Pinnacle Studio is a video editing program originally developed by Pinnacle Systems as the consumer-level counterpart to Pinnacle’s former professional-level software, Liquid Edition. It was acquired by Avid and later by Corel in July 2012. Pinnacle Studio allows users to author video content in Video CD, DVD-Video, AVCHD or Blu-ray format, add complementary menus and burn them to disc.
Pinnacle Systems offers an affiliate sales program for the Pinnacle Studio Product line.
In the second half of 2007, Pinnacle introduced VideoSpin, a shareware version of Studio with fewer features; it was discontinued in March 2009.
Since version 9, Studio has been sold in several editions: Studio, Studio Plus and Studio Ultimate, all of which are commercial software. There is some additional functionality in the Plus and Ultimate editions, notably a second video track. This allowed Overlay, A-B Edits, Chroma Key, and Picture-in-Picture.
Studio 10 and Studio 10 Plus were released on the 17 August 2005. While retaining the same user interface as Studio 9, the code base was taken from Liquid Edition, now called Avid Liquid. Real time preview at full resolution was introduced along with the ability to mix PAL, NTSC, 4:3 and 16:9 footage on the timeline. The standard version of Studio 10 has fewer features than the standard version of Studio 9, but Studio 10 Plus offers further enhancements including HD editing. Version 10.7 Plus allows users (after purchasing a premium feature) to burn High Definition video to standard DVD media that will then replay on the Toshiba HD-DVD players. Vista compatibility was added in version 10.8.
Studio 11 was released in June 2007. It features three versions: kaalai, Studio Plus, and Studio Ultimate. All three are designed to be compatible with Windows Vista and feature a new scalable interface and replace Smartsound’s music generation with Scorefitter, a midi-based version written in-house.
Studio 11 Plus added native HDV and AVCHD editing, and HD DVD from standard discs. Keyframing became possible on most effects. Blu-ray AVCHD to standard DVDs was added in S11.1.1.
Pinnacle Studio Ultimate became the new top-of-the-line consumer video editing application. It included Soundsoap PE, an advanced sound-cleaning tool, Dolby 5.1 Surround encoding, proDAD Vitascene, and Moving Picture, a precision pan and zoom. A green-screen sheet to produce the chroma key effects with is also included in the full Ultimate version, or can be purchased separately.
Studio 12 was released in June 2008. Enhancements to the editing features included markers that can be placed on the timeline “on the fly”, improved audio controls and the addition of Montage, which allows multi-layered video and still composites to be generated within pre-defined templates. MOD import and FLV output was added, as was direct upload to YouTube.
The Plus and Ultimate versions also added full Blu-ray disc burning with menus. Ultimate comes with proDAD Vitascene as in S11, but replaces Soundsoap and Moving Picture with Boris Graffiti 5.1 and Magic Bullet Looks SE. A new addition was the Content Transfer Window which should allow you to import any plug-ins or premium content purchased for Studio 10 or 11.
Studio 14 was released in September 2009.
With this series, the low-end version is now billed as “Studio HD”, and is essentially identical to the regular low-end version of Studio, but with the overlay video track and high-definition capabilities available (previously, the only way to be able to use these was to upgrade the software to the Plus or Ultimate version).
The “Plus” version is now known as the “Studio HD Ultimate version”, and includes a few special third-party plugins.
The top-of-the-line version is now known as “Studio HD Ultimate Collection”, which includes more third-party plugins and a green-screen sheet (which can be also purchased separately). The video capture interface has been redesigned, but the editing and export GUIs are identical to previous versions, in addition to including stop-motion capture, image stabilization effects and a motion title editor/creator.
Studio 15 was released in February 2011.
New features include, Archive/Restore, DivX Plus HD (.MKV) Support, Better AVCHD support (v14 did not handle large AVCHD videos with stability), Intel Media SDK integration, plus new added content such as more effects, more transitions from Hollywood FX and a greater variety of menus.
Another added feature is Studio 15’s reintegration of SmartSound quick tracks, a feature disabled in v14 but available on versions 10 through 12.
Studio 16 was released in August 2012. Based on Avid Studio, (AKA NGStudio) it is very different to the “classic” line that ended with version 15. New features include Unique 3D Support & Optimization and 50GB of free in-app cloud storage and file-sharing via Box.
Studio 17 was released in October 2013. New features/enhancements include significant performance boost with dramatically faster AVC video rendering, enhanced CUDA support and a streamlined interface. New Live Screen Capture, support for AVCHD 2.0 and valuable new extras from Red Giant and iZotope.
Studio 18 was released in October 2014. New features include native 64-bit architecture builds, 4K video support, XAVC S file support, enhanced screen capture support, and 17 royalty free audio tracks.
Studio 19 was released in September 2015.
Some of the features include the storyboard, the ability to capture digital and analogue video, the video and audio toolboxes, the SmartSound/Scorefitter music generator, SmartMovie capabilities and DVD burning. Projects created in VideoSpin may be opened and edited in Pinnacle Studio 11, but once a project has been loaded in Studio, it may not again be reloaded in VideoSpin. An advanced codec pack could be purchased, allowing users to use MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 codecs, all of which are available freely for the first 15 days after installation.
Studio 20 was released in August 2016. New features include 360 Degree Video Editing, Motion Tracking with Mosaic Blur, Easy Track Transparency, support for HEVC (H.265), and stop motion video.
In addition to the desktop versions of Pinnacle Studio, two versions of Pinnacle Studio also exists for iPad and iPhone – Pinnacle Studio for iOS and Pinnacle Studio Pro for iOS. Last one has additional features, for example, trim frame by frame using the Dual Viewer Precision Trimmer, export to cloud services (such as Dropbox, Google Drive and OneDrive). Last version of Pinnacle Studio for iOS (5.6.1) requires iOS 9.3 or later, iPad 2 or higher, iPhone 4s or higher, iPod Touch Series 5 or higher.
MacUser rated version Pinnacle Studio 4 for iOS as 4 out of 5, saying that it provides “a more fully featured movie editor than iMovie for iPad”, but complained that the extra in-app purchase needed for cloud sync was excessive.