Pro 7 is Ulead's latest complete, professional digital video post production suite,
offering a powerful set of six integrated modules for Video Capture, Video Editing,
Audio Editing, CG Graphics, Video Painting, and DVD authoring. Each of the applications
included with MediaStudio Pro 7 is designed to maximize the potential of the final
product and when combined, create professional looking results. This comprehensive
digital studio encompasses CG effects, rotoscope animation, and other impressive
filters and effects. The software is designed around a scalable architecture that
takes full advantage of Pentium 4, hyper-threading technology and high-performance
dual processor systems. Targeting both professionals and video enthusiasts alike,
MediaStudio Pro 7 is priced at $499 (available for $299 for a limited time) and
can be purchased through the Ulead website.
MediaStudio Pro 7 offers real-time native DV, MPEG-1, MPEG-2 and Windows Media
format capabilities directly through the IEEE1394 interface. Support for the increasingly
popular 16:9 widescreen format along with Dolby AC-3 stereo encoding is fully
Definition Camcorder Support
Ulead offers their optional ($299) HD Plug-in
2.0 that supports the Sony HVR-Z1, HDR-FX1 and HVR-M10N as well as the JVC GR-HD1,
JY-HD10U, GR-PD1 and GR-PD1EK. Due to the high-speed processing requirements,
Ulead recommends using a 3 GHz Pentium 4 with 1GB of DDR RAM with Microsoft®
Windows® XP SP2. Since we lacked an HD camera, we didn't get a chance to exercise
some of this functionality. However, it appeared to be seamlessly integrated into
the base software once installed. High definition transport streams can be edited
and combined with other video and can take advantage of Uleads SmartRender
technology to provide faster editing and rendering on high-perofrmance and dual
processor machines. Furthermore, Ulead says it offers the same powerful editing
and titling features, real-time audio mixing tools, library filters, motion paths
and transition effects for HDV Video.
400+ page User's Guide is well organized and covers all aspects of the software
modules in great detail. The Tutorial section specifically covers the Video
Capture, Video Editor, Video Paint and CG Infinity applications.
Video Capture module is designed to import video directly from a camcorder or
other capture device. The user must select the current input device in the Device
Control and the type of capture desired using the Capture Plug-in dialog
box. We used our five year old JVC GR-DVL9500U mini-DV camcorder to stream digital
content to our laptop via a IEEE1394 cable. The software was able to immediately
recognized the camera streaming audio and video without a problem. The Audio
Format button on the standard toolbar was used to define the quality of the
audio being recorded. Users can select from radio quality (22 kbit/s, 8-bit mono)
to high quality (44.1 kHz, 16-bit stereo) audio depending on the final product
MPEG capturing is possible using the DSW MPEG plug-in, which writes the MPEG data
to a file when connected to DV source. Direct WMV (Windows Media Video) capturing
is also possible with DV or analog sources using the Windows Media Format Capture
plug-in. The lower section of the window has standard camera controls (i.e. Stop,
Play, Record, etc.) that can be used to control devices connected to the IEEE1394
interface. Once a device is connected, the user can navigate through the DV tape
using these buttons.
included is a Vectorscope and Waveform monitor used for video monitor
from analog sources, although it can also be used for digital sources as well.
Analog video can become degraded as the signal travels through cables and capture
board electronics. Changes in gain and phase of a composite or s-video signal
can lead to color errors since the color information is modulated with the black
and white video signal. The Vectorscope displays both hue and color saturation
in a polar form, making it easy to identify errors using a reference SMPTE (Society
of Motion Pictures and Television Engineers) color bar image.
The Video Editor is where all of the elements created with the
MediaStudio Pro software get combined. A combination of video files can be arranged
with transitions, overlays and moving paths in the timeline toolbar. In addition,
multiple audio clips can be added to the project and by using the Audio Cross-fade
button, audio clips can transition smoothly. Manual level control is also possible
using the control point on each of the audio tracks. Both percentage and
dB level are displayed when adjustments are made with this feature. The Audio
Mixing Panel provides the ability to adjust level and pan setting for up to
five individual audio tracks using sliders. A master level control is also provided
in this window.
