Corel VideoStudio Pro X5 – all-in-one video editor and screen recorder

Corel VideoStudio ProEveryone is taking video today. Nearly everyone that I know has a smartphone or has access to a smartphone. As such, they’ve got digital photos and, more importantly, video clips flying all over the place. This is one of the biggest reasons why I like applications like Corel Video Studio Pro. It’s a video editing application for Windows.

Corel VideoStudio Pro is a powerful video-editing application, and has screen recording, built in. Its an all-in-one, video editor that provides editing, advanced effects, interactive web video and total disc authoring into a single package. The app is fast and packed with intuitive tools, that let you create family movies and slideshows, fun, stop motion animations, and screen recordings of presentations, tutorials and more. You can tap into the full power of your multi-core processor and share your creations everywhere with native HTML5 video support, or enhanced DVD and Blu-ray authoring.

vspx5

Once you’ve got your creations completed, you can quickly share them online, or burn a professional quality DVD/ Blu-ray disk complete with menus, titles and transitions. Corel VideoStudio Pro has a huge template library. You can choose from a variety of Instant Projects, drop in your content and make a movie in minutes. You can drag your media and graphics onto the Timeline, add effects, transitions and more. You can reveal or hide tracks, zoom in and out, or customize the Timeline to your liking. VSP makes it very easy once you get a handle on the workflow.

Corel VideoStudio Pro is a really cool app. It makes creating video less complicated than other apps and is fun to use. Non-experienced users may have a little bit of trouble getting used to the workflow and some of the tools, but it’s not difficult once you get going. If you have a lot of video and want to pull it all together into a disc that can be passed or sent to relatives or simply want to keep a hard copy record that can be viewed from any set top player, this is a decent choice for the task.

Download Corel VideoStudio Pro

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Create and edit PDF files with this easy to use, affordable app – Foxit PDF Editor

When Adobe created the PDF document (PDF stands for Portable Document Format), it hoped that it would be creating a standard. I don’t think they thought it would be as successful or as lasting as it has been. I also don’t think they thought it would foster the creation of so many different applications and companies that support the format with third party products.

It’s actually quite amazing. Everyone uses PDF’s now-a-days to create near source, identically-formatted documents for secure distribution to friends and colleagues who need the information, but (authors) don’t want/need readers to edit them. This is why I like apps like Foxit PDF Editor. It’s a PDF creating and editing tool for Windows.

We all need to create or archive professional looking personal documents, collaborate with teammates, design company forms, produce company collateral, finalize agreements, apply digital signatures. Foxit PDF Editor is one of the leading solutions for home/home offices, small and medium sized businesses, and large enterprises in this space. It comes in three versions to fit the diverse use cases that different users require.

Foxit PDF Editor Express is great for home/home office or business users. It helps you create standards PDF files. You can create PDF’s directly from MS Office with one button click; or batch create PDF documents from other common formats. You can also use its convenient annotation tools to add comments, notes and other annotations. Foxit PDF Editor Express provides a quick and easy way to get the job done.

Foxit PDF Editor Standard is ideal for any size business. Foxit PDF Editor Standard expands upon Foxit PDF Editor Express by allowing you to directly edit the text in the PDF document. After you are done editing, Foxit PDF Editor Standard’s robust security features keep your business documents safe. You can include password and certificate encryption, and a digital signature. Its form design tools let you develop forms. Its import tools allow data to be automatically imported into forms; and custom JavaScript actions allow increased forms customization.

Foxit PDF Editor Business is robust for the needs of businesses. Foxit PDF Editor Business expands upon Foxit PDF Editor Standard by providing the security that helps companies meet regulatory compliance and corporate governance for their important documents and archives. It ensures documents don’t change after they are approved. You can extend the usage control benefits of Microsoft’s Active Directory Rights Management Service to all your PDF documents. Author can control document features within each PDF, where they can certify documents and set permitted actions.

Download Foxit PDF Editor

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Recording, mixing, editing, and mastering – Adobe Audition CS5

When it comes to internet audio, clean, clear and well balanced sound is now the standard, regardless of what you’re doing. Podcasts, internet radio and other streamed audio needs to sound like it was done in a real sound studio, or getting consistent listeners may be difficult to do. This is one of the reasons why I like Adobe Audition. It’s a platform independent audio editing tool.

