We have always found Corel VideoStudio Ultimate to be a competent video editor. Ideal for those who don’t need the professional quality Premiere Pro or Da Vinci Resolve cut footage. However, when we last rated Corel’s program, we were disappointed that the software wasn’t really groundbreaking.
Since then, Corel has packed its consumer level video editing software with many new features. How’s VideoStudio Ultimate doing now?
When installing, we were still asked which TV system we are using – PAL or NTSC. While both clearly still exist, at a time when most people upload to the web, it feels completely unnecessary. So much so that we no longer come across any other software that asks for this information in the beginning.
It’s a mystery why it’s there, as it gives the software an outdated feel that it doesn’t really deserve given the new features on offer.
What do you say?
Subtitling is very important. As an accessibility feature, more people can enjoy your content, whether it’s to make it easier for them to understand, or if they’re watching it in a location where the volume needs to be kept low.
But there’s a downside: it can be a time-consuming affair. That’s where the new Speech to text converter comes in. With this, VideoStudio analyzes your selected clip and transforms what is said on the screen into editable text.
As you would expect, you may run into some transcription issues. However, it’s easy enough to edit the results and even adjust the font, size, color, effects, and duration of the subtitles. Obviously, there’s still some work to be done, but having a really easy-to-use algorithm that does the original heavy lifting of transcribing and timing for you will save you a tremendous amount of time, and will likely encourage others to use it in the future. include subtitles in their videos.
There is also an option to export them as an SRT file, so you can include them as subtitles in YouTube videos, for example.
Unfortunately, you only have a limited number of languages that are recognized by this tool. At the time of review, only English, German, French, Simplified and Traditional Chinese, Italian, Dutch, and Japanese are supported.
Make GIFs while the sun is shining
You can’t get away from social media these days, so VideoStudio Ultimate includes some tools to help you do that. That’s the idea behind the new GIF Creator. Allows you to select a clip, set its size, playback speed, and frame rate, and export the result and a looping clip.
It works really well, although it seems like you can only work with one selected clip. For example, if you’ve added a text layer, it won’t show up when you’re working on your GIF.
One way around that would be to export your video and then re-import it as a single clip, which can then be used properly in the GIF maker. That’s a complicated solution, and it certainly could have been more user-friendly (unless we missed something), but it works.
Put on your game face
Productivity isn’t the only focus on VideoStudio’s new features. Nice extras are also on the agenda, such as with the new ‘Face Effects’.
This is an interesting one VFX software kit that lets you change the size of someone’s eyes or the width of their face by dragging a slider. For example, you could use it to create those cartoon eye-popping effects, although we couldn’t find a way to keyframe the animation.
Other perhaps more useful sliders are ‘Skin Smoothing’, ‘Brightness’ and ‘Skin Tone’. Handy tools to help you improve the look of your subject if you weren’t able to do so before shooting.
Speaking of people, ‘Face Indexing’ is a very cool new feature. You can use it to let VideoStudio analyze a chosen clip. It will find the faces that appear and give you an index of them. From there, you can select the parts that contain the people you are interested in and include them in your project in seconds.
Of course you have the option to edit the index, merge faces that are actually the same person but were not recognized as such by the algorithm, and name faces to make the index work for you.
It’s a great way to find the right bits of a clip without having to manually search through everything.
VideoStudio already came up with some very tight transitions. And the new ‘Camera Movement’ are especially sweet, they create fake movements to move from one clip to the next, giving your project a professional, modern look without you having to do anything.
AR rough around the edges
However, not everything is great. There’s another neat addition – more of a gimmick really – that allows you to add ‘augmented reality’ objects to a clip, such as an animated mask for example.
It’s designed to be easy to drag and drop, with the least amount of customizable adjustments available. However, none worked as expected on the clips we tried. The mask was either too long, off center, wrongly angled – we just couldn’t make it work satisfactorily.
For example, there is a tool that allows you to resize a mask. Except the face the mask is on in that section isn’t the face on the actual clip. It’s just a general one, making resizing it more guesswork than anything.
Non-linear keyframing and more
Improved other new features such as non-linear keyframing to make custom speed adjustments to your clips audio editing, and support for additional formats such as HEVC MOV, PCM 5.1CH audio, and GIF files. Though we don’t know if it’s a problem with the PC we were using but we couldn’t get HEVC files to work.
There’s none going on Creative cloudstyle subscription fees here. Depending on your love of subscription models, where you don’t own the software but only rent it indefinitely, you may like or dislike the fact that VideoStudio Ultimate 2022 can only be bought for 100, £90 or 70€.
If you already own a previous version, upgrading to the latest will cost $80, £70, or €50. If you’d rather try the goods before committing, you’ll be happy to know that a free 30-day trial is also available.
Corel VideoStudio Ultimate has gotten a lot of love and attention lately, and many of the new tools introduced with version 2022 are both useful and easy to use. Some are still a little rough around the edges, but the main draws like face detection, speech to text and the new transitions work great and will definitely be useful to most video editors.
The tool is one of the best Adobe Premiere Pro alternatives, but if you need a little more power, try Corel’s pro-level Pinnacle Studio 25 Ultimate.