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Cyberlink PowerDirector 10 Ultra review

  • PowerDirector Skew
  • PowerDirector Painting
  • PowerDirector 3D Text

Verdict:

Some great new features including the best 3D editing to date, but Cyberlink needs to address some basic problems to take PowerDirector to the next level

Review Date: 25 Oct 2011

Price when reviewed: £49

Supplier: http://www.amazon.co.uk

Reviewed By: Ben Pitt

Our Rating 4 stars out of 5

Cyberlink'sPowerDirector 9 was a seriously impressive update, unleashing a massive performance boost and some powerful editing tools while maintaining lots of fun features to entice casual users. Version 10 is more of the same, with even faster performance plus new features for both casual and advanced users.

Preview performance is better than ever. Setting the preview resolution to 640x360, it managed 10 simultaneous AVCHD streams on our test PC – a stunning achievement. Meanwhile, Open CL support delivered impressive hardware acceleration of certain effects, both for preview and render. The competition is catching up, but PowerDirector is still the fastest consumer editor around for preview performance.

PowerDirector Skew
Resizing, positioning, skewing and animating of photos and video clips takes place directly in the preview window

Version 10 also adds 3D support. We had no problems importing 3D footage, and export to YouTube in 3D was handled effortlessly by the software. It can also burn discs in the official Blu-ray 3D format, although we didn't have a chance to test this feature. There's plenty of scope to edit in 3D too, with stereoscopic offset controls for 3D footage plus 3D transitions, text and picture-in-picture overlays. It's even possible to up-convert 2D footage to 3D. This effect has its limitations – it's a bit like virtual surround from stereo speakers compared to full 5.1 surround sound – but it's a great way to experiment with 3D without the expense of a 3D camera.

PowerDirector 3D Text
2D-to-3D upscaling and plenty of 3D text and overlay options mean you don't need a 3D camera to produce 3D videos

Doing so wasn't always easy, though. PowerDirector makes the common mistake of presenting 3D shifts as plus and minus values – we kept forgetting whether plus meant nearer or further, and felt our sanity slowly seeping away as we stared at the screen trying to make sense of the 3D world we were attempting to create.

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