Can you trim a long video down to a short one and import just the short one into Premiere Elements?
Can you do it in the adobe premiere elements organizer?
Can you do it in some other simple freeware program?
If you do this, does it re-compress the short trimmed video?
Is there any way to do it without re-compressing?
No, not in PrE.
No, not in Organizer
No, none that I've ever heard about that's free.
No, not if you find a way to actually cut the file.
Yes, it has the odd name of "Smart Rendering". A company called Pegasys has one that gets pretty good reviews. For $70 (??) you can buy "TMPGEnc MPEG Smart Renderer 5". It is advertised at editing video without encoding. That doesn't work well for most people.
I'm kind of new to the video thing having worked professionally in stills my whole career, so help me with a couple of very basic conceptual questions if you don't mind..
When a video is imported into Elements (or Premier too I guess) is the program working on a copy of the uncompressed original?
Or is it just memorizing what you want to do to the data, and only finally applying it and re-compressing the data when it's output again as another h.264 or 265 or whatever?
Is that the definition of rendering?
What you see doing editing is a "best that your computer can do" preview. While you edit you are making markers. During output the source files are read from scratch, interpreted and put into a new file using the instructions you give the program. "Rendering" is a very confusing word that probably has a precise meaning. But it gets used in so many ways, it is not always useful. Words like "coding", "transcoding", "processing", "rendering" and more get wrongly used. "Re-compressing" like multiple resavings of JPEGs is logically applied to video editing.
Thanks again for your help, I appreciate it.
mp4joiner didn't work very well. I got it to join two 4K MP4 clips from a Panasonic camera. It would not split a clip from the same camera. It would not recognize MOV clips from an Olympus camera. It was a good idea, but it won't be useful to me and I uninstalled it.
It would not recognize MOV clips from an Olympus camera
It does say mp4.
Just joined two 4K h.265 clips succesfully.
Yes it does say MP4. But, I had my hopes up that maybe it would have a little wider application and be more useful.