The Shareware Review People

Fx Movie Joiner

Type of Program: Multimedia
Supported Platforms: Win 95/98/ME/NT-4/2000/XP
Company/Authors Name: J. Hepple, Inc./DBA Fx, Sound and Magic
Version: 4.6
Price: $30
Installed Size: 3 MB


Ok this is not your usual install. Unless you really keep up with your Direct X updates you are going to have to go out and get some updates. Not that this is a fault of Fx Movie Joiner. Here was my situation. Upon trying the install the first time I was told that my Direct X was not up to date and the program would not run correctly until I updated. Or something similar. As luck would have it I did have the install file for Direct X 8 downloaded so I installed that and started the install again. The second time the install asked me where I wanted to install the program and let me install it there. Then I got this one:
The OLE system files are in-use and cannot be
updated. The installation must restart Windows
to update OLE before it can continue.

I srongly suggest that you do the tutorial and also take a good look at the Help file.

Ok now for the nits and gritties here is what this program can do for you. This is taken from the online help:
Supports drag and drop from Windows Explorer.
Each media clip in the storyboard can be previewed individually, reordered or removed. Just click on the icon with the little blue arrow to the right of the media type to display a popup menu.
Add DirectX transitions between slides or movie clips.
Project AVI files can be compressed with the included compression tools.
Includes a DirectX movie pre-viewer.
Create Title slides to introduce or separate segments of your new movie by adding text to captured movie frames or still images

Creating a Project

The interface consists of a scrollable array of Media Clips called a storyboard, which can be saved to a Project text file.
You can add media to your project in three ways:

By dragging files from Windows Explorer and dropping then on the Media Clip.
By selecting Add File to Storyboard from the main menu.
By pressing the Add New Media button on the toolbar.

Special Conditions:

Very small sized videos may not display properly on the control but should preview correctly.
Because movies are generally wider than they are tall, Still Images that are taller than wide should be resized to 320X240 or equal ratio. Otherwise they will be crushed and distorted to match that height to width ratio.
Movies compressed with most codecs including DivX 4.11 and higher are supported. Movies compressed using earlier versions of the DivX codec are not supported by Direct Show. Fx, Joiner includes a conversion utility that will attempt to convert DivX-3 and earlier movies to MPEG-4. You can also use an external tool such as VirtualDub to convert DivX files.
If you create a slideshow using only still images you should use the Video for Windows compression tool since all newer compression schemes assume an audio track.

As you add media to your project the clip will be added to the array in your Storyboard. There must always be an empty frame at the bottom in order to allow new media to be dragged and dropped.

Media Clip
Each Media Clip in your storyboard may be Played, Paused and Stopped while the entire Project may be Previewed before it is Joined as a new AVI file.

The media clip frame includes details about the clip:
Clip Number
Media Type
Path to Source

The Position Button Menu next to the media type description displays a pop-up menu that will allow you to move the item up, down delete it from the project or reload the media.
If transitions are enabled in your Settings and Preferences the transitions drop-down is also visible.
Commands may be accessed from the main menu or from the toolbar when it has been enabled in Settings and Preferences.
To create a new AVI file from multiple clips, follow these steps:
Add Files to your Storyboard
Set Transitions (Optional)
Save Joined Files as AVI
Compress the new file Indeo Encoder
Windows Media Encoder
Video For Windows Compressor
Fx, Batch Encoder

Set Transitions

NOTE: Allow Transitions must be checked in Settings and Preferences to use Transitions

DirectX transitions are delay methods used between the joined segments of your output video similar in function to "Fades" between scenes in movies. Exactly how long it takes for a transition to complete is set in Settings and Preferences. Please note that for best results the duration of a media clip should always be a longer period of time than the transition time.

Fx, Joiner supports the following transitions. If any of these are not installed on your computer the DirectX default transition (usually Stretch) will be used. See your DirectX documentation for more information.

Barn Blinds Burn Film
Fade White Flow Motion Glass Block
Liquid Page Curl Peel ABCD
Spiral Stretch Threshold
Zigzag None
Center Curls Color Fade Compositor
Grid Inset Iris
Pixelate Radial Wipe Ripple
Twister Vacuum Water

Curls Curtains Fade
Jaws Lens Light Wipe
Roll Down Slide SMPTE Wipe
Wheel Wipe Worm Hole

So what you are getting here is a major leauge multi-media program for peanuts!

You really can't lose with this one, try it out.

User Friendly:
Ease of Installation:
Reviewed by Joe Tex

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