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PowerDirector 11 is CyberLink’s latest version of their video editing software. It is relatively easy for a novice to use, but has enough features to give a professional videographer the tools they need. It can even handle HD and 3D video. In this review I’ll concentrate on the features that make this a great option for the novice.

The opening screen let’s you choose how deep you want to go. The Slideshow Creator will take a collection of images and, with a few clicks, produce a very slick slideshow based upon a style that you choose. The Easy Editor is similar, except that it works with both stills and video clips.

The Full Feature Editor is where you can manipulate your media until you’re exhausted.

Slideshow Creator and the Easy Editor are similar in concept: you give them your media, pick a style, and let it do all the work. Depending on the style, there might be manual adjustments you can make; but you’ll get a finished product if you leave them alone.

Here is the opening screen of the Slideshow Creator after I’ve loaded some images into it. As you can see, there are only four steps: Source (this screen), Style and Music, Preview, and Production.

The Styles and Music Screen is where you pick the look of your slide show and assign music to it if you want. The styles control the way your images move (zoom, float, rotate, slide) and how they transition from one to the next.

After picking a style, you preview your slideshow. If you don’t like it, you can go back and change the style.

Remember, the slideshow will be a video. I’ve captured a single frame from the middle of a preview. This style displays more than one image at a time, and they move in and out of the frame. The style has also supplied a background.

The next step is to produce your slide show. The main PowerDirector program will open, with your video all ready to burn to disk or produce to a file. In four simple steps you’ve transformed a collection of images into a dynamic video.

The Easy Editor works the same way, and the screens are very similar. Import your clips and stills, pick a style, preview, and burn or produce to a file. When CyberLink says “easy” that’s exactly what they mean.

The Full Feature Editor has an incredible array of features for capturing, editing, and producing videos. Fortunately, you don’t have to jump into the deep end. Because both the Slideshow Creator and the Easy Editor are fully integrated with the Full Feature Editor, you can use them as starting points and learn, bit by bit, how to use its full power.