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September 03, 2007

Premiere Elements

Advanced Production Unit: Adobe Premiere Elements

Screenshot of Adobe Elements 3


The purpose of this posting is to help my A level students come to terms with Adobe Premiere Elements. It is important to get an overview of the software that they will be using to create their Advanced Production project as part of a rapidly growing consumer / prosumer / user generated content marketplace. One part of the specification is that an awareness of the industry / audience context is written up.  This posting gives links to various sites including ones:

  • Which monitor the selling patterns of the software  package
  • Ones which give some sort of help or guidance to the software itself
  • Ones which begin to examine the issues arising from the rapid rise of user generated content and distribution which are challenging older models of media

The Consumer Market & Video Editing Software

The popularity of digital video cameras and the editing software that is needed to go with them has generated a huge market. This is growing dramatically as perfectly adequate video cameras are available for very reasonable price and the price of powerful computers able to comfortably handle the file sizes is also dropping. Multi-core processing power and powerful graphics cards are rapidly becoming common. The enormous success of YouTube shows just how popular making digitally based moving image forms is. The cost of entry is low and currently the audiences are comfortable with relatively low-resolution materials. Even the new technological standards such as widescreen and High Definition are being incorporated into midrange consumer DV-Cameras. The level of content is often puerile but as its users develop in terms of skills and maturity so will YouTube. It is likely to offer a quite different form of social networking to Myspace / Facebook as Donna Bogatin points out

The growing enthusiasm for user generated content by even the most powerful media insitutions such as the BBC News Services means that new models of interaction between audiences / producers/ mediators are emerging. The examples of the BBC footage of a small London tornado in  December 2006 gave an interesting opportunity to compare the professional coverage with consumer videos sometimes even filmed on mobile phones. A BBC cameraman who lived in the effected area was able to go out with his professional equipment and take live footage and it was of course much better quality.

The key point  is that user generated material is valuable precisely because it is live and normally there are no professional camera crews there. Take the attacks on the Twin Towers as another example. Endless user generated images have been recycled from the very momnet impact took place.   These examples signify a changing model very effectively. It is perhaps most important within the genre of News precisely because of the live aspects which give this material a high added value.  Large planned events are well covered and the image rights have been sorted out previously. 


The plethora  of opportunity for consumers to familiarise themselves with moving image production  initially using lower quality equipment is leading to a rapidly growing prosumer market where many people are developing their skills and knowledge and gradually accumulating equipment which can produce near 'broadcast quality' images. With the growth of YouTube there is a ready distribution system and there are good opportunities for those who are good to be discovered by media companies looking for talent. This is likely to drive the prosumer marketplace for the forseeable future. 

Canon XM2

The Canon XM2 Videocamera is a fine example of the Prosumer market. Check out the link for the typical kind of discourse within the description.

If the example below is anything to go by imagination and creativity rather than a technologically determinist focus on "Broadcast quality" means that new media models have a better chance than at any time in history to emerge. Quite probably there will be a growing global market place for freelance videography. However this market is very unlikely to be freed from the usual relationship to advertising as the video makes clear. 

Advertising and control of the distribution system is crucial. The YouTube video below takes a jokey speculative approach to the future of digital media. It is clearly based upon the knowledge that YouTube was taken over by Google now an internet based distribution giant. I don't recall Murdoch and News Corporation in the video and they should clearly have a place in this spectrum as I show elsewhere on this blog. Whether alternative distribution sites showing critical user generated content can survive without being bought out is the coming question of our media led times.  The rise of viral marketing opens out the possibilities for virtual sub-cultures in parallel to the developing mainstream however the potential for exploiting and subsuming idealist approaches is likely to win out in the longer term as consultancies and companies seek to develop new cash-generating media models. As is usual with emerging media technologies hopes are raised for a more open mediascape  then dashed as the money mvoes in and forms a well organised market-place, technology as usual is a doubled edged sword.    

A wonderful short movie from YouTube about the future of the Media

Premiere Elements as an "entry level" consumer product

It is claimed to be "the No. 1 selling consumer video editing software"*

*Source: The NPD Group (October 2005 to April 2006) based on units sold

The simplified interface and drag-and-drop simplicity of Adobe Premiere Elements enables users to add professional quality effects and enhancements, as well as output to a wide variety of devices and formats – including Adobe Flash Video, the standard video format for popular social networking Web sites. (My Emphasis)

Video files can be imported from virtually any device, including DV and DVD camcorders, HDV devices, digital still and mobile phone cameras, unprotected DVDs and MPEG-4 video recorders.

