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New Software Spotlight: Adobe Elements 12

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Adobe Elements 12 is the newest release of the Elements family of products. Included is Adobe Photoshop Elements 12 Adobe Premiere Elements 12. Both are scaled down versions of their more powerful counterparts, but both bring elements of each so that the photo and/or video enthusiast doesn’t have to be burdened with a lot additional functionality that they may never need.

Adobe Photoshop Elements 12

PSE Content Aware Move

PSE Content Aware Move

Photoshop is considered by many to be the best image editor on the planet, but unless you are a professional or advanced amateur, it may not be the best choice for the general consumer. This is for a couple of reasons. First, with a high end product, there is usually a high end learning curve that can take months; even years to become accomplished with such an all-encompassing product. Second, a high end product usually comes with a high end price as opposed to the $79.99 for Photoshop Elements. You can check out what you need to run Adobe Photoshop Elements 12 from their tech specs page.

So what is new with Adobe Elements 12?

• Take your photos and videos on the go – from both Photoshop and Premiere Elements 12. Through the use of Adobe Revel, you can now sync your photos and videos to your smart phone and Adobe Elements 12. You just set up an account and tie it back to Elements and choose what you want to share in your Revel library and you can take your media on the road.

PSE Content Aware Fill for Straighten tool

PSE Content Aware Fill for Straighten tool

• Auto Smart Tone – for more intelligent photo and video corrections. Through the use of Auto Smart Tone you can be more confident that the color corrections and other adjustments are more balanced. You begin by using Smart Tone and then you you’re your own additional tweaks to your image and it then learns from these changes. The next time you use it will adjust based on those changes as well.

So what is new with Adobe Photoshop Elements 12?

• Move objects around – quickly and easily. Did you ever have that photo that wasn’t quite balanced? Where someone was standing a little too far from the rest of the group or the dog wandered away. Now you can fix those kinds of problems using Content Aware Move. Just draw a circle around what you want to move and drag that object to where you want it positioned.

• Remove pet eye discoloration – with the new with the red eye removal tool. The pet eye effect is very similar to the red eye effect in humans; just more of a green or yellow color. Now you can check the Pet Eye checkbox on the Red Eye tool and just click on to each of the animal’s eyes. You also have the ability to control the intensity of the correction as well.

PSE Auto Smart Tone

PSE Auto Smart Tone

• New effects – like zoom burst, puzzles, and for restoring old photos. Zoom Burst is an effect that simulates the spinning of your zoom lens when taking a longer exposure shot where the further away from the focal point you move the blurrier the image becomes. The Puzzle effect will let you mimic the look of your photo being a puzzle. You can even remove some of the pieces for creative effects. The Restore Old Photo will guide you through the process of cleaning up old or damaged photos.

• One touch application – for adding frames, textures, and other effects. Now you can make your photos even more your own by being creative with a variety of one-touch effects, by adding textures to present a unique look, or adding a creative frame to give your image more depth.

• Content-Aware fill – for the straighten tool now gives you the ability to straighten a photo and then will automatically fill in any parts of the image edge that is out of the frame. That way you don’t have to crop the photo and lose part of the image. Just check the Autofill Edges check box and Elements will do it for you.

• Share on Twitter – directly from Photoshop Elements. No longer do you have to go back to the organizer in order to share. Just share from the editor to Flickr, Twitter, SmugMug Gallery, or Facebook.

Adobe Premiere Elements 12

PRE Motion Tracking

PRE Motion Tracking

Adobe Premiere Elements 12 is the latest release of the consumer based video editing program from Adobe. It is a scaled down version of their professional level package Premiere Pro without all of the learning curve of the pro version, but yet it still provides a lot of power.

Like Photoshop Elements, Premiere Elements is a lot easier to work with and a lot more manageable than Premiere Pro and while it has fewer features than pro, the features that it does have, are more geared toward, and better serves the general consumer. To find out what you need to run Adobe Photoshop Elements 11, just check out their requirements page.

So what is new with Adobe Premiere Elements 12?

• Learn advanced editing techniques – with guided edits tutorials. Now you can learn both basic and advance techniques by using the built-in tutorials. You will learn things like how to add clips to your videos, rearrange sequences, split, trim, and publish your to your local computer.

• 50 musical scores – and 250 sound effects that can really add that finishing touch to your video. All you have to do is click on the audio button on the Action bar, click on the musical score to see the categories and drag and drop the one you want on to the video clip in the timeline.

PRE Guided Edits

PRE Guided Edits

• Share private web albums – directly from Photoshop Elements. No longer do you have to go back to the organizer in order to share.

• Add effect – to multiple clips with video adjustment layers. These work like the adjustment layers in Photoshop and allow you to add adjustments and effects to your video clips just as easily.

• Other additions – include Hollywood styles and effects, manage your videos more easily, and spotlight your subject through motion tracking. With this last one you can track graphics, text, or effects giving you custom enhancements.

For the Elements family, I think that the take photos/videos on the go will please a lot of people. While Revel has been around for a while, most people are not aware of it. As a service, you can upload unlimited photos for the first 30 days and then up to 50 a month. For $5.99 you get unlimited imports. The Auto Smart Tone feature is also nice in that it gives you auto correction but you have some say in what is being done.

PRE Auto Smart Tone

PRE Auto Smart Tone

Adobe Photoshop Elements contains some really nice features with the Content Aware Move which worked really well overall; you might have to do a little touch up with something like the healing brush may be necessary, but still a welcome feature. The Zoom Burst and Puzzle effects are nice as well. The Old Photo Restore; while this is not a quick fix, I do think that there will be a lot of use for it. When you add in additional guided edits, pet eye correction and the other things, this makes for a nice upgrade.

Adobe Premiere Elements also has some nice features with the new guided edits, the musical scores and sound effects, but one of the coolest is the Video Adjustment layers. This really makes this a must have upgrade in that it lets you layer effects on to your video much like you would in Photoshop. So all things considered, I think that the Adobe Elements 12 bundle is really a must have upgrade.

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About T. Michael Testi

Photographer, writer, software engineer, educator, and maker of fine images.