Corel VideoStudio Pro X2 is a great video editor for those with underpowered PCs. And our review shows it's a pretty good choice for those with fast systems, too.
Create with paint
A new tool called Painting Creator lets you create and record amusing, moving overlays for your movies. Within a window, you choose from 11 types of paint brushes (you can customise their size and orientation), 38 different textures, and a full colour palette, and then click a button to start recording.
You then paint on the canvas (which is either blank or one of your clips) while the tool records. Once you drop the result into the timeline, the recording will play back as an overlay. It's a fun, easy-to-use tool, but it's not terribly sophisticated. You can, for example, stop drawing, change the color and size of the brush, and resume drawing, but the transitions are abrupt, because in this tool, you can't use keyframes, the selection of a specific video frame where an effect begins to work and another frame where it stops.
Corel VideoStudio Pro X2 also includes some fun Flash animations that you can drop in over the top of your video. The application has an import function, but you can't download new animations from within the program, and Corel doesn't offer any on its site, either.
Dialog boxes and filter and effects controls have been enlarged, making them more accessible and easier to see than the controls in Premiere Elements; you can adjust the size of some thumbnails, too. But some controls still seem a bit small. The interface also lets you resize some windows - about the same level of customisation afforded by Elements, but nothing too exciting. For the most part, the interface is pretty functional; however, you won't see many options in the timeline. We prefer seeing, for example, a representation of the transparency level for video tracks and the volume level in audio tracks, and keyframes in each so that we can see exactly where those levels change, as Elements provides; VideoStudio makes you open a dialog box. This is one area where we consider Elements easier to use.
But we did find one timeline feature in VideoStudio that we really like: When you drag one clip into the timeline on top of another, VideoStudio will automatically insert your default transition, and you can set the length of the transition by adjusting the clips' overlapping points. It's a neat new time saver.