Make more of your action video clips with the new Magix Fastcut
Magix Fastcut 2016 Review – Just over a year ago Magix introduced Fastcut, a video editor designed specifically for editing footage from the fast expanding range of action cameras like the GoPro. It was basically an editor for people who didn’t want to get too involved in the editing process, yet nonetheless wanted to produce something more than a string of raw clips downloaded from the camera. The idea was sound, although in practice the templates and format support were a little limiting; which I must say is unusual for Magix products.
This latest version addresses these limitations with pretty much more of everything. For example, the program now supports the majority of media devices, including smartphones, tablets, cameras and camcorders. That means it also supports the file formats common to these devices, including the popular AVCHD format.
Magix has also revamped the interface, providing better workflow, while optimizing it to encompass the ever more popular touch displays. If you have a touch unit, it means you can now operate Fastcut with the familiar touch and swipe gestures, which again increases productivity. It seems that this is what this version is all about, because the new H.264 hardware-accelerated decoding reduces CPU load, so your editing is much slicker without the usual pauses while the computer catches up.
I find that sometimes these tweaks and enhancements are almost imperceptible, making very little difference to the actual performance of the system. Well, I’m happy to report that’s not the case with Fastcut. Magix has done a remarkable job, because it feels like a completely different product. Part of this is due to using a low-resolution version of your clips while editing; the full resolution is only used at the output stage. While I’m on the subject of resolution, with this version, you can save your finished videos in up to 4K. You can also share them directly on YouTube, Vimeo or Facebook, or you can save them to suit iOS and Android mobile devices.
Primarily, the overall structure of the interface is unchanged, so current users won’t have to learn it all over again. The major differences lie under the hood, so to speak, with new set length templates complete with music designed to automate the editing process. You simply choose the clips you want to include, select the length of the finished video, click continue on to the template screen and select a template; Fastcut does the rest. However, this is the no-frills approach, so naturally you need to make sure your video clips are long enough to cover the length you’ve chosen. Otherwise Fastcut has no option but to slow down the action with computer generated slowmo shots or repeat random clips to fit the template. The results using this method can be disappointing; they’re also affected by the type of template you choose. Yet to be fair it doesn’t take long to understand what’s required, and you have the option to choose a different length for the template or swap one clip for another. After that, you’ll be turning out masterpieces like Spielberg.
As before, you can switch to manual mode at any time if you want to get more involved, but this unlocks the video from the template. I found it was quicker to go back and change the template for a new one, or change the timing to better fit the clips you’re working with.
Like most Magix products, Fastcut includes a decent selection of theme-based templates, which come with effects, transitions and music to match your footage. I’m told that new templates will be added on a regular basis, and these updates are guaranteed to be free for a full year.
As usual, Magix offers a 14-day trial version on its website, combined with video tutorials to get you started. Joe Lavery
Makes short work of your video editing..
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