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# Monday, 28 September 2009

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Pinnacle Studio 14: first impressions

Studio 14, a new version. What's inside?

For those who subscribe to our free newsletter, you found out exclusively on 09/09/09 in our article "Pinnacle Studio 14 HD, Ultimate and Ultimate Collection". Some questions have already arrived through the comment section. Of course, with every new version (and not only with Pinnacle products), we have people who are happy, those who are less satisfied, and many who are in between. That's what gives vitality to our website; we are open to all comments, as long as they stay objective.

Before going further, let's have a look AVID press release.

It's a pleasure for me to continue this second article, dedicated to Pinnacle Studio14, to better understand what it is composed of, and to try to answer those questions already asked. Of course, we will probably need more than one article to fully cover the product and to find an answer to every question. But let's go step by step! Beforehand, I would like to tell you about my computer configuration, so you can have a point of reference: 

  • Intel Core 2 DUO E6600 2.4 GHz
  • Motherboard GIGABYTE GA-965P-DS4 (P965 Socket 775) / sound onboard
  • Graphic card GIGABYTE GV-RX16T256V-RH (ATI Radeon X1600XT 256DDR DVI VIVO)
  • DDR800 2GB (PC2-6400) CORSAIR TwinX
  • Hard disk (system) SATAII 250 GB WESTERN DIGITAL Caviar SE (16 MB) 7200 rpm
  • Video hard disk SATAII 500 GB SEAGATE NL35 (16 MB)
  • DVD Burner RW DL Plextor PX-750A (Firmware 1.03)
  • Windows XP Pro SP3
  • PANASONIC camcorder NV-GS400 (SD)
Installation - Upgrade from Studio 12 to Studio 14

Don't forget to render any current projects (as AVI, MPEG, ...) so you can work with it under Pinnacle Studio 14 (I do not recommend working on an S12 project using S14, even if it works). I don't advise you to uninstall any of the previous versions, I started the switchover with Pinnacle Studio 9 and Pinnacle Studio 12...

So, I installed the DVD Studio 14: it was fast, very few warnings ... In short, I was a happy user. You won't be asked to uninstall any previous version.

Regarding the speed of installation, it took less than 20 minutes to complete:

  • 3 minutes for upgrading "Windows Installer" (V4.5). Note, you will need to re-boot your computer.

     
  • 16 minutes for upgradig Studio 12 to Studio 14 Ultimate Collection. The system re-installed my video driver and the installer asked  me to localize the "MarvinBus.sys" file (nothing very serious, I just gave it the current location, Windows\System32, but don't worry, we will post a tutorial later on for upgrading).
     
  • 4 minutes for Red Giant plugins

The most time consuming step is the one which uninstalls and removes all "installer file". Just be patient....
On my side, I had just a small problem when registering, probably due to the fact that I quit in advance and the server wasn't prepared to see a Studio 14 user ?

Let's look at the new interface

We will do a quick overview of the general design, without going into details.

I like:

  • new design, straight forward style, grey like the pro interface (I agree, this is a very personal thing, I am sure that some of you will hate the new design but you can't please everyone...)
  • Import (capture) interface has been fully reviewed, including the famous "Stop Motion" we discussed in our previous article, the ability to grab any picture from the webcam or even to acquire a small scene with it (a minor feature or really useful ?), importing DVD, pictures, and much more...
  • page concept in various windows have been replaced by a scroll bar. This is a big thumbs up in my opinion !
  • the new motion titler
  • the two volume units (stereo view) which help you to visualize the sound level.
  • Welcome screen which gives you access to a small tour that everybody should follow ! Very well done. You also have the ability to load the test project to have an overview of Studio 14 capabilities. Finally, the free video training link is the same one that the one we propose in our Pinnacle Studio webpage, right column called "Quick Links - Pinnacle Resources"
  • Favorite folders (to be talked about later on)

We do not like:

  • the small padlock for locking corresponding track, which is less user-friendly than before in my opinion,
  • Motion titler interface, seems quite difficult to use, but we will come back to this topic later on.
  • start-up is slower than Pinnacle Studio 12 (4-5 additional seconds, ~17 seconds for Studio 12 and 21 seconds for Studio 14)
  • Also a big disappointment for those of you who are wanting more video tracks... Pinnacle Montage can be a temporary alternative ?
SmartSounds

And what about SmartSound ? Today, I was unable to install it or to transfer it into Pinnacle Studio 14. I tried several times ! After being contacted on the subject, Pinnacle answered the following:

  • The MusicGenerator tool has been consolidated into a solid structure with a robust interface named SoundStage
  • All manufacturers who wish to work with Pinnacle to create plugins can do so
  • Pinnacle will deliver the associated development tool kit and will provide adequate support
  • Concerning SmartSound: Pinnacle has been in touch with SmartSound who confirmed that their plugins will not be adjusted to Studio 14
And what about plugins ? And Studio 9/10/11/12 content ?

That's the BIG question, as usual: "{...} will my previous content purchased with Studio 9, 10, 11 and Studio 12 be usable with Studio 14 ?... and the answer?...". Yes, the good old "Transfer wizard" is still there...

The upgrade from Studio 12 to Studio 14 is taking into account part of Studio 12 plugins, all functionalities as well as HFX effects. Others plugins will be installed separately with the Content Transfer Wizard or manually, except for SmartSounds...

