Not abounding programs accomplish it to their 22nd version, but Pinnacle Studio can affirmation that distinction. The admirable video alteration software has become steadily added able and speedier with anniversary iteration. Corel additionally develops VideoStudio video alteration software, with Pinnacle positioned as the higher-end of the two artefact lines. It’s aimed at near-professional-level enthusiasts, with accomplished alteration appearance and furnishings such as stop-motion video, multicam editing, and motion tracking. Pinnacle additionally supports 360-degree VR content, and its apprehension acceleration is a top aerialist in our testing.
This year’s amend focuses on blush grading, awning and webcam capture, three- and four-point editing, and added motion tracking and 360 footage support. For the adept Pinnacle users out there, here’s the abbreviate adaptation of what’s new in this year’s update:
I’ll go into added detail about these new appearance throughout this review, but aboriginal I’ll awning the basics. In case you absent aftermost year’s improvements, they included a simplified yet more-customizable interface, a keyframe-centric alteration panel, motion 3D appellation creation, advanced bend lens baloney correction, video templates, painting effects, and morph transitions.
Like best video alteration software aimed at consumers to near-professional users (a accumulation sometimes accepted as prosumers), Pinnacle Studio is attainable in a leash of good, better, and best levels, with the entry-level Pinnacle Studio advertisement for $59.95, Plus for $99.95, and Ultimate (reviewed here) for $129.95. If you charge to adapt 360-degree or 4K content, you’ll charge to bounce for Ultimate, which additionally adds high-end furnishings from NewBlue and absolute video tracks. It’s additionally the alone akin that includes some of the new appearance like split-screen motion effects, seamless transitions, and all the new color-grading tools. Unfortunately, there’s no chargeless balloon adaptation of any of the Pinnacle Studio levels. Several competitors, including Adobe Premiere Elements and CyberLink PowerDirector activity chargeless trials.
Windows 10 is recommended, but Pinnacle Studio additionally runs on Windows 8.x, and 7, and it requires 64-bit versions of those OSes, as you adeptness expect. It additionally requires an Intel Core i3 or AMD A4 3.0 GHz or higher, an Intel Core i7 4th bearing or afterwards or AMD Athlon A10 or college for UHD, multicam, or 360 video, and at atomic 4GB RAM, with 8GB recommended.
First you download a baby installer app, which again downloads the massive abounding program. It’s a 1.7GB download and takes up 3GB on-disk afterwards installation, so you’ll appetite a fast internet connection, some time on your hands, and affluence of amplitude on your adamantine drive. Of course, if you’re alteration 4K video, you charge a big deejay anyway.
When you aboriginal run the program, you’re arrive to the program’s new User Experience Improvement Program, which sends bearding acceptance abstracts aback to the company; axis that off is straightforward, if you’re not interested. Next, a chat tells you that the Acceptation affection lets you almanac and attainable media files.
Import takes up the abounding affairs window, which makes it attainable to aces the types of importing you need, whether it’s from DVD, computer folders, stop motion, snapshot, or multicam. The software can acceptation 4K content, and you can star-rate and keyword-tag agreeable at import, which helps you acquisition it later. The chase bar additionally helps you acquisition agreeable you haven’t apparent in this way, ytic instead for words in the filename.
A new advantage on the Acceptation access is MultiCam Capture. This opens an alien app that lets you almanac your awning forth with any webcams you accept affiliated or congenital in to your PC. You can use activity keys to alpha and stop recording, and the apparatus produces separate, synced clips that you can add to your activity bin. It lets you acclimatize lighting and complete sources, and in my testing it formed flawlessly.
Pinnacle’s interface sports flat, 2D icons, and a affable atramentous and gray blush scheme. The affairs uses the abstraction of Activity Bins, in which you backing all the agreeable for a accustomed cine project—clips, photos, and complete files, but not furnishings and transitions. This is a accepted access for pro-level apps such as Final Cut Pro X, and it’s a affection that Corel’s added line, VideoStudio, does not offer.
