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Review: Adobe Premiere Elements 10

Staff can create their own Hollywood movie magic with the latest version of Adobe’s user-friendly video editing software.

Adobe Premiere Elements 10, essentially a scaled-down version of Adobe Premiere Pro, gives users video editing functionality without the learning curve of its professional-level big brother.

The easy-to-use software’s familiar interface organizes tasks into four tabs: Project, where video clips, photos and audio can be assembled into movies; Edit, which contains templates for adding themed elements, special effects, transitions and titles; Disc Menus, which contains templates for creating the various menus that appear on traditional DVDs; and Share, where video content can be burned to disc or distributed online.

Like its predecessor, Premiere Elements 10 is available for both Windows and Mac operating systems, but it’s the first to support 64-bit Windows 7 users. Version 10, which can be purchased separately or bundled with Adobe Photoshop Elements 10, also adds a feature that allows users to turn photos into movies. Both enhancements strengthen an already solid solution for novice video editors.

End-User Advantages

The slide show is a staple in organizations across the country, but the static images lack the dramatic effect that motion can bring.

Premiere Elements’ new Pan and Zoom tool enlivens such presentations by giving them the look and feel of video. With it, users can control motion, experiment with image sequencing, and even focus on specific people or objects for a longer period of time.

Color quality often determines whether video images fall flat or pop vibrantly off the screen. With the new Three-Way Color Corrector feature, editors can independently adjust colors throughout their production or adjust specific areas such as highlights, shadows and midtones. In testing, I found the controls to be highly responsive, making even fine adjustments to color remarkably simple.

Video editors often have trouble maintaining proper skin tones. In fact, one of my test clips didn’t white-balance properly, casting a yellowish hue on everything and everyone. But I was able to save the clip using AutoTone & Vibrance, a new tool that automatically boosts tone and vibrance without sacrificing natural skin tones.

As it turns out, with Premiere Elements 10, you really can fix it in postproduction.

Why It Works for IT

Premiere Elements 10 users don’t need to become video production experts or receive hours of training. Although some programs overly complicate the setup process, Premiere Elements keeps things simple. When I began importing my video clips, the software recognized that they didn’t match the default settings I had selected for the project. Instead of displaying an error message, it simply asked if I wanted to adjust my settings — a godsend for users of all skill levels.

The software also makes it possible to record high-definition–quality movies to standard DVDs using standard DVD burners. Instead of equipping departments with costly Blu-ray players, IT managers now can give users the power to view HD movies on standard DVDs at a fraction of the cost.

Organizations also can save money by taking advantage of Premiere Elements’ new “Upload to video sharing websites” feature. Sharing projects on YouTube, Facebook and other social media sites is far more efficient and economical than storing and distributing that same content on DVDs.

Disadvantages

Premiere Elements 10 allows users to apply an effect to a clip by clicking and dragging the desired effect onto the clip. But I would like to see the company incorporate a translucent image of the effect being dragged, as it would confirm to the user that the computer is indeed following the command.

The software also ships with Adobe’s Elements Organizer asset management utility. Although I appreciate having the ability to organize my clips, it felt disjointed to launch this stand-alone application from within Premiere Elements. I would prefer to have access to my assets without having to launch a second application.

Dec 21 2011

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