What's New in Version 6?
Version 6 isn't simply an upgrade; it's the concept of Liquid Edition matured. If you have worked with previous versions, you'll instantly notice that the interface has been redesigned with new users and professionals in mind and that it has a selection of exciting new features. Here are just a few:
High Definition Video (HDV). HDV is a high-definition version of the popular DV format that uses MPEG-2 compression to fit HD content onto the same DV tape stock. HDV uses a much higher resolution than DV to create clear, concise screen images. The difference in clarity is stunning.
Liquid Edition 6 includes native support for HDV resolutions, which means you can capture directly from an HDV camera without having to convert to AVI.
Although an HD film contains much more detail than Mini DV or Hi-8, it doesn't take up an exponential amount of space on your hard drive. This is because HD is MPEG-based, not AVI-based. This means the compression method is much more efficient, thus allowing for a smaller file size despite the greater resolution.
MPEG editing. Native MPEG editing is now available. This means Timelines can contain MPEG formats such as HDV, VCD, SVCD, elemental streams, and even VOB files.
Multi-format Timeline. You can mix AVI clips on the Timeline with MPEG film clips and vice versa without having to render the "alien" media. This is because Liquid Edition 6 has a new render system called SmartRender, which is able to use clips from a variety of different sources.
Improved Audio Editor. Before the arrival of version 6, the audio side of Liquid Edition was a weak point. In version 6, the Audio Editor has been rewritten to include VST plug-in support, 5.1 surround sound, Timeline Panning control, and a variety of improvements to the audio interface itself.
Obviously the most exciting addition is the ability to create a 5.1 surround sound DVD using the included Dolby AC3 encoder.
A redesigned interface. The Liquid Edition interface now sports a much needed dab of color and the choice between two different menu systems: the new Drop-Down interface designed for users new to Liquid Edition; and the Classic Start-Button system, which is based on an older interface style and may be more comfortable for old-hand Liquid Edition users.
Intuitive FX editors. In this version, the look and feel of FX editors has also been altered to include a parameter curve editing system and an easier-to-use interface.
Greater scope for creativity. The ability to add and subtract effects has also been enhanced. It now includes Global Track FX (with which you can add an FX to the whole track).
More wizards. Previous versions of Liquid Edition featured just one wizardthe DVD Export wizard. Now import and export tasks are fully supported by wizards that attempt to ease you through the various ways in which you can bring in material to edit and then successfully export it again.
Multicamera editing. If you've ever used more than one camera to film the same event, you know the problems that can occur when you try to match up two (or more) films into the one edited video. There are a hundred workarounds to do this, but now version 6 allows you to capture these clips as virtual cameras, which can then be edited into one clip via a numbered Picture in Picture display.
Backup and export projects. Version 6 allows you to export a project with all its associated media (clips, sound, titles, and so on) to an external point, such as a DVD or an archived folder on your hard drive or network. This function allows you to back up your projects and also send them in an easily contained form to any editor in the world.
Matte and subtrack support. In version 6, you can simplify the process of using Matte Track by adding a secondary Matte Track to the Timeline instead of using a filter. The effect is real-time, and you can collapse the Matte track and subtracks allowing you to save on screen space.
Audio Timewarp. You can now apply a linear Timewarp filter to an audio clip, although its use is restricted to a value range between 50 and +200 percent.
Obviously this list is just scratching the surface of what's new in version 6.0. On the technical side, there have been huge advances in the rendering department and in the overall operation and workflow of the application.
Below is a short list of some of the other features that are new to version 6. The majority of NLE editors will probably find these interesting.
Pinnacle Studio 9 project import and plug-in support
Ability to export to WM9 with custom presets
Surround sound mixer
Dual-layer DVD support
Ability to update Waveform after it returns from XSend to WaveLab
Again this is not a definitive list, but it does give you some idea of the advances version 6 has made.