Monday, March 22, 2010

Corel Video Studio Pro X3

I recently upgrade from Corel Video Studio Pro X2 (12) to X3 (13) for my basic video editing needs (I still use Premiere Pro / Encore CS4 for advanced projects). So far I've seen big improvements in program stability (I'm running Windows 7 x64) and refinements to the user interface (e.g. the location of mark in/out buttons when multi-trimming a video). Another bonus is the hardware encoder acceleration support, although you will need a CUDA enabled video card for that so I'm unable to test it's performance (I'm running an ATI 4890). But it's not all good news.

When upgrading a software package I can understand the need to refine the user experience through simplifying the interface and either hiding or removing unnecessary options. The only problem with this is when developers take it to far, which is what I believe has happened in Corel DVD Factory Pro 2010 (which is the Blu-ray / DVD authoring program within the Corel Video Studio Pro X3 package).

Instead of improving on the previous authoring tool found in X2, they have managed to make it so frustrating to use that I now...

  • Edit my video in Corel Video Studio Pro X3
  • Save to a version 12 project file
  • Open in X2 and create the DVD using the old authoring program

And it's not just one problem that is causing me to resort to this, it's many. Here is an example of the biggest problems I see at the moment...
  • Can no longer create DVD's with no menu (I used this feature a lot in X2)
  • Forced to used the new media library (which by default imports all the video, sound and photo's it can find on your system)
  • Limited DVD menu styles (when compared to X2)
  • Reduced DVD menu style editing options (e.g. set the section of video to show for menu thumbnails)

When you get down to it, I only really have issues with the DVD authoring program bundled in X3. So if that is something you don't really use, or only use at a very basic level (so much for the “Pro” tag) then Corel Video Studio Pro X3 is a worth while upgrade from X2, if only for the bug fixes. ;-)

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Clipsal 500, Adelaide 2010

Random action from the event.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

VT Racing - Rally SA 2009

Footage from Friday & Saturday

Friday, March 13, 2009

G1 Round 1 - 7 March 2009

Some video I shot at the first round of G1 Extreme Drift (Mallala). Filmed on a Canon HV30 + 1.7x Tele Lens (no tripod and sorry for the shaky cam).

Friday, July 18, 2008

Flash video player for Director 10 & 11

I've just finished a very basic flash video player that can be used in Director 10 & 11. This player is designed to get around the video start-up delay (or flash) you encounter when using the default FLV playback component.


As always feel free to ask for help if you get stuck or have a question :-)

Friday, June 13, 2008

FishMark 08 Released

FishMark 08 is a benchmark designed to see how well your computer renders 2D animations in Director MX 2004 (10.1). It's currently still in Beta testing but don't let that scare you, it's quite stable.


To download FishMark 08 click here. FishMark 08 is compatible with Windows 2000, XP & Vista.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Windows Vista, Sleep to Shut Down

Ever wondered how to change the default behaviour of the Sleep button found in the Windows Start Menu to a Shut Down button? If so just follow these instructions...

  • Press the Windows key then type in 'pow' and press enter (this should open the power options control panel)
  • Click 'Change plan settings' on the power plan you currently have selected
  • Click 'Change advanced power settings'
  • Expand 'Power buttons and lid'
  • Expand 'Start menu power button'
  • Now change the setting 'sleep' to 'shut down'
  • Click 'Apply' and 'OK'

Now the yellowish sleep button in the start menu has become a red shut down button.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

CA Anti-virus + Windows Vista = Poor Performance

I've been meaning to post this information, but just haven't gotten around to it until now (slack I know). Anyway my point to this post is, don't run CA Anti-virus (formally Vet for some users) if you're running any version of Windows Vista (including SP1).

I've personally run into problems on both AMD and Intel based computers where the explorer process will start using 100% of the available CPU power (on the active core), which can last a few minutes at a time. I found this was caused by the CA Anti-virus real-time scanner and the only way to get around the problem is to disable it. BUT if you do disable the real-time scanner then you have to remember to manually scan every download and email attachment otherwise you could get infected (because nothing is being scanned automatically any more). Some good news is that CA Anti-virus still works perfectly fine if you are running 2000 or XP.

As an alternative to CA Anti-virus I'm now testing Avast! and I'm impressed (apart from the voice alerts). Some other anti-virus packages that I haven't yet tested on Windows Vista but I would still recommend are NOD32 and Kaspersky.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Scrollbar Behaviour for Director 10 & 11

I posted this on the Director Mailing List the other day but thought I should also get it online elsewhere so that everyone has access. What I've created is a scrollbar behaviour that emulates the scrollbar object found in the now dead OSControls Xtra. So all properties, methods and events from the old #OSscrollbar object are now supported by this new scrollbar behaviour. For more information see the following links...

View example movie (Shockwave 11 required)
Download example source code (Director 11 only)

Download the Scrollbar Behaviour for Director 10
Download the Scrollbar Behaviour for Director 11
Download the Scrollbar photoshop CS3 template

Current Version: 1.0b8-19Jun08

If you need help with the Scrollbar Behaviour just leave me a message and I'll get back to you as soon as I can.

Friday, March 21, 2008

8800GT running on a DFI Lanpary UT nF4...

Yesterday my remaining XFX GeForce 7900GT (I was running two in SLI) started displaying graphical artefacts when using 3D applications. This meant I was in the market for a new video, but which one?

After some searching I found the best buy to be a GeForce 8800GT with a dual slot cooler. So I headed over to my local computer store and bought myself a Galaxy 8800GT. Athlough I did this knowing the card might not work with my current motherboard, a DFI Lanparty UT nF4 SLI-DR Expert. The reason being that it only has version 1.0a PCIe slots (from the information I've found).

Once I was back in front of my computer I removed the old nVidia video drivers, shut down the system and bagged the old XFX 7900GT. I then proceeded to installed the new Galaxy 8800GT in the first PCIe slot (which was running at 16x) and fired the system up. To my disappointment the only thing that happened was the sound of one long beep followed by three short beeps, informing me that the system had a video error. I double checked the connections of the two 6-pin PCIe power cables (which were fine) and made sure the video card was seated firmly in the PCIe slot (which it was). I then powered on the system again only to be greeted with the same sequence of error beeps. At this point I was thinking that a) it wasn't compatible with my system, b) my 535 watt Enermax power supply wasn't providing enough power or c) the card was DOA.

After checking the system would still boot with my old 7900GT I then tested the 8800GT again but this time using PCIe slot number 4, the second 16x slot (running at 2x). To my relief the system booted up and everything was working like normal. So it would seem that the first PCIe slot is incompatible with my 8800GT, but the fourth (second 16x slot) is fine. The only problem with this arrangement is that the fourth slot is limited to a maximum of 8x bandwidth, not the full 16x which the first PCIe slot provides (insert sad panda here).

So if you're have having problems running a GeForce 8800GT on a DFI Lanparty UT nF4 SLI-DR Expert, try installing it into the fourth PCIe slot (the second 16x). Just remember to set the bandwidth to SLI mode in the bios (8-0-4-8).

I've sent an email to DFI support detailing the problem. Hopefully they get back to me.