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Magix has made an video editor for beginners.
The interface is simple - quite self-explanatory - and the contents are reduced to basic editing functions. A perfect gift for the beginner - but it would suit many others as well.
Download price £39.99 from
(offer in February 2010 includes their PC Check & Tuning
From amazon UK you can get a boxed version of VideoEasy on its own for £31.82.
Overall rating: Excellent * * * * * A free trial version (7 days without registration, a month with registration) is available so that you can try it out.
Tens of thousands of camcorders have been sold in UK and many more in other countries. Each one represents a video user, unaware of the challenges that lie ahead if they want to make real films. I would think that most use a video camcorder to take snapshots of a holiday trip, family events and gatherings of friends. Few envision a future role as a real video amateur or enthusiast. They just want memories of things they experienced in the past, presented in a reasonably attractive form. Above all, they want moviemaking without hassle. Time is a scarce commodity for the modern man and woman.
It helps a lot in the end result, if the footage follows a few simple basic rules: steady camera, limited use of pan / tilt and zoom, and scenes that are not too long. But despite all the care, you still come home with shots that are too long, have failed or otherwise upset the whole. The answer, of course, is editing. From the start we should not think there is something mysterious about editing. We simply use a computer program installed on the PC.
An editing program today consists of 3 main functions:
|Magix has launched a program, Magix Video Easy, which is targeted
at the many new video-makers, plus the many people who do not want a lot
of hassle, but just want over to process their own videos without too much
The box contains a program CD and an easy English manual in 30 pages. It runs on the Windows operating systems: Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7.
Of course Windows has its own simple, free video editor. For XP this was Windows MovieMaker and for later versions of Windows Windows Live Movie Maker. (For an Apple computer, you should instead consider the free iMovie program.)
Hardware requirements are similar to those for most other editor programs:
|The installation runs automatically and should not pose problems. Before
you proceed, it is a good idea to browse the little introduction video (3
½ minutes) that explains most of what you need to know in advance. The
time is well invested.
Magix Video Easy opens with a splash screen where you select the source of your video footage. You can customise the setup, so that instead you start with the editing screen set for the format you normally use.
Basically, the program sets up image resolution and format according to the input material. That means for instance that the AVCHD footage is to be treated as native (without transcoding) from beginning to end result. This ensures optimum quality.
|You go then to the "Editing" screen, which provides access to the system's
The individual scenes are presented on a storyboard at the bottom. Top left is the video window.
Just below the video image are a few controls: sliders to trim scenes, and keys to control playback, plus a single key to join scenes. It is limited - but it is enough.
Top right you will find the text generator with a choice of fonts and sizes and color choices. I regret that text can appear only on a black background. It would have been nice to have an alternative option of placing text over a video frame.
Below the text generator are different buttons to activate special
|It should also be mentioned that there is the possibility of choosing
automatic editing of the footage.
For the complete beginner this is the quickest way to produce a movie which will assemble all your shots neatly into a coherent piece. It applies a simple transition between each shot and adds whatever music you have chosen.
There is at present only one theme available, but you can buy more options for download over the net.
|In the authoring of finished film, you first choose the type of output
that is desired.
Here are the opportunities you may need:
|The following screens have different content depending on the output
type you selected.
Selecting the authoring of a DVD, the screen looks like this:
Here you sort out a menu. The possibilities are again limited to very few
Besides the printed guide, there are help texts on the screen and a manual in pdf format which the user in his or her own interest should print on paper, to have it at hand - particularly in the beginning, while still learning. It is a really good system, targeted specifically to people with a video camera, who have not previously edited on a computer. The product can be clearly recommended if you are starting from scratch.
Get more information: www.magix.com/uk/video-easy
- Leif Christiansen (former webmaster of NordFilmNet)
|Page updated on 16 January 2011 Join us on Facebook UNICA member|