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PowerDirector 16 is now my video editor of choice.

The first video editing program I ever bought was Sony Vegas Movie Studio 9. I never thought it was the greatest but it suited my needs. I liked the minimal interface. Stitching together video and adding some titles and transitions was easy enough. I quickly figured out how to crop and zoom and add some effects to make the video look better. Rendering was fast enough. The output that family and friends saw was good enough.

I decided to upgrade when version 12 was released. I don’t know why. It never really did anything more than what I was already doing.

Sony sold the Vegas programs to Magix. I decided to see what they would do with it and bought their version 14. Nothing really changed but I kept using it.

I tried out Premiere Pro as that is what every YouTube videographer holds to the highest standard. A couple of weeks trying to navigate the interface and learn the tricks of the trade via You Tube tutorials left me frustrated and bored. I happily went back to the amateur league.

360 Degree Video

This summer I discovered 360 video. The camera from Samsung is pretty great. The software that comes with it is not. I mean I could stitch together the video and watch it on my phone or computer but editing and uploading were a chore.

Getting the 360 video to actually work on You Tube required injecting it with meta data that the software wasn’t providing. So, I luckily discovered a freeware program that did the heavy lifting. It is just a pain. Plus I really like the “tiny planet” look no matter how gimmicky it is. The desktop wouldn’t export it in that format.

Black Friday arrived and I perused the clutter on my favorite deal site. I came across a “super hot” deal on CyberLink’s PowerDirector video editing program. Intrigued I went to the site and began comparing the options. There was a big push for 360 video which really interested me.

Just for kicks I went over to see how Adobe Premiere Elements would fare being compared to PowerDirector. Premiere Elements has no 360 video capabilities so I tossed out that consideration.

I download the trial version of PowerDirector and installed it on my computer. I had one day to decide if it was right for me while still getting the deal price.

The installation went fine which was a good sign. I opened up the software and it popped me into the timeline mode. I couldn’t upload my own footage in this version so all I had to play with was the video footage, along with some photos, provided by the trial version.

The first thing I did was play around with the 360 footage. I was able to easily edit the footage. The tiny planet option was just what I had hoped. I could make a movie or take a snapshot. Adding text was simple.

Action Video Effects

I then grabbed an action video and made some edits on the timeline. All the typical activities of a mainline editor were simple enough. I tried out the keyframes to add slowmo and motion tracking. They both worked great. I placed some text on the footage and checked the “Adjust effect size with tracked object”. As the object got close the text got large and as it moved away the text got smaller. Pretty cool.

I was sold. I pried open my wallet and made the purchase for PowerDirector. The program came with 12 files, all fairly large, to download. There were various packs for travel, weddings, sound effects and other content for making color changes, transitions, picture in picture, etc., etc.

The first thing I did was load up some 360 videos and make some tiny planet videos. I was able to rotate the video around the subject using keyframes. It worked exactly how I’d hope and frankly 360 video editing is worth the price of the product alone. Uploading to Facebook was simple and worked the first time.

The program has a ton of capability, all of which will require spending time with tutorials. I’m pleased with the purchase. It is the perfect compliment to my Panasonic G7.