Not many packages make it to their 22nd model, however Pinnacle Studio can declare that distinction. The venerable video enhancing software program has develop into steadily extra highly effective and speedier with every iteration. Corel additionally develops VideoStudio video editing software, with Pinnacle positioned because the higher-end of the 2 product strains. It is aimed toward near-professional-level lovers, with glorious enhancing options and results resembling stop-motion video, multicam enhancing, and movement monitoring. Pinnacle additionally helps 360-degree VR content material, and its rendering pace is a high performer in our testing.

This yr’s replace focuses on colour grading, display and webcam seize, three- and four-point enhancing, and enhanced movement monitoring and 360 footage assist. For the veteran Pinnacle customers on the market, here is the brief model of what is new on this yr’s replace:

  • New color-grading instruments, together with colour correction, colour wheels, LUTs, and a waveform scope.
  • Three- and four-point enhancing, which helps you to mark a number of out and in factors on each the supply and the timeline.
  • Multicam with display report as one of many angles.
  • Improved movement monitoring.
  • Extra 360 choices together with “tiny planet” and “rabbit gap” results.
  • Movement split-screen results.
  • Seamless transitions utilizing up, down, or facet movement and similar-color areas just like the sky to maneuver from one shot to a different seamlessly and elegantly and with customized parameters.

I am going to go into extra element about these new options all through this evaluate, however first I am going to cowl the fundamentals. In case you missed final yr’s enhancements, they included a simplified but more-customizable interface, a keyframe-centric enhancing panel, movement 3D title creation, vast angle lens distortion correction, video templates, portray results, and morph transitions.

Pricing and Beginning Up

Like most video enhancing software program aimed toward customers to near-professional customers (a gaggle generally often called prosumers), Pinnacle Studio is obtainable in a trinity of excellent, higher, and finest ranges, with the entry-level Pinnacle Studio itemizing for $59.95, Plus for $99.95, and Final (reviewed right here) for $129.95. If it’s essential edit 360-degree or 4K content material, you will have to spring for Final, which additionally provides high-end results from NewBlue and limitless video tracks. It is also the one stage that features a number of the new options like split-screen movement results, seamless transitions, and all the brand new color-grading instruments. Sadly, there is no free trial model of any of the Pinnacle Studio ranges. A number of rivals, together with Adobe Premiere Elements and CyberLink PowerDirector provide free trials.

Home windows 10 is beneficial, however Pinnacle Studio additionally runs on Home windows eight.x, and seven, and it requires 64-bit variations of these OSes, as you would possibly count on. It additionally requires an Intel Core i3 or AMD A4 GHz or increased, an Intel Core i7 4th technology or later or AMD Athlon A10 or increased for UHD, multicam, or 360 video, and at the least 4GB RAM, with 8GB beneficial.

First you obtain a small installer stub app, which then downloads the huge full program. It is a 1.7GB obtain and takes up 3GB on-disk after set up, so you will desire a quick web connection, a while in your arms, and loads of house in your laborious drive. In fact, if you happen to’re enhancing 4K video, you want an enormous disk anyway.

Importing and Interface

Once you first run this system, you are invited to this system’s new Person Expertise Enchancment Program, which sends nameless utilization information again to the corporate; turning that off is easy, if you happen to’re not . Subsequent, a dialog tells you that the Import characteristic allows you to report and open media information.

Import takes up the total program window, which makes it straightforward to select the forms of importing you want, whether or not it is from DVD, laptop folders, cease movement, snapshot, or multicam. The software program can import 4K content material, and you may star-rate and keyword-tag content material at import, which helps you discover it later. The search bar additionally helps you discover content material you have not marked on this method, looking as a substitute for phrases within the filename.

A brand new choice on the Import mode is MultiCam Seize. This opens an exterior app that allows you to report your display together with any webcams you’ve got linked or in-built to your PC. You should utilize perform keys to start out and cease recording, and the software produces separate, synced clips that you would be able to add to your undertaking bin. It allows you to modify lighting and sound sources, and in my testing it labored flawlessly.


