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Is Premiere Elements for me?

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Aug 08, 2018

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Well, not really for me, but for a friend whom I may be prepared to help. This friend, in his early 70s, will be working very much at an amateur level. I've seen some of his work (quite amateurish), and I may be prepared to help improve them because the stories are interesting. I've spent 20 minutes looking at the overview of Elements, but have come away feeling it's not for him. I'm hoping I'm wrong.

He's been using a thing called iskysoft (?) and it's a bit flakey in his estimation. It's probably just him, though.

I'll help him if Elements has certain similarities to Premiere Pro (which I'm quite experienced with), and if all those automated aspects of Elements can be avoided. So these are my questions, with regard to how similar is Elements to the Pro.

Q1: Does elements offer several timelines for both video and audio?

Q2: Can a user manually import files into a holding area?

Q3: Can transitions be manually applied to video and audio files?

Q4: Are imported files stored with the project, or are they referenced?

Q5: Can projects be exported into a variety of formats at user-selectable bit rates: quicktime, mp4?

If Elements can be used as a cut-down version of Pro, I'll help him. If most things are almost fully automated, and that automation can't be avoided – I won't be helping.

Any suggestions most appreciated.

Adobe Community Professional
Correct answer by whsprague | Adobe Community Professional

Q1:  Up to 99 tracks of video and audio.

Q2:  The user imports files in to a media "bin" that can be separated into named groups.  From there the media files are selected and brought to the timeline.

Q3: Yes, there are a lot of transitions for both audio and video.  They range from simple to complex.

Q4:  Files brought in are referenced.  There are "archive" choices that will put the project and all the source file copies where you choose.

Q5:  Yes, there are both simple and more complex optional choices to control formats and bit rates.

Premiere Elements does not have some of the Pro tools.

1.  Multi camera support.  It can be done on timelines, but is clunky.

2.  Auto syncing of audio that is recorded separately from the camera.  It can be done manually.

3.  Stabilization is there but not to Warp standards.

4.  You don't work in sequences.  It is sort of like one big sequence.

The current version does not burn Blu-Ray discs but will do DVDs.

Please consider installing the free trial before you spend your friend's money.  That's the best way to see if your friend's computer is up to the task.  There are excellent introductory tutorials available on YouTube or from within the program itself.  I can give you links to some Vimeo videos I've done entirely within Premiere Elements if that helps.

Good luck!

Bill

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Is Premiere Elements for me?

Contributor ,
Aug 08, 2018

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Well, not really for me, but for a friend whom I may be prepared to help. This friend, in his early 70s, will be working very much at an amateur level. I've seen some of his work (quite amateurish), and I may be prepared to help improve them because the stories are interesting. I've spent 20 minutes looking at the overview of Elements, but have come away feeling it's not for him. I'm hoping I'm wrong.

He's been using a thing called iskysoft (?) and it's a bit flakey in his estimation. It's probably just him, though.

I'll help him if Elements has certain similarities to Premiere Pro (which I'm quite experienced with), and if all those automated aspects of Elements can be avoided. So these are my questions, with regard to how similar is Elements to the Pro.

Q1: Does elements offer several timelines for both video and audio?

Q2: Can a user manually import files into a holding area?

Q3: Can transitions be manually applied to video and audio files?

Q4: Are imported files stored with the project, or are they referenced?

Q5: Can projects be exported into a variety of formats at user-selectable bit rates: quicktime, mp4?

If Elements can be used as a cut-down version of Pro, I'll help him. If most things are almost fully automated, and that automation can't be avoided – I won't be helping.

Any suggestions most appreciated.

Adobe Community Professional
Correct answer by whsprague | Adobe Community Professional

Q1:  Up to 99 tracks of video and audio.

Q2:  The user imports files in to a media "bin" that can be separated into named groups.  From there the media files are selected and brought to the timeline.

Q3: Yes, there are a lot of transitions for both audio and video.  They range from simple to complex.

Q4:  Files brought in are referenced.  There are "archive" choices that will put the project and all the source file copies where you choose.

Q5:  Yes, there are both simple and more complex optional choices to control formats and bit rates.

Premiere Elements does not have some of the Pro tools.

