has rolled out their latest Studio Ultimate version 11 designed to capture,
edit and create impressive video and DVD authoring in a single package. Pinnacle
Studio Ultimate takes advantage of the latest in technology including high
definition (HDV & AVCHD), Windows Vista, Web Publishing and more. A variety
of fully-integrated pro audio and video tools give the user complete control over
the quality and style of their video content. The
company offers three variations of the Studio product based on the user's
need. Studio version 11 ($49), Studio Plus version 11 ($99) and Studio
Ultimate version 11 ($129) each provide the user with varying levels of sophistication
for producing spectacular video. Studio version 11 is fully compatible with
Microsoft's Windows Vista operating system. The basic version supports a
large number of standard features and will satisfy the vast majority of users.
The Studio Plus version adds some additional features including HDV & AVCHD
native editing with HD DVD and Blu-ray output compatibility, picture-in-picture
(PIP) and Chromakey effects, and Keyframeable effects. If you move up to the Studio
Ultimate version, you will also get Dolby 5.1 Encoding, Powerful
Film looks and FXs, Advanced
Sound Cleaning, Precision
Pan & Zoom (Ken Burns), and Green screen capability. The Powerful Film
looks and special effects comes from proDAD© VitaScene with tools to add
high quality effects such as rays, blurs and more that really give your movies
a professional look. Advanced Sound Cleaning is made possible with the BIAS SoundSoap
Pinnacle Edition with audio noise cleaning tools and complete Dolby® Digital
5.1 audio encoding. Finally, precision pan and zoom effects are handled by StageTools
MovingPicture where the software lets you use the same tool the professionals
use to create precision pans and zooms. This review will cover the Studio
Ultimate version 11, which has the most features available in the Studio
We installed Studio Ultimate on our Sony Vaio VGC-RB34G (3.2GHz, 512 MB
RAM) desktop machine as a test platform. This PC is not the fastest, yet provided
us with enough processing and hard drive storage to create impressive videos.
This PC also has a dual layer (DVD+R DL) recordable drive used to create our test
the Studio software is installed it requires the user to enter several activation
codes for enabling different features such as Dolby 2CH/5.1 Encoding/Decoding,
MPEG-4 Encoding/Decoding and Dream Glow RTFx. Several premium options are also
available at an additional cost.
Studio 11 has a new user interface that is scalable, making
it perfect for working on widescreen monitors or optimizing the window sizes to
get the tools you need. The basic features are not all that different from previous
versions, so the learning curve is minimal for experienced users. Pinnacle has
also improved the speed and performance in many areas with version 11. The software
now installs faster and exports files of any type at twice the speeds of previous
versions. However, results may vary depending on the machine being used.
Something relatively new to many editing tools is the AVCHD (Advanced
Video Codec High Definition) format developed by Panasonic and Sony for use in
their consumer-based HD camcorders. This format supports both 1080i and 720p and
is more space efficient (twice) than the MPEG-2/MPEG-4 formats making it possible
to store more content on recordable media. Pinnacle Studio Plus and Ultimate
users can now import and edit their HD content using the latest AVCHD format (projected
to become the primary HDV format for Camcorder leaders like Panasonic and Sony).
This is an important feature since many other camcorders may begin to use this
format. HDV editing is also fully supported from other high definition camcorders
such as our Sony HDR-HC1.
11 offers advanced editing features, special effects, and integrated DVD authoring,
all within their intuitive user interface. The picture-in-picture feature gives
the user several options and includes 3-D shadowing effects. The PIP position
and size can be changed with simple mouse strokes. Users also have access to HD
editing, custom key frames, Surround Sound editing, graphic overlays, scrolling
titles, Picture-in-Picture or ChromaKey (green screen) for the ultimate in creating
backgrounds without having to be on site.
you ever wanted to create a background on a person or object for a cool visual
effect? Well Studio Ultimate version 11 makes this all possible with the Green
Screen backdrop included with the software. Now it is possible for users can
create professional looking ChromaKey effects with full adjustments to optimize
the performance of the setup. Proper lighting is important so that the software
will recognize the unique background color and replace it with any background
the user chooses. Controls are provided for Video Transparency, Tolerance,
Minimum Saturation, Softness and Spill Suppression. Choosing
the optimal color for detecting the green drop is selectable by the software using
the color chart. This allows for the color differences found in different video
cameras that are used to capture the picture.
Creating videos for the web has never been easier than with
the latest Studio 11. As more people begin to place their video content
on the web, Pinnacle Studio makes publishing it virtually automatic using Yahoo!
Videos. Other file formats are also supported for the web and portable media players.
Creating different file formats is easy and there are many file types to choose
from. AVI, DivX, Apple iPod, MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, Real Media, Sony PSP and
Windows media are available options. Each of the file formats has additional options
for optimizing picture quality or minimizing file size.
As mentioned, Pinnacle offers a complete HD workflow with HD
DVD format authoring on standard DVD media. This provides a way to capture high
resolution content and store the media on inexpensive, readily available recordable
DVDs. Studio supports native HDV or AVCHD content and can authors HD DVD format
discs that will play on the latest HD-DVD players. Video will be up-sampled
to HD resolution when mixing content that includes both standard and high definition
video as well as photos. The workflow shows the user a timeline that includes
video, audio, text, and music
the content is created, the user has the option to choose the media type, which
includes AVCHD (Blu-ray), HD-DVD, DVD, S-VCD, and VCD. The content can then be
targeted for disc, file, tape or the web.
Our version of the Studio Ultimate 11 came with version 11.1. This update
is also available for download from the Pinnacle
website for those who need it for the initial version 11 release. We have to admit
we anticipated computer crashes during our review period, but never encountered
any. The stability of this new version put a smile on our face especially as we
began to work with high definition content from our HDR-HC1 camcorder. Editing
HD content was just as easy using the workflow environment.
were fortunate to have both HD-DVD and Blu-ray in our arsenal of products for
review. This came in handy during our tests as we wanted to see just how good
the high definition content looked when we created it. We used our Sony HDR-HC1
HD camcorder to capture video in 1080i. Using a standard 4-pin IEEE-1394 cable,
data was transferred from the camera with full control of the playback functions.
In the end, we were able to create professional looking DVDs, HD DVDs, and AVCHD
discs for Blu-ray players.
definition content can also be recorded onto standard DVD discs and used in both
HD-DVD and Blu-ray players. I didn't realize this was actually possible until
I ran some tests and lo and behold I was watching my HD content using both my
Toshiba DV-A1 and Sony PS3 players.
Pinnacle Studio Ultimate version 11 is a comprehensive video editing
software package that can create professional results at a low cost. Justifying
the price difference between the Standard version and the Ultimate
is easy if you are serious about the video content you are creating. At a minimum,
we would recommend getting the Plus version which supports HDV & AVCHD native
editing for Blu-ray and HD-DVD discs. The best part is Studio is still easy to
use and allows users to spice up their video content with professional looking
menus, titles, transitions, and music, all while offering full support of mixed
visual content targeted for specific media that the user chooses. For us, the
Blu-ray and HD-DVD support allowed us to capture, edit and render high-definition
video content that could be played back on our PlayStation 3 and Toshiba HD-DVD
player respectively. Video was projected onto a 100" Stewart filmscreen using
a Mitsubishi HC5000 1080p projector. The video quality was absolutely amazing
and for the first time allowed us to create and view our own creations on a high-end
audio and video system. This product brings a whole new level of performance available
to consumers for their home entertainment systems. We highly recommend Pinnacle's
Studio Ultimate version 11 to anyone looking to create high quality video content
and if you
are a previous Studio user, you will love this new release.