Magix Movie Edit Pro 2016 is the latest version of Magix feature rich video editing software program aimed at the consumer through to semi-pro video editing market.
From an historical perspective Movie Edit Pro always boasted a superior feature set in comparison to the others on offer at this level, always very heavy on the latest and greatest.
Unfortunately this focus cost them dearly in the stability stakes in those early years.
Sometime back around 2011 Magix must have realized that this constant drive towards more and more features without underlying stability was hurting them badly.
It was at that point that they stopped mindlessly adding new “half-baked” features and embarked on a strategy of making the software usable and stable for the average person.
It was around this time that I began adding Magix Movie Edit Pro to my list of personal recommendations for a consumer level video editing software solution.
Since then Magix haven’t really skipped a beat with the ongoing development of Movie Edit Pro and although they have continued to add new features they have maintained a solid record for keeping the program stable and easy to use.
For the last two or three years they have also invested a good deal of time and effort into improving and developing their help systems, tutorial knowledgebase and user forums.
The result of all of this is a complete video editing software package that is easy to use, stable, feature rich and backed up with a solid online presence.
The ongoing problem for Magix however, has always been that it is not a household name in most of the markets they compete in and it never really was.
They are a German company and enjoy great market penetration there and throughout Europe however by the time they started to attempt expansion into the North American market and others… the horse had bolted!
So, for many years now Magix Movie Edit Pro has been that great editor that no-one had ever heard of!
Although Magix Movie Edit Pro 2016 can certainly hold its own against its competitors in this class with regards to general editing features, they have decided with this update to focus on the rapidly expanding action video market that has recently emerged.
This new version retains all the features that the software has packed up to this point but the difference for this year is that nearly all new features are aimed at making GoPro or Action Cam style footage easier to handle.
So let’s take a look at what has been added.
Mercalli Image Stabilization
Movie Edit Pro always had a “pretty good” video stabilization module included within the software but like most of these “in-house” stabilizers there was a limit to just how much you could do with them.
Nearly all the current software makers (and now Magix) have pretty well abandoned the development of their own software for this purpose for a few good reasons.
First of all the evolution of high definition files and the compression they use has made this kind of program very difficult and complicated to maintain.
Secondly, there are dedicated software makers out there who because that’s all they do, do it so much better.
proDAD is one of those companies and Mercalli V4 and V2 are their dedicated stabilization modules now included in Movie Edit Pro. (Movie Edit Pro and the Plus version come with V2 and the Premium version offering V4.)
NewBlue Action Cam Package
This feature is only available in the Premium version and offers a very complete set of special effects, filters and templates specifically designed for action cam footage.
It packs a bunch of preset correction tools that are tailored to the particular idiosyncrasies of action cams such as fish-eye lens correction, auto contrast and hue adjustments.
Only available for the Plus and Premium versions I am still not particularly excited about this one.
Yes 360° shooting is now possible and yes 360° editing is needed for that but in all honesty I don’t see this being an important feature for a while yet.
One point that MUST be noted at this stage of the development of this feature is that Movie Edit Pro can only import video from a 360° video file and use it in a normal video file.
In other words 360° video is a file type it can import and use.
What it cannot do is create a 360° video file project or completed video.
The new snap markers feature lets you mark specific points in video objects.
They can be set using a keyboard shortcut or a new button in the program interface.
Snap markers are particularly useful when you are trimming, moving or synchronizing objects within a project.
You simply mark a point in the video where you know you will want to be adding something like an effect or audio cue.
That point remains marked so you can always find it again and will stay in place even if you change other aspects of the project on the timeline.
Hardware-accelerated decoding (H.264)
Although this is a new feature for Magix, not so new for the rest of the world.
Apart from the CPU in your computer there are other pieces of hardware in there that have their own processors.
A good example of that is usually the video card with most modern video cards coming with at least some processing power of their own.
This processing capability is left unused unless you are actually watching a video so for most of the time sits there idle.
Magix have re-written the program to now take control of any spare processing power available on any hardware devices to use for its own purposes.
This makes editing a faster and smoother experience as well as reducing rendering times dramatically.
The new HEVC/H.265 codec although not mainstream quite yet is pretty much going to be is used to compress video material from the latest 4K cameras. Movie Edit Pro 2016 Premium lets you decode and edit this footage.
There has been a substantial overhaul of this feature in the new version with a “pin object” choice added.
