By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Pinnacle Systems used CES to unveil Pinnacle Studio 9, the next iteration in its popular home-video editing system for novice users.
Pinnacle Studio 9, which will ship in February, at a $99 suggested retail, includes all of the features of the previous Studio 8 package, including TitleDeko advanced titling, integrated video capture and DVD-burning functions, and adds a number of new image-processing and automated editing tools.
Looking to crack mass-market distribution channels with the software, Pinnacle is adding to Studio 9 a new SmartMovie feature that gives users the option of editing videos automatically. The program will first analyze selected background music to find the beats of a song, and will then analyze the video to match the cuts of shots with the beats of the music.
Users can produce a variety of different looking videos depending on the rhythm of selected background music.
Also included in the PC software suite is a special application that preserves the aspect ratio of camcorder footage shot in wide-screen mode.
If video is shot in 16:9 mode on a camcorder, Studio 9 will preserve the format throughout the edit process, and will let users burn the widescreen image onto a DVD.
The program also adds approximately 20 new video-restoration filters and image-enhancement functions. These add-in programs can do everything from helping users improve the look of old deteriorating videos or videos that had exposure or sound problems to changing a color scene to black-and-white for a special effect.
The restoration tools are all added to Studio 9 as plug-ins for the software's open-architecture platform. Pinnacle Systems is also encouraging third-party developers to create add-on plug-ins that can expand the capabilities of the editing suite through aftermarket purchases.
Most of the new plug-ins that ship with Studio 9 are image or noise filters. An automatic color corrector, for example, is offered to let users improve the look of underexposed videos, which are common with videos shot indoors.
An image-stabilizer function allows users to correct shaky videos in post-production, by zooming in about 20 percent on the subject, and cropping out some of the background. The zoomed window can be moved across the center of the frame to keep the subject in view.
A video noise-reduction filter will improve old videotapes that may have too much video noise or static in them.
The program also adds audio noise reduction, which will reduce problem background noise such as wind noise and traffic sounds.
All of the filter tools can be used with one-button default settings to easily correct problems, or users can opt to fine-tune the correction with a manual override capability.
Pinnacle is working with third-party developers to bring plug-ins to the Studio 9-installed base on a revenue-sharing basis.
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