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Roxio Creator 2011 review

Roxio Creator 2011
Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £44.99
inc VAT

Roxio's all-encompassing media suite sticks a 3D feather in its cap, but there’s little to lift it above the competition

Roxio Creator 2011 is a media suite that lets you edit and publish photos, videos and music. The main new addition to this version is the ability to create, edit and publish photos and videos in 3D.

Video work is handled by VideoWave and MyDVD. VideoWave is a video editing tool that lets you arrange clips along a time line, add a musical score, transitions, effects and captions. It’s easy to use and there is a good selection of transitions and effects to perk up your composition. VideoWave can create both 2D and 3D movies from conventional 2D footage, and can also accept raw 3D input either direct from a 3D camera or from your hard disk. Even without 3D input you can still create 3D projects – 2D inputs can be converted to three dimensions upon import, with surprisingly respectable results. Aside from 3D capabilities, VideoWave also lets you upload directly to YouTube and Facebook, allowing you to quickly share your videos.

MyDVD takes your final cut, either from VideoWave or directly from a source, and arranges it for final production and burning. This includes adding and, optionally, customising one of the broad selection of stylish DVD menus. Although menus and title screens can’t be added to 3D compositions, you can add chapters, which can then be navigated in the usual way. It’s possible to write both normal and high-definition video to DVD, but only the Pro version allows you to author Blu-ray discs.

Being a media suite, Creator also includes photo management and editing applications. Again, the 3D theme runs strong with a tool to help you construct 3D photos. Ideally, it takes a ‘left’ photo and a ‘right’ photo, and combines them to produce a 3D version. Most people, however, will not have had the foresight to take two slightly different pictures of each scene they shoot, so it’s handy that you can also produce 3D photos from a single image. Again, although not flawless, the results are pretty convincing. There are also some useful tools for creating slideshows and panoramas, although the main photo-editing tool, while sufficient for basic editing and correcting jobs, could do with a revamp.

In order to appreciate your 3D creations, however, viewers will need to don some 3D glasses, without which video and photos are blurred and essentially unwatchable. The box contains a pair of red/cyan 3D glasses, but this won’t help a wider audience. The fact this type of 3D implementation relies on colour differentiation inevitably plays havoc with colour balance, so where possible you should shoot some test footage to be sure that your final product won’t look like a psychedelic horror. In addition, 3D footage viewed through on filtered lenses – be they coloured or polarised – leads to a dimmer viewing experience, so scenes should be well lit.

Of course, there are still signs of Roxio’s disc burning origins, and a host of audio disc utilities allow you to rip and burn CDs and DVDs as well as create audio books. The learning centre is an excellent addition, freeing useful information from the Help menu and presenting it in clear and concise video tutorials and PDF documents.

The Pro version costs £70 and, in addition to enabling you to burn Blu-ray discs, adds four extra applications to the pot. Smartsound Sonic FirePro is a mood mapping orchestration tool for delivering customised audio tracks to your production, while BackOnTrack is a basic but effective backup application. BIAS SoundSoap cleans noise from existing audio tracks and Secure Burn lets you drag and drop files to create and burn encrypted discs from you desktop. Unfortunately Roxio no longer includes LightZone, an excellent photo editing tool, in Creator 2011 Pro. Creator 2011 is a competent all rounder. The addition of 3D photo and video capabilities will be a game changer for some, but if that doesn’t pique your interest there is little to lift Creator 2011 above the competition.



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