The accomplished affairs window is topped by four mode-switching ons: Home, Import, Edit, and Export. The aboriginal is artlessly a acceptable awning alms tutorials, advice on new affairs features, and added assets and programs for sale. If you’re a longtime user of the affairs who’s ashore in your ways, you can backslide to the bequest interface appearance in the program’s Ascendancy Console by allotment Setup > Ascendancy Console > Bequest Options > Accredit Bequest Authoring Mode.
Edit access uses the accepted three-pane editor interface, with antecedent agreeable appliance the top-left division of the screen, the examination window at the top right, and the timeline beyond the basal half. The Ultimate akin allows an absolute cardinal of tracks, as mentioned earlier. The Plus akin banned you to 24 tracks, and Accepted to six. You can change the about admeasurement of the panels, add a source-video preview, and about-face the cine examination to abounding screen.
You can cull interface panels off and change their positions, as you can in some added editors, such as Magix Cine Adapt Pro. The examination window includes abundant controls, such as jog and shuttle, anatomy advance, and rewind. You aggrandize and arrangement the timeline (either the capital one or the one in the examination window) with a able mouse-drag action, but I ambition there were a abrasion caster advantage for resizing the timeline.
You can chase and array any content, which is added than I can say for some video alteration programs, such as Studio’s sister application, VideoStudio. Hiding and assuming items by agreeable type—video, audio, photo, and project—is artlessness itself. There’s an astronomic and customizable array of keyboard shortcuts. You can additionally accept which ons you appetite to affectation on the timeline toolbar, including Split, Add Marker, Trim Mode, Multi-Cam Editor, and Audio Ducking.
For those who appetite the ultimate control, Pinnacle lets video editors time every affectionate of aftereffect and acclimation with keyframes. That includes position, size, rotation, opacity, borders, corrections, clarify effects, pan/zoom, transitions, and time remapping. Keyframing lets you ogously access or abatement an aftereffect over time. Once you’ve got a video activity set up the way you want, you can save it as a arrangement from the Book menu. You specify which clips should become placeholders, which you can ample in consecutive projects with altered clips.
The interface makes no specific acknowledgment to blow input, which I acquisition advantageous for scrubbing, alteration bulk sliders, and borer ascendancy ons. That said, ablution the timeline by feel did assignment acceptably. The software now absolutely supports high-resolution monitors; in testing antecedent versions, some elements appeared tiny on my 4K blow awning monitor, but that’s no best the case. Rather than chip help, you get an online PDF (that’s still bigger than Adobe’s unimpressive web help, which shows advice for added articles and from non-staff users). In general, however, Pinnacle’s interface is added attainable than those of some aggressive video editors.
Pinnacle uses a alluring timeline, so any blow you annoyance and bead into it snaps to any absolute clips, and you can about-face that behavior off, if you prefer. Dropping a blow central addition splits the aboriginal one, and a razor figure offers blow splitting, as well. The Trim Access on (or aloof double-clicking a accompany point) opens a additional examination window so you can see the aboriginal and additional clips’ states at the trim point. This is declared to advice with adeptness blooper and accelerate trims, but I acquisition it beneath automatic than the accent windows of CyberLink PowerDirector and VideoStudio, amid added apps.
New for adaptation 22 are three- and four-point editing. You about-face into this alteration access from the aforementioned on on the appropriate ancillary that switches amid Smart Editing, Insert, Replace, and Overwrite modes. With the three-point option, you specify in and out credibility on the time line, and an in or out point in the antecedent clip. This way, aback you admit the blow assimilate the timeline it will be fit to your specification.
Two new admittance ons arise on the antecedent window: Keep Acceleration and Fit to Duration. The additional of these stretches the antecedent blow to fit the ambition breadth in the timeline. The four-point advantage lets you specify in and out credibility on both the antecedent and the timeline. Aback you use that, if your antecedent alternative is best than the atom on the timeline you’ve marked, you see a chat allurement whether you appetite to acclimatize the antecedent blow with the alpha or end of the timeline points, and whether to trim the antecedent or overwrite the timeline.
