Premiere Elements 14
Video editor gets 4K update
When iMovie no longer cuts it but Final Cut Pro is a little too much, Premiere Elements has always stepped in to be the mid-range replacement that doesn’t take too long to learn or cost the earth. This version is intended to get your movie started quickly, with a full timeline editor if you want it, but most of its focus is on Guided Edits that take you step by step through turning a few clips into work that feels professional – albeit often in generic ways. You start out letting Premiere make the movie for you, then tweak it, and hopefully progress to working as you would in Premiere CC (but without many of its more advanced features, like having multiple sequences per timeline).
The big ticket addition this time is support for 4K video, which is more useful than it may sound. Very few of us have TVs or desktop monitors ready to take advantage of this, but if you have the iPhone 6s then you can already record it. It offers great quality at native resolution, but there are other reasons to shoot in 4K – to get more of a scene that can be cropped down to the popular 1080p standard, or for more easily stabilising footage by offering more that can be cropped out. Premiere Elements, though, imports footage at current resolution and makes that 100% scale as far as the project is concerned, with no apparent way of treating it as the larger footage that it is. Still, it’s worth shooting in this format if you can, as simply shrinking 4K down (downsampling) usually looks better than 1080p video.
The rest of the toolset handles everything you’d expect it to, including organising video, tweaking the sound (though for best results, you’ll still want to run audio through something like Audacity), adding titles (and new Motion Titles with animation presets) and, of course, the usual effects and transitions that every filmmaker should sign a contract swearing never to use. More complex effects like popping a
All of these tools make Premiere Elements an excellent, if somewhat stagnant, video editor for home use
single colour, such as a red coat, and leaving the rest in monochrome, are handled via Guided Edits, which also help explain more complicated subjects like masking out parts of the image and manipulating time. There’s also the Videomerge effect for basic chromakey effects, though you’re unlikely to get a clean cutout using it with its limited options, even with proper lighting and a green screen. For basic composition and home purposes though, it’s fine.
All of these tools make Premiere Elements an excellent, if somewhat stagnant, video editor that’s not too difficult a jump for home use. That said, if your ambitions stretch much beyond holiday videos and YouTube, you will likely do better at this point biting the bullet and investing in the more professional features of Final Cut Pro. Richard Cobbett As ever, an excellent choice for video editing, but lacking the sense of innovation that it once offered.
The InstantMovie feature is handy for creating stylish films, and Adobe even throws in some free music.
Some effects are compelling, but if you find yourself using lens flare, slap your wrist.