Adobe Audition CS5.5 delivers the professional tools you need to make your audio and video productions sound their best. It handles a wide range of audio production tasks efficiently, including recording, mixing, and sound restoration. With native support for OS X and windows, you can record, mix, edit, and master your audio with a powerful audio toolset.

Adobe Audition CS5.5 has an improved audio processing engine. With it, you’ll experience greater speed throughout the audio production process whether opening and saving files, processing multicore effects, or simultaneously editing multiple sessions. With roundtrip editing with Adobe Premiere Pro, the audio in your video clips will be greatly improved. You can pass individual clips and multi-track mixes from Adobe Premiere Pro CS5.5 software to Adobe Audition for editing, or send Adobe Premiere Pro sequences with a reference video to Adobe Audition for complete soundtrack creation.

Read full review Download Adobe Audition CS5.5

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Adobe Illustrator – a great way to produce your own art

Creating computer wallpaper takes a special touch and a trained hand.  However, even the trained need a helping hand. This is one of the reasons whyI really like tooks like Adobe Illustrator CS5. It’s a multiplatform graphics editing tool, and its totally awesome.

With Adobe Illustrator, you can design vector graphics with precision and power. You can draw accurately in perspective, create variable-width strokes, paint with lifelike brushes, and let your creative juices flow.  You can create distinctive designs with precise shape-building tools, fluid and painterly brushes, and advanced path controls. You’ll have full control of variable-width strokes, arrowheads, dashes, and art brush scaling along a path.

You can use perspective grids to draw shapes and scenes in accurate 1-, 2-, or 3-point linear perspective, creating the look of realistic depth and distance.  You can paint with vectors that resemble real-world brush strokes; and can achieve the expressiveness of natural media with the scalability of a vector graphic tool.

You can also interact with gradients directly on your objects and control the transparency of individual colors in them as well as in gradient meshes. Adobe Illustrator lets you blend and morph one shape into another to create smooth shading, complex contours, and basic animations. Its Blob Brush allows you to sketch with a brush that generates a single clean vector shape, even when strokes overlap. You can draw naturally, using this unique tool together with the Eraser and Smooth tools.

Read full Review | Download Adobe Illustrator

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Gimp – a free alternative to high priced, professional programs such as Photoshop

In today’s graphic intensive world, having a decent, full featured editor is a must.  Many top of the line packages come with the features everyone wants, and unfortunately, with the price tag to go with it.  This is one of the reasons why I like GIMP. It’s a full featured, multi-platform graphics editor; and its totally awesome.

GIMP is the image editing tool of choice for many users, in large part due to its many editing tools.  It’s more common tools include a paint brush, pencil, airbrush, eraser and ink tools. You can use them to create new or blended pixels. Tools such as the bucket fill and blend tools are used to change large regions of space in an image and can be used to help blend images.

GIMP also has a selection of smart tools.  These use a more complex algorithm to enable a user to complete time consuming or difficult tasks, and include the clone tool that copies pixels using a brush, and the healing brush which copies pixels from an area and corrects the tone and color where it is being used. The perspective clone tool works in a similar way to the clone tool, but also allows a user to alter and correct distance changes. The blur and sharpen tool is a brush that blurs and sharpens sections of an image; and the dodge and burn tool is a brush that makes target pixels lighter (dodges) or darker (burns).

An image being edited in GIMP can consist of many layers. Each layer in an image is made up of several channels. In an RGB image there are normally 3 or 4 channels, consisting of a red, green and blue channel. Color sub-layers look like slightly different gray images, but when put together they make a complete image. The fourth channel that may be part of a layer is the alpha channel (or layer mask), this channel measures opacity where a whole or part of an image can be completely visible, partially visible or invisible.

Read full review | Download GIMP

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Make all your photos the best they can be with Photoshop CS5

With the holidays here and gone, it’s likely that most everyone has more digital pictures than they know what to do with. Once you’ve gone through all of them, you’ve likely found the ones that you’ll keep, the ones you’ll delete, and the ones you want to tweak. This is why I really like tools like Adobe Photoshop Extended CS5. It’s the premier photo editing tool for PC, and it’s a must have, if you can afford it.

Adobe Photoshop CS5 Extended delivers all the state-of-the-art editing, composition, and graphic design capabilities of Photoshop CS5.  It also adds breakthrough tools for 3D design and motion editing. Now, it can also be used with creativity-boosting, mobile apps. Working with your pictures away from your computer with CS5 just got easier.