If you accept the Fit to Continuance on, your antecedent blow is sped up or slowed bottomward to fit the apparent breadth in the timeline exactly. I see how these could be advantageous options and beneath accidental than artlessly boring antecedent assimilate the timeline. In particular, the time addition to fit a apparent breadth saves you time.
Dog-eared corners of adjoining clips let you acclimatize alteration lengths amid them. You can additionally accredit dynamic-length transitions, or aloof stick with transitions of set lengths. Cross-fades are attainable appropriate on the timeline via the alteration dog ears, but the abode from which you get your adherent transitions is somewhat hidden, compared with how added video editors present it. They’re additionally not as simple to add to timeline clips, with no automatic continuance option. Sometimes I abject a alteration amid clips in my testing and the app didn’t add anything. There is, however, a actual abounding alternative of transitions, aggregate as 2D-3D, Artistic, Alpha Magic, and more.
New for adaptation 22 is the Seamless Alteration tool, which accouterments an aftereffect that’s all the acerbity amid abecedarian videographers. As Davonte Douglas explains in this tutorial, you don’t alike charge software to accomplish seamless transitions, but software can in actuality accomplish them alike smoother and added impressive. The seamless transitions in Pinnacle Studio assignment like any added transitions: You aloof annoyance them from the antecedent console bottomward amid clips. You get choices for downward, left-to-right, and advancement motion amid clips, forth with variations for circling during the transition. You can accomplished tune the motion by agreement agnate areas in alternative boxes.
The Morph transition, admitting not new for adaptation 22, is still account calling out. It lets you draw guides in the aboriginal and additional videos to affect the transition. It’s not absolutely as absorbing as Final Cut Pro X’s Flow transition, which blends jump cuts—for example, you adeptness seamlessly cut a few words or alike a book out of a distinct blow of interview. The Pinnacle Morph alteration is ambrosial abundant a crossfade that lets you add bleared motion amid clips.
Also not new (it was alien in adaptation 21) but still account advertence is the Wide-Angle Lens Alteration feature. Artlessly bifold bang on a antecedent clip, and again accept that advantage from the top menu. There are six GoPro presets, but you can additionally manually acclimatize the geometry, authoritative abiding curve that should be beeline are absolutely rectilinear—an affair with GoPro’s wide-angle lenses.
You can get to Pinnacle Studio’s Motion Tracking apparatus either by right-clicking on a clue or by double-clicking on the blow in the timeline to attainable the Furnishings window. Aboriginal you affectation the article you appetite to track, and again you absolutely accept the affairs clue it. Its sounds simple, but in accuracy the action is a little dicier than in some added software. On my all-in-one PC with a 4K affectation it took a few tries to get it to chase my masked biker, and afterwards abounding attempts, I still couldn’t accomplish reliable tracking. On a arrangement with a accepted HD display, the tracking formed fine.
All such accoutrement accept adversity tracking altar aback the accomplishments confuses the issue, but in my tests Pinnacle’s absent the tracked article added about than the competition—even Corel’s own VideoStudio. Some blazon of step-by-step astrologer would help. The apparatus does activity Mosaic and Blur options, article you’ll about appetite to do in a video for things like abashing faces, authorization plates, branded items, or annoying bits.
Like CyberLink PowerDirector, Pinnacle Studio now lets you assignment with 360-degree video, from cameras like the Kodak Pixpro SP360 4K and the Samsung Gear 360. You can either do some basal alteration while advancement the 360-degree aspect or catechumen the 360 to accepted 2D view. I activated footage from the latter. Confusingly, you accept to add the 360 blow to the timeline aboriginal and again right-click on it and accept Add as 360 or 360-to-Standard.
When alteration 360-degree content, you see two windows with two tabs, a 360-degree antecedent and a examination window with the 2D end result. You can pan about the arena either in the antecedent window with a crosshairs ascendancy or aloof bang and annoyance the abrasion arrow about in the examination window to change the examination angle.
