Adobe Premiere Elements 11

November 16, 2012

By Ibarionex Perello

The latest release of Adobe Elements Premiere 11 provides more than just a more cost-effective alternative to Adobe Premiere Pro CS6. It also offers a new and friendlier user interface to provide photographers the essentials tools and features to quickly edit video using their HDSLR.

Though Adobe Premiere Pro CS6 and its direct competitor, Final Cut Pro X, are favored by many professional or advanced users, not everyone requires all that those applications offer, especially at their respective price points. Premiere Elements 11 delivers a set of core features that will allow many photographers to produce a quality edit from their footage without the steep learning curve often faced with higher-end applications. 

The software offers two editing environments: Quick and Expert. While the Quick editing environment may be ideal for someone who’s never edited a video, most serious users will prefer the Expert mode for the greater flexibility and control that it provides. In both modes, you are able to access the software’s Instant Movie option, which takes your selected video clips, cuts them together and applies filters and transition effects based on a wide variety of templates. Though convenient for quick edits or home movies, most users will favor the ability to maintain greater control.

If you have used previous versions of Premiere Elements, the first thing you will notice is the much-improved user interface. Gone are some of the hard-to-read texts and controls. The software now features a much brighter background with larger typefaces, making it much easier and more pleasant to read. The icon-based controls also provide quick access to popular filters and controls, rather than having to navigate menus and submenus, especially important with frequently-used features.  As learning to locate and access controls is often a challenge when becoming familiar with a new piece of software, these changes can save you time as you get into the more fun part of editing your footage. 

Elements Premiere 11 provides a convenient solution for selecting the best parts of your clip. Its Smart Trim feature analyzes clips and identifies parts of the footage that may be blurry, shaky, low-contrast or suffer from color or lighting problems. Such areas are noted with a hash-mark overlay, which identifies which part of the footage is flawed and with a single click. The software trims away the bad footage, leaving the better quality parts of the clip for use in your final edit. 

When you launch the application, you have the option of accessing the Organizer or the Video Editor workspace. The former has been completely redesigned to provide large panels for importing your footage into albums and folders. The second panel allows you to view all your video, still and audio files. The last panel provides your tags and information panel. If you are already a user of Adobe Photoshop Elements, Photoshop or even Lightroom, you will find the interface familiar, especially when it comes to importing, keywording and tagging your content. 

The software’s organizer makes it easier to catalog and organize video, audio and still images in convenient categories. You can also tag and keyword footage for quick access. 

The latest version of the software provides extensive filters and controls for adjusting color, lighting and contrast as well as the ability to apply cinematic looks to video. 

 A streamlined interface with a brighter background and icon-based controls makes for an easier and more efficient video editing workflow.

Time mapping gives you a simple but effective way for creating slow motion, fast-motion and even reverse-motion effects with your footage. There is no need for key framing. Simply selecting the in and out points for your source clips and apply the visual effect using the preset options for controlling speed. Though shooting slow-motion in-camera provides a smoother look, this feature does provide a creative option with editing together clips that were shot at normal speed. 

Video footage often demands some corrections for color, contrast and exposure. The software makes it relatively simple to make significant changes to the clip in either the Quick- or Expert-editing environment. It provides four options: Smart Fix, color, lighting, temperature and tint. The latter three allow you to make changes by simply clicking on preview thumbnails, which vary the degree or intensity of the changes. If you desire finer control, simply hit the “more” button to affect changes using traditional sliders. 

Premiere Elements 11 also makes it easy to share footage whether it’s outputted to a standard DVD, Blue-ray, a tablet or even a digital media player such as an iPhone. In addition, it has incorporated the ability to directly upload your finished movie to services such as Vimeo for online sharing  with family, friends or the world.  

The software is available as a stand-alone or bundled with Photoshop Elements 11. The price is $99 or $79 for the upgrade. As part of the bundle, the price is $149, or $119 for the upgrade.

Ibarionex Perello is a photographer, writer and educator as well as the host of The Candid Frame photography podcast. He has also authored Chasing the Light: Improving Photography Using Available Light and 5D Mark III: From Snapshots to Great Shots