Adobe Premiere Elements 11

Score

Sections

Pros

  • Simple new interface for new users
  • New effects including powerful time remapping
  • Organiser now has people and places categorisation

Cons

  • Existing users will need to learn new interface
  • Still no support for 3D
  • 64-bit Windows required for smooth editing

Key Features

  • Review Price: £61.40
  • Redesigned interface

Adobe’s Premiere Elements has been the favourite consumer video-editing

application, at least on the PC platform, for some time now. But while

alternatives from

Corel and

Pinnacle haven’t noticeably leapt ahead, there is stiff competition

from

CyberLink’s increasingly accomplished PowerDirector. And so,

conforming to Adobe’s now annual cycle for its software releases, we

have version 11 of Premiere Elements. But does it do enough to see off

the challenge from CyberLink?

Adobe Premiere Elements 11

At

first glance, a lot appears to have changed. Loading the application

gives you a choice of opening the Organizer or main Editing environment,

as before, although the dialog has been completely redesigned. But

while the differences with the Organizer are relatively subtle, which we

will describe shortly, the Editor’s interface has had a major overhaul,

and now bears even less resemblance to Adobe’s professional Premiere

Pro, from which it was originally derived.

There are two modes,

which correspond to the storyboard (or sceneline) and timeline modes

found in most consumer-grade video-editing applications, including

previous versions of Premiere Elements, just with some differences. In

Quick mode, your clips are positioned sequentially. Unlike many

storyboard implementations, the width of the pictorial representation on

the timeline indicates duration visually as well, with wider pictures

being longer and the lion’s share of the screen is taken up by the video

preview.

Expert Mode reveals the more familiar multi-layer

timeline, but the slightly smaller preview window still takes up more

than the top half of the screen. The traditional source and programme

dual preview workspace is conspicuous by its absence, as is the media

and effects bin that took up the right-hand third of the interface in

the previous version. So, the focus is on how the end result looks,

rather than the process of getting there.

Further accentuating

this, whichever view you are using, the various tools and effects

categories are subtly positioned around the edges of the main window as

icons. On the right can be found icons for adjustments and tweaking the

settings on your special effects. The adjustments include adjusting

colour by hue, lightness, saturation and vibrance, with automatic

options. You can also adjust via red, green and blue channels, as well

as gamma, lighting, temperature and tinge, for a relatively

comprehensive range of tweaking tools. However, configuring these

settings involves clicking an icon within a grid of nine icons

corresponding to less or more of the parameter in question. This is a

good visual way of working for novices, but seasoned video editors will

long for standard sliders with a little more fine precision, and these

are hidden behind a ‘More’ option that reveals them. The audio controls

can also be found here, and use regular sliders.

Adobe Premiere Elements 11

Access

to transitions, graphics overlays, titling and other text effects can

be found along the bottom, alongside the filter effects, although once

applied they are accessed via the ‘Applied Effects’ icon on the right.

The special effects are essentially the visual filters of previous

versions, although there are some new additions. In particular, a

selection of new FilmLooks filters from NewBlue has been added. This

includes Pandora, Old Film and Red Noir. Blending modes are now

supported when you layer clips or still images, giving you the ability

to mix video in more sophisticated ways than just by varying the overall

opacity level. This option can be found beneath the ‘Opacity’ slider. 

You can also call up the ‘Instant Movie’ system via an icon on the

bottom edge, and this has a few more themes than before.

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