Thursday , July 18 2024
Adobe Premiere Elements 4 is an hobbyists dream come true for video editing.

Software Review: Adobe Premiere Elements 4

Adobe Premiere Elements 4 is the latest version of Adobe's consumer level video software application for non-linear video editing. It is a scaled down version of their professional level Adobe Premiere Pro. It can be purchased as a standalone product, or bundled with Adobe Photoshop Elements.

What do you need to run Adobe Premiere Elements 4? Currently it is only available on Windows. So on Windows you need 1.3GHz, or better machine with 256 MB (512 recommended) A Mouse. A 16-bit Color display with 1024×768 resolution at 96 DPI or less. A CD-Rom, and around 4.5 GB hard disk space available.

So what is new with this version of Adobe Premiere Elements?

• Start Quickly – By using the same organizer that is included with Adobe Photoshop Elements, you will spend less time learning the interface, and more time creating your videos. By having everything available to you and in an organized manner, you will spend less time searching for the clips that you need.

• Colored Tagging – These colorful tabs relate tasks together; orange is for editing, purple is for creating menus, and green is for sharing options.

• New cleaner interface- This is the same interface that is now being applied to many Adobe products. To me it is less distracting, and makes the interface easier to use by allowing me to concentrate on what is important; in this case the clips and other assets on the screen. See image below.

• Movie Themes – By beginning with a pre-designed movie theme, you can take a sequence of scenes and create a finished product in just minutes. These themes include wedding, birthday, as well as stylized themes, such as silent film and music video. They also make getting something up and going quickly a breeze.

• Sharing Center – You now have all of your sharing options in one place. Once you create your movie, you can share it multiple ways that include on disk, on the web, on mobile devices, as well as direct upload to YouTube. Sharing to disk and web is really easy to do. I did not try the YouTube upload feature.

• Rescue Shaky Footage – Now if you have footage that has shakiness, the new Image Stabilizer filter can help restore it.

• Find Specific Parts of Action or Based on When They Were Shot – There are more ways to find what you need when you need it. Scenes are displayed as thumbnails, so you can find specific points. You can also apply the date and time applied to the naming structure which makes location easier.

• HD Support Including Blue-Ray Disks – Here you can take advantage of the latest technology and put your movies in high definition (HD) platforms such as Blue-ray disk. You can fit hours of video on to single or dual-layer DVD or Blue-ray that's optimized for best results. Since I do not have HD, I was unable to play with this.

• Title Animation – You can choose from a set of Adobe fonts that are specifically designed for video and customize them with shadows, glows, as well as other effects. You can then animate them to make them bounce, spin, or zoom across the screen.

• Audio Mixing – You can use background music and sound effects to give more expression to your movie. You can add emphasis, emotion, or create a mood. The audio mixer works just like a mixing board from a recording studio letting you adjust volumes to interact music and sound effects with the sound in your movie.

• Interactive Menus – You can personalize your disk menus by using the pre-designed templates, and then type text and drag and drop to add video clips, images, and audio.

• Edit to the Beat – Premiere Elements now can automatically detect the tempo of your music and it syncs the beginning and end of each scene with the beats.

• Enhanced Special Effects – there are 10 new effects included with Premiere Elements  including Old Film, Airbrush, and Earthquake. You can now apply effects more easily with the use of drag and drop and slider controls.

• Change Backgrounds – Premiere Elements can detect clips with Blue/Green Screens and replace the backgrounds. So you can film in a generic location and put a different background to your film.

While I have not used version 3; I have used version 2, Adobe Premiere Elements 4 is a substantial improvement. I like the darker interface to make your clips clearer and really pop out, and the background less distracting. I found that it was really easy to use, and in less than thirty minutes, I had burned a standard DVD, and was watching it on my television.

The animation and special effects worked as promised, as did the audio mixing. I think that Adobe Premiere Elements 4 is well worth the price especially if purchased in the bundle with Adobe Photoshop Elements 6.0. If you are looking for a quick, easy to use video editing software then Adobe Premiere Elements 4 should be on the top of your list.

About T. Michael Testi

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

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