With its new £59 Digital Studio 2010 photo and video software, Corel is trying out multi-touch features that it will bring to professional graphics tools in the future. But the software also includes unusual output options that could come in handy for businesses — especially if you're using social media for marketing and customer service.
With Windows 7 and a multi-touch screen or notebook (like the HP TouchSmart, Dell Latitude XT2 or Packard Bell's new Viseo 200 Touch Edition monitor), Digital Studio supports multi-touch gestures to manipulate photos: swipe from side to side to browse photos; pinch to zoom; swivel two fingers to rotate or drag images, photo book pages and slider bars — including markers for trimming video clips. The discipline of designing an interface that's touch friendly makes it clear, simple and uncluttered.
Corel Digital Studio 2010 supports the multi-touch gestures in Windows 7
This is very much a first step, according to Corel senior vice president Shawn Cadeau. The next product with touch functionality will be the the natural media package, Painter Essentials. Lessons learned will help Corel add touch to the professional Painter package. Cadeau believes graphic artists will only adopt touch if it fits well into their workflow and offers a more intuitive way to achive effects they want; he points out that it's more complicated to design that level of interface than to touch-enable straightforward tools.
You don't get the powerful image editing options you'd find in Adobe's Photoshop and Premiere, but you can fix common photo problems like red eye and underexposure, or correct the white balance of video clips, as well as remove video noise and camera shake. The movie tool adds default transitions to a selection of video clips and photos and it's far simpler to add a soundtrack, voiceover and titles than in many tools. You can also place photos into a photobook template, which automatically zooms and crops them. Rather than creating PDFs, which users have to download or view in a separate browser window, the option to save these as Silverlight is by far the easiest way to create a Silverlight gadget yet. Digital Studio is a simple way to create Silverlight and social media, but not very flexible.
Digital Studio 2010 provides a simple way to create Silverlight content
For many small businesses, this would be an ideal tool to create brochures, adverts and how-to videos. The built-in YouTube uploader is seamless and automatically splits up videos that are too long or too large into multiple clips.
The problem with simple programs is when you want more control. You can't create Silverlight with video clips and you can't add links or extra navigation. The video-editing tools will be enough for many users, but the photo tools may not. If your business involves dabbling with video and brochures, Digital Studio 2010 will do a lot of what you need, but you may grow out of it before long.