The affairs did a acceptable job of straightening out my 4K 360-degree ysis agreeable in bifold fisheye format. If you appetite the agreeable to abide in 360 degrees, you’re bound to basal trimming, achromatize transitions, and titles. Afterwards abacus titles, you additionally accept to accept Add as 360, if you appetite that access retained. I had agitation affective a title, which landed in the centermost of the video and didn’t affectation in 360 Examination mode. Stabilization isn’t an advantage for 360 video, admitting it’s still attainable from the menus; aggravating to use it resulted in a affairs blast in my testing, however.
New for adaptation 22 is the adeptness to actualize the “tiny planet” and “rabbit hole” furnishings with your 360-degree content. These are fun effects, and you can alike breathing things like the zoom, rotation, and alike alteration from tiny planet to aerial aperture or carnality versa.
Like its stablemate Corel VideoStudio, Pinnacle Studio lets you accompanying adapt assorted clips of the aforementioned accident attempt at altered angles. The abject adaptation allows two camera angles, Plus makes it four, and Ultimate gives you six. The apparatus did a acceptable job of adjustment my clips appliance their audio tracks, but you can additionally acclimatize appliance time codes and markers. As with all these tools, you about-face amid angles by borer a clips box in a grid. There are alike boxes for switching to bright and to black, which is abundant if you appetite to add B-roll later.
When you hit OK, a new blow shows up in your project, not in the timeline. I like that you can right-click and accept Adapt Cine to fine-tune bend accouterment in a timeline or alike reopen it in the multicam switcher window. Some multicam tools, such as that in VideoStudio, artlessly actualize a new blow that’s not adjustable afterwards the fact.
New for Pinnacle’s multicam capabilities is the abstracted Multicam Abduction tool, discussed aloft in the Acceptation and Interface area above.
Stop Motion is one of the best ambrosial types of animation, in my book. Aloof anticipate aback to Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer or added afresh to Chicken Run and Wallace and Gromit. The Pinnacle apparatus lets you ascendancy a affiliated camera to booty shots automatically at time intervals you specify, and it can alike appearance apparition images of your aftermost attempt so you apperceive how to position the aing one.
You can again accelerate the captures to the timeline and acclimatize continuance and administer any added editing. You can’t, however, actualize activated GIFs. The apparatus now includes DSLR support, and annular guides that acquaint you how far to move an article to accept it cantankerous the awning in a defined time aeon amid 0.3 and 10 seconds.
Pinnacle claims to activity added than 2,000 effects. That’s added than anyone absolutely needs, and abounding are duplicates with transitions or, worse, aloof air-conditioned overlays. Pinnacle would do bigger to trim out the fat and amalgamate the duplicates to accomplish furnishings easier to acquisition and use.
Color Grading. With adaptation 22, Pinnacle adds a bulk of new blush tools. The Accepted and Plus editions add some basal blush adjustments, but Ultimate offers pro-level blush grading. Accept the top-left panel’s Editor on, accept Color, and you see four numbered options: Basic, Tone Curve, HSL Tuning, and Blush Wheel. Basal offers White Balance, Tone (which includes exposure, contrast, and added lighting options), and Basal Settings (vibrance, saturation, clarity, and brume correction).
The Auto Tone and Auto White Balance options on this console formed able-bodied for my sample clips. You can alike administer the actual pro-level LUTs (lookup tables) for blush mapping, but Pinnacle doesn’t accommodate any by default. You’ll accept to acquisition them; you can get them from high-end video camera companies if you shoot with those. I was able to ysis this with a LUT in .CUBE book type, and it accurately activated a abhorrence cine attending to the clip. The Tone Curve tool, like Photoshop’s, lets you change lighting for effects, correction, or adverse adjustments. HSL (hue, saturation, lighting) lets you change the blush acuteness and accuracy alone for eight colors of the spectrum. One affair I had in testing this apparatus was that I couldn’t see the aftereffect until affective the comedy head. That’s not a big deal, but it isn’t ideal.
The Blush interface additionally can affectation a video ambit in four modes: waveform, vector, histogram, and RGB parade. Able editors are accustomed with these bend of blush information, admitting they’re of beneath use to amateurs.
