK, this has been a running joke in the VideoStudio forum for quite some time.
The problem dated back to the days of capturing standard definition footage from tape based camcorders.
Either you captured the entire tape in one huge file or you used the automatic scene detection feature.
Either way the resources of the computers of the day were so stressed out by this that the last thing on anyone’s mind was trying to rename the files in some sort of sensible way “on the fly.”
You were lucky to just get the files in first place!
The result was that you would have a hundred files with completely meaningless names sitting in a folder on your computer. The only way to work out what was what would be by previewing each one… for hours at a time!
Anyway times have changed and regardless of the file transfer/capture method you can now give your files a meaningful name offering a clue to the contents.
Transitions for Overlay Tracks
This is certainly not a new feature on offer. VideoStudio has offered the ability to add transitions to overlay tracks for some time now.
What is new is that you can now save particular transitions to a separate category exclusively to be used in overlay.
This is a huge time saver so let me explain.
When using overlay tracks very often you will be creating a “picture in picture” or “split screen” type of effect.
This means that the track which has been laid over the main track is often smaller in size and because of this not all transition work particularly well.
In fact many transition are only effective with a full screen and when used on smaller overlaid tracks look terrible.
What you will find is that there will be certain transition you use regularly ofr overlay tracks so instead of rummaging around trying to find a suitable one you can just save the best ones into a separate section of the software to be reused at will.