For 15 years, CyberLink has been creating world-class multimedia software applications that are both powerful and easy to use. The latest version of the company’s media production suite, Director Suite*, gives hobbyists and serious enthusiasts the ability to quickly and easily create, polish, and share professional-looking videos, photos, and music. Director Suite includes PowerDirector*, PhotoDirector*, ColorDirector*, AudioDirector* as well as PowerDirector Mobile, a touch-optimized video editor for Windows* 8 tablet PCs and Intel-inspired Ultrabook™ devices. PowerDirector Mobile gives on-the-go users the ability to edit and share video and slideshows in just a few simple steps. And because CyberLink tunes and optimizes its software to tap into hardware-accelerated Intel® Quick Sync Video media processing and the multi-threading capabilities built into the 3rd generation Intel® Core™ i5 and Core™ i7 processors, users are able to handle HD video and even ultra-HD 4K content smoothly.
Enabling Ultra-HD Video Editing and Playback
HD video is ubiquitous. What used to be a strictly professional format that required high-end video cameras to shoot and tricked out workstations to edit is available to anyone with a smartphone, a tablet PC, a point-and-shoot still camera, or a webcam and an off-the-shelf desktop, laptop, or tablet PC. And while HD was finding its way into handheld consumer electronics devices, professional cinematographers were busy shooting movies with cameras capable of much higher resolutions. These video formats are called “2K” and “4K”—terms that refer to image sizes roughly 2048 x 1536 pixels and 4096 x 3072 pixels, respectively. Both are much larger than full HD, a popular format that measures at least 1920 x 1080 pixels.
Editing and playback of these digital cinema formats have been known to bring lesser CPUs to their knees. But thanks to 3rd gen Intel Core family processors, CyberLink PowerDirector 11 lets you import, edit, play, and deliver 4K-resolution video using off-the-shelf Intel-inspired Ultrabook devices, laptops, and desktop PCs.
“PowerDirector is the first consumer video-editing software that supports an end-to-end ultra-HD 4K workflow,” said Wayne Liu, the Director of Business Development and OEM Accounts at CyberLink. PowerDirector 11 gives users an array of new features that streamline the video editing process, including Content-Aware Editing; new picture-in-picture, titles, and menu design tools; bonus effects by NewBlueFX; and color-correction, photo, and sound-design applications.
“The idea behind these new features is to make it even easier for virtually anyone to make great looking videos faster and more effortlessly than ever,” Liu said. “For example, Content-Aware Editing uses powerful new technology to analyze your footage and organize it into categories. It looks for scenes with faces, changes in motion, camera zooms or pans, and even identifies and gives users the ability to automatically correct poor lighting and shaky camera movement using advanced CyberLink TrueTheater* technology. It’s a huge time-saver.”
The new ColorDirector is a separate application that seamlessly integrates with PowerDirector. Users can send their video clips from PowerDirector to ColorDirector, quickly fine-tune the color of their footage, and then send it back to PowerDirector. “The round-trip workflow lets you adjust tonality, change the white balance, and enhance and stylize the colors within your videos,” Liu said.
CyberLink engineers utilized the Intel® Media SDK to optimize the software components in Director Suite, achieving a number of significant performance boosts. “We used Intel Media SDK to take advantage of Intel® HD Graphics and OpenCL* to accelerate a number of effects built into the software,” Liu said. The Intel Media SDK was also essential for tapping into the considerable media processing power of Intel Quick Sync Video technology that’s built into 3rd gen Intel Core i5 and Core i7 processors.
For example, PowerDirector lets users output their finished videos straight to various social media sites, including Facebook*, Vimeo*, YouTube*, and Nico Nico Douga*. Converting your source footage into a format that one of those sites supports—a process called transcoding—can be a processor-intensive, time-consuming task. “With Intel Quick Sync Video, we’re seeing a 600-percent transcoding performance boost in PowerDirector, so video that might otherwise take hours to convert now takes minutes,” Liu said.
CyberLink and Intel engineers worked together to ensure that TrueVelocity Parallel*, PowerDirector’s highly parallelized engine for high-speed video production, fully exploits all available CPU threads. The teams used Intel® Parallel Studio to take advantage of Intel® Hyper-Threading Technology, which supports two threads per core, enhancing processor performance and efficiency. The result is that consumers can work with multiple layers of HD video, run graphics overlays, and perform picture-in-picture effects all in real time.
