Roxio Creator 2011, or, make your pictures and videos 3D!
Roxio, the software company behind a variety of disc burning software (VHS to DVD, CDs, and probably the default program on your new Windows machine for burning media) just released a new media creation and editing software called Creator 2011. Creator does all the things a traditional media editor should, like editing and burning videos to disc, creating copies of CDs and DVDs, and what have you. One thing that's very new, however, and worthy of a whole writeup of its own, is the new 3D capabilities of the program.
Roxio Creator 2011 allows you to create your own 3D photos and videos, from 2D images and normal video files. You can start from scratch and record right from your computer, or port in any video you have. I tested out the 30 second video of wildlife each new Windows 7 PC comes with nowadays. While the controls are by no means completely intuitive (I had to look up how to convert 2D to 3D even though just a week ago I had gotten a live demo from a Roxio rep!) once you DO look it up, or read the tutorial, the conversion process is pretty quick and snappy. The same applies to photos, where you can load in regular 2D photos, or 2 photos of the same image taken just slightly from different angles for more optimal 3D lineup. You can literally stand there and take one photo of your puppy while standing on your right foot, then take a second while shifting your weight to your left foot, and you would have two directionally optimal photos to blend together to create a 3D photo.
Another cool bit is if you're a 3D nut, you can watch any conventional DVD or Blu-Ray disc (provided your PC can read those) in 3D by launching the Roxio Creator 2011 program and filtering the movie through the 3D software. While you can't make a 3D copy, watching it in real time with those oh-so-snazzy 3D glasses could be an interesting experience, if you're particularly fond of 3D or so ahead of the curve that you already have your own pair of glasses.
And yes, it IS glasses that makes is possible to view the 3D productions you've made with your software. Each Creator box comes with one set of rinky dink cardboard 3D glasses, the kind with one red eye and one green that you could fish out of a cereal box back in the day when there were one day 3D specials on TV. I have mixed feelings about this-- on the one hand, if you're excited by the rising popularity of 3D media and want to make your own, you can, and share it with anybody in the world, as long as they have a pair of red and green 3D glasses to stare through. If you decided to upgrade your shades, you can purchase a slightly more sturdy set from Roxio for $20, and look like Neo from the Matrix but with 2 different color lenses. Alternatively you can completely splurge and get really high end 3D dedicated glasses that cost at least $100 a pair. Pick your ugly poison.
Overall, I found the software to be cool in concept, and in execution, but pretty much lacking in any sort of "I want that!" reaction. It was clunky and complicated to use, but is very full featured and has a high learning curve (which probably produces great results, if you have that kind of time to sink into learning a media editing software from scratch.) It has a million functions, and the one video and one photo that I made did not even begin to scratch the surface of what the software could be used for. (For example, as an aside, you can use it to power a media server for your home!)
The bottom line is this-- regardless of how you feel about 3D, and ugly blue and red glasses, the Creator software costs $99. That means it can do everything your old media editing software can PLUS can convert things into 3D media, for just $100. Call me practical Penny, but this seems like a no brainer to me. Looks like Roxio will be able to maintain their majority share of the media editing software market share. Cool stuff, guys!