MoviePlus X6 review

Photo of MoviePlus X6
£59.99

The latest version of Serif’s home video editing program adds new features designed to appeal to users who want to create movies with the minimum of effort and a number of extras designed to enhance its appeal to more serious enthusiasts. In this way, the program continues to serve the needs of most home users effectively – and given the sub £60.00 price – cost effectively.

New features

The headline new feature is the so-called QuickMovie Studio – 20 themed templates suitable for showing off a holiday, a birthday party, Christmas celebration, a family history, a year at college and so on. Each template includes titles and end credits as well as background frames and colours, special effects and transitions and the idea clearly is that movie makers in a hurry will be able to achieve an acceptable end product in the shortest possible time.

The new version also adds a utility that allows you to convert videos singly or in batches without having to load them into MoviePlus at all, making it a useful tool for anyone collecting video from various sources or shooting it in different file formats. In addition, the program’s own export feature has been pepped up to include pre-sets for popular portable devices like Apple iPhones and iPads and Sony PSPs; and while we’re at it, MoviePlus X6 now supports AVCHD progressive export which means you can squeeze HD video onto – for example – memory cards and then watch them on TV.

There’s also a direct uplink to Facebook (YouTube was already supported) and the new version doesn’t forget those who like to get their hands dirty – it’s now possible to exert fine control over ‘professional’ settings like white balance, exposure and vibrancy; though we’re less convinced by the new 3D effects, which may make it easier to direct a video clip along an unusual axis but still don’t answer the question as to why you’d want to do it in the first place.

In use

Despite providing everything you need to import, edit, enhance, title and burn home videos either using the storyboard or more complex timeline view, MoviePlus remains remarkably nippy, even on a relatively modest machine, lacking a fancy graphics card. For HD movies, this is in part due to the way it works on lower-resolution proxy files during the editing process, only manipulating the real thing when it’s time to render the finished video. The screen layout is typical Serif (cramped in some areas, wide open spaces in others) but it’s always helpful and rarely gets in the way of what you’re trying to do.

Company: Serif

Website: http://www.serif.com/

Contact: 0800 316 0463

Positives
  • Great set of features for the price, enhanced here by templates for the impatient.
Negative
  • Some of the templates are disappointingly unadventurous.

Verdict
MoviePlus continues to develop in small steps rather than leaps and bounds. The Quick Movie Studio templates may be similar in intent to Apple's Project Themes for iMovie, but they're not as sophisticated or as well-conceived; elsewhere, the broader range of video import and export features are welcome and the product continues to offer excellent value for money.