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Cyberlink Director Suite 365 Review

Before I get into the Director Suite 365 review proper I think it is important to understand where CyberLink are coming from in offering this product in the first place.

Cyberlink Director Suite is quite an interesting study in how a software company like CyberLink can implement an overall development and feature expansion strategy without alienating their core or entry level users.

On one hand, endlessly jamming more and more features into the basic products on offer results in software that becomes overwhelming and incomprehensible to new users.

On the other hand CyberLink need to actively develop their main video editing program, PowerDirector to maintain their market position.

The problem for CyberLink is that constantly adding functionality to what is an already feature rich piece of software inevitably leads to complexity both in the interface design and usability.

As it stands PowerDirector is probably the best of the bunch when it comes to maintaining a relatively clutter free interface which still allows intuitive access to the considerable feature set.

So while you are pleasing that part of the market that wants all the bells and whistles at the same time you are alienating your core market which are home movie makers.

To deal with this problem CyberLink have taken what I believe to be a very smart path towards keeping everyone happy.

Instead of trying to stuff more and more into the existing editor, they have spun-off and expanded certain key functions into their own standalone products that are fully integrated with the core program.

The result of this is what they have called Director Suite 365.

So here’s a little shameless CyberLink marketing to get you in the mood!

My Director Suite 365 Review

Director Suite 365 is made up of four individual programs aimed at the video editing process which, although can operate quite independently, are also fully integrated into the functionality of the main program, PowerDirector.

This bundling effectively takes Director Suite out of the home movie maker market and into possibly the pro market but definitely the “prosumer” market.

Director Suite 365 is comprised of:

  • PowerDirector 18 Ultimate for video editing
  • ColorDirector 8 for handling advanced color correction and color grading
  • AudioDirector 10 for editing, mixing and creating soundtracks and other music files
  • PhotoDirector 11 for organizing and advanced editing of image files

The suite supports both input and output of 3D files, 4K video files, and surround sound.

As previously mentioned, once you launch the core PowerDirector 18 program you can then send various assets to the other ancillary programs (while you are working) for specialized processing then have them pulled back into PowerDirector and continue with your editing.

Or, you can open any one of the programs and work within it it as a stand alone action.

What’s in the Box

PowerDirector 18 Ultimate

This is the top of the line version of PowerDirector 18 offering their most advanced features, effects, number of editing tracks, templates, filters and just about everything except for the kitchen sink. (Although it might just be that I haven’t discovered the “Kitchen Sink” button yet!)

PowerDirector has been my top choice for a video editing solution at the consumer to enthusiastic amateur level for about 7 years now and there is nothing around at the moment that makes me think they will be knocked off the top spot anytime in the near future.

Apart from its enormous feature set probably for me the key to selecting it as my main choice is that it is probably the “smartest” editing software around at this level when it comes to rendering and previewing.

It is this “smart” technology that allowed it to get clear of the pack and no-one so far has managed to catch up.

Rather than go on and on about it here you can click here to see my full PowerDirector 18 Review.

ColorDirector 8

ColorDirector is not just an added module for fixing up the color in poorly shot videos… although it does do that very well!

To understand the value of this program you need to understand the difference between color correction and color grading.

If you have ever wondered how professional movie makers achieve such powerful and emotional “looks” to their scenes then grading is the answer to the question.

Not only can you use the program for correction and grading but it comes with a range of features such a motion tracking that allow you to apply effects to single objects within a frame.

Check this video below from CyberLink to get a good understanding of what the program can do and whether it is something you would have a use for.

Click Here to See the Full ColorDirector Features

PhotoDirector 11

Let’s get one thing perfectly clear here before we go any further.

I am not an expert in any way, shape or form when it comes to image editing software or the subject of photography.

What I do know is that for the last ten years I have been trying to use image editing software to do simple things to my images to either correct them or prepare them for use in my video projects.

I first tried Photoshop. I downloaded it, installed it, opened it and took one look at the interface and closed it immediately and uninstalled.

The horror of that interface haunts me to this day.

I then tried their Elements version which is supposed to be for the amateur user… pretty much the same thing happened only this time I actually got an image loaded but was lost within minutes.

The upside was that I was only annoyed by it, not disturbed.

Since then I have been trying to find an image editing program that does not submerge you into a morass of terminology and complexity as a prerequisite to actually using it!

You may have gathered by now I am not fond of this class of software!

Finally I found PhotoDirector bundled with Director Suite.

It was with great apprehension that I opened the program to see what was inside.

This is easily the most intuitive photo editing software I have come across and although it offers all the advanced features anyone could want it is easy to use or at least work out how to use.

Click Here to See the Full PhotoDirector Features

AudioDirector 10

Within any iteration of the PowerDirector program CyberLink have always included a free audio editing program called Wav Editor and for the average user, this is enough.

However if you want to take your projects up a notch in the audio department then you are going to need a dedicated audio editing program of some description.

As usual with the entire CyberLink range they somehow manage in AudioDirector 7 to pack in full functionality without swamping you with technicality.

The features and uses go on forever so here’s the lazy view!

