Product Review: Adobe Premiere Elements 9
With the advent of digital cameras with Hi-Def video functions, and the affordability of video cameras, as well as the take-anywhere size, anyone and nearly everyone is now making movies. As always, Adobe listened and responded to the public's need for artistic creativity. So, it is no surprise that the biggest new improvement in Adobe Premiere Elements 9 is the ease of uploading video creations to be viewed online. Now, for the first time, even Mac users can utilize this powerful, but easy to use program.
Adobe Premiere Elements 9 is composed of two separate elements that work together as a cohesive unit: The Organizer and The Editor. The Organizer (which also shares organizational duties for still images in Adobe Photoshop Elements) does just as the name suggests, it organizes your saved videos into one workable place; whereas The Editor, allows your imagination to explore and enhance your videos.
Not only has Adobe Premiere Elements 9 made uploading your images to the Internet easier, it has also made importing your videos to your favorite social media hangout a one-step process. It also allows you to instantly import movie clips from digital SLR cameras, and from popular devices like the Flip camera, into the Editor to work on, or save to The Organizer for later use.
The Organizer is Elements' primary cataloging tool. The Organizer will "find" all the video (and image files) on your computer and not just catalog, but truly organize them into one easy to grab location. Furthermore, Smart Tags will automatically sort videos (and images) into several categories (Dialog, Music, Faces, High Quality, Low Volume, Shaky, etc.), so you can then easily search for specific tags for your projects. This, like many of Adobe Premiere Elements 9 functions and features, takes the frustration out of video editing, and, of course, is a real timesaver.
New within The Organizer, is the ability to upload your saved and edited videos directly into Facebook to share with your friends and family. The Organizer also offers additional sharing options besides Facebook, like SmugMug and Flickr.
If you are an avid Adobe Premiere Elements user, you will be pleased that the familiar User Interface has remained unchanged. The preview movie monitor is still located in the top-left panel, and the workspace, as in past versions, remains customizable; allowing the user to change the size and position of the panels. Also, as in previous versions of Premiere Elements, there are two display modes (Sceneline and Timeline), located below the preview monitor. In the Sceneline mode, your video is displayed as a thumbnail in a filmstrip format, which is fine for quick tweaking.
I prefer to work in the Timeline mode, which allows for precise frame-by-frame editing. Within the Timeline mode, you are able to add, delete, and combine scenes. You can also add dialog, music, or sound effects, as well as mute or delete the video's original audio.
If you are new to Adobe Premiere Elements, you'll have fun exploring the large variety of special effects, transitions, and movie themes.
If you are a long time Premiere Elements user, you will notice the many enhancements to your old favorites, as well as a new Cartoon Effect. This new special effect is located under the Edit Tab. Then, click Effects (making sure Video Effects is selected), and scroll down to "NewBlue Cartoonr Plus."
Audio plays an important part of your finished video. Premiere Elements 9 provides a way to eliminate audio problems with its 6 new audio effects: Audio Polish, Auto Mute, Cleaner, Hum Remover, Noise Fader, and Noise Reducer. Depending on the quality of the video that was originally recorded, these new tools have the capability to solve common sound issues that the average videographer would encounter.
Like the video special effects, the audio effects are also located under the Edit Tab. Then, click Effects (making sure Audio Effects is selected), and scroll down to the "NewBlue" audio series. Within the effects (both audio and video), are options to use the manual settings or to manipulate the effect to varying degrees to suit your project.
Although Premiere Elements 9 is both fun and easy to use, many of the functions are not immediately intrinsic to new users…in other words, there is a learning curve. Do not stress; Adobe provides lots of support to help you every step of the way: from Adobe TV instruction videos, to the built-in Adobe Community Help (located in the help menu), to Adobe's Online Help and Support site.
Share and Support
Once you are finished creating your movie masterpiece, Adobe Premiere Elements 9 provides multiple avenues to save, store and share. The quickest way is to sign up for a free Adobe Photoshop.com account; which allows you to save up to 2 gigabytes of content. Of course with videos, 2 gigs will go quickly, so for an additional yearly fee of $49.99, you can upgrade to a Plus Account with 20 gigabytes of online backup and storage.
Within the Premiere Elements 9 Editor, under the "Share Tab" you can also choose from several apps to share your creations: Web DVD (save automatically to Photoshop.com or to your local hard drive), Discs (burn to either DVD or Blu-ray discs), Online (Photoshop.com, YouTube, Podbean), Computer (choose your locations and settings for sending to email, uploading to websites, or for editing in specific programs, etc.), Mobile Devices (iPod, iPhone, Podcasts, Creative Zen, Pocket PC, Smartphone, etc.), and Record to DV Tape.
Although you have to step outside of Premiere Elements, within the Elements 9 Organizer, under the "Share Tab," you can upload directly to your Flickr, Facebook, and/or SmugMug Gallery pages.
Adobe Premiere Elements 9 is still a 32-bit application and it does have its limitations. If you are in need of a powerful video editing program, you should go with Adobe Premiere Pro CS5 and its 64-bit application. However, if you are a weekend video warrior who wants to share their creations with friends or family, Adobe Premiere Elements 9 is the perfect software at a more-than-reasonable price.
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December 27, 2010
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