Fortunately for Pinnacle, Studio's editing tools make up for lost time. Studio 8.0 adds two new editing views, accessible from icons on the top of the Timeline view or as menu selections in the View menu. There's a Storyboard view, with icons arranged in a grid from top to bottom and transitions marked as symbols between icons, and a Traditional Cut list, which is a text description of each edit listed one cut after another. The Storyboard view works especially well for quickly assembling a rough cut of your video, then using the Timeline view to refine your edits.
Burn me, baby
In addition to smooth editing tools, Studio 8.0 now supports DVD authoring and, when used on a system with a DVD or CD-ROM burner, DVD and VideoCD burning. Similar to the DVD-authoring tools offered by Dazzle DVD Complete and Sonic Solutions MyDVD, Studio 8.0 uses 27 preset menu designs, which contain elements such as buttons and moving backgrounds that you can modify using the new Title Editor window. You can also create opening credits and name titles to play over your video. Just drag and drop to modify transitions or titles. For example, dragging a left-to-right Push transition to the beginning of the clip moves the title into position from left to right.
Most impressive, Studio 8.0 can create chapter settings within the timeline as you edit, so you can go straight to a specific point in your video from the menu. Move the Timeline Scrubber to the section of your video where you want a chapter setting, then right-click your mouse and select Insert Chapter Marker. VoilÃ ! Studio 8.0 automatically places a small chapter marker in the timeline and adds a button to your DVD menu bearing an image of the spot where you placed the marker--a huge time-saver when creating a DVD menu from your video material.
It's a winner
With its improved video-editing features and new DVD-authoring capabilities, Studio 8.0 is clearly still the reigning champion of the low-end editing tools. Although Pinnacle needs to add QuickTime support, this program's elegance and simplicity make it the ideal video-editing program for beginners who want to do both video editing and DVD authoring.