The Blush Auto appearance lets you acclimatize assimilation and hue alone for anniversary of three tonal ranges: Highlights, Midtones, and Shadows, as able-bodied as applying an all-embracing blush shift. It’s ambrosial pro-level actuality like what you acquisition in Adobe Premiere Pro and Final Cut Pro, but not in Corel VideoStudio or Adobe Premiere Elements. I acknowledge that double-clicking the ascendancy credibility resets them to the center. You can use these accoutrement to either fine-tune the colors or to get some crazy effects, as in the screenshot above.
Filters. Abounding of these are standard, old-school Photoshop filters, but there are abounding absorbing furnishings amid them, such as Dream Glow and Old Film. Abounding included third-party effects, such as NewBlue’s Bead Shadow, Shredder, and Photon Blast, are of able quality. With the Ultimate edition, you get several NewBlue constituent effects. The latest of these to accomplish its way into the affairs is NewBlue Video Essentials 5, which lets you administer careful focus, careful blush and careful tint. Added NewBlue packs accommodate several geometry-altering effects, forth with acceptable auto-contrast, gradient-tint, diffusion, and rolling-shutter effects.
Why should agenda photos be the alone blazon of agreeable you can about-face into art and enhance with apish effects? The Paint apparatus in Pinnacle gives you absorbing Paint effects: Stylization, Pencil Sketch, Oil Painting, Detail Enhance, and Cartoon. You’re not absolutely painting on the image, but the furnishings accomplish it attending corrective or drawn. I decidedly like the Stylization effect, which looks like clear atypical art. The Cartoon aftereffect uses added of a atramentous ink outline about the article in the video. But these furnishings aren’t as adult as PowerDirector’s AI Styles, which you’re your video the attending of specific artists, such as Van Gogh.
Pinnacle Studio includes able accoutrement for 3D editing, admitting that’s gone out of appearance for the moment. Picture-in-picture is additionally able-bodied supported, and Pinnacle now has templates like those in PowerDirector, and what Premiere Elements calls “video collages.” Pinnacle Studio includes a dozen of what it calls Split Awning templates. You can annoyance these assimilate the timeline and again attainable a sub-editor to add clips to the PiP layout. The Split Awning Arrangement Creator lets you draw shapes to actualize your actual own reusable PiP layout. With adaptation 22, you can use keyframes to breathing these templates.
Transparency. A appropriate apparatus of its own, this aftereffect is attainable from a on aloft the timeline. This provides an attainable way to acclimatize anniversary track’s accuracy level, in percentages. It’s a advantageous apparatus for creating an evocative effect, abnormally to appearance the casual of time. But I acquisition PowerDirector’s appearance apparatus with automatic animations added fun.
Chroma-Keying. This formed able-bodied with my ysis green-screen footage, about altogether removing the somewhat amiss blooming background.
Stabilization. The Stabilize apparatus lets you acclimatize borders and zoom, and you can accept it assignment in the background, as it is adequately time-consuming. My all-a-quiver footage came out somewhat smoothed. As with all agnate tools, however, it’s no acting for in-camera stabilization or, bigger still, a tripod.
Titling. Argument is a backbone for Pinnacle, with air-conditioned things like 3D appellation alteration like that begin in Final Cut Pro X. You can change the appellation position on three axes, as able-bodied as allotment ablaze antecedent and bend and actual types like metal, plastic. And you can breathing it appliance keyframes. It’s an absorbing tool. Magix Cine Adapt Pro and PowerDirector accept additionally added some chic new appellation tricks in contempo versions, including video affectation appellation effects. Alike afterwards the 3D options, Pinnacle offers a acceptable best of activated argument options, all of which you can adapt on-screen in WYSIWYG fashion.
Screen Cam. Pinnacle Studio’s screen-cam adequacy is article you’ll additionally acquisition in Corel VideoStudio. The apparatus comes as a abstracted appliance alleged Live Awning Capturing. Pinnacle Studio’s accomplishing formed altogether in my tests.
Sound for your agenda movies is addition able point in Pinnacle Studio. Appropriate from the timeline, you can affectation akin controls, and toolbar ons booty you bound to a alternative of accomplishments music and to voiceover recording. You can alike accession and lower blow aggregate by boring a clip’s audio band up and down, as you can in Final Cut Pro.
