A simplified yet versatile video-editing experience is the foundation of Cyberlink’s PowerDirector Deluxe 14. It earned the Top Ten Reviews Gold Award in our evaluation of the best video editing software because it strikes the delicate balance between delivering powerful video-editing tools and creating an interface that caters to both casual and advanced users. It does so by including fully functional professional tools and making them accessible to editors of any skill level.
The Full Feature Editor contains the classic timeline and storyboard editing modes with all the granular control that advanced users need to achieve the results they want. It also has easy-to-use Express Projects that walk those new to editing through the process via a series of preprogrammed video templates. This helps newer users learn how to use the Full Feature Editor to its full potential.
PowerDirector isn’t just video editing software: It’s a miniature post-production studio that handles everything from when the film comes off your camera to the moment your finished video is published online or burned to a disc. This program gives you a lot of options to share your videos on social networks, video-sharing sites and even to export them specifically for mobile devices like smartphones and tablets.
This is the entry-level program in the PowerDirector line, which makes it great for beginners, casual users and hobbyists. If you advance beyond that point or want more advanced features like content-aware editing and an action cam center, you can upgrade to the Ultra and Ultimate versions of the software.
There are two main ways to edit your video projects using PowerDirector: You can choose Express Project or Full Feature Editor. When you choose Express Project, you’ll find a library of preprogrammed video templates to choose from. PowerDirector walks you through the steps of sorting your footage, choosing the best shots for your video, and it lets you experiment with what footage goes where in the template. This is important for two reasons: First, it allows beginner and novice users the opportunity to complete a project without being intimidated by the complexity of the software. And, second, it does so in a way that teaches the user to use the tools in the Full Feature Editor, making the jump that much easier.
The Full Feature Editor is where you find all the tools an editor needs to transform the footage on their cameras to finished videos. The classic timeline/storyboard workflow offers you the ability to build your video project in broad strokes using storyboard or in taking control of every aspect of the video using the tools available in the timeline. And you don’t have to edit in one mode exclusively. PowerDirector makes it very easy to use the timeline and the storyboard feature in tandem, further educating the newer user without compromising the power of the tools they’re using.
As for the tools themselves, this video editor has everything we look for in consumer-level video editing software. The ability to trim clips, arrange them on the timeline, manipulate the picture, add effects and insert transitions are all present, excellent and are easily used once they’re understood. There’s a library of over 500 effects and transitions to choose from.
Advanced options include the ability to stabilize shaky video footage, sync audio and video captured on separate devices, and design advanced titles for your video project. Nearly every tool that professional video editors use to make movies and TV shows is present in PowerDirector. Even at the entry level, you get more than enough tools to create a video that looks like it could have been made in a movie studio. You may never edit a full-length feature film with it, but you could.
The great thing about this video editing software is that it can be used by anyone, regardless of their computer or video-editing skills. If someone can install and launch the program, all they need to do is follow the learning path created by Cyberlink in the form of Express Projects. More advanced users can bypass the training wheels and find the tools they're already familiar with are present, powerful and intuitive.
Editing is only part of the story with PowerDirector. Once your video is finished, you need to get it in front of an audience. This could be your friends and family through social media, sharing your video with the whole world using video-sharing sites like YouTube, or burning a disc that you can give to whomever you wish. PowerDirector has robust solutions for all of these sharing options.
The most basic way to produce a finished project is to export it as a video file. You can then use this file as a master copy of your video and keep it for archiving purposes. But you can also manually upload that file to various internet sites where it can be seen and shared. However, you can skip exporting and upload your finished project directly to YouTube, Facebook, Dailymotion and other sharing sites from within the program’s interface. It allows you to input all the necessary information – metadata, descriptions, keywords – needed to optimize your video so as many people see it as possible.
There are times that you won’t want to share your video with the entire world. Burning a disc of your video is an excellent way to finish and personalize your creation. PowerDirector comes with several menu-creation templates, but it also allows you to build custom menus of your own. You also have the ability to add chapters to your videos and features, such as subtitles for the hearing impaired. You can create a disc for any purpose, whether it be as a gift for family, a screener for an independent film or a professional presentation for colleagues; PowerDirector allows you to make a disc to suit your individual needs.
As easy as Cyberlink makes this product, there will be times that you need help. To that end, the company established DirectorZone; a community of videographers, filmmakers and aspiring editors. This allows aspiring users to connect with, collaborate and learn with other video-makers. The DirectorZone is the perfect resource for editors of all skill levels.
Cyberlink also offers a full array of support options. You can get your questions answered by posting in one of their forums, submitting an email support ticket or watching their free tutorials on their website or YouTube channel.
PowerDirector topped our review of the best video editing software, because it’s easy to use for beginners, casual users and seasoned editors alike. It provides all the tools you need to transform the footage on your camera into a polished video that you can share with family and friends easily. This program is designed to help you learn video editing without compromising the power of the tools it offers.
This program helps users learn the basics of video editing without sacrificing the needs of more advanced users.
There is no Mac version of this software. Apple customers would be well served by having an alternative to iMovie.
PowerDirector Deluxe is an ideal program for beginners and casual users who want the power of a full-featured editor with the ease of an entry-level program.