We were wondering what would happen to VideoStudio Pro following the recent release of Corel's low-cost Digital Studio suite. But VideoStudio Pro is still going strong - in fact this new X3 version even comes bundled with a copy of the separate VideoStudio Express program, taken from Digital Studio to provide an ‘easy edit' option for those simple tasks like trimming clips or adjusting lighting.
Changes in Corel VideoStudio Pro X3 go a lot deeper than that, though. Under the bonnet, the program has been updated to provide support for quad-core processors such as Intel's Core i7. It can also use your PC's graphics processor (GPU) to speed up a number of transition and special effects.
This GPU support will work with most recent graphics processors, but the program has also been specifically optimised to work with nVidia graphics cards that use nVidia's CUDA technology.
We ran the program on Windows PCs that had both ATI and nVidia graphics cards and both PCs were able to apply effects such as mosaics, swirls and ripples smoothly and quickly and with no additional rendering or processing time. That's pretty impressive, given that both machines were relatively modest mid-range models.
The program's interface has been tidied up too. The long series of tabs and tools that used to run across the top of the main program window has now been reduced to just three tabs - labelled ‘Capture', ‘Edit', and ‘Share' - and all the additional tools you need are now folded into those three tabs.
So, if you click the ‘Edit' tab, the program switches into editing mode and the various transitions, effects and other editing tools are now organised into separate groups within the Library palette for easy access
On the editing side of things there's a new set of ‘Corel FX' filter effects, which include those accelerated swirls and mosaics we mentioned earlier, along with a rather nice ‘Sketch' effect that makes video clips look like hand-drawn animated artwork.
There's also a powerful new tool for creating picture-in-picture effects, although using this is a rather long-winded affair that requires a long list of options to be ticked and selected along the way, so Corel could make this process a bit more straightforward. A decent manual wouldn't go amiss.
New features aside, it’s the improved performance of VideoStudio Pro X3 that really makes it worth buying, as the ability to apply complex transitions and special effects in realtime makes the editing process feel smoother and more responsive, and really encourages you to experiment and explore the creative power in the program.