With camcorder prices continuing to fall, and mobiles and digital cameras delivering ever high quality video clips, it’s never been easier to shoot your own home movies. Of course the raw footage may look a little rough, no matter how high-end your camera, but that’s easily fixed: even just a few minutes spent in MAGIX Movie Edit Pro 16 can transform an ordinary movie into something more polished and professional that you’ll be proud to share with others.
The process starts by importing your movie, and there are plenty of options on offer. Movie Edit Pro 16 can record videos directly from just about any video source, there’s full DVD and HDV camcorder support, and if you already have the movie on your hard drive in file form then you can add it to your project in a couple of clicks.
Once Movie Edit Pro 16 has your footage then you can go to work with a range of powerful editing tools.
Automatic scene recognition will quickly split up your film into its component scenes, for instance. It’s then easy to delete the scenes you don’t need, and trim any unwanted frames.
The program’s optimisation tools are generally very good at fixing colour, lighting, sharpness and other technical issues, although the number of controls on offer means it might take some trial and error to be sure you’ve the best possible results.
And an Image Stabilisation feature did a good job of correcting shaky camera work in our tests, although again you may need to spend a while experimenting before you discover the best settings for any particular clip.
Of course you also get the full range of glides, fades, wipes, 3D transitions and more. You’ve only limited control over how these work – the length can be changed, but not direction, angle, colour and so on – but there’s a reasonable selection so this probably won’t matter.
Once you’ve then used the basic audio cleanup tools (or perhaps tagged on an entirely new soundtrack), and used the title editor to cinema quality titles (a much easier process than the last version), it’s time to render prepare your masterpiece to share with the world. A simple DVD authoring tool comes with a range of still and animated templates; you can export your work directly to a file (AVI, DV-AVI, MPEG, MOV, WMV and other formats are supported; and it’s now possible to directly upload your finished video to YouTube, in HD.