The Scorefitter options amplitude accomplishments music of assorted styles to fit your movie. Aloof annoyance its timeline access to fit, and afterwards processing some rendering, presto, burning accomplishments music! The antecedent panel’s Complete Furnishings tab offers a abundance of complete clips, from birdsong to able wind to all address of vehicles. There are additionally audio charwoman accoutrement like the Accent De-esser (to aish sibilance) and a babble reducer.
Audio bath automatically lowers accomplishments music during speech. The apparatus formed able-bodied in a ysis video, with added ascendancy than its VideoStudio counterpart. I begin it attainable to set the beginning for it to bang in and the bulk of abridgement in aggregate of the accomplishments music.
I activated apprehension time by creating a cine consisting of four clips of alloyed types (some 1080p, some SD, some 4K) with a accepted set of transitions and apprehension it to 1080p MPEG-4 at 15Mbps, H.264 High Profile. Audio was MPEG AAC Audio: 192 Kbps. I activated on an Asus Zen AiO Pro Z240IC active 64-bit Windows 10 Home and antic a 4K display, 16GB RAM, a quad-core Intel Core i7-6700T CPU, and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 960M detached cartoon card.
The ysis cine (which has a continuance of aloof beneath 5 minutes) took Pinnacle Studio aloof 1:54 (min:sec) minute and 54 seconds, advancing in aloof abaft PowerDirector’s abrupt 1:29. Both of those calmly outstrip some added contenders I tested: Corel VideoStudio took 4:20 and Adobe Premiere Elements took 5:18.
However, aback appliance some of the program’s added ambitious features, such as time remapping, the affairs abdicate unexpectedly. Fortunately, aback this happened, the affairs offered to let me resume alive on the activity aftermost attainable afterwards I restarted it. Such alternation has continued been an adverse authentication of the circuitous class of video alteration software, but in contempo years it’s bigger on the whole.
The affairs includes a abounding disc-authoring bore with abutment for Blu-ray discs, forth with DVD and AVCHD format. To go this route, you bang the Disc Agenda Agreeable on, which looks like a disc. A acceptable alternative of agenda styles is at your disposal; you add affiliate markers to aftertaste and examination with on-screen disc controls. Afterwards this you accept the Consign to MyDVD option, which appears aback you bang the Consign mode-switching on.
As for the added avant-garde achievement method—sharing online—Pinnacle’s Consign dialog’s Cloud alternative offers absolute uploading to Facebook, Vimeo, YouTube, and Box. Aback I approved the first, I was thankfully able to set the aloofness akin afore uploading, and I had a best of video quality, from 360p to 1080p. Unfortunately, the affairs can’t actualize activated GIFs from your abbreviate movies—something Adobe Premiere Elements does with ease.
You can additionally artlessly consign to deejay in a advanced ambit of book formats, including AVCHD; DivX; MKV; MPEG-1, 2, and 4; QuickTime; and WMV. Presets let you ambition your achievement architecture to accepted examination accessories such as the iPhone and Xbox. Happily, the latest adaptation adds the adeptness to consign to H.265 HEVC (High Efficiency Video Coding) format, which is important for data-hungry 4K and alike 8K content, back it doubles compression while advancement angel quality.
Pinnacle Studio is an accomplished video alteration tool, and the latest adaptation adds a few chic new alteration tools. That said, this adaptation of Pinnacle Studio was aloof ambiguous abundant in testing that I’d admonish accepted users to authority off on advance until Corel updates it. Aftermost year’s adaptation is still affluence able for the time being. The aggregation about releases a .5 amend center through the year, and I’ll amend this ysis aback that happens. The software still impresses with its abounding able video alteration accoutrement (though its motion-tracking could use a little work), and alike added with its apprehension speed. It’s absolutely a near-professional-level product. Its account has improved, admitting it’s still somewhat abaft our Editors’ Choices for video alteration on the PC, CyberLink PowerDirector and Corel VideoStudio. For macOS, our Editors’ Best is Final Cut Pro X.
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