- Easy to use
- More powerful than Windows Movie Maker
- Lots of sound effects and filters
- Lots of transitions
- Effective audio leveler
- Great soundtrack creator
- Mobile video syncing
- Themes give videos professional touch
While its sibling Photoshop Elements is turning 10, the younger Premiere Elements just gets the digits. And this update to Adobe’s consumer video-editing software is even less jingly than the image-editing package when it comes to new bells and whistles. But this does represent Adobe’s first 64-bit port of the package–Windows only, unfortunately–which is an essential step for future development of the product.
Adobe has beefed up the Organizer a bit to improve its video support, since it’s now serving Premiere Elements as well as Photoshop Elements. It allows for hierarchical tagging, as well as Smart Tags, which can automatically classify your media as high, medium, or low quality, as well as tag what it thinks is in focus, low contrast, blurred, and so on. Running the Auto Analyzer to get the video tagged can take a while, though. And I’m still unhappy with the way Adobe handles AVCHD import; it tries and fails to process all the ancillary files that are part of the directory structure, and doesn’t give you the option to copy the entire file structure wholesale so that it can be played back or just burned as if it’s a disc. And if you’re planning on burning AVCHD discs, keep in mind that the software doesn’t yet support version 2.0 of the spec, which allows for 1080/30p. Via the Organizer you can now directly upload unedited videos to YouTube as well.
The application itself uses the same task-oriented architecture as Photoshop Elements, with Project, Edit, Disc Menus, and Share modes that are fairly straightforward. It uses a traditional video-editing interface, with both timeline and scene editing views. There’s a bit of a learning curve to understanding even the basics for simple effects and transitions, but it’s no worse–and no better–than most other video-editing software when it comes to ease of use.
Make it sound right with music and audio effects
Bring depth and drama with over 50 musical scores and 250 sound effects.
Show your true colors
Sliders let you adjust clip color as easily as adjusting the color in a photo.
Try photo-blending tricks
Enhance one clip with the colors or textures of another clip, add your signature or a copyright line as a watermark and more
As easy as drag and drop
Drag and drop thumbnails of your clips, transitions, and effects to quickly create a story. Then trim and split clips, drop-in filters and effects, create picture-in-picture effects and type titles and text right on the screen.
There are only a couple of significant new features in version 10. Adobe has added a new Three-Way Color Corrector, which splits corrections for highlights, midtones, and shadows. While useful, I wish it had a way to do coarse changes on all three channels at once, then unlock them to fine-tune them individually. It also adds Auto Tone and Vibrance–both handy for automatic corrections–which should be familiar to Photoshop users.
Adobe also adds a pan and zoom, which lets you move around and dive into still images, and it can automatically pan around to identified faces. It’s easy to use, but can be annoying: if you try to use a photo that’s the wrong dimensions for the movie–and many photos are–it just tells you the image is too big. There really needs to be a dialog that pops up and allows you to resize or crop the photo.
The interface in Adobe Premiere Elements is very similar to that in Adobe Premiere and follows a standard video editing suite layout. The application is divided into two main parts: the Organizer and the Project editor. Both work seamlessly with each other and share the same sleek, elegant dark interface. The Adobe Premiere Elements Organizer lets you browse your media (photos, audio and video), rate them and add captions to them. The Editor, on the other side, is where the creative part comes in.