Pinnacle’s interface sports activities flat, 2D icons, and a nice black and grey colour scheme. This system makes use of the idea of Challenge Bins, through which you stash all of the content material for a given film undertaking—clips, images, and sound information, however not results and transitions. It is a widespread method for pro-level apps resembling Final Cut Pro X, and it is a characteristic that Corel’s different line, VideoStudio, doesn’t provide.

The entire program window is topped by 4 mode-switching buttons: Dwelling, Import, Edit, and Export. The primary is solely a welcome display providing tutorials, information on new program options, and extra property and packages on the market. In the event you’re a longtime consumer of this system who’s caught in your methods, you may revert to the legacy interface view in this system’s Management Panel by selecting Setup > Management Panel > Legacy Choices > Allow Legacy Authoring Mode.

Pinnacle Studio Edit Interface

Edit mode makes use of the usual three-pane editor interface, with supply content material occupying the top-left quadrant of the display, the preview window on the high proper, and the timeline throughout the underside half. The Final stage permits a vast variety of tracks, as talked about earlier. The Plus stage limits you to 24 tracks, and Normal to 6. You possibly can change the relative measurement of the panels, add a source-video preview, and swap the film preview to full display.

You possibly can pull interface panels off and alter their positions, as you may in another editors, resembling Magix Movie Edit Pro. The preview window consists of detailed controls, resembling jog and shuttle, body advance, and rewind. You increase and contract the timeline (both the principle one or the one within the preview window) with a intelligent mouse-drag motion, however I want there have been a mouse wheel choice for resizing the timeline.

You possibly can search and kind any content material, which is greater than I can say for some video enhancing packages, resembling Studio’s sister utility, VideoStudio. Hiding and exhibiting gadgets by content material sort—video, audio, picture, and undertaking—is simplicity itself. There’s an infinite and customizable assortment of keyboard shortcuts. You may also select which buttons you wish to show on the timeline toolbar, together with Break up, Add Marker, Trim Mode, Multi-Cam Editor, and Audio Ducking.

For many who need the final word management, Pinnacle lets video editors time each form of impact and adjustment with keyframes. That features place, measurement, rotation, opacity, borders, corrections, filter results, pan/zoom, transitions, and time remapping. Keyframing allows you to evenly improve or lower an impact over time. As soon as you have acquired a video undertaking arrange the way in which you need, it can save you it as a template from the File menu. You specify which clips ought to develop into placeholders, which you’ll fill in subsequent tasks with completely different clips.

The interface makes no particular concession to the touch enter, which I discover helpful for scrubbing, altering worth sliders, and tapping management buttons. That mentioned, scrubbing the timeline by finger did work acceptably. The software program now absolutely helps high-resolution displays; in testing earlier variations, some components appeared tiny on my 4K contact display monitor, however that is now not the case. Relatively than built-in assist, you get an internet PDF (that is nonetheless higher than Adobe’s unimpressive net assist, which exhibits information for different merchandise and from non-staff customers). On the whole, nonetheless, Pinnacle’s interface is extra accessible than these of some competing video editors.

Fundamental Video Modifying and Transitions

Pinnacle makes use of a magnetic timeline, so any clip you drag and drop into it snaps to any present clips, and you may flip that habits off, if you happen to choose. Dropping a clip inside one other splits the unique one, and a razor icon affords clip splitting, as nicely. The Trim Mode button (or simply double-clicking a be part of level) opens a second preview window so you may see the primary and second clips’ states on the trim level. That is supposed to assist with effecting slip and slide trims, however I discover it much less intuitive than the trimming home windows of CyberLink PowerDirector and VideoStudio, amongst different apps.

New for model 22 are three- and four-point enhancing. You turn into this enhancing mode from the identical button on the suitable facet that switches amongst Sensible Modifying, Insert, Exchange, and Overwrite modes. With the three-point choice, you specify out and in factors on the time line, and an in or out level within the supply clip. This manner, if you insert the clip onto the timeline will probably be match to your specification.