Wikipedia entry on Premiere Elements

Unlike many of its competitors, Premiere Elements can handle 99 video and audio tracks, with multiple keyframed effects applied to each clip, as well as Picture-in-Picture and chromakey capabilities. It also supports many third-party plug-ins for additional features, including Premiere Pro plug-ins, After Effects plug-ins, and VST effects. (Wikipedia 04 / 09 / 07)

There are wizards to help guide you through importing your footage from tape (or disc or elsewhere) and exporting your finished movies to various formats. But the application actively encourages you to take part in the creative process of trimming clips, arranging them together and adding effects rather than automating them or leaving them to random chance. From IT Week Review of Elements 3.

Overall rating: Overall rating
Ave. user rating

Standout Feature

For me, the standout feature of Adobe Premiere Elements 3.0 is the stop motion capture facility. You don't need to be the next Wallace and Gromit claymation supremo to appreciate the power of this time lapse tool. It's easy to use for capturing a changing skyline, city traffic, a flower opening and closing or just recording your own animation. (Film Inside Out)


An "internet" button leads off to the "Idea Gallery" on Adobe's web site with brief tutorials.
Adobe Premiere Elements 3.0 (and its big brother, Adobe Premiere Pro CS3) are only available for Windows XP or Vista computers (or Intel-based Macintoshes running Windows XP or Vista).

Adobe Premiere Elements

System RequirementsCompatible with WindowsWindows (PC)
► Intel Pentium® 4 or Intel Celeron® (or compatible) 1.3GHz processor (dual-core processors and those with Hyper-Threading Technology supported)
► Microsoft® Windows XP Professional, Home Edition, or Media Center Edition with Service Pack 2
► 256MB of RAM (512MB recommended)
► 1.5GB of available hard-disk space
► Color monitor with 16-bit color video card
► 1,024x768 monitor resolution at 96dpi or less
► Microsoft DirectX 9 compatible display driver


Adobe-Logo Adobe Premiere Elements

Choose a product and get more information.

Heroglyph[ Learn how to ... ]
Heroglyph 2.6
Heroglyph Rapid 2.6


Adorage[ Learn how to ... ]

Adorage Magic PC

Premiere Elements Help Guides

There is currently no recommendation for any of these guide it is purely drawing your attention to what is available.

Adobe Premiere Elements Classroom in a Book

Premiere Classroom in a Book

Covering more ground than the typical expanded users manuals you find in bookstores, Adobe Premiere Elements For Dummies is the book you need to get you through your first video-editing project as well as to return to whenever you hit rough spots and need instant help. (PC Pro Review)

Hoolywood Aftereffects with Elements 3

Hollywood Special Effects with Adobe Premiere Elements 3
is a book that will help users get to the next level in video editing, and that next level goes beyond simply splicing together clips and creating simple titles. In no time readers will be overlaying multiple tracks of videos and adjusting transparency; creating Picture-in-Picture overlays; using key frames and motion paths; setting and refining greenscreens and bluescreens; using color effects for emotional impact; and a whole range of other special effects to help them tell their story. What sets this book apart is the author's expertise in carefully showing readers how to execute each of these effects step-by-step in a clear and friendly writing style. With this book, budding filmmakers will be well on their way to becoming the next George Lucas!

The Growing Market for Consumer Video Production 

Nokia Team up with Adobe 

As processing power increases and hard disk storage costs decrease so more and more people are becoming involved in the creation of home videos.  While the professional fraternity are able to afford the premium price of around £700 for a copy of Adobe Premiere Pro, for many this cost makes the product too expensive especially when you consider you could buy a new system for less.  Fortunately an alternative solution is available and one that still bears the Adobe brand.  This is Adobe Premiere Elements 3.0.

As with its companion Adobe Photoshop Elements, Adobe Premiere Elements 3.0 lacks some of the power and functionality of its professional sibling but has been priced at around a tenth of the price.

Nokia N93

Nokia and Adobe Systems Incorporated announced that the standard sales pack of the new Nokia N93 mobile device will incorporate Adobe Premiere Elements 2.0 software for Windows XP. With Adobe Premiere Elements 2.0, video captured using the Nokia N93 can now be transferred to compatible desktop PC's to edit, burn to DVD, and export to other formats for Web streaming and email. Delivered free of charge to Nokia N93 customers, Adobe Premiere Elements 2.0 (valued at US$99.99) will further enhance the video capture and sharing experience.

Useful Web Links

PC Pro review of Adobe Elements Version 3 RATING:

Official Adobe Premiere Elements Forum

Simply DV discussion board.  This looks like a useful discussion board which could be informative if yoiu have a problem.

This is a web based guide to an earlier version of Premier Elements from Digital Director which may be of help. This leads to the Digital Director Forum .

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