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Why you should get iShowU Studio 2

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Introduction

As an iShowU Studio 1 customer, you might be asking yourself "why should I get iShowU Studio 2?".

A reasonable question, and one not well served by a simple comparison table. This article covers the differences in more detail.

 

Executive Summary

  • Revisited user interface, cleaner, more sensible layout. Combined properties into main area.
  • Much improved editing with new & more shortcuts, alignment, distribution
  • Transitions
  • Better export (1:1, common downscale sizes)
  • Speed

 

What is iShowU Studio 2?

iShowU Studio is a screen capture & editing solution. It lets you record video directly from your screen, after which you can edit it (trim, add notations, more video, and so on). In this, the apps are similar.

Studio 2 began as a tidy up, and morphed into considerably more. Lets just launch right into what has changed.

User Interface

One of the major goals with Studio 2 was to modernise the interface. This has happened from the very first panels you ever see, right though until the export interface. 

  • Select Area:
    • Presets & Custom sizing: Dropdown presets exist for 540p, 720p, 1080p, or you can type in any resolution you like. 
    • Nudging: During setting up of the capture area, you can nudge the selection, both in size (make it smaller or larger by either one pixel or 10 pixels), or position.  This is handy if you're wanting to get pixel perfect selections.
    • Magnifier: There's now a small magnified area, so you can see better what the capture area you're changing is aligning with, on screen.
    • Look & Feel: Much cleaner and without the "overlay" green selection. Now you can move it around where you want it.  
  • Retina
    • Support for retina capture is drastically improved, with the UI providing much more sensible retina choices and far superior feedback. A simple checkbox exists to use/not use retina, and you're shown exactly the size of the movie, before you press record.  
  • Editing
    • Consistency: We modified the timeline so that all tracks have the same height. This makes it nicer to view, and those of us getting older don't have to squint as much :)
    • Look & Feel: We uncluttered the UI by removing many gradients and simplifying the drawing. The result is a timeline that looks less busy.
  • Properties / Tab view
    • The properties were moved into the main UI (rather than being a separate window).  They are easier to find, and there are less ancillary windows floating around now.
    • Media, Transitions and publication state now also live in the same pane for a cleaner, tidier UI.
  • Export
    • Look & Feel: Similar to other areas of the app, we've fettled the export UI to look nicer!
    • Retina Support: Retina modes have been clearly identified in the export window, so you now know for sure when you are creating something "retina" sized.
  • Enhanced Timer
    • The settings window now has more options for timer setup. Now you can enter a duration rather than an explicit stop time, or choose "manually" to disable the automatic stop timer.
  • Reworked Menus
    • We re-categorised almost every function, creating a far more sensible menu layout. Now if you're hunting for an action, the menus are placed in much more intuitive places. Of course; you should be typing into the "Help" search box in any case!

Speed

When capturing the camera and screen at the same time, Studio 1 could sometimes perform "less than desired" (sometimes jerky when capturing the camera and screen at once).  We spent quite some time tuning Studio 2, and can now happily report that it'll record the a MBP retina display and camera at about 40fps, which is a huge improvement over Studio 1.

Note: Getting ~40fps depends on what the rest of the system is going, so cannot be guaranteed.

Still, even given the above note, the overall fluidity of the capture is much, much better when capturing both the camera and the screen at the same time.

Transitions

iShowU Studio 2 introduces true transitions, making fades/crossfades/fade outs/etc so, so much easier. Just drag a transition over the segment you want it to be on. Or, between the segment if you want it to be a overlapped transition.

Studio takes care of rendering and composition and you don't have to move your segments to perform overlapped transitions.  This means a fast workflow: Sort out your composition without transitions, then drop the transitions on after you've got your editing done.   This might sound obvious, but at least two other major screencast tools don't do this. Thus, when you want a transition, you have to physically move the segment in time, meaning you have to (more or less) decide on your transitions up front, as you're editing... and good luck if you want to change their durations later!

Shortcuts exist to add either in, out, or between transitions on selected segments, so now, getting a professional looking movie done is much easier than in Studio v1.

Transitions can also apply to audio as well (and this is default behaviour). While you can't "fade audio to white", you can crossfade it. So when you drop a transition between two audio tracks, that's exactly what happens. Automatically!

By default, Studio 2 comes with:

  • Bars Swipe
  • Copy Machine
  • Crossfade
  • Crossfade with Blur
  • Fade to Black, Colour or White
  • Flash
  • Page Curl
  • Push Down, Left, Right, Up
  • Ripple
  • Shaped Holes
  • Transitions on Audio (crossfade)

Control Panel

Studio 2 comes with a recording control panel, that is useful if you have a multiple display setup. The control panel can be used to start, stop & abort/pause/resume recordings without using the existing settings panel.

More Editing

  • Scrub & Blade modes: Studio 2 runs in just two modes now, "A" mode, being scrubbing of the playhead and general editing and "B" mode, where you can cut/split at the playhead. These are selected by pressing ... the A and B keys! 
  • Change Volume: Use shortcuts to quickly change the volume of audio! yay!
  • Select by Track: Right click in the time line and easily select all objects in the track.
  • Change Transition Duration: Quick and easy context panel to change duration of one or more selected transitions.
  • Alignment: Align left, right, top, bottom or "centre" edges.
  • Distribution: Distribute multiple objects (typically more than 3) either along horizontal or vertical (or both) axis.
  • Shortcuts: The editing shortcuts were revised, and the shortcuts help page almost doubled in size. Much more can be done via the keyboard now.
  • Navigation: Shortcuts to switch between the scene & timeline, and also move the playhead to the next/previous edit within the project.

Export, 1:1 & GIF/PNG

  • Support for 1:1 outputs: This is an obvious win!  If you capture at 1277 x 455, you can now output a video at exactly that size. Studio 2 no longer forces the output to be 720p, or 1080p.
  • Common downscaling: Along with the 1:1 pixel output, there are options to scale down to 75, 66, 50, 33 and 25%.
  • Animated Pictures: GIF & PNG has re-emerged as a sometimes useful export type (say, if you don't want to have to embed an entire video into a page, along with the uploading and associated iframe pasting that typically goes on).  Studio 2 will export GIF/PNG
  • Export Region: You can export just a selection of your composition.  Now it's easy to create small subclips for review purposes. 

 

Summary

So that's about it!  

Is Studio 2 similar to Studio 1?  Well, in that they capture the screen, yes. But as you can see, Studio 2 has a ton more finesse, is easier to use, and has more features.  You really need to use it to appreciate it, so try out the demo today.

As an existing user you can upgrade at a discount: Check out the upgrade page to see what discount you can get.

 

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