Create high-resolution videos with individual cuts, transitions and effects! With support for 4K resolutions, Dolby 5.1 and lightning-fast conversion, Ashampoo Movie Studio Pro 3 is the tool of choice for high-end video creation. Enhance the visual quality of your clips, add background audio, use transition or other video effects and add opening/closing credits with ease to give your videos a professional look. Cut out annoying ads and convert your videos into hundreds of formats and resolutions optimized for a huge range of devices from iOS to Android and others. Use smart cutting technology and bring your recordings to life with sounds and animations.
The first two options for starting projects are Simple mode and Expert mode. The difference is basically that the former shows you a thumbnail storyboard view of your project and the latter a track timeline view. The storyboard view includes buttons for trimming, effects, audio, and subtitles, so it’s actually more powerful than some competitors’ storyboard views, which don’t offer as many editing options.
In the three-panel view—source content top left, timeline/storyboard across the bottom, and preview video window top right—plus sign buttons let you add to the timeline, though oddly they add clips to the beginning rather than the end of the movie project. Big Undo and Redo buttons are useful, but they don’t appear in the trimming interface. Ctrl-Mouse Wheel lets you easily zoom in and out the timeline scale. There’s only one track for video, along with tracks for effects, transitions, object animations, text, and audio.
Neither interface mode has a standard menu bar across the top, with File, Edit, and so on. And in either, you can drag and drop video and photo files into the source panel or simply click the Add Files… button to pick them from Windows File Explorer. The interface is reasonably touch-friendly, with buttons that fit finger taps, but I couldn’t drag clips to rearrange them in storyboard mode with my finger on a touch screen. You can adjust the size of the panels, though you cannot snap them off into independent panels, as you can with Vegas Movie Studio and Pinnacle Studio.
Below the source panel at top left, you do have buttons to switch that panel’s view between Media Library, Transitions, Text, Intros + Credits, Video Effects, Audio, and Animation. The video preview window (in Expert view) show the movie timecode with hour:minute:second:frame, and offers playback tools for proceeding back or forward one or 15 frames at a time. But there are no buttons to take you to the beginning and end of your project. Even those simple actions take several seconds to appear, though. Like most video software, Ashampoo lets you start and stop playback by hitting the space bar, but the response is quite delayed.
File formats that you can import are limited to MPEG-2, MPEG-4, and H.264. Ashampoo doesn’t support importing the high-efficiency video codec files (HEVC) used by recent smartphones, or WMV files. Movie Studio Pro 3 is able to import 4K files, but it doesn’t edit 360-degree footage. That’s a less important consideration at this point, perhaps soon to join 3D video as an outmoded pursuit.
You can switch the source panel to show any combination of movies, pictures, and audio, or just one type at a time. There’s a search box that applies to content file names, but you can’t create albums or folders or use keyword or color tags, as you can in Adobe Premiere Elements.