Back in the day Adobe’s Premiere Elements seemed to rule the world of consumer video editing.
This was probably because of superior marketing and a lack of competition rather than the software being anything astounding to write home about!
Don’t get me wrong here, it was always a quite serviceable product and got the job done but over time it began to suffer from two main problems.
First of these was that it was quite obvious Adobe were focusing on the pro end of the market with Premiere Pro and that’s where the development energy was being invested.
Premiere Elements of course had regular upgrades to keep pace with technical changes and occasionally a feature was pulled out of the Pro version and thrown into Elements to make it look like someone was still interested.
The second of these problems was a clear lack of direction and identity in the face of increasingly fierce competition.
Premiere Elements suffered from being a kind of afterthought when someone at Adobe must have realized there was a substantial consumer market for video editing.
Rather than having been developed as a specific consumer level program, Adobe kind of stripped down Premiere Pro in an effort to make something simple for the home user.
The result was a perfectly serviceable program which at the time was actually one of the better ones around but it didn’t take very long before other players entered the market with a much more specifically designed outcome in mind.
To that end Premiere Elements just tagged along behind the rest of the market as far as development and innovation went and which is why a few years ago, I was about to remove it from this website altogether.
Up until a few versions back there was nothing particularly compelling about the software, it was always “just OK.”
There was nothing that said, “Yes. If you are this kind of person or you want to do these types of projects, Premiere Elements is the one for you.”
Somewhere around three versions ago Premiere Elements suddenly “snapped out of it,” regained consciousness and came up with a complete reconstruction and redesign of the program.
This now brings us to the current Premiere Elements 2018 version which is a continuation of that welcome development that finally gave the program a specific target audience.
Who is that audience?
Premiere Elements 2018 is aimed squarely at the home user or consumer level editor that wants a solid and usable set of advanced tools whilst maintaining a very clean and simple user interface throughout the editing process.
Let’s begin with what is new and or improved in this latest version and this is really not going to take too long!
Elements 2018 is not really the type of update that has been driven by the mindless addition of bells and whistle features aimed at blinding you with color and motion.
It is simply a consolidation of previous advances, and an update of the underlying code to keep it working smoothly on both modern computers and with modern video file types.
There has been a rework of the slideshow creator to make using it easier and more customizable.
They have also included the ability to take snapshots of frames on the editing timeline to create images.
Other than that the main improvements to the software were made previously and are listed below.
First of all the user interface has been tidied up and given a much simpler look with everything not being used at the time tucked away out of sight.
All your tools for editing are in the menu on the right and all the buttons that were at the bottom of the screen have been moved there too.
The only time they appear are when you are actually using them so the work space always feels clean and uncluttered.
The program opens into a “one size fits all” interface with the editing mode you want available at the top of the screen.
eLive, Quick, Guided or Expert each offer different modes of editing depending on your skill set and just how much you want to manually or automatically create your project.
It is this point that actually leads us to what is driving the changes in this version.
Adobe have finally decided to understand who is using their software, how they are using it and based on that, how best to deliver what those users want.
Premiere Elements 2018 is jam packed with automatic and semi-automatic features as well as guided modules that allow the user to intervene or not in the editing process and still get a great result.
Check out this video for an overview of the program, it’s layout and some of the new features and modules.
Get Started With Premiere Elements
Whilst I am not going to go into all the new features and improvements here let me just highlight a few to give you an idea of how Adobe are now tailoring the program to their users.
Video Collages and Audio remix
Easily the most common style of video that is produced as a result of a family gathering, a holiday, a party or any kind of celebration is a collage.
You trim a bunch of shots, add them to the timeline, add some transitions or cuts and then lay over some music and you are done.
Although they get the job done they have two main problems.
First is that the “shot after shot” sequence gets a little stale very quickly because visually there is not really that much happening onscreen.
So to deal with that Premiere Elements 2018 has a purpose built collage maker that allows you to easily create collages that are way more interesting than your average “Dad” movie.
Bring Collages to Life with Premiere Elements
The second problem is adding music appropriate to the project.
Now of course including music is not really hard in itself but because that music has its own running time it never synchronizes perfectly with what is happening onscreen.
To sort that out you have to endlessly fiddle around chopping the sound track or extending the video shots or adding audio fades etc. that never really give you a fully professional finish.
To sort that out Adobe Premiere Elements 2018 has a dedicated audio module that automatically adjusts existing music tracks to perfectly sync to the beginning and end of the video project, or parts of it.
Remix Music to the Perfect Length with Premiere Elements
In the same way as the tools shown in the videos above Premiere Elements has been armed with a whole range of modules for completing many of the most common tasks in video editing easily.
Color correction, haze removal, color balancing, transitions, audio effects and video effects are all contained in modules that allow full control, semi-automatic control or fully automatic depending on your preference.
Next Page: Adobe Premiere Elements 2018 Review p.2