Just as the number of Hollywood films deploying 3D technology appears to have peaked, Roxio’s HD video editing package includes a feature that allows you to take your 2D home movies, and give them a three-dimensional makeover. It’s simple to do, too, and you get some 3D glasses in the box to enjoy the end result.
That said, the 3D it generates isn’t massively impressive (which is more a problem with the 3D revolution’, rather than Roxio’s approach), and should, in all honesty, be treated as the gimmick it ultimately is. But it’s nonetheless a fun extra in a package that costs around £50 – especially given that the software can burn a 3D Blu-ray for you. If you have the equipment to support the end product, then it at least has some novelty interest. Roxio Video Lab HD even captures footage directly from stereoscopic cameras, which again, is hard to argue with, given the asking price.
More interesting to most, though, will be the core video editing job that the software does. Video Lab HD, not unlike Roxio Creator, presents a suite of tools to help you put your masterpiece together.
The program you’ll spend the most time using is the long-established VideoWave video editing application, and this is as friendly as ever. There’s nothing radical in its approach: it’s a timeline-based editor (although you can opt for a more streamlined story view). It does its job quickly, and with minimum fuss. Bringing material to put into your production is easy enough, and file support is broad. Naturally, you won’t be able to import copyright-protected material, though.
What you can take advantage of, however, is features such as image stabilisation. This is a useful option that papers over a few of the cracks caused by shaky camerawork. You choose which footage you want to apply it to, and Roxio makes a decent fist of fixing some of the wobbles. It’s not perfect, but it’s better than nothing, especially in the age of the videophone.
The program itself is brisk. The only thins that will leave you sitting around waiting is – inevitably – the rendering and conversion work (especially so with the likes of 3D conversion, which is a nice workout for any PC). But it’s all manageable, and while it’s not up to the level of something like Adobe Premiere Elements, VideoWave has enough for most.
A few extra tricks
The package has a few other tricks up its sleeve, too. There are comprehensive options for outputting your material, and this whole process is made very straightforward. Video Lab HD can author DVDs and Blu-rays, and is happy enough to output directly to the likes of YouTube and Facebook. Furthermore, there’s playback support, too, with Blu-ray discs included in that. It’ll save a few quid on PowerDVD, if nothing else.
What you get for your money here – aside from a pair of 3D glasses – is a good suite of video editing tools that offer strong value for money. You might want to consider, if it’s more than video work you’re undertaking, forking out a little more for Roxio’s own Creator 2011 Pro. And we’d also suggest you put aside any visions of creating compelling 3D content – but for a solid, effective, video editing suite, Video Lab HD certainly hits the mark.
- You get a lot for your money, and certainly enough to get the job done.
- The 3D remains a bit of a gimmick.
An effective video editing suite, at an attractive price. Don't concern yourself too much with the 3D, though.