If you’ve ever had a really tricky shape or area you wanted to select, but had trouble getting it just right, you’re going to like what you see in Photoshop CS5 Extended.  Now you can get better-than-ever results when selecting these tricky image elements, such as hair. You can also eliminate background color around selection edges and automatically vary selection edges and perfect masks using PS’s new refinement tools. You can also create photo-realistic, high dynamic range (HDR) images quickly and with unprecedented accuracy. You’ll get stunning results thanks PS’s automatic ghost removal; and have greater control of  tone mapping and adjustments.

Photoshop CS5 Extended is perhaps the most advanced image editing tool available on the internet today. With it, you can do almost anything that you can imagine with your digital photos. Its tools are state of the art and top of the line, which provide not only its strength, but its weaknesses as well. As much as EVERYONE will want to use it, the tools are often not the easiest to learn and use.  Many of its features require a great deal of skill and a steep learning curve to master. However, once you do master them, you’re going to find that this is THE tool to have, provided you can afford to purchase it in the first place.

read full review | download Adobe Photoshop Extended CS5

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ID Photo Maker – powerful standard ID photo making software

Even the most user-accessible photo editing software can still prove unwieldy for smaller jobs. That’s exactly why ID Photo Maker makes one of life’s little necessities as easy as 1, 2, 3; replicating the ease of a real life photo-booth on your desktop. Rather than spend your time fiddling with a photo editing suite, ID Photo Maker does it all for you.

To start you simply choose a picture from your hard-drive, or take one within the software using a connected webcam or digital camera. You choose which ID format you want then after a few easy clicks you’re done: ID Photo Maker will crop the photo automatically to the perfect size. You can even use a compact suite of editing tools if you’re looking to customise the colour or the background.

Anyone who’s not massively comfortable with photo editors, or someone looking to edit batches of photos, will find something to like here: None of the hassle, but thanks to a compact set of editing tools, those with a desire to customize can.

Despite the time it saves though, the full $99.69 license will only appeal to those editing on a larger scale. And the lowest purchase bracket ($7.69 for 10 uses) doesn’t help those looking to run off a couple of photos and leave it at that. Despite the cost though, you can’t fault ID Photo Maker’s ease-of-use.

Read full Review | Download ID Photo Maker

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Ashampoo Photo Commander 9: Efficient Management Meets Creativity

Ashampoo Photo Commander 9

The new Ashampoo Photo Commander 9 is the complete photo suite for all requirements for the management, optimization, editing and presentation of multimedia files.

In addition to that, Ashampoo Photo Commander 9 provides a lot of tools with which users can give free rein to their creativity when editing digital photos.

Ashampoo Photo Commander 9 runs on Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7 and a single license costs USD 49.99 / EUR 49.99 / GBP 34.99 / AUD 49.99 / CAD 64.99 / RMB 249.95 / CHF 64.99 / BRL 24.99.

Facts and features at a glance:
– Ashampoo Photo Commander 9 is released
– Single license price: USD 49.99 / EUR 49.99 / GBP 34.99 / AUD 49.99 / CAD 64.99 / RMB 249.95 / CHF 64.99 / BRL 24.99
– NEW: Grouping functions
– NEW: Dual-view mode
– NEW: IPTC assistent for indexing (tagging) photos
– NEW: TouchScreen support on Windows 7
– Several new features and extensive improvements
– Link: http://www.ashampoo.com

New features for more clarity and transparency
Among the highlights of Ashampoo Photo Commander 9 are new grouping functions with miniature view that enable a more clearly arranged display and a more efficient organization of digital photos. Additionally, audio- and video collections can be organized and displayed neatly.
The new dual-view mode allows the permanent comparison with the original. And the IPTC assistant allows the indexing of photos with terms (tagging). These tags, which are saved in the IPTC metadata, make the retrieval and grouping of photos easier.
Other useful features and extensive improvements provide even more comfort for all daily tasks around digital photos.

Picture optimization, editing and presentation
In addition to the sheer management functions, the Ashampoo Photo Commander 9 offers a wide range of tools for the creative editing of digital pictures. These range from picture optimization with one click, red eye removal, new photo effects, such as unsharpmask, miniature effect or blur effect as well as a new text tool, to the creation of collages, slideshows, greeting cards or HTML albums. Furthermore, many other tools and functions are available.

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