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13th January 2010
muvee Reveal 8 software review
by Ian Burley
6667: muvee Reveal 8 software review

Make great animated slide shows, with photo and movie clip content

I first came across muvee, with its autoProducer, product several years ago and it wowed me back then. autoProducer would take a bunch of images, plus a music track, and produce a remarkably coherent animated slide show with music. The software analysed the music and the images and arranged the running order, transitions, and effects automatically, in time with the beat if the music.

Reveal is muvee's most flexible evolution of autoProducer. It can do most of what autoProducer is capable of, but offers the welcome option of manually adjusting the settings, running order, as well as offering more flexible captioning. It also supports HD movie export options. Another Reveal-specific feature the option of showing a logo graphic throughout the movie. The instant preview mode is much better quality than the one in autoProducer, there are 10 default styles instead of 8, Facebook and YouTube direct uploading options are now featured, as well as export to iPod, mobile phone, and Sony PSP.

It's worth pointing out that muvee products are for Windows PCs only.

Below we take you through the process of creating a movie with Reveal 8, and the movie we created can be viewed at the bottom of this page.

Above is the basic starting view. The list of icons on the left are 'styles'. These are the backbone of your movies and they dictate the repertoire of effects, transitions, and background themes, as well as optional music. You get ten styles to get you going, but supplementary sets of styles, or style packs, can be purchased from the muvee website for £9.95. A topical style pack example is 'Christmas', which offers three styles and music.At the time of writing there were six muvee Reveal style packs available.

 

The different default styles offer a good variety of tempos, graphics and colour. I chose 'Kinetic' for our demo example.

 

You can use an import option or simply drag and drop photos and video clips into your production.You also get some demo music to experiment with, and I chose the rather satisfying Acoustic Jam track.

 

Your images and clips can be dragged up and down the time line so you have complete control over the running order. Each image can have a number of properties applied, including captions.

 

Normally, the software decides the duration of the image in the sequence, but you can override this and select how long, in seconds, you want that image to stay visible. This is ideal if you want to ensure that viewers have enough time to read captions.

 

magicMoments and magicSpot enhancements can be applied to jazz-up images, though the software seems to do a good job of doing this automatically.

 

You can also control the background colours of the beginning titles view and the credits page at the end of the movie. Alternative graphics can be used as well.

 

Here is the credits page editor.

 

Finally, there is a plethora of movie export options, and HD (720 resolution by default, although full 1080 resolution is available should your PC be up to the task) is supported. For our production (below), which we uploaded to YouTube, I opted for a HD format using Windows Media Video (WMV) format, which is particularly compact without losing too much detail.

And here is the final result (below). Click on the movie to go to YouTube if you would like to view it larger or in HD:

Verdict

I actually used muvee Reveal 8 for our family Christmas video last month and everyone who watched it thought the result was extremely good. It's basically easy to use and the added flexibility over autoProducer is a great plus. I did notice some problems; sometimes a caption edit wasn't reflected in the final movie. The work-around was a re-start of the software. The instant preview can be rather flickery, even on a reasonably powerful laptop, but the software does warn you about this. As with all video production software, exporting the final movie can be time consuming, though a potential plus is that Reveal supports nVidia's CUDA acceleration technology, which claims to speed up video creation by as much as 8 times if your PC supports it.

Overall, muvee Reveal 8 lets you make impressively sophisticated slide and video clip show movies quickly and quite easily. It's a big improvement over autoProducer, too. At £59.95 you're being asked to pay quite a lot for a software product that has a fairly limited application, and I wasn't particularly impressed with the £9.95 optional style packs. On the other hand, muvee is now persuading camera manufacturers to bundle Reveal with their cameras, so you might be able to use it for no extra charge.

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muvee Reveal 8 software review

DPNow muvee Reveal 8 software review
Here is a summary or excerpt from an article that has just been published on DPNow: Take a bunch of... (more)

terenceswee Re: muvee Reveal 8 software review
just to correct one factual error: muvee Reveal 8's HD output supports up to 1080p. on selecting HD... (more)

Ian Re: muvee Reveal 8 software review
Hi Terence, I'm assuming you work for muvee, so thanks for your input. I have modified the referen... (more)

terenceswee Re: muvee Reveal 8 software review
Ian, I am the co-founder & CEO of muvee. You did not mention the caption in your post. Will need m... (more)

 
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