1.  Multi camera support.  It can be done on timelines, but is clunky.

2.  Auto syncing of audio that is recorded separately from the camera.  It can be done manually.

3.  Stabilization is there but not to Warp standards.

4.  You don't work in sequences.  It is sort of like one big sequence.

The current version does not burn Blu-Ray discs but will do DVDs.

Please consider installing the free trial before you spend your friend's money.  That's the best way to see if your friend's computer is up to the task.  There are excellent introductory tutorials available on YouTube or from within the program itself.  I can give you links to some Vimeo videos I've done entirely within Premiere Elements if that helps.

Good luck!

Bill

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Aug 08, 2018

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Q1:  Up to 99 tracks of video and audio.

Q2:  The user imports files in to a media "bin" that can be separated into named groups.  From there the media files are selected and brought to the timeline.

Q3: Yes, there are a lot of transitions for both audio and video.  They range from simple to complex.

Q4:  Files brought in are referenced.  There are "archive" choices that will put the project and all the source file copies where you choose.

Q5:  Yes, there are both simple and more complex optional choices to control formats and bit rates.

Premiere Elements does not have some of the Pro tools.

1.  Multi camera support.  It can be done on timelines, but is clunky.

2.  Auto syncing of audio that is recorded separately from the camera.  It can be done manually.

3.  Stabilization is there but not to Warp standards.

4.  You don't work in sequences.  It is sort of like one big sequence.

The current version does not burn Blu-Ray discs but will do DVDs.

Please consider installing the free trial before you spend your friend's money.  That's the best way to see if your friend's computer is up to the task.  There are excellent introductory tutorials available on YouTube or from within the program itself.  I can give you links to some Vimeo videos I've done entirely within Premiere Elements if that helps.

Good luck!

Bill

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Aug 08, 2018

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"If most things are almost fully automated, and that automation can't be avoided – I won't be helping."

I should add that there is an automatic "Quick" mode.  I've never used it.  I use the "Expert" mode where I am in complete control.   Recently I've been investing time in learning Premiere Pro.   The timeline experience is similar.  I keep reverting to Elements because it works better for the typical short "home" video.

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Contributor ,
Aug 08, 2018

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Thanks, Bill, for the informative response. Saved me hours of reading manuals and watching videos. I'm going to impose the hurdle on this friend, of downloading the trial version of Elements, then buying it. If he's not prepared to spend the money on serious software, I won't be prepared to help.

One more question: I only work in 1920 x 1080 and will be suggesting the same to my friend. Can Elements export to H.264 Blu-ray format, with separate video and audio? Not burn, just export.

I would like the links to the videos, if you don't mind.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Aug 10, 2018

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Guy,

Premiere Elements has H.264 choices built in for export.  I get confused on this but the Blu-Ray spec uses Dolby AC-3 audio I think.  Therefore, no.  But, you can get high quality H.264 1080 into an MP4.  The MP4 will have separate audio.  If you have other software to get that to Blu-Ray you've got it. 

My public videos, all done with Premiere Elements is at Bill Sprague on Vimeo

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Aug 11, 2018

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https://forums.adobe.com/people/Guy+Burns  wrote

Can Elements export to H.264 Blu-ray format, with separate video and audio? Not burn, just export.

YES it can but the audio will be PCM.

Also beware of the project settings once started with the wrong settings you cannot change that, have to start over.

You cannot import one project into another project.

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Aug 11, 2018 1
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Aug 11, 2018

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Thanks for the link, Bill. I've emailed a link to three of your videos to my mate.

And thanks, Ann, for confirming Blu-ray export.

Finally, there's a good reason I posted instead of downloading the trail version and checking it out: I run CS6 under OSX 10.9, so I'd have to download not only Elements, but the latest OSX to run it. So thanks for saving me all that bother.

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Aug 11, 2018 1
Adobe Community Professional ,
Aug 11, 2018

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CS6 will run under High Sierra, so will Encore if your are using that also. Tested this a few days ago.

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Aug 11, 2018 0
Contributor ,
Aug 11, 2018

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Handy to know I can use CS6 under High Sierra. I don't know whether I'd trust it though. I don't like to stray too far from the original software/OS pairing. I was wary about moving from OSX 10.6 to 10.9, but that pairing does work, though not quite as reliable as under 10.6.

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