Adobe Premiere Elements 11 Review

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 Specifications

  • Review Price: £61.40
  • Redesigned interface

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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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