CyberLink PowerDirector 14.0

Fast and feature rich video rendering and editing software

  • Category:

    Editors

  • Version:

    14.0

  • Works under:

    Windows 8.1 / Windows 8 / Windows 7 / Windows Vista

  • Program available in:In English
  • Program license:Trial version

Author video footage with ease by employing Cyberlink Power Director. Designed to match the skill level of the novice or scale in complexity to please the enthusiast video director, this application comes pre-packed with enough editing tools to create a blockbuster movie from any type of source footage. Transition effects and intuitive timeline controls assure full creative control, but the full power of this video editing suite isn't based purely on a massive toolset. Instead, it's the simplified user interface that enables both novices and experts to really stretch their video directing skills. Let's begin with the drag and drop feature.

There's a problem with many of today's video editing packages. They're loaded with tools, naturally, but those program extras make the software top-heavy and hard to navigate. Cyberlink Power Director sidesteps this problematic approach by simplifying every control so that the creator can focus on the project, not the controls. Keep that streamlined workflow in mind as drag and drop functionality is described. In essence, the imported footage acts like a movable block within the intuitive program frontend. The blocks are visual representations of the video stream, icons that can be dragged down into the timeline panel. Incidentally, the timeline occupies most of the lower part of the screen. It's here that the dragged footage drops into place, and it's here that the visually oriented tools mix video clips and audio tracks to form a polished movie.

A huge array of professional-grade video tools extends outward from the timeline window and the Media Content panel. The latter panel loads every imaginable type of video format and its associated audio file. Ultra-high-definition support is incorporated within the video processing engine as is standard HD and all of the file formats that populate today's mobile devices. Output movies can even be reduced in size and resolution until they suit popular internet websites, including Youtube. Again, it's the streamlined and friendly workflow that builds the bridge between professional editing functionality and a fast, intuitive blending of multimedia elements. Like a series of visually oriented building blocks, the timeline controls enable users to rapidly build their movies. The gentle learning curve applies to every module, every window, and every editing tool, including the disc creation tab.

The legacy tools built into the authoring component still focus on disc creation and menu building, and this feature works very well, but newer authoring facilities are making their way to the fore. After all, social sharing is threatening to overtake physical media, so Youtube and Facebook exporting facilities have naturally been adopted by the latest version of Cyberlink Power Director. This bleeding edge feature accompanies 360º video manipulation and a whole slew of action-based editing assets. In short, production flexibility is adapting on the software front to account for these wearable and palm-held devices. The video editing suite does so by adding stabilizing algorithms and motion compensators, features that target smartphone cameras and helmet-worn devices. Supplementary tools also handle this growing mobile camera sector. They include a 3D editing mode and a smart video clip orientation function, something that's perfect for videos accidentally shot in portrait mode.

Basic cutting and pasting actions are still considered the hallmark of this easy to master video authoring and editing package, but all of the aforementioned features add layers and layers of background tasks to the mix. Fortunately, all processes retain liquid smooth movement thanks to the 64-bit Truevision rendering engine, a digital core that manages multiple video streams with blistering speed. The four tab Capture, Edit, Produce, Create layout then leverages every clock cycle of processing power, all so that the most multi-layered projects can be rendered at speed while the large preview window displays project progress. And, although such power would suggest a lengthy processing period, results are typically available in short order as the rendering engine calls upon onboard hardware to accelerate the work.

Cyberlink Power Director also incorporates a suite of supplementary features, but never at the cost of the intuitive workflow. Cyberlink's DirectorZone forms the sharing heart of this augmented toolset. From here, new transition effects and templates are accessible. Dramatic transformations between separate video clips are made possible by these transitional embellishments. Similarly, the ready-made templates download quickly to further automate what would otherwise be laborious editing work. Beyond the curated online content and the templates, 3D authoring tools combine with a 3D theme editor to position the video editor at the cutting edge of this fun but potentially challenging craft. After all, an abundant pool of multimedia elements can be viewed as a compelling resource, but that pool is little more than a mess of footage without a video authoring suite; a software package that's built to shape an incoherent mass of clips into a tidy visual narrative.

In service of this multimedia narrative, the linear editing modules extend further than ever before, with 3D and 360° addons leading the charge. Next, the powerful rendering engine also drives a mobile authoring design mode and an Express Project mode. These two layouts focus on the newcomer and the mobile device owner. But there's more to discover. A motion detector and motion stabilizer steady the final image while simplifying the addition of tracked elements, such as customized titles. Even the initial capture tab adheres to this augmented feature set, with screen captures, multi-format video imports, and other capture options really reinforcing the program's capabilities. And, as multilayered as this editing and authoring package undoubtedly is, every function is clearly defined so that Cyberlink Power Director can act as the perfect editing companion.

Pros

  • Simple to use
  • Packed with editing and authoring features
  • Incorporates a 64-bit rendering engine
  • Access to online DirectorZone resources
  • Social sharing is made easy
  • Works with the latest video standards, including Blu-Ray and 4K
  • 3D and 360° editing modes

Cons

  • Occasional crashes
  • Pre-made themes and templates sometimes look amateurish

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