Tools for editing video seem to be either really basic designed for editing small video clips or complex and expensive video editing suites. Cyberlink’s PoweDirector 13 aims to bridge the gap between cheap editors and the complex tools.

PowerDirector 13 has three ways of creating video. When you start up the program it asks you if you want use the full featured editor, easy editor or a slideshow creator. The easy editor has a wizard that enables you to pick your video clips, select a video style and then add any background music and titles you want. It then goes off and produces a video for you which you can preview and then do something that Cyberlink call produce. Produce creates a video that you can keep on your PC or upload to sites like Facebook and YouTube. It’s a very easy way to create and share a video but you don’t get fine control over the edit, to do that you can the full video editor.

The nice thing about PowerDirector is that you start with the simple editor and switch to the more powerful editor if you need to. I normally start with the full featured editor as this gives me full control over the video.

When you start with the full editor you get a blank project where you can import in your video clips and then place them in the time line however you want. It supports multiple video and audio channels as well as tools for improving the content. You can adjust the white balance and colour of video clips, you can also add image stabilization for clips that have camera shake on them. For the audio side of things there is a multi-track equalizer and normaliser for levelling out the audio. There is also a voice over feature for helping the recording of audio voice overs and subtitle editor.

When you edit the clips you can add transitions between them, there is a range of effects you can add for transitioning from edit to edit, they range from a simple fade up to complex flyouts and 3D effects. It’s really easy to add transitions to an edit you just drag your selected effect to the time line of the video. There are also additional effects you can apply to the video, things like old movie effects and Sepia tones. There are tons of effects you can use some more tasteful than others.

You can have multiple tracks in a project so you can cut between video clips or have picture in picture effects and add audio overdubs. The time line editor makes it really easy to create complex projects with out a steep of a learning curve. So with the full editor you have complete control over the time line with multiple edits, clip and transitions. You can also had lower 3rds, title and picture in picture effects.

There are also a range of tools for fixing up audio and videos, you can remove camera shake or fix while balancing issues. You can also use the tools to clean up audio, things like removing background noise. There are great selection of tools, one of my favorite is a content aware editor which examines the clip and automatically highlights video shake or low light issues making it really quick to fix issues with the raw video.

Once you have completed editing your video you can then produce the final output, this could be in AVI, MPEG-2, H264, WMV,MPEG-4,MOV and MVK files. Each type has its own profile, you can go from basic low resolutions up to 4k 4096 x 2304, most of the video I have rendered have been 1080p but there is a profile for just about every video size. There are options for Dolby Digital 5.1, hardware encoding, profiles for devices (like the Xbox 360 and Apple TV) as well as direct uploading to sites like YouTube, Facebook, DailyMotion and Vimeo.

On a Surface Pro 3 with an i5 processor producing a 1080p video took about 10 minutes so you are going to want to have a decent machine to run it on, on an Atom processor you will be in for a considerable wait while it renders the final video.

So if you want to easily edit videos but have option of fine control over the final output PowerDirector is a very good option. It is also great for more in-depth editing with multiple audio and video tracks, picture in picture and video effects. You can produce a very professional looking final video using the program.

I have only scratched the surface of what you can do with it, it a very powerful tool with lots of options but it’s very easy to get started.

Cyberlink PowerDirector costs around £89 from Amazon UK

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