Friday, September 14, 2012

Pinnacle Studio 16 Ultimate First Impressions

1. We're running Studio 16 Ultimate on a Vista 32 bit laptop with a good video card (Nvidia 8600M GT). We set the playback optimization slider to 25 (in the control panel under preview) and effects and transitions are quickly rendered in the background for smooth playback while editing. We also have the preview quality set to "fastest playback".

2. The ability to add custom collections in the library is awesome. We made a custom collection "favorite transitions" and put all of the transitions used the most in that collection. Now we can easily get to those through the library without having to scroll through ALL of the transitions.

3. For some reason if we run Studio 16 as "administrator" we see an marked increase in performance. Not sure why, but it's definitely noticeable.

4. In the control panel under storage locations, there is a button all the way at the bottom to "delete render files" and IT ACTUALLY WORKS! It actually deletes the render files!

5. The included video tutorials are excellent.

6. We like the feature that can toggle on/off transitions length using the dynamic button (to the left of the magnet). We have transitions length set to 1 second so when we drag transitions between clips it stops at the set length. When we want a longer transition, all we have to do is click the dynamic button, insert a transition to a length that we want, and can click the dynamic button back again so future transitions are at our set length.

7. LOVE the storyboard track and the checkmarks that show which items from the library are in a project.

8. The jog shuttle is excellent. If you move it just slightly to the left or right, you can move very slowly through the footage.

9. When you double click on a video source file, you can click on "transition in" or "transition out", choose your transition from that screen, move the white slider to increase the length of the transition and watch the transition into or out of your clip right on that screen. Nice.

10. When you double click on a photo or video and choose "corrections", there are tons choices to make adjustments (such as removing red eye), and these corrections are saved only in the project (so the original file is not affected).

11. You can change the aspect ratio of the project at ANY time and the timeline will re-render to the new ratio. Awesome.

12. When you hover over many of the buttons, you get a tooltip box where in most cases you can watch a video of the feature you're trying to use. Very, very helpful.

13. You can customize the toolbar to hide any features that you normally don't use. Makes for less clutter, and you can always add them back later.

14. The installation process takes longer than other versions, but you don't have to add all of those activation keys during the install. All of the Ultimate features are already activated during the installation. Since we already have Studio 15 and Avid Studio on this laptop, Studio 16 also entered the previous activation keys from those programs into Studio 16.

One feature that we would like to see is that when using the storyboard above the timeline, it would be SO handy to be able to drop transitions between source clips/photos right on the storyboard.

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