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Summary: Pinnacle Studio 12  (7/2008)
    HD Video Editing and New Montage Themes

    by Douglas Dixon

Pinnacle Studio 12 - Versions
New in Pinnacle Studio 12 - Montage themes
Pinnacle Studio 12 Workflow - Capture, Edit, Make Movie
System Requirements

Find related Pinnacle articles in the Manifest Tech Blog

Pinnacle Studio 12 was released in June 2008, providing simplified video editing and DVD creation for entry-level users, with versions for editing high-definition video and bundled with additional pro-style tools and a green-screen backdrop for chroma key overlays (


The previous Studio 11, released last year, lead the way with solid support for the new high-def video formats, with responsive editing of AVCHD and HDV video, and burning to HD DVD disc format. Studio 12 extends the HD support with burning to Blu-ray disc, in AVCHD format with menus, and BD-MV with motion menus.

Studio 12 also includes a variety of welcome productivity enhancements for editing, adds support for more cameras and formats (including Dolby AC3), and performance improvements.

But the big news is the new Montage feature, which creates professionally-designed multi-source composites. Choose a  themed template -- Openings, Segues, Endings -- and drag and drop video clips and photos. Studio inserts Hollywood style multi-layered effects  with picture-in-picture overlays, animated graphics, titles and audio. Fun and easy.

Pinnacle Studio family:

Pinnacle Studio 12

Studio 21 is available in three editions, the base Studio application, the Plus version for advanced HD editing, and the Ultimate version with additional professional tools:

Pinnacle Studio version 12, $49
Simplified video editing for entry level users
Built-in DVD authoring and burning
Share to YouTube and private websites
Instant DVD Recorder for direct transfer from tape to DVD 

Pinnacle Studio Plus version 12, $99
Advanced editing, effects and authoring
Complete HD workflow
- Native HDV and AVCHD editing, Blu-ray and HD DVD disc burning

Pinnacle Studio Ultimate version 12, $129
Combines Pinnacle Studio Plus with professional caliber tools
- Boris Graffiti - Title & graphic animation - 3D
- Magic Bullet Looks - Pro film styles
- proDAD VitaScene - Lighting, glows & more effects and transitions
Plus Green Sheet backdrop sheet for Chroma Key effects (approx. 5.95 x 5.58 ft)

        Pinnacle Studio 12 Editor
            Album (top left): Store clips, access editing elements
            Player (top right): Preview selected clip
            Movie Window (bottom): Arrange clips, apply transitions and effects

    Find Pinnacle Studio 11 on

New in Pinnacle Studio 12

Montage Themes

  • Multi-source compositing (drag-and-drop), multi-layered effects
  • Themed templates with Openings, Segues, Endings

Enhanced HD Support 

  • Burn to BD media, AVCHD with menus, BD-MV with motion menus
  • AVCHD 1920 import/edit/export support
  • TOD file support

Editing Enhancements

  • Marker tools for timeline
  • Markers per asset, annotation, search
  • New Title and DVD menu templates
  • User requests: Direct Crop control
        New Asset Reference tools, Direct page access in album
        Master Volume Control, Peak Indicators for all tracks, Timeline VU Meter
        Accurate Audio decibels control, New Audio Keyframe control
        Make Movie audio alert, Auto Shutdown after Make Movie
        Pause Export if drive space is consumed

Enhanced Performance

  • Faster rendering: AVCHD /H.264 encoding up to 44% faster
  • MPEG-2 1/4 res low quality rendering
  • Effect Performance: Timewarp/speed effects real-time in SD, close to real-time in HD

Additional Formats

  • Native Transport steam support
  • New cameras: JVC full HD (GZ-HD7) TOD file import, (Canon HV20 - full 1080i HDV)
  • Additional import formats for pictures: GIF, PSD (PhotoShop)
  • AC3 (Dolby) audio import
  • Additional export formats: WAV, MP3, 3GP, Flash Video, YouTube upload

Vista Certified

Pinnacle Studio 12 Workflow

Interface has three numbered editing modes:

  1. Capture - Import clips from analog or digital devices
  2. Edit - View, organize, and edit your movie
  3. Make Movie - Save and share your production

                Pinnacle Studio 12: Timeline

Capture mode

Capture video from analog or digital sources

  • Capture from DV, HDV and Digital8 camcorders or VCRs
        (Requires FireWire port)
  • Capture from analog camcorders or VCRs (NTSC / PAL / SECAM)
        (Requires DirectShow compatible graphic board or TV tuner board
            with analog (Composite or S-Video) inputs)
  • Import from AVCHD camcorders (requires USB 2.0)

