Cyberlink Power Director 18 – A Simple User’s Perspective

Platform: PC
How was the Software received?: Received free copy from Cyberlink PowerDirector 18 Ultimate
Release Date:  August 17th 2019
Reviewed Version: PowerDirector 18 Ultimate
Cost: 30-Day Free Trial or $99.99USD – $129.99USD
Where to buy it: Cyberlink Website

Jaybird’s PC Specs 
Processor: Intel Core i7-7700K 4.2 GHz Quad-Core Processor
RAM: 32GB (4 x 8 GB) DDR4-3000 Memory
Graphics:  EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 8 GB Superclocked Gaming ACX 3.0 Video Card
Monitor: 24inch Acer 1920×1080 144 Hz

Video Creation – A Personal Perspective.

The videos I create are simplistic and personally driven. They are snap shots of events and moments in my life. I typically create videos by compiling video and photos combined with music to make reminiscing with family more enjoyable and heartfelt.

This day and age we all take an abundance of photos and video which are then typically stored and forgotten about on a hard drive. I try to compile these important events into a thoughtful video. Something curated that summarizes past events and enables me to relive those moments. Power Director has allowed me to do this over the years and in a very meaningful way.

I am a casual user of the software which, in my opinion, is the type of person this software is aimed for. The software is easy to use and very stable. I’ve used an older version on a laptop with an i3 processor, 2gb of ram, and no video card (cpu on board graphics only) and it was the only video editing program I found that didn’t crash while producing a video.

Lastly, this is not a technical review. This is simply my thoughts on Power Director 18 based on how I curate and edit videos. A more thorough review can be found Here!

PC Requirements

The computer requirements according to Cyberlink’s website are:

Interface Overview

The top left is the selection of your effects and media. Starting from top to bottom on the left side you have your Media, Effects, Overlays (known as PiP objects), Particles, Titles (text), Transitions, Audio Mixing, Voice-Over Recording, Chapters, and Subtitles.

I find most videos I create are a collection of still photographs combined with video clips and music. Similar to a slideshow but with video incorporated into it. I rarely use the last four tools based on my video editing preferences, but I can see them being useful for some. Depending on what you want to accomplish, the tools are all available for you there.

The top right is your video preview window. You have an option to view the selected clip or the entire track (movie). The quality can be adjusted in the settings up to 4K but requires high PC specifications to run smoothly. 1080P is good enough for me.

The bottom is the video editing timeline. Tracks are placed based on a layering hierarchy system with the top track being placed first and the following tracks laid on top. New to version 18 is the ability to reverse the order. Useful for new users, but I’m accustomed to the old track system so I leave this setting as default.

The timeline is intuitive, simply drag and drop each of your media files on the track you wish overlay. The built-in snaps also make lining up each media file easy. There is also an option to bookmark locations on the track for future referencing.

The timeline can be compressed in or out for more precise editing and audio adjustments are available for each media clip. Fading the music in a video at certain times is simply and easy to do.

The blue line with white dots are an example of fading music into another clip by raising the volume. drag the dots to raise or lower volume at specific times.

There are drop down menus for editing or a simple right click on any of the tracks will bring up other options. I recently stumbled upon the pan and zoom feature which is now one my favorite effects to use.

Effects

Effects are bundled with the software and more are available for download through the community. The quality of some of the effects are mediocre, in my opinion, and sometimes finding the right fit for the video I’m editing is a struggle. With that said there a lot to choose from free templates at Director Zone

It’s difficult to visualize some of the effects on a media file in the effects room. The only way I’ve been able to preview an effect is by adding the effect directly to the timeline and then previewing. This is cumbersome and time consuming.

What I like About Power Director

  • Easy to use drag and drop interface.
  • Timeline media snaps.
  • Easy to understand and use transitions (fade being my go to for most videos).
  • Easy to add and adjust text, create moving text, and creative title templates.
  • Volume adjustment for video clips.
  • Smooth rendering process.

What I Dislike (room for improvement)

  • A better way for previewing some of the effects, mainly in the effects room.
  • Overlays. The detail and quality of some of the overlays is sub par.
  • Trail marking. The only way that I am aware of making this effect is by using the masking tool but it requires your trails to be linear for the effect to work.

Video Creation

An example of a video I created with Power Director 18. The Video is a trip I made with my dog Brewster. An overnight hike in the Canadian North – August 2019.

In Summary

This is a great easy to use and understand video editing software targeted at the casual user. The library of effects could use improvements on quality and quantity but with the help of a solid community I believe this will only get better. The fact that this software ran smoothly on a very inexpensive PC (in the past) and did an excellent job at creating and show casing my life events, I highly recommend the software.

If you are a professional video and content creator, I would suggest looking elsewhere for higher end video editing software. Power Director I believe is priced correctly for its intended user and for my intended purposes it does what I need it to do.

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