Two new insertion buttons seem on the supply window: Hold Pace and Match to Length. The second of those stretches the supply clip to suit the goal space within the timeline. The four-point choice allows you to specify out and in factors on each the supply and the timeline. Once you use that, in case your supply choice is longer than the spot on the timeline you have marked, you see a dialog asking whether or not you wish to align the supply clip with the start or finish of the timeline factors, and whether or not to trim the supply or overwrite the timeline.

In the event you select the Match to Length button, your supply clip is sped up or slowed down to suit the marked space within the timeline precisely. I see how these could possibly be helpful choices and fewer haphazard than merely dragging supply onto the timeline. Specifically, the time stretching to suit a marked space saves you time.

Canine-eared corners of adjoining clips allow you to modify transition lengths between them. You may also allow dynamic-length transitions, or simply keep on with transitions of set lengths. Cross-fades are accessible proper on the timeline through the transition canine ears, however the place from which you get your fancier transitions is considerably hidden, in contrast with how different video editors current it. They’re additionally not as easy so as to add to timeline clips, with no computerized period choice. Typically I dragged a transition between clips in my testing and the app did not add something. There may be, nonetheless, a really full choice of transitions, grouped as 2D-3D, Creative, Alpha Magic, and extra.

New for model 22 is the Seamless Transition software, which implements an impact that is all the fashion amongst newbie videographers. As Davonte Douglas explains on this tutorial, you do not even want software program to make seamless transitions, however software program can the truth is make them even smoother and extra spectacular. The seamless transitions in Pinnacle Studio work like another transitions: You simply drag them from the supply panel down between clips. You get selections for downward, left-to-right, and upward movement between clips, together with variations for rotation throughout the transition. You possibly can high quality tune the movement by putting related areas in choice packing containers.

The Morph transition, although not new for model 22, continues to be value calling out. It allows you to draw guides within the first and second movies to have an effect on the transition. It is not fairly as spectacular as Ultimate Minimize Professional X’s Stream transition, which blends bounce cuts—for instance, you would possibly seamlessly lower a number of phrases or perhaps a sentence out of a single clip of interview. The Pinnacle Morph transition is just about a crossfade that allows you to add blurry movement between clips.

Additionally not new (it was launched in model 21) however nonetheless value mentioning is the Huge-Angle Lens Correction characteristic. Merely double click on on a supply clip, after which select that choice from the highest menu. There are six GoPro presets, however you too can manually modify the geometry, ensuring strains that must be straight are certainly rectilinear—a difficulty with GoPro’s wide-angle lenses.

Movement Monitoring

You will get to Pinnacle Studio’s Movement Monitoring software both by right-clicking on a observe or by double-clicking on the clip within the timeline to open the Results window. First you masks the thing you wish to observe, and you then even have this system observe it. Its sounds easy, however in reality the method is somewhat dicier than in another software program. On my all-in-one PC with a 4K show it took a number of tries to get it to comply with my masked biker, and after many makes an attempt, I nonetheless could not obtain dependable monitoring. On a system with a normal HD show, the monitoring labored high quality.

Motion Tracking in Pinnacle Studio 20 Ultimate

All such instruments have problem monitoring objects when the background confuses the difficulty, however in my checks Pinnacle’s misplaced the tracked object extra typically than the competitors—even Corel’s personal VideoStudio. Some sort of step-by-step wizard would assist. The software does provide Mosaic and Blur choices, one thing you will typically wish to do in a video for issues like obscuring faces, license plates, branded gadgets, or naughty bits.

360-Diploma VR Video

Like CyberLink PowerDirector, Pinnacle Studio now allows you to work with 360-degree video, from cameras just like the Kodak Pixpro SP360 4K and the Samsung Gear 360. You possibly can both do some primary enhancing whereas sustaining the 360-degree facet or convert the 360 to plain 2D view. I examined footage from the latter. Confusingly, it’s important to add the 360 clip to the timeline first and then right-click on it and select Add as 360 or 360-to-Normal.

360-degree video editing in Pinnacle Studio 20 Ultimate

When enhancing 360-degree content material, you see two home windows with two tabs, a 360-degree supply and a preview window with the 2D finish end result. You possibly can pan across the scene both within the supply window with a crosshairs management or simply click on and drag the mouse pointer round within the preview window to alter the viewing angle.

