PRODUCT REVIEW: Look Out Tarantino, here I come!

CyberLink PowerDirector 8 Deluxe (PC)

How to Install

This is so easy to install I thought I'd first run through the process: Slip in the disc, and click PowerDirector for a screen that will give you a short introduction and three icons, which lead to a "Read Me" file, a 126 page PDF "User Guide", and "Install". Click this Install button for the InstallSheild Wizard. Read and accept the License Agreement (you have to do this) and then approximately 12 minutes for it to install. That's how long it took me, only stopping midway with one pop up that asked me if I wanted to install the SmartSound feature (26 music files). Then eject disc and click on your new desktop icon to start. You need to add the activation code (supplied on the disc cover), wait for a second pop up and then you're ready to go!

What can this do?

For the proficient, which I am not, it lets you create professional looking video movies and photo slideshows with music, voiceovers and all sorts of special affects. For newbies, it does the same, but with clear instructions and easy to learn buttons to help you on your way.

How did I cope?

I played around with this and within ten minutes I had made my own, very short video with music and a frame, titles and special effects. Now I understand totally how to take this one step (well, actually several steps) further and produce something that I really want. It is surprisingly and quick easy to learn, and I fully recommend it. Admittedly, I'm not an expert so I am unclear to what other similar products are on the market, but this proves that for a beginner it's an easy programme to get along with.

What features do you get?

There are several features, listed as "rooms" that have clear, recognisable buttons. You get the Media Room, Effects Room, PiP Objects Room, Particle Room, Title Room, Transition Room, Audio Mixing Room, Voiceover Recording Room, Chapter Room and finally the Subtitle Room.

Simply chose your picture, or music track and select or drag it to add to your Video track or PiP track. Then continue with other features from different "rooms"; themes (birthday, baby, Christmas, etc), select media, background music, specify movie duration, Magical style (analyses what you have so far), preview and then save to create. After this you are then ready to output movie as a video file (for places like YouTube) or burn it to disk. Another simple, but great feature is that you can save (lock) each item individually. So if you make a mistake you don't lose the whole lot. A welcome bonus in my book!

What are my favourite features?

You can sign into the DirectorZone, a space for sharing your creations with other users. A great way to see what can be accomplished, if you do not already know. Plus, after creating an account in a few easy steps, you are then registered once for both sites, the DirectorZone and Cyberlink, where you can download, share and manage your favourite creators. The downloads are good too, since you can get proper looking DVD menus, picture frames, gadgets, scenes and fancy titles, to name but a few items available there. I found this so useful to get a feel of what I can confidently learn to achieve, but you know what this means don't you? You are going to see a lot more mini-movies on my website from now on! Lucky, lucky you! I'm as pleased as punch and hope to be the next Tarantino! (Well, I can dream!)

This is an Amazon Vine Review

Platform: Windows Vista / XP
Review by Sassy Brit The "Inside Story" by Sassy Brit and her Gang!
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