By Terry Currier
The Ulead MovieFactory 4 Disc Creator package is a complete package for editing and authoring movies. On top of that it has a disc burning program for burning your favorite tunes to a CD, or for backing up your data.
First thing I notice in MovieFactory was there is no toolbar on top. The interface is different from any other program with the controls on the side, or the bottom. You can bring in video the usual ways from a camera, DVD, hard drive, or VCR if you have the ability to import them. It works with AVI, MPEG, MOV, ASF, and WMV. To work with the videos there is only a Timeline sequence to work with, no Storyboard (by clips.) For editing a video you can do the mark in or mark out for where you want it to come in and go out. For me I always split it then just delete the parts out I donít want. The preview screen controls include play, reverse, frame forward, frame back, and repeat. They have a jog wheel which you can use to slide the video forward or reverse. One thing it really needs is controls for Fast Forward or Reverse.
The export feature gives lots of options as to the quality, but I was disappoint with it. If the user has several sections of movies to export MovieFactory will create a mpeg for each rather then joining them together as one.
I notice somewhat the same effect with creating a disc also. Say for example you recorded an hour TV show split and deleted out the commercials, leaving you with four sections of 12 minutes each. When you create a disc in other programs it counts the time all the way to 48 minutes. With the MovieFactory disc I noticed it showed each sections smoothly as one movie, but restarted the timing counter with each section.
I liked the setup for creating menus. You can create motion menus (a section of the movie displaying on the button) with resizable buttons. If you want the movie to start right away with no menu MovieFactory can set it up that way also.
Normally for high quality you can put one hour of video onto a DVD. For standard video you can put two hours on. MovieFactory will let you fit more. In the normal editing if you go over two hours it will tweak it to fit. I put two hours and 33 minutes onto a DVD, it worked and looked fine.
If you have a bunch of digital photos you can create a slideshow with transitions between each photo. There are not a lot of choices for transitions (seven), but it really is all you need. You also have the ability to pan and zoom in on the photos. Bad part is the pan and zoom is for all of the photos or none. It comes with six different menu themes; vacation, romantic, festivities, motion, corporate, and sports. If you want, you can add background music while the slideshow is going.
If you have a TV card in your computer or can import VHS or DV you can use DiskRecorder to record straight to disc. I used it to record a TV show direct to a DVD so I did not even have to go in and have it render the movie. That saves a lot of time. You can set the channel, duration for recording, you can even pause the recording to keep out commercials.
You can copy discs, or erase the files on rewriteable disc. There is also a quick-drop box icon on your desktop for dragging and dropping files to direct to disc. There is support for double-layer DVDs, XDVD, and DVD+VR 2.0; 16:9 wide-screen editing. Ulead also gives a DVD player in the suite that is pretty good. One other good thing is they have some MovieFactory 4 tutorials on their website (http://www.ulead.com/learning/dmf.htm).
DVD MovieFactory 4 Tutorials include:
Ulead MovieFactory 4 Disc Creator http://www.ulead.com $99
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