VideoStudio Pro 2018 and VideoStudio Ultimate 2018 are the latest versions of Corel’s popular and feature packed consumer video editing software suites.
VideoStudio has been around for quite some time now and is a well matured, stable program having benefited from active development especially over the past 6 or 7 years.
My first copy of VideoStudio was version 6 under the now defunct Ulead name back in 2004!
The software’s continued success can be largely put down to Corel’s philosophy of engaging in an ongoing dialogue with their most active users on their excellent “user to user” forum.
VideoStudio Pro 2018 and Ultimate 2018 are great examples of what can happen when a software company like Corel listens and makes an effort to not just correct errors, but to anticipate and satisfy needs.
The result of this has been steady forward development in the functionality, usability and stability of each year’s final release candidates.
I have no reservations in recommending Corel VideoStudio Pro 2018 or Ultimate 2018 to anyone looking for fully featured 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.
Check out the video below to get an idea of what the software has to offer but bear two things in mind while you are watching.
First, the video was produced using VideoStudio Ultimate 2018… which is a good thing.
Second, it is an ad after all, so don’t get too carried away just yet!
VideoStudio Pro versus VideoStudio Ultimate
Before we go any further let’s first of all take a look at the differences between the standard Pro 2018 version and the Ultimate 2018 version.
The software is competitively priced within its market however by going from Pro 2018 to the Ultimate 2018 version you get some serious bang for your extra $20.00!
The two are essentially the same core editing programs having mostly comparable feature sets.
The real difference lies in the added features and functionality you get from the set of premium special effects packs and add-ons in the Ultimate version.
It is important to note that these extra modules are plugins which integrate into the overall program and it is these that give VideoStudio Ultimate 2018 the pro tools appearing in many of the consumer level products these days.
Some brands have opted for integrated modules to extend the capabilities of their software.
Whilst other like Corel have simply turned to the experts in their respective fields and incorporated those features into the main program through the use of plugins like these.
Neither system is superior or inferior to the other, however the real difference is in how the company has achieved that integration.
In the case of Corel that integration has been executed very well.
The additional features you get with the Ultimate 2018 version are:
- Premium special effects packs from Prodad, NewBlue FX and Boris which takes the total number of effects, filters etc from 1500 up to 2000.
- In the multicam editing module you can simultaneously edit up to 6 clips at a time rather than the 4 on offer in Pro 2018.
- The ability to import and edit MXF (XAVC) Video Files, which is a broadcast quality video file format.
- And finally the video mask creator, the new 3D Titling module and the also new split screen template creator are exclusive to the Ultimate 2018 version.
So What’s New and Improved?
First of all let’s be clear that this is not a “bells and whistles” update full of bright shiny objects designed to make the marketing department’s life easier.
Whenever I see a video editing program maker loudly announcing a whole bunch of new razzle dazzle features I tend to cringe a little!
Sure, they make for great marketing copy but in the end if you are not going to use them, they add nothing to the proposition.
In this release of VideoStudio 2018 the majority of the new or improved features are either consolidations of existing features into a more advanced form or genuinely useful upgrades to the core program.
So in no particular order here they are:
Split Screen Template Creator
Creating a split screen effect in VideoStudio has always been an option albeit a bit of a clunky one.
It essentially required that you add a video to the main video track then more videos on to the overlay tracks then crop or adjust each one so that they could all appear on the screen at the same time.
Kind of fiddly work to get done and even then you could only have videos stacked up on top of each other or sitting side-by-side.
With the new Split Screen Template Creator you can go into a separate module, add all your videos then either use the existing templates or create one of your own to stream multiple videos at once.
You can save your created templates for future use and you are no longer restricted to just vertical or horizontal split screen.
Pan and Zoom
Pan and zoom as a feature of video editing software has been around for a very long time so on the surface this doesn’t look like much of an enhancement in itself.
The main problem especially with the “zoom” part of the module has always been that the amount of zoom possible before image degradation occurred was quite small.
If you zoom in on a 1080p video within a 1080p project you begin to lose the advantages of having high definition in pretty short order.
However these days as 2K and 4K video becomes more readily available a whole new world opens up with this kind of effect.
If you drop a 4K video into a 1080p project you can zoom in and out all you want and still retain HD quality.
In light of that Corel have updated this effect offering more presets and more control over those preset filters…. BUT!
That’s not the best part.
The real awesomeness in this one is that you can add your choices of panning or zooming via keyframes while the video is playing in real time.
So instead of adjusting, playing back, adjusting, playing back you can just add those adjustments as you go long.
3D Title Editor
A few years back now I was part of a beta testing group for Corel for a new software they were developing which created 3D titles.
The testing ended eventually and at the time it seemed that nothing had come of the whole exercise.
Cut to today and here it is!
You can create 3D titles using built-in presets and templates or dive in and create custom motion titles completely from scratch.
You can control textures, lighting and motion to create a amazing 3D titles.
Resize and Crop Track Transparency
This is an enhancement of the existing controls for setting the opacity of tracks on the timeline so that you can create custom fade ins and fade outs of other assets as well and when you are superimposing assets over each other.
Given the proliferation of action cams at the moment it has become a bit of a nobrainer that any video editing software has to have some kind of lens correction feature.
The inherent problem with action cams in general is that they capture at a very wide angle and this often results in a curved image otherwise known as a “fisheye” effect..
Sometimes you may want to keep that look but for when you don’t you need something to straighten it all up.
This year VideoStudio has included a dedicated correction area for this type of footage with both built-in presets for known action cams like the GoPro as well as full manual control.
360° Video Editing
This release of Corel VideoStudio Pro 2018 and VideoStudio Ultimate 2018 pretty much signals the completion of full 360° video editing as a feature.
Over the past few years both the format itself and the handling of the files has been developmental in its nature with changes and additions occurring fairly regularly.
At this point VideoStudio now has all the fundamentals in place to provide a full end to end solution for importing, editing, previewing and outputting this type of footage.
Stop Motion, Effects and XAVCS to SD
The existing Stop Motion module has been enhanced by adding support for a wider range of Canon cameras as well as introducing support for Nikon cameras.
Some new effects filters have been added from NewBlue and others as well as changes to the versions being included with both VideoStudio Pro 2018 and VideoStudio Ultimate 2018 and to be honest it all gets a little confusing.
For the full rundown on what plugins come with which version just click here for the Feature Comparison Chart.
They have also added XAVC-s authoring to SD cards, so you can export your video for playback directly to your camera.
And finally! Speed and Performance
As has been the case with most major updates of VideoStudio Pro 2018 and VideoStudio Ultimate 2018 for the past few years, Corel have paid particular attention to optimizing the program for a smother and faster editing and rendering experience.
Both VideoStudio Pro 2018 and VideoStudio Ultimate 2018 can take full advantage of the latest video hardware acceleration technologies from Intel and NVIDIA improving efficiency and dramatically speeding up rendering to modern file formats.
So that’s it for what new and improved or enhanced… on to the review!