Project Setting determines the format of the final movie being created.
Each track can be individually locked to prevent any changes from being made.
The final product can be viewed in real-time as the cursor moves over the sequence
of events. The video can be saved as an MPEG, WMV or Quicktime file. The software
can also create a VCD, SVCD or DVD or send the content back to the camcorder.
High definition content can be saved back to the HDV device (Transport Stream)
or as a file (Program Stream) by selecting the appropriate template.
The Audio Editor is designed to play, record and edit audio tracks
of the video project. Sounds can be imported or sampled at 11 kHz, 22 kHz or 44.1
kHz using 8 or 16 bit data in mono or stereo. Editing sound clips is made easy
using simple drag and drop commands. The main toolbar has the basic controls for
editing audio (stop, play and record) and includes a zoom slider that zooms in
and out of a selected clip. Buttons for adding cues and moving to the previous
or next cue are available. These uniquely named cues are used when running the
Video Editor to synchronize specific points in the audio track to the video.
Several Effect controls are available for altering the audio. Amplify
is used to adjust the level, Pitch is used to adjust the pitch, Remove
Noise tries to remove background noise and Quantize allows the user
to adjust the sample word size to optimize space.
One of the most impressive applications included with MediaStudio
Pro 7 is CG Infinity. This specialized drawing program allows flexible manipulation
of text and graphics that can ultimately be used with other clips assembled in
the Video Editor program. The vector-based motion generator is great for
creating rolling credits and animated titles, giving the presentation a professional
appearance. Each object can be displayed in Preview or in Wireframe
mode. Using the Wireframe mode significantly increases performance, since
the full set of image attributes are not being continuously updated in real-time.
Objects can be grouped and layered making it easier to manage several images.
The Shape tool is used to creates common shapes such as circles, squares
and polygons, while the Path and Freehand tools allow users to draw
virtually any type of shape using the mouse and even trace over existing images.
and Envelope tools allow text and objects to be manipulated creating realistic
looking three-dimensional effects.
Also included with the MediaStudio Pro system is Video Paint, an
application that allows users to create, edit and assemble individual frames for
various effects. This powerful rotoscoping tool allows users to paint over any
individual frame in a series making up a video sequence. The Filmstrip
panel displays each of the frames in a sequence and allows the user to click on
any one to edit. Users can quickly add simple effects such as lightning bolts,
laser beams, virtual sets and mattes. The Lasso tool allows the user to
select irregular shaped areas by drawing freehand and by using the AutoSnap
and Sensitively controls, this task becomes easier.
We downloaded the latest patch for MediaStudio Pro 7 (Service Pack 3 released
on 04/06/05, Build Number: 7.30.0003) from the Ulead website. We also installed
the HD Plug-in 2.0 for editing HDV video content. Using sample HD clips found
on the net, we were able to get a feel for how the software handles these high
resolution sources. Processor
speed becomes a significant factor when dealing with HD content and it was apparent
on our 2.8 GHz P4 system. Users can encode and author their HD or SD video content
to DVD with interactive menus and buttons. MediaStudio Pro 7 can take HDV content
and encode it to 720p or 1080i and send it back to the camera.
Scan DV Tape is powerful feature that provides a thumbnail list of the
entire tape with timetag information. Once scanned, individual scenes can be selected
and the results can be saved to a PSF file. The best part is that the file
size is relatively small for the entire tape since it does not contain the entire
video content. The video and audio editing tools included with MediaStudio Pro
7 allow you to create video for all occasions.
MediaStudio Pro 7 is a powerful and comprehensive video production tool that
produces professional results. Best of all it is not too difficult to use. In
fact, we were up and running is a relatively short time, learning new features
as needed. The ability to mix DV, HDV and MPEG content together to produce a variety
of output formats is simply amazing. The price is slightly higher than other video
production tools, but none I have seen are as powerful MediaStudio Pro 7.