This system did a great job of straightening out my 4K 360-degree take a look at content material in double fisheye format. If you would like the content material to stay in 360 levels, you are restricted to primary trimming, fade transitions, and titles. After including titles, you even have to decide on Add as 360, if you’d like that mode retained. I had hassle transferring a title, which landed within the heart of the video and did not show in 360 Preview mode. Stabilization is not an choice for 360 video, although it is nonetheless accessible from the menus; attempting to make use of it resulted in a program crash in my testing, nonetheless.

Small World 360-degree Effect

New for model 22 is the power to create the “tiny planet” and “rabbit gap” results together with your 360-degree content material. These are enjoyable results, and you may even animate issues just like the zoom, rotation, and even transition from tiny planet to rabbit gap or vice versa.

Multicam Modifying

Like its stablemate Corel VideoStudio, Pinnacle Studio allows you to concurrently edit a number of clips of the identical occasion shot at completely different angles. The bottom model permits two digital camera angles, Plus makes it 4, and Final offers you six. The software did a great job of aligning my clips utilizing their audio tracks, however you too can align utilizing time codes and markers. As with all these instruments, you turn amongst angles by tapping a clips field in a grid. There are even packing containers for switching to clear and to black, which is nice if you wish to add B-roll later.

Pinnacle Studio Multicam

Once you hit OK, a brand new clip exhibits up in your undertaking, not within the timeline. I like that you would be able to right-click and select Edit Film to fine-tune angle shifts in a timeline and even reopen it within the multicam switcher window. Some multicam instruments, resembling that in VideoStudio, merely create a brand new clip that is not adjustable after the actual fact.

New for Pinnacle’s multicam capabilities is the separate Multicam Seize software, mentioned above within the Import and Interface part above.

Cease Movement

Cease Movement is without doubt one of the most interesting forms of animation, in my e book. Simply assume again to Rudolf the Pink-Nosed Reindeer or extra just lately to Rooster Run and Wallace and Gromit. The Pinnacle software allows you to management a linked digital camera to take photographs routinely at time intervals you specify, and it might even present ghost photos of your final shot so you know the way to place the subsequent one.

You possibly can then ship the captures to the timeline and modify period and apply another enhancing. You possibly can’t, nonetheless, create animated GIFs. The software now consists of DSLR assist, and round guides that inform you how far to maneuver an object to have it cross the display in a specified time interval between zero.three and 10 seconds.

Stop Motion in Pinnacle Studio 20 Ultimate

Superior Results

Pinnacle claims to supply greater than 2,00zero results. That is greater than anybody actually wants, and lots of are duplicates with transitions or, worse, simply goofy overlays. Pinnacle would do higher to trim out the fats and mix the duplicates to make results simpler to search out and use.

Shade Grading. With model 22, Pinnacle provides a raft of recent colour instruments. The Normal and Plus editions add some primary colour changes, however Final affords pro-level colour grading. Select the top-left panel’s Editor button, select Shade, and also you see 4 numbered choices: Fundamental, Tone Curve, HSL Tuning, and Shade Wheel. Fundamental affords White Stability, Tone (which incorporates publicity, distinction, and different lighting choices), and Fundamental Settings (vibrance, saturation, readability, and haze correction).

Tone Curve in Pinnacle

The Auto Tone and Auto White Stability choices on this panel labored nicely for my pattern clips. You possibly can even apply the very pro-level LUTs (lookup tables) for colour mapping, however Pinnacle would not embody any by default. You will have to search out them; you will get them from high-end video digital camera firms if you happen to shoot with these. I used to be capable of take a look at this with a LUT in .CUBE file sort, and it appropriately utilized a horror film look to the clip. The Tone Curve software, like Photoshop’s, allows you to change lighting for results, correction, or distinction changes. HSL (hue, saturation, lighting) allows you to change the colour depth and brightness individually for eight colours of the spectrum. One situation I had in testing this software was that I could not see the impact till transferring the play head. That is not an enormous deal, nevertheless it is not perfect.

