PowerDirector 10 speeds up, adds 3D

CyberLink PowerDirector 10 is a feature-packed video editor that boasts some serious improvements over its previous iteration.

CyberLink PowerDirector 10 is a feature-packed video editor that boasts some serious improvements over its previous iteration. With its revamped TrueVelocity engine and OpenCL support, it makes editing and rendering a bit speedier than before. Plus, it's got built-in 3D support.

As for the basics, PowerDirector can import and handle most of the video file types you would normally come across. You can also use it to easily add text, effects, and transitions; edit audio; capture video; burn discs; and share content online. Plus, it has intuitive, icon-based navigation and ample thumbnails, making it quite easy to zip around its interface.

So what's new? Eye-popping titles, picture-in-picture, particle effects, and time-lapse editing are among the added features. There's also, of course, some incredibly powerful 3D editing, as it can import all types of 3D content, convert from 2D to 3D, and output to virtually any industry-standard 3D format. Plus, the program includes some very nifty 3D menus and effects.

Among the new features, one of our favorites has to be Audio Beat Marker, which can potentially shave hours off of your editing sessions. The Beat Marker analyzes your soundtrack and automatically places markers at what it feels are major beat points, making it much easier to precisely place music-driven transitions and other effects. So, as you can imagine, it makes editing, say, a music video a less tedious process. There's also a single-click audio normalizer for when you're compiling several clips from different audio sources with different audio properties.

Another new feature we enjoy is the Drawing tool. It can record your mouse-drawn gestures and create overlays for use with your footage. Imagine recording your signature, and having it play out to look like graffiti being sprayed on a wall. While it might not be something you'd use every day, it sure is a nifty trick to have in your back pocket.

Finally, one thing that sets PowerDirector apart from its competitors is its integrated user community, DirectorZone. Through DirectorZone, you can download creative new menus, effects, particles, and even tutorials to help enrich your CyberLink experience overall. So if you need to stylize some dream sequence footage, for instance, you can log in and get tips from others who have that kind of knowledge.

While we do love the improvements that PowerDirector 10 brings to the table, we still wish we could squeeze a bit more out of its revamped engines. We felt it was a bit sluggish when launching, and it even lagged a little when we tried to quickly click through and preview all of the video effects. Overall, it's certainly not a slow program, but we did expect it to be a bit zippier.

In spite of its performance blips, we still consider CyberLink PowerDirector 10 a feature-packed video editor that gives you tons of bang for your buck. Whether you're a novice video editor or a more advanced user, it should have the tools you're looking for. And if it doesn't, you can probably find what you're looking for in the built-in treasure trove that is DirectorZone.

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