Video Editing Software

Pinnacle Studio 11 Ultimate

by Mark Richards

f you are looking for a powerful, full featured and relatively easy to master video editing program, you should take a look at the Pinnacle Studio family and especially the most recent entrant, Pinnacle Studio Ultimate 11. Regardless of what format you shoot in, or how you plan on sharing and distributing your finished videos, Studio 11 has an answer.

Designed for computers running the various flavors of Microsoft Windows XP or Vista, not only can Pinnacle 11 edit most common formats and types of video, it will also enable you to edit high definition including the new HDV and AVCHD formats. You can capture, trim, color correct and edit HD and then burn it to a DVD for sharing. The current version only supports HD DVD but they will be supporting Blu Ray in the near future.

Even cooler, you can cut together various different formats of “standard” video and still images and then “upsample” it to HD. It won’t look as good as shooting HD to start with, but it will look better when played back on a high res TV set.

The program now offers an import tool to bring in video and still images over USB. This is a big deal if you plan on editing video from a camcorder that records to a hard drive, flash card or DVD. Another big deal is the fact that you can now directly import video from a DVD as long as it is not copy protected. You no longer have to convert the DVD VOB files to MPEG files or other formats for editing. Pinnacle does it for you.

Studio 11 Ultimate also provides additional sophisticated editing capabilities such as HiFi music, audio cleaning and filtering, surround sound, sophisticated video cleaning and correction, fast and slow motion – both forward and in reverse, and a whole bevy of cool effects and transitions. You can do picture in picture, chromakey, green screen, etc. For the actual editing process, you can work with the easy to use scene format or the more sophisticated timeline. If you are in a hurry, you can use the SmartMovie mode to “automatically” edit your videos.

During the editing process, you can toggle back and forth between modes. Many prefer to rough assemble the video production using a screenplay mode and then to fine tune it using a the time line display. Also, you get audio scrubbing that enables you to hear the audio while searching for precise edit spot. You need this for editing dialogue scenes.

Pinnacle has added new “professional” audio and video creation and editing tools that are quite impressive and can add a whole new look and feel to your video projects.

In addition to using you favorite soundtracks and songs, you can now automatically create a unique soundtrack by using the new Scorefitter audio generator

The Scorefitter application uses 48k midi files rather than set tracks, which enables more track choices, longer tracks, complete variation, more variation choices, better accuracy, and higher fidelity– all for a better end result.

Note: Use of the SmartSound program is still available for Studio 10 users. Click Here for more information.

By using proDAD VitaScene, you can now add very a bunch of cool looking video effects, wipes, transitions and test effects. You can preview the VitaScene effects at

The new StageTools MovingPicture is a sophisticated tool for advanced pan and zoom within still images – often called the Ken Burns effect.

BIAS SoundSoap audio cleaning helps make your finished movies sound much more professional by enabling you to filter out hissing, rumbles, popping and bad audio.

When you are done editing, you can author and burn DVDs or HD DVD format discs, complete with multiple menus and animated backgrounds. You can also output your videos for playback on a Sony PSP, Apple iPod, DivX certified players, and more. The new upload feature enables you to easily share your creations publicly or privately with family and friends.

If you want to import, edit and burn HD video, you need to have a powerful computer running Windows XP or Vista. It needs to be loaded with RAM (at least a meg and hopefully 2 megs) and should be running a 2 GHz or better processor. Plus you will need a video card with at least 256 MB of RAM.

Minimum System Requirements

  • Windows® XP with SP2 or Windows Vista™ operating system (32 bit Windows Vista recommended)

  • Intel® Pentium® or AMD® Athlon® 1.8 GHz or higher (2.4 GHz recommended) – Intel® Pentium® HT or AMD® Athlon® 2.4 GHz or 1.6 GHz Dual core required for Windows Vista
    Intel® Core™2 Duo 2.4 GHz or higher required for AVCHD editing

  • 512 MB RAM (1 GB recommended) – 1 GB required for HD and/or Windows Vista (2 GB recommended)
    1.5 GB required for AVCHD (2 GB required on Windows Vista)

  • DirectX® 9 or higher compatible graphics card with 64 MB (128 MB recommended) – 128 MB required on Windows Vista (256 MB ATI® Radeon®9600+ or NVIDIA® GeForce™ 6 or higher recommended)
    256 MB required for HD and AVCHD editing (ATI® Radeon®9600+ or NVIDIA® GeForce™ 6 or higher recommended)

  • DirectX 9 or higher compatible sound card

  • 1 GB of disk space to install software and 3+ GB to install bonus content

  • DVD-ROM drive to install software

  • Optional:

    • CD burner for creating Video CDs or Super Video CDs (S-VCDs)

    • DVD burner for creating DVDs and HD DVD discs*

    • Sound card with surround sound output required for preview of surround sound mixes**

Capture Options

  • Capture from DV, HDV and Digital8 camcorders or VCRs (requires a FireWire® port on your PC)

  • Capture from analog camcorders, 8 MM, HI 8, VHS, SVHS, VHS-C, SVHS-C, or VCRs (NTSC/PAL/SECAM). Requires DirectShow® compatible graphic board or TV tuner board with analog (Composite or S-Video) inputs on your PC

  • Import from AVCHD* camcorders (requires USB 2.0 on your PC and a UDF driver which comes with your camcorder)

Output Options

  • Output to DV, HDV or Digital8 tape (requires camcorder with DV Input port and a PC with a DV/FireWire port)

  • Output to analog videotape (requires DirectShow® compatible video device or video card with TV-output)

  • Output to Apple® iPod® and Sony® PSP™ formats*

Studio 11.0 and higher can import the following video file formats with the allowable extensions for each format noted in parenthesis:

  • AVI File – (.avi)

  • MPEG Files – MPEG-1, MPEG-2 SD & HD, and MPEG-4 – (.mpg, .mpeg, .mod, .mp2, .mp4, .m2ts, .mts, .m1v, m2v. mpv) – HD file import requires Studio Plus or Ultimate Version 11

  • WMV Files – (.wmv)

  • DIVX – (.avi)

  • MOD (JVC Everio cameras) – (.mod)

  • 3GPP Files – (.3gp)

  • AVCHD – (.m2ts, .mts) – Requires Studio Plus or Ultimate Version 11.

Note: Studio 11 does not support DVR-MS Files.

Import Formats

  • Video: AVCHD*, DV, HDV, AVI, MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MOD, DivX®*, MPEG-4*, 3GP (MPEG-4)*, WMV, Non-encrypted DVD titles*

  • Audio: WAV, MP3

  • Graphic: BMP, JPG, PCT, TGA, TIF, WMF

Export Formats

  • Video CD (VCD) or S-VCD with optional CD burner (CD-R or CD-RW)

  • HD DVD* and DVD* disc with optional DVD burner (DVD-R, DVD-RW, DVD+R or DVD+RW, dual layer)

  • Apple® iPod® and Sony® PSP™ compatible (MPEG-4) formats*

  • DV, HDV, AVI, DivX, RealVideo® 8, Windows Media® 9, MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4* files

  • Dolby® Digital 2 channel* and 5.1 channel** audio

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