Pinnacle Studio Plus offers a wide array of organizing, editing and exporting tools that earned it a spot in our review of the best video editing software. Its unique and intuitive workflow allows you to import, sort and build projects from your media clips. It’s also easy to learn; you’ll get the hang of this software in just a few minutes. It contains all the tools you need to transform your raw footage into a finely polished video you’ll be happy to share with friends and family.
Almost all the video editing applications in our review have two editing modes: timeline and storyboard. The timeline shows you a linear layout of all your clips, sounds and more based on how long they run. The storyboard shows you each element on its own regardless of length. Normally you can switch between these two modes. However, in Pinnacle Studio Plus, both the timeline and storyboard are contained on the same screen – which is useful because it means you can take advantage of both workflows at once. No other program in our review has this type of workflow.
This movie maker software gives you 24 video and audio editing tracks to work with. This is enough to meet the needs of most video producers. Each line comes with its own built-in sound mixer so you can adjust and enhance your project’s audio line-by-line. Additionally, you can drill down on video and audio to fine-tune your picture and sound to perfection. The program also offers one of the largest libraries of preprogrammed objects, including more than 1,800 effects, titles, transitions and templates to work with. These tools give editors the flexibility and versatility they need to create complex projects.
Although first-time users may feel intimidated by Pinnacle Studio’s interface, they should be able to get the hang of it rather quickly. The software comes with a sample movie that you can study to see exactly how a video project is supposed to look on the timeline. You can also access the Pinnacle Studio forums from the help menu. You should be able to find the answers to any questions you may have there.
One tool worthy of note is the multi-cam module. In the age of high-definition smartphone cameras, there are many situations where there are multiple videos of the same event from different angles. Pinnacle Studio 20 Plus allows you to load up to four sources of an event, sync them and then splice them together so you can get a more complete and polished video. It takes a minute to learn but it’s worth the time investment.
There are some advanced video editing features we look for that are not available in Pinnacle Studio Plus. For example, there are no options to stabilize shaky or unstable video footage. It also lacks the ability to edit and produce 4K video and has no tools for 360-degree video tools. If you want these abilities, you’ll have to purchase Pinnacle Studio Ultimate. Or if you don’t want to jump for the premium program, you can find these tools in our top pick – CyberLink PowerDirector.
One of the best new features found in this year’s iteration of Pinnacle Studio is the video template creator. When you’re done with a video, you can save it as an outline for future projects by selecting which cuts you want to be placeholders. When you want to make a new video with that template, all you have to do is drag and drop your new footage in. This is fantastic if you make lots of similar videos regularly, and it can save you hours of time in the long run.
Once your video project is finalized, Pinnacle Studio offers you several ways to export and share it. If you simply want to make a video file for your computer, this video editor lets you export in all the most popular video formats like MP4, MOV and AVI. You can also upload your video to your YouTube, Facebook or Vimeo accounts without leaving the program, which is a big time saver over uploading files manually. You can also optimize your video for playback on several devices like smartphones, tablets and gaming systems.
Pinnacle Studio Plus claimed a well-deserved spot on our side-by-side comparison chart of the best video editing software. Its combined timeline/storyboard interface gives it a unique workflow. It also has one of the largest libraries of effects and transitions of all the video editors we reviewed. But if you want 4K support or 360-degree editing tools, you’ll have to upgrade to the Ultimate version of the software.