Summary: after installing Studio 14, here is what is automatically transferred:

What was missing ? The following plugins, that I managed to transfer using this method:

  • RTFx Volume 2: by using Content Transfer Wizard (insert RTFx Volume 2 DVD and ask for a repair)
  • various video plugins purchased with Studio 10 like Bravo Studio Pack, Stage Tools, ... (see corresponding list on the right): using Content Transfer Wizard (insert Studio 10 Bonus DVD and ask for a repair)
  • various audio plugins purchased with Studio 10 (like BIAS Sound Soap): same procedure, excepted that I had some problems with BIAS registration process, the same and usual problems we already encountered (not linked to Pinnacle but to BIAS system)....
  • other plugins like proDAD VitaScene, Heroglyph, Mercalli, Adorage: use the Content Transfer Wizard (insert Studio 10 DVD Bonus and ask for a repair) AND afterwards, apply the various patches that you find on our download page, proDAD VitaScene, Heroglyph, Mercalli and Adorage section .
  • third party video/audio plugins like JPs Effects (see the list on our link page, audio/video plugin category) which will be installed by copying the associated RTFx folder which contain all fex and xml associated file/folder. Once again, we will create a tutorial for this special case...
  • Boris Graffiti was re-installed with the Content transfer Wizard by choosing S11 content (I know that Boris is part of S12, but it works like this !), and re-installing the S12 DVD Bonus and asking for a customised repair, modifying the path (replace S12 by S14 and that do the trick !). We will also make a tutorial on this specific migration...

So now, you should obtain the whole Studio 12 content, without losing anything except SmartSound.
For your information, I recorded the full install process, so I will be able to upload a tutorial pretty soon. This way, you won't have any problem to update, and you will be assisted in doing so, as usual with our website !

On my configuration, I have the same problem as the one I reported when closing Pinnacle Studio: studio.exe process is still alive, and I need to manually kill it (using task manager). That's not a big problem, I think it's only in certain cases, I never read similar problems on the forums.

Otherwise, I also have Pinnacle Studio 9 and Pinnacle Studio 12 installed. They all live together !! I can also open Studio 9 while using Studio 12 or Studio 14. But I can not open Studio 12 and Studio 14 both together. Probably due to the engine which is similar. But for sure, that's not a big problem, except if you want to do side by side comparisons!

New functionnality

What's new?

Capture and media importation

This interface has been slightly redesigned. Studio lets you incorporate many kinds of media in your video productions. When these are stored externally from your computer – on a camcorder tape or a memory stick from your digital camera – they must be transferred to local storage before you can use them. You can also capture your webcam activity, live ! Various controls depend on the task you are performing (DVD importation, ...). In this window, you will also use the famous "Stop Motion" mode, or the snapshot feature. We will detail these new functions later on.

Project bin

That's rather simple: whereas the Album is a central library of available resources, the Bin contains only those items that either already belong to the current project or that you have specifically earmarked for possible inclusion. Pretty cool !! We will see in the future if we use it, or if we stick with old habits.

Motion titler

In my opinion, this is the most interesting part of this new version.  Studio’s Motion Titler is a powerful tool for creating and editing animated titles and graphics without using plugins or HFX effects. As such, you will be able to animate text without using anything else than this new titler. But I have to admit that it is not so easy to use, not so intuitive... You will find the usual titling categories (ressources, objects, looks and motion or "effect"), as well as a timeline on which you will add layer and effect, customizing the effect on the timeline. Motions contains the animation routines that give the motion titler its power. They are divided into three classes based on the portion of the layer's lifespan they affect: EnterEmphasis and Exit. In each three classes, several standard types based on their mode of action: letter-based, word, line or page-based.
On my side, I had some difficulities editing the existing motion, to better understand how they are constructed and to better understand the working condition. I hope that we will later on have additional information.

Red Giant Plugins

Concerning Red Giant plugins, you apply it as any other plugin; access to the settings is standard, you set it with the usual window. No specific interface. Some presets already exist, and then you can do whatever you want, by modifying certain parameters. Try it, and give us your best settings !

Various other information

After a few quick tests based on some comments received on our website, I found that:

  • it's still difficult to import BluffTitler file in PAL format - no problem for NTSC (take note that we are still offering a 10% discount on BluffTitler, waiting to obtain more and to find a solution for PAL importation)
  • AVCHD 5.1 importation does not take into account the surround sound. It is transformed into stereo sound (you can later on switch to surround, but you loose the surround information)
  • .MOV files are imported without any trouble
  • iPod exportation can be done easily, without having to do conversions (you will probably enjoy this new feature with the latest iPod nano which is accepting movies !!)

We did not talk about SmartMovie or Pinnacle Montage, but they are of course still there... No Studio 12 functions have been lost during the upgrade...  Phewww....

BONUS

And for those who read this article completely, you will probably be more than happy to know that you can already order the Pinnacle Studio 14 upgrade by itself, with a $20 discount, following this link: Pre-order Pinnacle Studio 14 upgrade (I say again, it concerns only upgrade version).

Demo video

Watch the demo video (click me)

UPDATE - New Article:

Monday, 28 September 2009 22:31:11 (Romance Daylight Time, UTC+02:00)  #    Comments [1] - Trackback
Video redigering
Friday, 30 October 2009 12:10:26 (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)
I'm so so unhappy with avid taking the SmartSound out well unhappy, i contacted them like you and got the same reply, have contacted them again stating that the Manual says it will work so what are they going to do about it ! still waiting for a reply

The Manual for Pinnacle Studio 14 Ultimate Collection Clearly states that SmartSound will work with Studio Ultimate, Page 237 Using SmartSound

QUOTE (Page 237 in Manual)

"If you have installed songs in SmartSound format on your computer, these too will be available for use in the background music tool. To Switch between ScoreFitter and SmartSound song Collections, make the Appropriate choice on the Source Dropdown list at the top of the Tool window"

So why do they state this its very wrong, I hope some one can sort this out, there is gonna be a lot of people very unhappy.

Dave
Comments are closed.
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Christian R. Glinnum
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