Edit mode

View, organize, and edit your movie

  • HDV & AVCHD native editing
  • Real-Time effects with preview
  • Assisted movie creation with SmartMovie
  • Video and audio restoration tools
  • Pan & Zoom for animation of still pictures
  • PIP and Chromakey effects (Plus)
  • Keyframeable effects (Plus)
  • Powerful Film looks and FXs (Ultimate bundle)
  • Advanced Sound Cleaning (Ultimate bundle)
  • Precision Pan & Zoom (Ken Burns) (Ultimate bundle)


  • Album: Store clips, access editing elements (left)
        Videos, Transitions, Titles, Photos, Menus, Sound Effects, Music
  • Player: Preview selected clips (Album) or movie (right)
  • Movie Window: Arrange clips, apply transitions and effects (bottom)
  • Scalable interface - adjust to monitor
  • Real-time multi-track editing


  • DVD from disc or disc image (file): select titles
  • Media from attached device: video and photo files
  • Browse folders and files: thumbnails, details
  • Segment clips into sceens
  • Video: AVCHD, DV, HDV, AVI, MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MOD,
        DivX, MPEG-4, 3GP (MPEG-4), WMV, Non-encrypted DVD titles
  • Audio: WAV, MP3
        NEW - WMA, Dolby AC3
  • Graphic: BMP, JPG, PCX, TGA, TIF, WMF
        NEW - GIF, PSD

Edit in Movie Window

  • Storyboard, Timeline, and Text views
  • Timeline tracks: Video, Audio, Overlay (titles and videos), Sound Effect, Music

Add clips, effects from Album

  • Videos, Music - clips, Photos - stills and frame grabs
        Sound Effects - built-in collection
  • Transitions - 2D, flying, fun, etc
  • Key frame-able 2D/3D effects and transitions
  • Titles - with backgrounds, roll / crawl motion
  • Menus - for DVD, with chapters, scene index, motion, customization

Scorefitter music generator

  • Generate soundtrack to match length of movie

NEW - Pinnacle Montage

  • Theme based editing; Themed templates with Openings, Segues, Endings
  • Templates designed by professional producers and artists
  • Multi-source compositing: mix video clips, photos, and music, drag and drop
  • Create Hollywood style multi-layered effects
        with picture-in-picture, animated graphics, titles and Hi-Fi audio

Preview clips or edited movie in Movie Window

  • With Full-screen playback option

                    Pinnacle Studio 12: Montage

Make Movie mode

Save and share your production

Create Disc

  • Burn to Video CD (VCD) or S-VCD with CD burner
  • NEW - Burn to Blu-ray BD disc:  AVCHD with menus, BD-MV with motion menus
  • Burn AVCHD files to standard DVD discs to play on Blu-ray players
  • Burn to DVD and HD DVD disc with DVD burner (supports dual layer)
        Burn HD DVD on standard discs

Create File

  • Save file as DV, HDV, AVI, DivX, RealVideo 8, Windows Media 9, MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4
  • NEW - Save file as Flash, 3GP
  • Save audio as WAV, MP3
  • Save file with Dolby Digital 2 channel audio and 5.1 channel (NEW - built-in)
  • Save file in Apple iPod and Sony PSP compatible (MPEG-4) formats
        NEW - Save for DivX players and 3GP mobile phones

Create Tape

  • Output to DV, HDV or Digital8 tape (FireWire to camcorder)
  • Output to analog videotape (DirectShow device)

Upload to Web

  • Upload to Yahoo! Video (public) - NEW one-click
  • or Pinnacle StudioOnline (private) - upload videos at HD, wide-screen resolutions

                Pinnacle Studio 12: Make Movie mode, Burn to DVD / Blu-ray

System Requirements

  • Windows XP SP2 (SP3), Windows Vista (SP1)
        Intel Pentium or AMD Athlon 1.8 GHz (2.4 GHz or higher recommended)
        Intel Pentium HT or AMD Athlon 2.4 GHz or 1.6 GHz Dual core for Vista
        Intel Core 2 Duo 2.4 GHz or higher for 1440x1080 AVCHD editing
        Intel Core 2 Quad 2.66 GHz or higher for 1920x1080 AVCHD editing 
  • 1 GB system memory recommended
        2 GB required for AVCHD, recommended for HD and/or Windows Vista
  • DirectX 9 or 10 compatible graphics card with 64 MB (128 MB or higher recommended), 128 MB required for Plug-ins (for Magic Bullet Looks: Pixelshader 2 required, Intel GMA integrated graphics not supported; for VitaScene with HD: 512MB recommended)
    - 128 MB required on Windows Vista (256 MB or higher recommended)
    - 256 MB required for HD and AVCHD
  • DirectX 9 or higher compatible sound card

Pinnacle Studio 12