Video Editing: MAGIX Movie Edit Pro 15 Plus

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magix_movie_edit_pro15_plus_boxEditing up of your movie footage needn't be a chore anymore with the availability of a number of software packages that simplify the editing and publishing aspects of movie editing.  There are a number of video editing packages available each of which boasts there capabilities and appeal to new users and more advanced users alike and we were glad to be able to obtain a copy of MAGIX Movie Edit Pro 15 Plus for review.

As with other video editing software MAGIX Movie Edit Pro 15 Plus promotes a simple to follow process, involving three steps: "Record", "Edit" and "Burn".  All aspects of the software are supported by a set of video tutorials included with the software, online tutorials and workshops, and a knowledge database.

Under the record tab, video can be imported from video sources such as a DV camera, HDV camera and VCR (video input), or audio though a line in or microphone, but also images and even screenshots can be taken.  As would be expected video can be imported from file and the usual video file formats can be imported (including avi, mpg, mp2, MPEG, mov, mxv, wmv, VOB, AVCHD (Plus version), mp4 (Plus version)) as well as the majority of audio, graphics and also RTF text files for credits and titles.  In addition, terrestrial broadcast video can be recorded if a suitable tv card (analog or digital) is installed or video from external sources via a compatible analog capture card. Also found under the record tab is a facility for copying or backing up CD and DVDs, incorporating standard 1:1 copying and also the function to shrink DVDs to fit a smaller format.  Whichever way the video, images or music are imported, everything can be previewed in the preview pane and used in the editing mode via the media pool.  The import function also utilises automatic scene recognition to aid in the editing process.

The editing tab is offer three ways in which to approach the procedure, offering the imported files as a storyboard, scene overview or timeline mode with each offering different ways of viewing the organisation of the video clips and any transition applied between them.  In the Plus version that we reviewed there was also a multicam mode that allows editing of two camera perspectives in a simple fashion. As with other video editing software clips, audio, photos and text are dropped into the timelines and edited.  Importantly, Movie Edit Pro 15 has 99 tracks for editing, more than some other video editing suites we have used, allowing for much greater editing potential and incorporation of media.

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Once the video clips had been imported and organised into the desired order, effects and transitions were very easy to apply using the media pool workspace that provides tabs for fading (transitions), Title editor(credits, dialogues etc.) and Effects (Picture-in-Picture, Chroma Keying, Video Cleaning etc.).  The software includes a huge number of transitions and effects to suit almost any requirement (over 300 in total) and each is very simple to implement and highly customisable, with everything required for both simply enhancing video (brightness, contrast etc) to more advanced tweaks and fun objects.  It is also important to note that Movie Edit Pro is fully compatible with the award winning proDAD Adorage Effect Packages which provide a library of further transition effects, that we reviewed previously.  There is also the potential to add travel route animations in full HD using the Vasco da Gama 3 and to utilise 3D animation using the included Reallusion iClone 3 SE, both of which are included with the Plus version we reviewed.

Audio can be added to a timeline wither using previously imported samples or music, where the impressive audio capabilities of the software come in to play.  Any audio can be optimised to remove background noise using a group of simple tools, with access to a full equalizer and various other tools to optimise audio in a simple fashion.  If you don't have a suitable score or soundtrack to add, the software even comes with its own sound track maker, which offers various styles of background music and can be tailored to suit the particular mood of the video.  Included with the Plus version was MAGIX Photo and Videoshow Soundpool 6 which is a repository of 2,700 different sounds, effects, and music pieces, so there really is no excuse for finding the right music or sound effect.  There was even the function to create your own 5.1 surround sound audio track in the Plus version reviewed and the mixing abilities are excellent and offer complete control over the sources used.

Once finished with the editing mode, the burn mode allows the final publication of the project.  It is under this tab that menus can be added, for chapter navigation etc, each of which can be fully customised to suit each individual project.  Output of the project can be to various disc formats (DVDs, VCDs, S-VCDs, mini-DVDs, Blu-ray Discs) as well as to standard video formats (Video for Windows, DV-AVI, MPEG-1 and 2, Quicktime, MAGIX Video and MPEG-4) to suite any purpose.  There is also the option to upload to the free MAGIX Online World server for sharing and hosting purposes.

MAGIX Movie Edit Pro 15 Plus is a really comprehensive software program that provides huge numbers of features with everything someone could need for producing a professional looking film or dvd from their video footage.  We found that the majority of tasks were simple to undertake, with the potential for full customisation.  However, at the same time we also found other more advanced features were difficult to locate and were more difficult to use, although all features were fully supported in the user manuals or through the available video tutorials.  The software offers a multitude of features including various add-in programs which offer a powerful suite for video editing.  In our opinion the software isn't quite as good as Adobe Premier or the like, due to the fact that the interface isn't quite as simple to use, but its not far off and certainly cheaper. It is definitely worth considering for more advanced users with previous video editing experience.

Available from:

Amazon: Magix Movie Edit Pro 15 Plus & Photo and Videoshow Soundpool 6 (PC DVD)