The Shade interface can also show a video scope in 4 modes: waveform, vector, histogram, and RGB parade. Skilled editors are accustomed to these views of colour info, although they’re of much less use to amateurs.

Color Wheels in Pinnacle Studio

The Shade Wheels view allows you to modify saturation and hue individually for every of three tonal ranges: Highlights, Midtones, and Shadows, in addition to making use of an total colour shift. It is fairly pro-level stuff like what you discover in Adobe Premiere Professional and Ultimate Minimize Professional, however not in Corel VideoStudio or Adobe Premiere Components. I recognize that double-clicking the management factors resets them to the middle. You should utilize these instruments to both fine-tune the colours or to get some loopy results, as within the screenshot above.

Filters. Many of those are customary, old-school Photoshop filters, however there are a lot of spectacular results amongst them, resembling Dream Glow and Previous Movie. Many included third-party results, resembling NewBlue’s Drop Shadow, Shredder, and Photon Blast, are high quality. With the Final version, you get a number of NewBlue plug-in results. The most recent of those to make its method into this system is NewBlue Video Necessities 5, which helps you to apply selective focus, selective colour and selective tint. Different NewBlue packs embody a number of geometry-altering results, together with good auto-contrast, gradient-tint, diffusion, and rolling-shutter results.

Why ought to digital images be the one sort of content material you may flip into artwork and improve with artsy results? The Paint software in Pinnacle offers you spectacular Paint results: Stylization, Pencil Sketch, Oil Portray, Element Improve, and Cartoon. You are not really portray on the picture, however the results make it look painted or drawn. I significantly just like the Stylization impact, which seems like graphic novel artwork. The Cartoon impact makes use of extra of a black ink define across the object within the video. However these results aren’t as subtle as PowerDirector’s AI Kinds, which you are your video the look of particular artists, resembling Van Gogh.

Pinnacle Studio consists of robust instruments for 3D enhancing, although that is gone out of trend for the second. Image-in-picture can be nicely supported, and Pinnacle now has templates like these in PowerDirector, and what Premiere Components calls “video collages.” Pinnacle Studio features a dozen of what it calls Break up Display templates. You possibly can drag these onto the timeline after which open a sub-editor so as to add clips to the PiP structure. The Break up Display Template Creator allows you to draw shapes to create your very personal reusable PiP structure. With model 22, you need to use keyframes to animate these templates.

Transparency. A particular software of its personal, this impact is accessible from a button above the timeline. This offers a simple option to modify every observe’s transparency stage, in percentages. It is a useful gizmo for creating an evocative impact, particularly to indicate the passing of time. However I discover PowerDirector’s masking software with automated animations extra enjoyable.

Chroma-Keying. This labored nicely with my take a look at green-screen footage, practically completely eradicating the considerably imperfect inexperienced background.

Stabilization. The Stabilize software allows you to modify borders and zoom, and you may have it work within the background, as it’s pretty time-consuming. My shaky footage got here out considerably smoothed. As with all related instruments, nonetheless, it is no substitute for in-camera stabilization or, higher nonetheless, a tripod.

Titling. Textual content is a power for Pinnacle, with cool issues like 3D title enhancing like that present in Ultimate Minimize Professional X. You possibly can change the title place on three axes, in addition to selecting mild supply and angle and materials varieties like steel, plastic. And you’ll animate it utilizing keyframes. It is a formidable software. Magix Film Edit Professional and PowerDirector have additionally added some nifty new title tips in latest variations, together with video masks title results. Even with out the 3D choices, Pinnacle affords a good selection of animated textual content choices, all of which you’ll edit on-screen in WYSIWYG trend.

Display Cam. Pinnacle Studio’s screen-cam functionality is one thing you will additionally discover in Corel VideoStudio. The software comes as a separate utility referred to as Reside Display Capturing. Pinnacle Studio’s implementation labored completely in my checks.