Whilst fully automated object tracking is still not with us the new module offers at least a hint of that with the ability to mark an object, have it tracked and then add a mask or image or effect to that point as it tracks.
Part of the effort to appease the GoPro crowd beat-based editing lets you automatically or manually synchronize music and image edits.
A new set of transitions (not that we really need them but that’s just me!) based on a new kind of system for creating them based on blurring.
Wireless Project Transfer
Using the free APP that comes with the software you can wirelessly transfer files and projects between your mobile device and your editing computer via WLAN.
The Software Itself
Each time you open the Magix application a dialogue box appears first offering beginning choices for what you wish to do.
You can start a new project and set the preferences for that project at the same time, open an existing project or select a movie template for using the “easy mode” wizard system.
If you like you can select to skip this dialogue box the next time you open the software up and just have it open into the mode your always use.
The layout as shown below is pretty straightforward with Tabs at the top of the screen covering each stage of the production process from Import though to Share.
If you can’t understand how to use a particular feature or function, you can go to the very serviceable help menu to troubleshoot ir get quick answers.
The Magix website has been undergoing constant updates for the past year with the addition of a number of great “How to” videos providing you with answers to a wide range of questions covering basic through to advanced use of their software.
On top of that they have an excellent user-to-user forum with plenty of people there willing to offer tips, advice and help for anyone needing it.
As far as the user interface goes it is no better or worse than anything else in its class.
Like most fully featured video editors there is a lot of functionality here to accommodate, so you will have to spend a little time to find your feet if this is your first ime using the software.
To get a “feel” for the product take a look at the promotional video below but keep in mind that it is a marketing tool so don’t get all carried away just yet!
The software can handle just about any type of video you are likely to throw at it including all the latest highly compressed high definition video file types such as AVCHD up to 4K Ultra HD.
More importantly it borrows functionality from its big brother Video Pro X and can work natively with many of the more exotic formats in their original format.
This eliminates the need for the software to convert them to a more “editing friendly” form first. This applies to both 2D and 3D footage.
You can import footage from all common (and not so common) storage devices and systems.
Some of the popular recording devices that you can import from are Blu-rays, DVDs, all kinds of camcorders, a range of handheld devices as well as cameras that can capture HD video footage.
The program can output to a wide variety of video types ensuring compatibility with most devices such as the many Smartphone brands, the iPod Touch and most other mobile devices.
You can create CDs, DVDs and Blu-rays and from within the software, directly upload your finished video to YouTube and various other video sharing sites.
It has an excellent range of preset parameter choices depending on your playback requirements and you can also manually set the parameters of any file you create.
Modern video files achieve high quality within a relatively small size by using very sophisticated compression technology.
The word “compression” is used because it sounds a whole lot better than what is actually happening!
What the software in your recording device (firmware) is really doing is throwing stuff away!
It can do this because it makes a record of what was thrown away so your computer can re-create it when you are editing or playing it back.
This in turn throws enormous stress on to your computer resources and is the usual cause of freezing, crashing and other undesirable behavior whilst editing.
To avoid this scenario, in Movie Edit Pro 2016 you can have the program automatically or manually, create a set of small low resolution copies of your original files.
Using these “proxy” files you can happily work away on your project without worrying about freezes and crashes on your computer.
When you have reached your final decision regarding your project and it is time to create the final product, the program uses the original high resolution assets to do so.
XAVCS Video File Support
In addition to 4K Ultra HD video compatibility Movie Edit Pro 2016 can also handle XAVCS files at that resolution.
For a full rundown on input and output compatibility click here:
Transitions, the GPU and RAM
Since the last version of Movie Edit Pro the program has been re-engineered for 64 bit systems and with that came significant improvements in performance.
The program runs just fine on 32 bit systems but because of the limitations of that file system it does miss out on the full power available.
With 64 bit architecture the program can easily pull in processing power from the GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) as well as make use of any extra RAM loaded on to the computer.
This is especially important for anyone wanting to try their hand at 3D projects.
This all combines together to make real time previewing a very smooth experience especially when using transitions in clips where the software needs to process “on the fly” to show the results of your editing choices.
All 3D and HD transitions are now fully calculated using your graphics processor to run smoothly during previews.
In the same way the GPU has been roped in to do some of the dirty work for the transitions it has also been called to duty for video effects resulting in faster performance all round and better previewing.
Next Page: Magix Movie Edit Pro 2016 Review part 2