Feature: Adobe Premiere Elements
being used to create a Photo Slideshow
Adobe Premiere Pro is one of the better video development tools - and is a key part of the Adobe Video Collection which supports professional design and creation of video and movies. The question arises can Adobe deliver the right blend of features and functions to make the junior version of Premiere, Premiere Elements, a meaningful and easy to use tools for a diverse range of multimedia tasks ? It is worthwhile noting that after 3 tries, Adobe got the junior version of its market leading paint program, Photoshop ( Photoshop Elements is the junior version) pretty close to right on. So this review of Premiere Elements creating photo slideshows, will give us a reading on how well Adobe hit the downsizing sweet spot on the video side.
Welcome and Workspace
The Welcome screen on start up offers users a chance to take the Premier Elements tutorials which I highly recommend, especially for users new to video or multimedia. The tutorials are quite good and give users an intro on how Premier Elements is intended to work. Also the tutorials are helpful because Premiere Elements has quite a number of dialogs and windows that can become confusing until put into a working context.
Second piece of advice, before clicking on New project - always make sure you have created a new directory recently filled with the copies of the images, video and audio clips that you are going to use in your multimedia presentation. This will be working storage area for the projects. It is also the answer to the first question asked after you click on New Project, the name and directory location where Premiere Elements project file can be stored. This project file acts as the store of all the design information for your presentation
Loading and Preparing the Photo Slides
But of course you will want to place the slides in a specific order, add one or two slides several times - usually a background or gray slide but possibly others. Premiere Elements makes it simple to drag and drop individual slides from the Media Window onto the Timeline in a specific. Alternatively use the Timeline selector bar or cursor (it has the distinct blue triangle top)to pinpoint where you want you slide to go, right click, choose overlay and the current slide/clip is replaced with the new slide/clip. Or choose insert and the slide is inserted between the end of the nearest slide and beginning of the next. The next and all following slide are pushed down in the timeline without any changes to their durations. Convenient.
But not quite as convenient as it might be. If you have any transition effects
between slides that is wiped out by either an overlay or insert. Likewise
any audio track will be split when an image slide is inserted into the timeline.
So as always , the recommended workflow is to add image slides and video
clips first including any trimming and change in order. Then add any transitions
between slides/clips. Then add audio clips and titling/captioning slides
Adding transition effects is also fairly simple. Click Effects button (or
Window | Effects menu command) and the Effects Window pops
up. Choose the video Transitions folder and double click on it (or the small
triangular collapse/expand icon just to the left of the folder). There are
dozens of transition effects to choose from. Again, just drag and drop the
transition between two clips/images and Premiere Elements overlays the effect
on the two clips. Users can shorten or the effects by dragging on the start
or end of the transition marker in the timeline. Again very easy to do. The
screenshot below shows the Timeline after loading and adding transitions
to the still images.
Adding titling and captions is just as easy but we will cover that in detail in the article on editing video screenshows. Likewise markers can be added for production of CD and DVD ready disks; but that is also a topic for another review. Our basic photo slideshow (and I put quotes around "basic" because the speed preparing and effects on display in this slide show are really professional in quality) - is ready for production.
Unfortunately, in tryout version of Premiere Elements many of the production features and controls are unavailable. Also the program has an orientation towards producing DVDs. DVD is on the Workflow button not the general Produce Wizard available in Camtasia. Whatever the reason, the .avi file was over 150MBytes for just 13 slides. The time to render was just under 5 minutes on a Celeron 2.8Ghz with 512MB of memory.
In sum users can see (with the notable exception of the final production
of the slideshow) that Adobe Premiere Elements is more than equal to the
task of delivering a great photo slideshow. We really liked the ease of mounting
and editing both images and audio. We believe the Media Window with some
of its advanced display, search and convenient original edit feature makes
this program a natural for large slideshows of hundreds of images and a dozen
or more audio clips. It is just a question of final production - which as
soon as we can get it for you we will.
(C)JBSurveyer 2005 Home Adobe Overview