Sound to your digital motion pictures is one other robust level in Pinnacle Studio. Proper from the timeline, you may show stage controls, and toolbar buttons take you rapidly to a choice of background music and to voiceover recording. You possibly can even elevate and decrease clip quantity by dragging a clip’s audio line up and down, as you may in Ultimate Minimize Professional.

The Scorefitter choices stretch background music of varied types to suit your film. Simply drag its timeline entry to suit, and after processing some rendering, presto, instantaneous background music! The supply panel’s Sound Results tab affords a wealth of sound clips, from birdsong to robust wind to all method of autos. There are additionally audio cleansing instruments just like the Speech De-esser (to take away sibilance) and a noise reducer.

Audio ducking routinely lowers background music throughout speech. The software labored nicely in a take a look at video, with extra management than its VideoStudio counterpart. I discovered it straightforward to set the edge for it to kick in and the quantity of discount in quantity of the background music.


I examined rendering time by making a film consisting of 4 clips of combined varieties (some 1080p, some SD, some 4K) with a normal set of transitions and rendering it to 1080p MPEG-Four at 15Mbps, H.264 Excessive Profile. Audio was MPEG AAC Audio: 192 Kbps. I examined on an Asus Zen AiO Pro Z240IC operating 64-bit Home windows 10 Dwelling and sporting a 4K show, 16GB RAM, a quad-core Intel Core i7-6700T CPU, and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 960M discrete graphics card.

The take a look at film (which has a period of just below 5 minutes) took Pinnacle Studio simply 1:54 (min:sec) minute and 54 seconds, coming in simply behind PowerDirector’s snappy 1:29. Each of these handily outstrip another contenders I examined: Corel VideoStudio took Four:20 and Adobe Premiere Components took 5:18.

Nonetheless, when utilizing a number of the program’s extra demanding options, resembling time remapping, this system give up unexpectedly. Happily, when this occurred, this system supplied to let me resume engaged on the undertaking final open after I restarted it. Such instability has lengthy been an unlucky hallmark of the advanced class of video enhancing software program, however in recent times it is improved on the entire.

Sharing and Output

This system features a full disc-authoring module with assist for Blu-ray discs, together with DVD and AVCHD format. To go this route, you click on the Disc Menu Content material button, which seems like a disc. A wide variety of menu types is at your disposal; you add chapter markers to style and preview with on-screen disc controls. After this you select the Export to MyDVD choice, which seems if you click on the Export mode-switching button.

As for the extra fashionable output methodology—sharing on-line—Pinnacle’s Export dialog’s Cloud choice affords direct importing to Fb, Vimeo, YouTube, and Field. After I tried the primary, I used to be fortunately capable of set the privateness stage earlier than importing, and I had a selection of video high quality, from 360p to 1080p. Sadly, this system cannot create animated GIFs out of your brief motion pictures—one thing Adobe Premiere Components does with ease.

You may also merely export to disk in a variety of file codecs, together with AVCHD; DivX; MKV; MPEG-1, 2, and Four; QuickTime; and WMV. Presets allow you to goal your output format to common viewing gadgets such because the iPhone and Xbox. Fortunately, the most recent model provides the power to export to H.265 HEVC (Excessive Effectivity Video Coding) format, which is necessary for data-hungry 4K and even 8K content material, because it doubles compression whereas sustaining picture high quality.

The Pinnacle of Shopper Video Modifying?

Pinnacle Studio is a wonderful video enhancing software, and the most recent model provides a number of nifty new enhancing instruments. That mentioned, this model of Pinnacle Studio was simply unstable sufficient in testing that I might advise present customers to carry off on upgrading till Corel updates it. Final yr’s model continues to be a lot succesful in the interim. The corporate usually releases a .5 replace midway by the yr, and I am going to replace this evaluate when that occurs. The software program nonetheless impresses with its many highly effective video enhancing instruments (although its motion-tracking might use somewhat work), and much more with its rendering pace. It is actually a near-professional-level product. Its usability has improved, although it is nonetheless considerably behind our Editors’ Selections for video enhancing on the PC, CyberLink PowerDirector and Corel VideoStudio. For macOS, our Editors’ Alternative is Ultimate Minimize Professional X.

Shop Amazon