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First Look: ArcSoft ShowBiz DVD 2
As when adding text to your project, effects are also added in Timeline mode. ShowBiz DVD sports a whole library of effects, ranging from filters that add shakes and ripples to your clips, to banners such as the billboard below, to frames to different orientations to your clips. Many of the effects are editable once you apply them to an image.
|Billboard effect can be scaled.|
For example, you can move and scale the billboard effect until you achieve the desired look. Clicking ok will apply the change. While all the effects have to be laid out in Timeline mode, when you switch back to Storyboard mode, any clip that has an effect applied to it will have a small purple star icon in the lower left corner, denoting that an effect has been added to the clip.
The final step is to export your finished project. What is really nice about the export capabilities with ShowBiz DVD is the wide range support for the different file formats. ShowBiz DVD enables you to export video files out to Microsoft AVI, DV, VideoCD, DVD, SVCD, Windows Media, and QuickTime movie files.
Many Windows based video editors don't offer support for Apple's QuickTime file format. Arc soft, being the cross platform software company that it is, does offer support for QuickTime. In addition, certain file formats can be adjusted, such as QuickTime. ShowBiz DVD enables you to adjust the QuickTime video frame size from 160 x 120 all the way up to 800 x 600. You also can choose which compression engine you want to encode to as well as the frame rate, audio format and compression and sample rate. Pretty powerful features for a $99 video editing application. Once you are finished exporting the project out, you can create your DVD.
The Create button offers a whole host of opportunities to get creative with your finished content. Not only can you add your edited videos to a themed background, you can create slideshows with pan and zoom from your images as well. The Create button enables you to choose the media, add a theme, customize the theme, add text to the background image, set chapters, and finally, write to disc. It is pretty easy, straightforward stuff. Once you've finished designing the DVD project, you can write it to disc.
The recommended system requirements to adequately run ShowBiz DVD include a 1.6GHz Pentium 4 CPU or higher, Windows 2000/XP, 400MB free hard disk for program installation, 7200rpm hard disk drive, 4GB or more for video capture and editing (1 hour DV video requires 13GB hard disk space), 512MB RAM, 1024x768 16-bit color display, video capture board for capturing analog video, FireWire card and DV camera for capturing DV video, and Windows Media Player 9. No doubt about it, digital video is a storage hog and digital video editing requires a relatively powerful computer to enjoy doing it. ShowBiz DVD was tested on a Windows XP based computer running an AMD Athlon XP 3000+ processor with 1GB PC3200 DDR RAM, and a 30GB hard disk drive. There were no problems editing the video or rendering the video.
ShowBiz DVD 2 is a powerful entry-level editor that offers functions previously available on the pro level systems of just a few years ago. It is an easy editor to work with and has a logically laid out interface that takes you step by step through the video creation and DVD creation process. What you really get with this application is two apps in one, a video editor complete with a big library of effects, transitions, and output options combined with a capable DVD authoring solution that enables you to get right to DVD authoring either when you first launch the application using the direct to DVD feature, or at the end of your editing session when you've built your video masterpiece. The output options with this application are many, the interface is pleasant to work with and the final product is great. For $99, ShowBiz DVD 2 does more than the cost of entry. For more information, visit www.arcsoft.com.
John Virata is senior editor of Digital Media Online. You can email him at email@example.com
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