Pinnacle Studio Plus 9

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Pinnacle Studio Plus 9
  • Pinnacle Studio Plus 9
  • Pinnacle Studio Plus 9

Bottom Line

An intuitive editing package for the consumer, made better with the addition of several key features.

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Anyone familiar with Pinnacle Studio 9 will know that it's one of the most accessible consumer video editors available, but has notably lacked key features found in competing products. These limitations have now (largely) been addressed with the release of Studio Plus 9, a beefed-up and more capable version of its predecessor.

The main improvement is the addition of a second video track. Previously, you could only place still images like titles or logos over your main video. Studio Plus 9 now lets you embed/overlay a second video sequence within the first, and has a new picture-in-picture (PiP) tool that lets you tweak the size, position, transparency and border of this effect to suit.

Alongside this tool, and bringing Studio Plus 9 in line with competing products from Sony, Adobe and Roxio, is the new chroma key feature, which lets you create composite images by removing a specific background colour (typically a blue or green screen) - though you shouldn't expect too much from this tool. Finally, Pinnacle has brought more advanced still image handling to Studio Plus 9, including zoom and pan tools (much like Ulead's VideoStudio 8), in conjunction with rotation and red-eye removal. These effects are "keyframeable", but Pinnacle has added a twist by allowing you to quickly copy the end points of the preceding clip and apply them to the next, which makes building pan/zoom sequences with stills a lot simpler.

It's still a little expensive compared to the rest of the consumer products on the market, but retains the ease-of-use and feature set that made its predecessor so popular.

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