The Advantages of Premiere Elements for Digital Filmmaking - dummies

The Advantages of Premiere Elements for Digital Filmmaking

By John Carucci

With so many editing choices, why should you use Premiere Elements for your DSLR moviemaking project? The latest installment of Premiere Elements includes a wide range of improvements over previous versions related to both performance and capability. Among them is 64-bit implementation on the Mac with performance benefits in HD/AVCHD editing workflows. That means on a 64-bit machine, it can execute commands twice as fast.

New features include Temperature Tint, Opacity Blending, sharing to YouTube, AVCHD on DVD, and Object Tracking, just to name a few.

That’s what makes Adobe Premiere Elements 11 a viable choice. It behaves the same on a Macintosh as it does on Windows.

Premiere Elements interface

The latest version of Premiere Elements offers a new user-friendly interface. It actually has two different looks, one for the beginner and another for the savvy user.

The interface consists of several parts:

  • Monitor panel: It’s where your movie plays in Premiere Elements. It shows various clip times and offers a full range of playback controls.

  • Interface drop-down menus: Located at the top of the interface. It includes Add Media, Project Assets, and Publish and Share, as well as the buttons for Quick and Expert views.

  • Timeline: The lifeblood of Premiere Elements is the timeline, where you drop, arrange, and enhance clips. The video at the current time indicator, or CTI, also known as the playhead, plays in the monitor panel.

  • Action bar: The Action bar sits on the bottom of the screen and includes the following controls: the Organizer, Instant Movie, Tools, Transitions, Titles and Text, Effects, Music, and Graphics. You can also undo or redo an action.

  • Right side: Provides access to the Adjust panel and Applied Effects.

Premiere Elements Quick versus Expert view

For beginners, Quick view presents a simplified interface with limited functions using a storyboard approach instead of a timeline. It allows new users to easily drop in successive clips and play them as a movie.

Advanced users work in the Expert view, which progressively exposes more complex workflows. Still, it’s relatively streamlined in appearance, so it’s easier to master without being confused. This quickly provides a comfort level with the software. This updated interface reorganizes features in two main views: Quick view and Expert view.

  • Quick view: This simple approach, aggregates basic features that new users frequently use to edit their movie footage and share it with others. Users select options on the Action bar to accomplish common editing tasks. Movie clips are dragged into the timeline and appear as thumbnails, as opposed to various colored lines in the timeline that represent each clip.


  • Expert view: Expert view provides advanced features and tools that professionals use to accomplish intricate video-editing tasks. Use the options in the Action bar to accomplish advanced tasks. Compared to the Quick view, the Transitions panel and the Effects panel in the Expert view, contain more options organized under various categories.


New features in Premiere Elements Expert view

The revamped edition of Premiere Elements offers many new features. Working in the Expert view, you’ll notice the following new features. Many of these are also present in the Quick view:

  • Action bar: Sits on the bottom of the interface and provides immediate access to common feature like Tools, Transitions, and Organizer.

  • Add media panel: Provides quick access to adding media to project.

  • Adjust panel: Lets you adjust the inherent properties of your clip using various controls.

  • Applied Effects panel: Allows you to view the properties of effects already applied to your clip as well as providing options that enable you to modify those applied effects.

  • Drag-and-drop media in Quick view timeline: It represents each clip as a thumbnail.

  • Instant Movie: Lets you import clips to the project and has Premiere Elements do the work, theme and all.

  • Movie looks: Provides effects that resemble the movies being shot on film.

  • Share panel: Provides access to social media sites, DVDs, and others.

  • Split icon on current timeline indicator (CTI): Lets you remove unwanted portions of the video clip directly on the timeline by splitting it removing the unwanted portion.

  • Time remapping: Lets you alter the speed and direction of the clip.

  • Tools panel: Provides easy access to tools simply by clicking button on Actions bar.

  • Tracks in timeline: Allow you see them in Quick view and shows more in Expert view.

  • Transition contextual control: Lets you tweak transitions in your clip.

  • Vignetting: Adaptively adjusts the exposure of your clip, preserving the original contrast. It helps reduce the brightness or saturation of your clip at the periphery compared to the center.