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Summary

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9/10

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Premiere Elements 8 continued...

As it is, whilst the Organizer shows potential, it doesn't yet add enough for video to be a truly essential addition. Fortunately, there are some significant new features within Premiere Elements itself, which make use of the information gleaned by the Auto-Analyzer. Adding a clip to the timeline prompts you whether you want to apply SmartFix. This uses the Auto-Analyzer tags to figure out whether colours need correction or levels need to be adjusted, and will also smooth out shaky video.

Smart Trim also uses the Auto-Analyzer information to suggest which areas of a clip are usable. These are then fed into the Smart Trim tool, where you can use the suggestions to adjust in and out points for the clip. However, you can also pull out more than just the middle portion. In automatic mode, Premiere Elements will extract the sections it thinks are usable and place a fade between each to join them back together. This is potentially the most useful aspect of Smart Trim, as in manual mode it almost feels more complicated than simply choosing the in and out points yourself.

The Smart Trim tool attempts to cut out the dross
from your clips automatically.


More clearly useful is SmartMix. This will automatically reduce the volume of your background audio in favour of your foreground sound, which is particularly handy if you have dialogue over musical accompaniment. You can set which audio tracks are the foreground and which are the background in the Options. The results are very convincing, too, with an adequate period of delay before the background audio is raised or lowered so it doesn't 'pump' up and down.

Rounding off the features designed to entice beginners, InstantMovie now includes a few new Themes. These are Art in Motion, Baby, Dreamscape, Outdoor Adventure and Retro. InstantMovie uses the tagging from the Auto-Analyzer to edit your movies for you according to the chosen theme, adding titles and music. It's a quick way to make something of your footage, although it won't tell the story you want.
The powerful Motion Tracking tool will follow objects as they move onscreen
and synchronise the movement of static or animated graphics.


Not everything in Premiere Elements is for those new to video editing, however. An extraordinarily powerful addition is the Motion Tracking tool, which can follow the motion of objects onscreen and trace this with a graphic or animation. This is the kind of feature normally associated with high-end video compositing applications such as Adobe After Effects. The Premiere Elements version is naturally less powerful. The tool will initially track the most obvious moving object in the scene automatically, but you can also specify other objects to track. The final additions of note in Premiere Elements 8 are a selection of new effects, including Duochrome, Dreamglow and Film Look, plus a large library of clip art.

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