CyberLink makes use of Intel® Streaming SIMD Extensions (Intel® SSE) to accelerate the effects pipeline for image editing in PhotoDirector.
In addition, CyberLink YouCam—a popular and fun webcam application—takes advantage of Intel HD Graphics for accelerating various special effects. CyberLink PowerDVD is optimized for multi-core, multi-threaded 3rd gen Intel Core i5 and Core i7 processors. PowerDVD is universal media playback software that is available separately or pre-bundled on top-tier OEM PCs from companies such as HP, Lenovo, Dell, and Acer. “With PowerDVD, multi-threading lets us display very high resolution 4K clips. It can also display 16 videos at once and takes advantage of Intel® Wireless Display technology,” Liu said. “Normally, you would use an HDMI* cable to connect your PC or laptop to a TV, but Intel WiDi lets you quickly connect to the TV wirelessly and then play HD video from your PC on the TV without a cable,” Liu said.
A New Approach to Mobile Video Editing
With the release of Microsoft Windows 8, CyberLink created three new Windows 8 Store apps—PowerDirector Mobile, PowerDVD Mobile, and YouCam Mobile. “All three are optimized for Intel® architecture mobile platforms,” Liu said. “We actually think of PowerDirector Mobile as a whole new application that lets users create video on-the-go using their Windows 8 tablet or Ultrabook device. We spent a lot of time redesigning the way our users interact with our software based on touch, but we did more than change the UI. PowerDirector Mobile brings a fresh, new approach to mobile video editing.”
Liu expects many users to turn to their Windows 8 tablets or Ultrabook devices to shoot videos and photos when they’re traveling. Of course, many already do just that with their smartphones, but “a Windows 8 tablet or Ultrabook with PowerDirector Mobile gives them the ability to edit that video or photo on-the-spot using touch gestures to trim their video clips to the desired length and then apply professionally designed templates. They can also rotate and crop photos, organize the media, and share it instantly. If more sophisticated adjustments are desired, they can just save the file and bring it into the desktop version of PowerDirector later.”
What design considerations did CyberLink take into account when revamping their applications for touch-optimized user interaction? “Touch is a new experience, especially for video editing, which people usually think of as being a detailed and sophisticated process that’s best handled with a mouse,” Liu said. “With PowerDirector Mobile, usability was essential. Fingers are bigger than a mouse and a cursor, so we needed to make everything visible and touchable.” said.
“We needed to predefine everything in the mobile app, so you could perform complex edits with a single action,” he continued. “You touch it, you get it. Our design had to be very straightforward. With the desktop version, it’s easy for a user to step forward or backward, but with the mobile version, we needed stay one or two steps ahead of the user.”
PowerDVD Mobile takes the same stripped-down approach to touch-based interaction, but goes further. Whether you’re running PowerDVD on a desktop PC, a Windows 8 tablet, or an Ultrabook device, you never have to decide which version of the application to run—it seamlessly and automatically launches the proper version based on the platform it’s running on.
The Ultrabook Device Advantage
The Ultrabook device adds another dimension to mobile video editing. “There used to be a trade-off between performance and portability,” Liu said. “If you wanted high-performance, you had to choose a desktop PC. The Ultrabook device changes that. You get portability and power—especially when the device is equipped with the latest Intel Core i7 processor and an ultra-fast Intel® Solid-State Drive. It really gives you the best of both worlds.”
Collaborating on the Future
CyberLink works closely with Intel to design software solutions that showcase the latest advances in processing power. The latest Director Suite software components demonstrate how Intel® hardware and Intel® software are driving innovation, enabling faster performance for handling HD and 4K video footage and making it possible for users to more quickly achieve professional results on their desktop and tablet PCs as well as on their mobile Ultrabook devices.
To learn more about CyberLink Director Suite or to download trial versions of the software, please see: www.cyberlink.com/
Get details on Intel® software developer tools here: http://software.intel.com/en-us/intel-sdp-home
For information on developing for Intel-inspired Ultrabook devices, point your browser to: http://software.intel.com/en-us/ultrabook