Time to review the good and the not so good!
What is clear in this latest version of Premiere Elements 15 is that Adobe have finally decided on a direction for the program based on the real world rather than some geeks in a lab making guesses.
Everything is tucked away unless you are using it so although you have to find out WHERE everything is tucked away, once you do the advantages become clear.
When you do click on a tool or module what you are most often presented with are common presets and an advanced choice.
Check the images below.
The top one is the interface with a video on the timeline and no tools or adjustment selected. Clean uncluttered and attractive.
In the next image the “Adjustments” tab has been clicked and suddenly everything is there to use.
Like any video editing software you care to choose there will always be a learning curve to overcome before you become comfortable using the program.
In Adobe’s case they have done an excellent job in reducing the pain.
Carrying on with the theme of hiding everything away unless it is being used we come to the library function of Premiere Elements 15.
Rather than being part of the program it is actually a separate module unto itself that integrates with the program and is called the Elements Organizer.
The Organizer can be used to manage all media files on your computer (not just those for your editing projects) and then have them available to use within Premiere Elements.
It comes with a new and very powerful search function that allows you to mark and tag things very easily so they can be found later.
Over time you can start to build up quite a surprising amount of media files on your computer and without an efficient library section you will soon get lost.
This is a vital point to keep in mind for when you are editing as endlessly searching around a complicated array of folders to find what you are looking for can get very annoying, very fast!
The Organizer is a very effective and efficient tool for keeping things in order.
Editing and Previews
Adobe pretty much got the backend of Elements under control a few versions back with the addition of 64bit architecture and improvements to the basic rendering engine.
Currently it runs as fast as most other programs in its class and while I was using it on my slightly underpowered machine I didn’t hit any lags or crashes.
Like any editing software actual performance is only partly down to the software itself due to the majority of the work being done by the computer.
It is all very well for the software to tell the computer what to do; it is entirely another matter as to whether the computer can actually do it!
What is noticeable in this version of Elements is that the improved processing power and the improved utilization of all available processing power has been put to good use.
The program snaps smartly from window to window, instantly moves what you want it to move and adds or takes away what you want taken away in an instant.
Similarly previews start promptly and my experience was that they played smoothly and accurately for the most part.
One thing I was a little disappointed in was that a feature to help those with underpowered computer setups remains missing in action.
Up until version 8, Adobe gave the users the option to create low resolution proxy files of their original video files for the purpose of editing and previewing.
This allowed the user to edit and watch a smoother preview by sacrificing some of the video’s details.
However since then they have not continued this feature which is unfortunate.
What Can It Do?
Well the answer to that is quite a lot really!
Apart from the fact that it cuts, slices and dices video footage and allows you to create your projects in all the popular formats here is a rundown of some of the features.
To see all of it you should go to the Adobe site and check it out and there is a link at the end of this page.
I think the main takeaway here is that Premiere Elements 15 is squarely aimed at the home user with convenience and ease of use highest in the priorities.
As I mentioned on Page one of this review there is a module for creating interesting collages that are a little different from the rest in a simple way.
OK, some people have dismissed this as kind of unimportant but you have to look at the average Joe to understand it.
The average person on a holiday or outdoors will invariably shoot landscapes and you can be sure of one thing.
They will NOT be using a U.V. filter on their iPhone or whatever device they are using to balance the light and filter out the haze!
That alone is the reason the average landscape video or even image has that hazy washed out look to it.
This is simply a filter that handles that and gets those shots cleaned up automatically.
Also mentioned earlier, it automatically remixes music to match the length of your movie without chopping that track to pieces in an effort to make it fit.
This is an entire system for applying filters or effects across multiple clips or an entire project.
Automatically detects and highlights faces in clips to make auto-trimming and pan and zoom easier.
This is a new one both in the tutorials on offer and your access to them.
All the new tutorials are accessible through the user interface so if you are mid-way through something and need to check out how to do something else you can just click on the eLive tab.
From there you can watch the tutorial you need whilst remaining inside the Premiere Elements 15 user interface.
Once you have the information you need you can just go straight back to what you were doing without interruption.
Of course as you would expect in an editor at this level there is a vast library of transitions, filters and special effects most of which are fully customizable on top of the presets on offer.
The separate titling module allows not just for full control over the design and look of titles but allows for the addition of motion to them.
You can add motion paths to text and graphics to have them follow the action as you go along.
Automatically fix color and lighting problems; trim away all but the best footage; and balance audio to create pro-quality sound throughout your movie.
You can upload your finished movies to YouTube, Facebook, Vimeo, or your own website, burn to DVD discs using standard burners as well as share movies in high-quality 4K or AVCHD format.
Premiere Elements comes with a range of presets to get video that looks great on whatever device or screen you choose, from iPads, iPods, and other smart phones to big-screen 4K and HD TVs.
For DVDs and Blu-ray there is a complete and dedicated menu and chapter designer.
In all honesty there are a number of video editing software solutions around that offer more of everything than Adobe Premiere Elements 15.
More features, more filters more effects, more control and on and on.
BUT! And this is a big BUT!
The harsh reality of that is that the vast majority of users that get those programs based on sheer volume of “stuff” will NEVER use those features… EVER.
The beauty of Premiere Elements 15 is that it contains exactly what you need to make great home movies without any fluff added for marketing purposes.
The features and tools contained in the program are the things you will actually use and they are presented in a way that makes them useable.
Premiere Elements is a great example of what happens when a company like Adobe finds the right direction for a piece of software and throws their considerable development resources behind it.
It is a smooth, easy to understand yet surprisingly powerful end to end solution for the home video editor.
To get a broader look at the features that you can expect from this product, you should definitely make use of the free trial version.
Previous Page: Part One of Adobe Premiere Elements Review