Click Here to See the Full AudioDirector Features

The Bottom Line

Cyberlink Director Suite 365 is one of the best multi-media editing and production suites available on the market today.

Having said that it is important for anyone considering a suite like this that it only represents great value if you can clearly see yourself using it in its entirety or ultimately growing into it.

The individual components are available for purchase separately but of course the maximum value is offered by going for the full Director Suite 365 subscription and the maximum benefit comes from the integration of all the parts into the editing process.

Taken as a whole or even when looking at the individual components these tools compare very favorably with professional level programs but at a far more attractive price.

All round, if it suits your needs then you need look no further.

Click Here to See the Full Features of CyberLink Director Suite 365

5 / 5 stars

View Comments (16)

    • It will parse the video files on the disc and then pull them into the editor as MP4 as that is the underlying file type.

  • Rookie question here: Will the video editing component of this suite allow me to do face swapping (if that's even the correct term)? I want to substitute a different picture on a body from a movie clip. Thanks.

    • Hi Phil,
      Yeah "face swapping" sounds about right!
      OK, so the way it is done is that you take an image of the face you want to swap in and create a mask with it.
      Then you overlay the mask on the existing footage and position it over the existing face.
      Then as the base video progresses obviously the mask is going to fail to follow right?
      So that's where the motion tracking system comes in and you get it to track the existing face so that the new face(mask) follows along.
      So the short answer is yes, it can absolutely do that and it actually has an automated aspect to it to make it easier.
      Bear in mind it is easier to do the whole head rather than the face itself.

  • Here's my question. Last night I watched an old episode of "24." Towards the end of one scene, a black mask gradually fills the screen. So that toward the end of that scene, only the hero's moving face remains visible - in a "rectangle", in the upper left of the otherwise-blackened screen. Note that the rectangle is NOT the whole image, shrunk down. Rather, the mask has "moved in" onto the whole image, isolating on the man's face.

    Can PowerDirector 15 achieve this effect? I see that PD15 includes "Mask Designer," but I haven't been able to find many specific details. Many thanks! Mark

    • Hi Mark,
      Yes you can probably achieve something like that in PD

      You probably need to create a mask but there is also the possibility of overlaying a black shape and then setting the transparency to progressively reduce until it is fully black.

      I think if you go to the PD forum and ask specifically there someone will be bale to give you the easiest way.

  • Hi, love your site! Thanks for all the info you provide!! I'm at the prosumer level, have edited with final cut pro x, and looking to be able to do something with similar features with my new PC. There may be near future potential for some small paid editing gigs. I've kind of narrowed it down between Cyberlink Director Suite 5, and Magix Video Pro X, or Magix Movie Edit Pro Premium. Does Magix's professional software include the same plugins/transitions/effects as Edit Pro Premium? Are there more, or less, effects in the professional version?

    As for features, it seems like Powerdirector Suite 5 kind of has everything anyone but a full time professional might want to use when manipulating video. But is it missing key professional capabilities and functionality? Does it only export at at a smaller bitrate? Like if you made the video in 4k 100MBS on your phone with filmic pro, after editing could Powerdirector only export at say 25MBS?

    Basically, I was hoping to buy a Mac and run final cut but couldn't afford one of those machines with the necessary specs. I instead have a nicely spec'd Dell Gaming laptop now, that should meet the minimum requirements and then some for even Pro Video X. I guess my main use of my new PC editing software will be for editing sketch comedy videos (lots of cheesy transitions and effects I like since they can add to the humor on occasion), also some short films, and hopefully in the not too distant future a low budget indie film--and possibly editing these type of projects for others for small pay. So, I just want to buy the program that can best accomplish this type of editing. And my budget kind of maxes out at $400. The adobe cloud kind of turns me off, thinking I may need to add in aftereffects and the audio one every month, and that'll add up fast. So, maybe I'm not in need of a super pro editor yet, but even though Powerdirector isn't a pro editor what does it lack that Pro Video X does not?

    Also, stability is a big concern for me. When I'm collaborating with my co writer and others, possibly trying to get a small project done for a friend who's paying me a little something, I just want to feel like well, if I need to do some type of effect or make sure my project will render effectively and I won't lose data with a crash at a crucial moment, that I can rely on the editing software I've chosen. That I'll have something stable and generally capable for these type of situations. Of course, I know there's limits to any program, and maybe after effects or Davinci Resolve for color correction in some instances may be necessary. But just to get a general idea, given the above scenarios, what you might think.

    Also, I'll not be running other programs during editing, keeping the computer defragged and free of registry errors, generally clean. Plus saving my project frequently. So doing my best to keep my editing software stable and my data preserved during use.

    Sorry for such a long post with so many questions. Thanks for any input!

    • Hi Jeffrey,
      OK I am going to try to keep this at least shorter than the original post!

      I've kinda narrowed it down between Cyberlink Director Suite 5, and Magix Video Pro X, or Magix Movie Edit Pro Premium. Does Magix's professional software include the same plugins/transitions/effects as Edit Pro Premium? Are there more, or less, effects in the professional version?

      Considering what you intend using the software for the first one you need to eliminate is Magix Movie Edit Pro.

