Friday, November 21, 2008

Magix Pro X

Pro X is now available in English. This long awaited software available in Germany for a few months now can be downloaded in America for $200.00. Not a bad price for pro software, though this is probably an introduction offer. You can see it here.

Pro X is the combination of efforts by a team in the Magix™ corporation that for years has overseen the development of all of the Magix editors. From Video Deluxe to the more recent Movie Edit Pro 14 Plus. Their efforts have paid off, Pro X is a very good entry into the professional editing environment.

If you have used Movie Edit Pro 14 Plus you will find a familiar interface, albeit with some re-arranging. The system performs like MEP14+ on steroids! You have the Xara3D titler built in and the ability to take embedded alpha channel elements without the accompanying matte. For now, AVI only. The Key Framer in MEP14+ is gone, replaced by a more advanced Movement controller.

The Multi-cam switcher allows you to place and sync up to 4 videos and "switch" from scene to scene on the fly. This creates a new video clip on the timeline that is the multi-switch version, making it easy to then add key frames or titles to a edited piece.

The media pool holds all your directories to find effects, files and such and as you edit a module keeps track of the elements you use so you can get to them faster. A nice touch I enjoy. I do miss the key framer but I like many of the new features. You have the Movie Show Maker and the Sound Track maker but few to no elements for them. This is not a toy with pre-made stuff for you. It's an editor. And it appears they stuck to making it great, not filling it with minor extras.

The timeline works pretty much the same as MEP14+ and the interface is close, but under the hood is a Ferrari compared to a Corolla. More precise control and everything easy to get to. If you are coming from MEP14+ to ProX there will be a bit of a learning curve. Mostly finding where things are. Like going from the cockpit of a Cessna to a Concord, the controls are there but you may have to sort around a bit to find the throttle and rudders.

To help you with that they have conveniently made it possible to undock the panels and move them around. I like the default but you may want to arrange your dashboard to your own liking. F9 returns to the default. One thing that is lacking - no little video tutorials to show you around. Best to dive in and explore to learn it. You will especially want to play with the 3D titler. Little rotating text is simple, making it work like a titler and move text on the timeline is a bit tricker.

It captured from my firewire with no dropped frames, so did MEP14+ so it is solid there. You have a nice clean up wizard to help get rid of project files you don't need and you can pull up Extreme Photo Designer to edit a photo or element on the timeline. Color correct, change, crop, or even create a panorama picture. Right from an element on the timeline. Yeah, I liked that too.

I used the "Juicer" from Digitaljuice.com then made a swipe with embedded alpha and Pro X used it flawlessly. Just render an embedded avi. Of course in Effects you have your chroma key controls and many more like mosaic, whirlpool and other useful effects. Plus you can export elements you build on the timeline as transitions and alphas.

Having had some time to play with it I am still discovering new things tucked away here and there, and I must admit I needed to default back to MEP14+ a couple of times to do something on the fly, seems I'm adjusting to Pro X at a slower rate. The dreaded learning curve. I got very proficient with MEP14+ and I find I love the new stuff but miss the familiar placement of standards in MEP. No worries, I will adapt.

I'm sure Pro X will take its place among the top video editors out there and in time it will be considered a standard. Do take a test drive if you can, but be sure to wear your seat belt. Its an impressive machine. :-)
J.

4 comments:

Bill said...

Nice review J. Seems like a powerful program. I've been editing on Avid since 1994, but lately find myself enjoying Vegas, and am actually planning a switch to Vegas at work. (At home I am already using v.8).

Bill
www.billmecca.com
www.losttownsvideo.com

Anonymous said...

I agree good review. helps me decide if i want to get it.

Bill said...

J,

can seem to find any mention on Magix's website about whether ProX has the ability to batch capture HDV from tape. Haven't had time to download the trial. This is something Vegas cannot do and Sony doesn't seem interested in making it happen. Really bugs me because it's a major part of my workflow.

Bill
www.billmecca.com
www.losttownsvideo.com

Jay Michael said...

I know it has a "Batch Convert", for converting files. I have no way of testing it with HDV. Not sure this is what you are looking for either. Grab the trial, that should tell ya. :-)