You might want to pull video from your point-and-shoot camera, from a DSLR, from your iPhone or other smartphone, from your iPad, or from some kind of dedicated video camera. You might even want to take some still photos and put them into motion. And you might share them any number of places: The problem is, none of this necessarily means that professional-level video software is your best choice, either because of its complexity or price. Adobe Premiere Elements 10 is not radically changed from the predecessor we reviewed, Adobe Premiere Elements 9 , the first release of that tool on the Mac.
The big news, though, is the brighter and cleaner user interface UI for both applications. The new UI is easier to navigate, especially for newcomers to the Adobe family. However, since Adobe already announced that CS6 is the last edition of the Creative Suite that will support XP, the same may be true for Elements as well. Yet, the new UI benefits more than just half the user base. Icons and text are larger, adding to fairly straightforward navigation throughout the applications. Tools and functions have been conveniently moved to a context-sensitive Action Bar at the bottom of the screen, so current active tools are clearly evident and quickly accessible.
The end result is a visually simplified and uncluttered UI that offers a smoother workflow. Moreover, both applications seem to work faster. On the other hand, PSE 11 imported a folder of images in record time. As in previous versions, this is the digital asset management module of the software where you can view, sort, tag, rate and generally organize and locate images.
Importing is simple. You can also set up Preferences to automatically download images when a camera or card reader is connected. The latter three are empty until you tag images in their respective categories, e.
Images can also be accessed by clicking on the albums and folders on the left panel. But sorry, Twitter users! It provides quick access to functions and tools available for the current mode.
A drop-down Editor menu is part of the Action Bar. It also allows you to open an image or video clip in one of several editors, including an external editor of your choice: In my experience, it quickly placed frames around faces, even a few where the face was turned sideways, so that I could type in a name or associate it with a Facebook friend.
Elements uses Google Maps with options for a map view, hybrid view, and dark or light views. For the latter, you can zoom in on a map to select a location or search for a specific place or landmark.
Associating images with a specific locale is fairly intuitive. For those of us who are less than diligent about labeling photos from various occasions, this is a real time-saver.
Images can be ported over from the Organizer or opened directly from within the Editor via a drop-down Open menu at the top of the window or the Photo Bin drop-down menu in the Action Bar. These are all pretty convenient, so the choice is up to you and how you work within the software. Quick, Guided and Expert editing modes are available with a click of the mouse at the top of the window, with a Create drop-down menu on the right panel. Again, a context-sensitive Action Bar is located along the bottom of the screen.
Within each, you can make manual or automatic adjustments, viewing the latter with a mouseover of thumbnails. There are also two categories of special effects: Photo Effects and Photo Play. Tilt-shift might sound familiar to you since many digital cameras now offer this option. It simulates a miniature look, with parts of the image out of focus.
This feature is not as smooth to use as one would hope — either in-camera or in Elements 11 — because you need the right type of image for it to be effective. A view from above looking down a street filled with traffic might work, for example, but a photo of a person will not. Choose from a black or a white vignette, adjust the intensity and — if you have an extra few seconds — click the Refine Shape option.
The latter provides slider bars for adjusting the amount of feathering and the roundness of the vignette. One thing to keep in mind for the Vignette effect is that the intensity slider bar is counter-intuitive.
When I moved the Vignette increase intensity slider bar to the right, it decreased the effect while I expected it to boost the visibility of the halo. High-key and low-key are common photographic terms to indicate how lighting is used to basically either brighten highlights or darken shadows and increase contrast.
High-key brightens the highlights of an image almost to the extreme while low-key darkens shadows and increases contrast for a seriously dramatic look.
Refine Edge is used when making selections. As the name implies, Refine Edge allows you to fine-tune the selection. While this is certainly an improvement to the Quick Selection tool it comes with a learning curve, so be patient. This feature requires some practice and patience in order to master it.
Comic offers four presets, plus a number of slider bars to modify the look. Graphic Novel, my favorite of the three new filters, creates a stylized black-and-white image. However, Adobe has added a number of preset actions that you can supplement with those created in Photoshop. It actually works pretty well, although the difference is subtle.
Click on the arrow for each option and drill down to see exactly what steps each one will let you take. Miscellaneous New templates for projects such as greeting cards have been added to Elements. Video Editor The Video Editor offers two editing modes: Quick and Expert.
The Quick Mode, although pared down, provides the ability to either make a single-click Smart Fix adjustment or to use the automatic and manual options for Color, Lighting, Temperature and Tint. Under these headings, clickable preset thumbnails show how they will affect the video, while slider bars allow you to make more fine-tuned adjustments.
Of course, you can simply click Auto within each category to allow PRE to analyze and make its own adjustments. Volume and Balance can also be tweaked in the Adjustments panel. The timeline is more advanced as well, allowing you to work with multiple video and audio tracks. Time Remapping Also important are several new additions to Premiere Elements 11, especially the very cool Time Remapping feature. This feature alone may be worth the price of PRE since it allows you to slow down and speed up video clips with just a couple of clicks and it can add creative edge to your movies or to just a couple of frames.
Some of the most impressive slow motion videos making the rounds on the Internet were captured with a Phantom movie camera that costs in the tens of thousands of dollars.
Yet other slow motion videos have been made with compact digital still cameras equipped with a slow motion movie option. Faster frame rates can be played back in slow motion. The video files that are produced by these digital cameras are extremely small and can only be recorded without sound. It gives you an affordable way to work with full-sized video files with sound and turn them into slow motion footage.
The Time Remapping user controls are extensive. You can specify different speed levels: If timing is critical, specify the amount of time the footage should run and the software will calculate the appropriate speed.
Special Effects Other new additions for Premiere include a trio of film looks: Old Film, Pandora, and Red Noir. Old Film is a sepia-toned effect that simulates old film footage. Pandora is reminiscent of the film Avatar because it tints skin tones blue. Red Noir converts footage to black-and-white while retaining all the reds in the scene. As with all of the other film effects, you simply drag-and-drop to apply.
Interestingly, PRE11 now offers the same blending modes as Photoshop. In Expert Edit mode, you can essentially layer two videos and adjust how one shows through the other.
I was also able to achieve a similar effect in Quick Edit. PRE has more depth to it than one might think at first glance. Current users will definitely want to check out Time Remapping and the new film effects. Yet the new UI is a real bonus for everyone. It makes the programs easier to work with, especially for first-timers. Although the programs have a few quirks, overall my experience has been very positive.
Transitions from one mode to another are much more seamless than in the past — and most, if not all, of the new features will most likely find their way into your photo and video repertoire. Core System Requirements Windows: