HyperEngine-AV 1.2.1 review

HyperEngine is as easy to use as Apple's iMovie, but boasts more flexibility, better effects and more professional-looking results

16 Oct 2003
Price when reviewed 
inc VAT

Page 1 of 2HyperEngine-AV 1.2.1 review


Arboretum Systems is best known for its Hyperprism audio effects plug-ins bundle, which is widely used in the US film and broadcast industry.

But with its HyperEngine-AV video editor and compiler, the company is targeting the blossoming consumer video editing market.

On first impression, the HyperEngine-AV environment appears clear and uncluttered - disarmingly so if you're used to working with Premiere or Final Cut Express. HyperEngine-AV sequences your media by mixing the audio and by blending video, stills and text as overlaid transparencies. It can be used to create a range of programme types, from simple slideshows and presentations to more complex movie productions that consist of multi-layered video and up to 12 audio tracks.

A HyperEngine-AV Project consists of the source video - stills, titles, text and other elements - along with the audio content that comprises the soundtrack, such as voiceover, music, background ambience and sound effects.

A wide selection of media file types can be used in your HyperEngine-AV Project, including DV, GIF, JPEG, MPEG-1, MP3, TIFF, PCT, MP4, Photoshop PSD and QuickTime. You can also capture video from your digital video camera via FireWire, and audio can be recorded into HyperEngine-AV using your computer's on-board audio or a third-party audio system. Audio is automatically converted to 44.1kHz, 32-bit files. HyperEngine-AV also supports the DV standard in 4:3 and widescreen 16:9 in both PAL and NTSC formats. Text files can be imported and animation routines can be applied to them to create titles and credits for your movie.

Start your engines

A HyperEngine-AV project, or selected parts of it, with or without effects processing, can be exported to a hard disk or camcorder in NTSC or PAL formats with a choice of video codec. Audio can be exported in a variety of resolutions, sample rates and compression standards, or embedded in the video file. Curiously, export isn't available in either the Windows .AVI video format or MP3.

The Workspace is the main HyperEngine-AV window, and the media elements used in a Project are displayed as clips or container objects. Media files can be dragged and dropped from the Finder into the Project window where they become HyperEngine-AV Clips.

Clips are positioned in place relative to the HyperEngine-AV timeline and may be locked in position to prevent you accidentally moving them. Adding effects or processing automatically creates an orange HyperEngine-AV Container that consists of the Clip itself and its effect parameter settings. Groups of Clips are displayed as green Containers and it's also possible to nest Containers. Text objects can be created and used to display titles, credits, song lyrics and so on prior to their being superimposed over video, scrolled or keyed against your movie's background.

The HyperEngine-AV Workspace includes position and locator Markers that appear as coloured vertical lines. The Start and End locators define the HyperEngine-AV cycle functions and can also be used as snap points to position Clips and Containers. The transport, project overview and navigation, video viewer, and audio mixer panes take the form of floating palettes, and their position in the Workspace is saved with your project.

HyperEngine-AV contains a good selection of audio and video editing tools, including an excellent reverb. Video and audio clips can be edited for length, cropped, trimmed, merged, split, duplicated and time-stretched. When video clips are overlapped in the Workspace HyperEngine-AV automatically creates a dissolve and provides a choice of transitions, compositors or wipes. HyperEngine-AV also includes QuickTime video effects, but although these are useful, they're somewhat limited.

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