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Software to Make Videos from Home Movies & Photo Collections

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#1 lemonade


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Posted 01 February 2013 - 10:09 PM

Can anyone steer me in the right direction for buying software to make movies (with music or voice-overs) from my home movies and photos. I am looking at Adobe Photoshop Elements and Premiere Elements 11,


but while comparing, I also found a site that ranks various software:


I am curious about the CyberLink Power Director, which is inexpensive and easy to use. While researching it, I found a package from CyberLink


that includes 4 programs which edit photos, color, and audio too. Cha-ching! It is more expensive, but I wonder if it is worth the money vs. the Adobe product.

I am an amateur, but I really want to create fantastic movies that have a classic look, but can do professional techniques like time remapping that will give a time-lapse feeling. I want to be able to burn a bunch of videos with a menu onto a DVD. That way, I can watch a few videos at a time and not bore the family to tears. Any ideas? Do you use a program that's even better?

Edited by hamluis, 12 February 2013 - 05:42 PM.
Moved from All Other Apps to Audio & Video - Hamluis.

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#2 Nanobyte


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Posted 01 February 2013 - 11:01 PM

This is a subject that is very difficult to advise on unless you've used all the available products and it's very difficult/impossible to test drive in a store.

I'm not a fan of the Adobe products. If you want software that is highly supported by 3rd party filters, it's top of the list. I don't know about the Elements level but it's certainly true in the full versions of Premiere and Photoshop. For all apps, you need to be careful about formats you want to import and export. If you have particular needs like your time remapping, then you will have to have that ability on the list.

Effects get tedious in short order. We've all seen the zooming in and out home movies that make you feel sick and the various dissolves used ad tedium. Fun to play with but not very creative. I use mostly straight cuts or lap dissolves. Effects are easily recognized by other dabblers in the field. Shooting and timing is everything when creating interesting movies.

Although I use higher end editor these days, I used to use VirtualDub. To make effects, I would extract the frames of the clip, batch process in an image editor with the effect and reassemble the frames in the video. I could do almost anything including variable speed video. Interesting movies depend on being creative, not gimmicky.

If you plan on burning menued DVDs, remember that you will have to use Mpeg2 on the actual disk which is low compression therefore you cannot get much on the DVD (compared to Mpeg4).

If you are looking for a free advanced photo editor, the GIMP is definitely the one. Not very user-friendly though.

It's a good idea to find more than one review site. You never know if they are being paid to promote certain products. For the price you are looking at, it's not really a big investment other than your time to learn.

#3 md2lgyk


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Posted 02 February 2013 - 07:58 AM

I am not familiar with it so don't for sure know if it will do what you want, but Win 7 comes with a program called Windows DVD Maker.

#4 hamluis



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Posted 12 February 2013 - 05:41 PM

My limited experience...consists of trial downloads, followed by purchase if I like the program, how it functions, etc.


As noted, Adobe products usually tend to require more energy and have steeper learning curves...than just about any other software.  Everyone does not need Adobe Premiere or similar...to do video editing :).


There are at least two programs that I know where the developer offers 30-day/2-week trial downloads...for the express purpose of giving prospective purchasers a chance to try the software:  Pinnacle Studio and Corel Video Studio.  You can find those by simply going to the respective developer websites and doing a little searching for downloads or trials.


I've seen that "review" that you refer to.  I don't put much faith in such, after trying a few items which had apparent "high marks".  Trial-and-error will probably give you the best results in your search.



#5 lemonade

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 11:10 PM

Phew!  It looks like I better get cracking on all this homework.  Thanks for the input and advice on programs I haven't even discovered.  I will start trialing to see what works and let you know how I'm coming along with it.

#6 rotor123


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Posted 15 February 2013 - 03:01 PM

Photo DVD software list with user comments http://www.videohelp.com/tools/sections/photo-dvd-vcd


I use this one for Encoding to DVD or MP4 or BluRay http://www.videohelp.com/tools/TMPGEnc-Xpress

and then I use this one to Author for DVD or BluRay  http://www.videohelp.com/tools/TMPGEnc-Authoring-Works

It can also convert but doesn't have the filters and such of TMPGEnc Video Mastering Works 5


They do need Internet access for periodic license renewal however.


This link has a ton of tools for all categories dealing with video including the ones you were asking about. Just read the user reviews. http://www.videohelp.com/tools


Good Luck


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