Video editing with expert-level features at a consumer price (September 21st, 2006)
Product Manufacturer: Stone Design
Price: $49.00 US
- Easy, robust software. Adds tons of effects to videos or images. Exports into several formats. iPod ready.
- Unable to record stand-alone audio for layering. Must use GarageBand or similar application for separate audio.
Joining the spurt of video editing software in competition for your video dollar is Stone Design's Videator 2.0. Optimized for Intel Macs and compatible with Mac OS X 10.4 or later, it uses Quartz Extreme, Core Image, and Core Video technologies, so its hardware requirements are a lot harder on your pocket than the software itself. Videator requires a minimum of 16MB VRAM, and an AGP-based ATI Radeon GPU or NVIDIA GeForce2 MX model or later. In order to take full advantage of the new Core Image and Core Video technologies, one must use a recent graphics card such as any of ATI Radeon's 9550, 9650, 9600 XT, 9800 XT, or X800 XT. To see if your Mac is Videator capable, you can check Stone Design's site.
No dreaded learning curveWithin minutes after installing Videator, I was off recording myself with my built-in iSight camera. One may dive straight in like I did, but I recommend viewing Stone Design's web tutorials first. Videator puts tons of features into a sleek, easy-to-use package. Not only is the software quick to load on my Intel Mac, but also it uses Apple Spotlight technology to find that one effect without having to look through the Effects menu. Conveniently, Stone also includes a way to bookmark your favorite effects, or even chain of effects, for future use.
myriad of effects and filtersThe main selling point of Videator 2.0 is its over-100 effects, and their instant applications. You don't waste any time rendering, because this program uses Apple's Core Video engine to quickly put one or many effects on own your lovely face. With one click, you can apply several Photoshop-like effects to your video, complete with timed fade-ins and adjustments. The program also manipulates photos, which allowed me to create slideshows from video snapshots or use imported photos in several other formats. It works in concert with iMaginator flawlessly.
Robust softwareVideator can export video into many formats, including MPEG-4 and even custom-fitted settings ready for the video iPod. I took video of myself and encoded it into several different formats just for experimentation, and the process was quick, painless, and effective. Now that my movie is on my iPod, Videator has enabled me to demonstrate the funky chicken to anyone on the go without having to dance in public. Videator makes layering text, images, or additional video very simple. You can even drag in files from iTunes or your Desktop.
My only gripe with the software is that, while you can record audio along with video, there is no way to record stand-alone audio to tailor to a project. Stone Design suggests using GarageBand for tasks such as creating dialogue, and then importing the sound files with Videator. This to be somewhat cumbersome and I would rather it were built into Videator so that I can match up segments of video or pictures with different audio recordings in an easier manner.
Excellent ValueStone Design's Videator includes expert-level features at a $49.00 consumer-level price. As the company is committed to releasing free upgrades, this software is a strong purchase for anyone interested in casual to professional-grade video editing and manipulation.
Edited by Ilene Hoffman, Reviews Editor