      It is strictly consumer level and yes, Video Pro X has far more features and effects.

      So that should take us down to Director Suite and Video Pro X

      As for features, it seems like Powerdirector Suite 5 kind of has everything anyone but a full time professional might want to use when manipulating video. But is it missing key professional capabilities and functionality?

      Nope!

      Does it only export at at a smaller bitrate? Like if you made the video in 4k 100MBS on your phone with filmic pro, after editing could Powerdirector only export at say 25MBS?

      Nope! It will export to whatever you feed it. 4K in = 4K out.

      So, I just want to buy the program that can best accomplish this type of editing.

      We are still at Video ProX and Director Suite

      And my budget kind of maxes out at $400.

      We are still at Video ProX and Director Suite.

      So, maybe I'm not in need of a super pro editor yet, but even though Powerdirector isn't a pro editor what does it lack that Pro Video X does not?

      The ONLY difference you will find apart from a hefty price drop is that Video ProX has greater ability to edit professional video codecs in their native state instead of converting first and that it is better at dealing with mixed content on the timeline.

      If you are not using a broadcast grade video camera then none of what I just wrote is important.

      We are still at Video ProX and Director Suite.

      Also, stability is a big concern for me. When I'm collaborating with my co writer and others, possibly trying to get a small project done for a friend who's paying me a little something, I just want to feel like well, if I need to do some type of effect or make sure my project will render effectively and I won't lose data with a crash at a crucial moment, that I can rely on the editing software I've chosen. That I'll have something stable and generally capable for these type of situations.

      Both are stable and both use projects files which means that even if the power cuts out halfway through a render, once you power back up all you do is load the project file and everything comes back.

      We are still at Video ProX and Director Suite.

      Bottom Line.

      If you have to ask the difference between these two then the choice is simple, CyberLink Director Suite.

  • Hi, thanks so much for this article...super informative. I just have a question. I'm debating on buying the director suite simply to get the color director 5. The reason is because I like to change filters on the video, brightening it or changing the tones, and doing color splash effects. However, are such effects as these available in the power director editing program or would I need to get the suite to take advantage of such things like filter changes/color splash? Thanks for any info! It's much appreciated!

    • Hi Ari,

      For advanced filters as you describe you need the full arsenal of effects from NewBlue.

      This is aside from ColorDirector.

      These effects are offered at the Ultimate Suite and the Director Suite level.

      Right now I just noticed CyberLink are offering the full Director Suite package at the same price as Ultimate Suite which kind f makes getting Diector Suite a no-brainer!

      • Hi, I'm wondering about using the effects such as NewBlue... I'm not familiar with plugins and so forth. Is there something I will need to download in order to use these effects or is it simply once I install the director suite, I will have them at my disposal?

        My other question is regarding what kind of computer would be best for this program? I'm in the middle of researching them along with all the computer jargon as I'm unfamiliar with computer words like CPU's, RAM, graphic cards, and so forth....

        I've considered buying apple and then getting a Windows installed on it in order to use PowerDirector but that seems needlessly complicated. Might be better off with Windows which I'm used to. Any recommendations or things I should look out for? I have heard this kind of heavy software is not meant to be for laptops, much better on desktops, and about overheating and what not... Unfortunately, I travel out of the country and a laptop is what I will have to buy.

        Thanks again for your time and answers to people like me!

        • Hi Ari,
          OK so the first thing you need to do is go to the CyberLink website here: http://www.cyberlink.com/products/director-suite/spec_en_US.html and get familiar with the sepcs you will need but take note:
          They say 2GB RAM (Memory) and 6GB is recommended. In reality 8GB is the reasonable minimum more if you can!
          They say a 64bit operating system is recommended I say it is essential. 32bit systems have a limit on their ability to use RAM and you need RAM.
          An Intel i7 is a better choice for CPU but remember I run an i5 so it is all in how you use it.

          If you can get something that is close to those specs you will be OK as long as you are not being crazy and scrubbing around the timeline like a nutcase or trying to create 4 hour high definition epics with special effects through the whole thing!

          As far as the effects goes they are plugins and only come into play if you choose to add them to a project or single clip.

          They require no other downloading or attention of any kind. Once installed as part of the main installation process they are there ready to use.

        • Sorry, I should have added that Im looking for a computer that is on the cheap side (less than a thousand dollars). Didn't realize how expensive the mac pro was.... I was thinking to buy an HP/Dell, whatever that is on sale for just a few hundred... But not sure if that would be compatible with a program like DirectorSuite...
          I see computers in ads for $300-$600 that seem fine but I'm not a computer person at all so wanted to ask before randomly buying something that "looks good".

      • Thank you very much for your reply! I did some research and found that the power director seems to have basic filter edits like brightening, ect, assuming what I read was correct.... Just not as detailed. If that's the case, I may just get it since I would not be needing color splash for most projects. It's just a hobby, not a job. Yes, I saw the directors suite is on sale...but so much of that package I wouldn't use, except for the color stuff. So I will weigh the cost and see... Thanks again for such an informative article! Very helpful!

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