Premiere Elements 3.0....
Open Premiere Elements
to start at this menu,
with a picklist of recently opened projects below it
Before starting a new project, let's take a quick look at
the options in Setup... your choice of defaults
Note the HDV options. We won't explore them in this issue... I'm
not trying to compare Elements to Movie Maker in Vista, just MM2 in XP.
It calls the settings 'Presets'... the button to make a new one
lets you make your own.
Close the setup window and start a 'New
I selected the newsletter folder and named the project
Istanbul. The Istanbul.prel
and Istanbul.log project and log files were opened in the
Capture Camcorder Footage
With my digital camcorder connected by firewire, the
main working windows included one that was ready to
capture video... it had named the set of clips Istanbul.avi from the
project file name, so I pressed the Get Video button...
The preview monitor size during capture was as large
as I wanted, and I heard the audio on the computer in addition to the camcorder.
I let it capture about 30 minutes of our vacation footage of Istanbul... I
started with some darker indoor footage of the Whirling Dervishes to be able to
check how the app did with darker clips.
I did other stuff as it captured... worked on this
newsletter, took screen shots with IrfanView, responded to posts on forums.
With everything going on, CPU usage was at about 10%, memory
usage at 717 MB (8 apps open - Elements was using 166 of the 717 MB).
My system has 2 GB of RAM.
A set of DV-AVI files was made in the project
folder, one for each scene.
All was going fine until something stopped and gave me
this interesting error message. I don't usually pay attentions to
the date/time code on a tape, I didn't know why some of the recording
wouldn't have it.... maybe I manually skipped forward a few seconds on the
tape at one point.
implied that if it wasn't doing scene detection it wouldn't need it. Looks like
it was checked by default.
Luckily it lasted only for a few seconds, and then resumed
Available Media (collections)
There were 52 DV-AVI files... listed in the
Available Media window at the upper left, the equivalent
of MM2's collections pane, but without a tree...
Double-click a clip and it'll play in a preview monitor...
...where you can set in and out points... trimming it
before before adding to the project timeline.
From Available Media to the Timeline
Once trimmed, drag the clips you want from the Available Media
pane to the sceneline (storyboard) or timeline... as you use
clips, a green check mark is added to the 'Used' column of the
Import files from your hard
The drop down list of file types indicates a wide variety of
them will work in Elements (at least potentially... I didn't test them). My
interest was in types I usually use in Movie Maker such as Photo
The preview window for audio files shows
the wave patterns of both channels)
For a wmv movie, I used the last one I
had rendered with MM2.
For a story (wmv), I selected the hi-def sized one from
last week's newsletter.
It accepted and used them all.
Editing the timeline
The timeline by default started with 3 video and 3 audio
stereo tracks... you can add more.
I dragged a random assortment
of clips to the timeline to make it about 20 minutes long,
and then explored the editing...
It was easy to stack clips on the tracks over each other,
and to scale and rotate them for the kind of picture-in-picture effects you see
on the frame snapshot I opened with.
The widescreen clips where approprately shaped and
letterboxed... even though I was using a standard 4:3 aspect ratio for the
The snapshot shows my arrangement before I
added overlying text... it shows how the preview monitor aligns with
the content of the timeline, like things work in Movie Maker.
The upper right working pane shows the various clip properties
of a selected one on the timeline. That's where you can begin to change the
settings. The changes are helped along with interactive controls that show up in
the preview monitor.
I circled the ones I tweaked to make the clips rotate and
resize. Use minus signs when something isn't rotating in the direction you
The opacity setting lets you adjust the transparancy of each
clip. I used it when making the sample clip.
The audio volume
of a clip can
be tweaked at each keyframe... add new keyframes where you
want. The volume will ramp up and down, following the 'rubberband'.
I tested going to DVD and to Windows Media
The mpeg-2 files for the disc go into sub-folders of the
project... and from there to the disc. The rendering and burning takes time,
as you'd expect. The important thing is the discs finish and play well other
places. No coasters this week except for those I'm making in Vista's Movie
Sometimes good things are what doesn't happen, not
just the things that do.
I also did some saving to DV-AVI... which uses the
Microsoft DV codec.
Conclusion and Closing... and What's Next?
Adobe's Premiere Elements came through this first review with
flying colors. Even if you're not ready to move on from Movie Maker,
it makes a great addition to your software toolkit.
I think the content of this newsletter would make a
good website page...
This is my first look at Premiere since the days of version 6...
in Elements I didn't see things like levels adjustments and motion settings...
Elements is a stripped down version of Premiere Pro, so those kinds of
features would need another move upwards. But it has more than enough features
to be of great use.
Have a great week...