PowerDirector 13 Deluxe is the entry-level option in Cyberlink’s line of video editing software. It earns the Top Ten Reviews Gold Award in this category because it effectively strikes the balance between usability and functionality. It includes professional-level tools and makes them accessible to the novice user and hobbyist.
This video editing software features more than 100 editing tools. All the basics such as the timeline, transitions, effects and more are all there. It also comes with some advanced tools such as keyframing and chromakey (green screen) that make a video editing application truly useful. However, what makes PowerDirector stand out in our review of the best video editing software is how these tools come together to form a workflow that enables you to complete your project efficiently and produce the results you want.
The Deluxe version of PowerDirector is the lowest rung in the PowerDirector family. If you need more power and editing tools, Cyberlink also offers the Ultra and Ultimate versions of the software that have pro-level tools such as multicam compatibility and advanced content-aware editing.
PowerDirector has two main editing modules, one of which is the Easy Editor. As its name suggests, this mode is designed for beginning video editors. Easy Editor simplifies the editing process to its most basic elements and walks you through a wizard that will produce a finished video in minutes rather than hours. The Easy Editor is a great place to create quick videos that don’t require intricate tinkering or sophisticated enhancements.
The Full Feature Editor is where you’ll find the traditional timeline-based editor. For skilled users, this is where all the magic happens. The workflow of the timeline takes cues from professional video editing software in how you import media, organize and manage it then place it on the timeline. The best part of the Full Feature Editor is how customizable it is. You can tailor your workspace to fit your editing style and workflow.
There is a third editing mode found in PowerDirector – the Slideshow Creator. This tool creates a video slideshow from images on your computer. All you have to do is select the images you want included and PowerDirector makes a beautiful video for you to share with your family and friends. This is great for things like vacation and wedding photo albums.
There are two editing modes in the full feature editor – timeline and storyboard. Timeline view shows all your clips and elements in linear fashion based on how long they are, whereas the storyboard gives each element its own equal space regardless of how long they run. You can switch between these two views with your edits in tact at any time during the editing process. This is great for users of all skill levels because it makes the workflow as simple or as granular as you need.
The application comes loaded with more than 100 video editing tools. All the basics such as trimming, cropping, audio mixing and stabilizers are all present, easy to use and powerful. It also features advanced tools such as keyframing and chromakey and audio editing tools that enable you to transform simple footage into something that will entertain an audience.
An essential feature in any video editing application is a sizable library of transitions, effects and other enhancements. PowerDirector delivers on this with a combined total of more than 500 effects, transitions, titles and other objects. The software does a great job of organizing objects into their respective “rooms.” For example, if you need to place a transition between two clips, all you need to do is click on the Transition Room tab and select the transition you want from the library and place it on the timeline or storyboard.
This software is also available on smartphones and tablets. You can download the PowerDirector Mobile application for Android and Windows mobile devices. While it doesn’t have everything the desktop version has, it enables you to create video projects on a smartphone or tablet with ease and precision. Unfortunately, there isn't a version for iOS or Mac.
When you’re finished creating your video, PowerDirector gives you a lot of options to get in front of an audience’s eyeballs. The most basic way to do this is to export your project into a video file that you can play on a computer. The application supports popular formats such as AVI, MPEG, Windows Media and QuickTime. It also provides several different profiles for each file type, each with different export values for characteristics of your project such as resolution, aspect ratio and frame rate so you can get exactly what you need.
PowerDirector also allows you to upload your finished projects to online sharing sites such as YouTube, Vimeo and Dailymotion from within the application. This is nice because it bypasses the steps of exporting the file then manually uploading it online through a browser. Plus, it makes a file that’s specifically tailored for whichever service you choose.
You also have the ability to burn your videos to DVD with this software. The burned discs will work on most any player with an optical drive. The Ultra and Ultimate versions also give you the ability to burn Blu-ray discs.
No matter how easy Cyberlink makes this video editing software, there are times when you’re going to need some instruction. Cyberlink provides a wealth of free resources in the form of instructional videos on its YouTube channel. This channel has more than 16,000 videos that cover all the company's applications.
Another great resource is Cyberlink’s collaborative community called “DirectorZone.”When you sign up for DirectorZone you have access to other filmmakers in that network. This is a great resource, not only for learning but also for sharing and networking.
As far as consumer-level video editing software goes, it doesn’t get better than Cyberlink PowerDirector. While lesser applications have removed functionality and continue to water down advanced features in the name of usability, PowerDirector has added tools and increased versatility and usefulness. Aspects of the application, such as keyframing, chromakey and the general workflow, continue to improve with each new version. And it does so without making it inaccessible to novices and hobbyists. That’s what makes it the best video editing software we reviewed.
PowerDirector makes pro-level tools accessible to novice users and hobbyists.
The software isn't available on Apple products.
This is a professional-level application packaged into consumer software that can be used by anyone who wants to create.