ADOBE PRE­MIERE EL­E­MENTS 2019: MOVIE ED­I­TOR WITH AN AI SPIN

Macworld (USA) - - Macuser - BY JACKIE DOVE

The new ver­sion of Adobe Pre­miere El­e­ments ( go.mac­world.com/pe19) may be a bit lighter on new fea­tures that most peo­ple are used to, but the 2019 ver­sion puts a laser fo­cus on au­to­mated op­er­a­tions that make quick work of edit­ing your fam­ily videos.

With in­creas­ing re­liance on its Sen­sei ( go.mac­world.com/sens) ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence en­gine, Adobe as­sists users with te­dious and com­plex tasks like pick­ing the best pho­tos or videos for a col­lage or trim­ming the fat out of movies be­fore splic­ing them to­gether.

The first place you en­counter im­proved au­to­ma­tion is the brand-new Home Screen, iden­ti­cal to the one in Pho­to­shop El­e­ments 2019 ( go.mac­world.com/19rv). It

lets you ac­cess new au­to­gen­er­ated col­lages and slideshows de­rived from the pho­tos and videos you loaded into the Or­ga­nizer, the built-in as­set man­ager that ships with the pro­gram. Pre­miere El­e­ments dives into your pho­tos and videos to cre­ate pre­sentable and sharable so­cial me­dia posts, some of which are specif­i­cally de­signed for In­sta­gram and Face­book.

Pre­miere El­e­ments 2019 now sup­ports Vari­able Frame Rate (VFR) as well as HEVC (High Ef­fi­ciency Video Cod­ing) and HEIF (High Ef­fi­ciency Image File), both highly-com­pressed image and video for­mats that Ap­ple adopted for its newer

mo­bile de­vices and macos High Sierra. The app also fea­tures a com­plete over­haul of its Quick Edit mode. There are only two new guided ed­its, but they are cre­ative and unique.

AU­TO­MATED EDIT­ING

Pre­miere El­e­ments’ re­vamped Quick Edit mode is the heart of the pro­gram that lets you trim your videos and splice them to­gether into longer and more com­plex movies. The new Quick Edit gives you two sim­ple but­tons that gov­ern the path­way into the pro­gram and how you ap­proach edit­ing your video.

“Trim a video clip” helps you

au­to­mat­i­cally trim with­out your hav­ing to man­u­ally scrub through it to make cuts your­self. You cer­tainly can do that if you want to, but the au­to­mated fea­ture is pretty good at se­lect­ing ar­eas of your footage that have a mix of peo­ple and ac­tion, the ma­jor fo­cus of in­ter­est in most fam­ily-style videos.

The con­cept be­hind the in­ter­face was a bit con­fus­ing at first, in Adobe’s ef­fort to make the fea­ture more fa­mil­iar to novice users. The Smart Trim fea­ture al­ways se­lects the first few sec­onds of each clip to show you how to select video. You can also click the Show Pre­set but­ton, which au­to­mat­i­cally di­rects the app to con­cen­trate on Ac­tion, Peo­ple, or a mix of the two on a slid­ing scale. A no­ta­tion I found con­fus­ing—which you can dis­miss after the first use of the pre­set but­ton—warns users that if you first tried to cut the video your­self, us­ing the pre­sets later would wipe out your ed­its.

You can opt to dis­miss

The con­cept be­hind the in­ter­face was a bit con­fus­ing at first, in Adobe’s ef­fort to make the fea­ture more fa­mil­iar to novice users.

that no­ta­tion after the first ap­pear­ance, and I sug­gest do­ing that. Let­ting the pre­sets work their magic first is a good start, and from there I was able to man­u­ally re­move ad­di­tional bits and re­store oth­ers ei­ther by us­ing the pre­set slider or by man­u­ally choos­ing which frames to add or cut.

The Com­bine pho­tos and videos to cre­ate a sin­gle movie de­buts the new Scene­line fea­ture, a sto­ry­board view that lets you as­sem­ble mul­ti­ple clips and still im­ages on the time­line, giv­ing you a broad view of how your movie is or­ga­nized. Scene­line brings all the cine­matic el­e­ments you need into a sin­gle workspace so you can ac­cess ti­tles, sound, pan and zoom, and trim­ming fea­tures di­rectly from the time­line. Scene­line is an el­e­gant so­lu­tion that lets you edit each clip in­di­vid­u­ally while stay­ing on the sto­ry­board.

GUIDED ED­ITS

This year’s ros­ter of guided ed­its is slim, but they are easy to use and cre­ate some spe­cial ef­fects that you don’t see ev­ery day.

Luma fade tran­si­tions. These are, first and fore­most, tran­si­tions de­signed to last just a sec­ond or two to con­nect one clip to an­other. It uses a still image de­rived from the video to fade in col­ors from dark­est to light­est. It seems to work best with fa­cial or ob­ject close-ups as op­posed to busy scenes. I found that in­creas­ing the soft­ness con­trol and mak­ing the tran­si­tion a lit­tle longer en­hanced the ef­fect.

Make glass pane ef­fect. This un­usual spe­cial ef­fect makes your video look like

it was shot through glass. The app pro­vides sev­eral dif­fer­ent glass pane tem­plates, and you can use mul­ti­ple ones in the same video. It’s an in­trigu­ing way to present footage, but it’s not suit­able for ev­ery video.

ADOBE ID, HOME SCREEN, NO 360 SUP­PORT

De­spite it be­ing a stand-alone app with a per­pet­ual li­cense, all users must sign in with an Adobe ID to use the El­e­ments apps.

El­e­ments has sep­a­rated out the Home Screen from the rest of the pro­gram so that you now have two dock icons open as you edit your footage. Adobe seeks to make the Home

Screen an in­de­pen­dent ref­er­ence and re­source that is al­ways avail­able to users re­gard­less of whether they are in the edit­ing process.

And de­spite the pop­u­lar­ity of 360 video for VR pre­sen­ta­tions, Adobe still con­sid­ers that a pro fea­ture sup­ported by Pre­miere, but not by the con­sumer app.

BOT­TOM LINE

Adobe Pre­miere El­e­ments 2019 con­cen­trates on two ma­jor ar­eas, both of which rely on its Sen­sei AI en­gine. Users will ap­pre­ci­ate the Auto Cre­ations fea­ture, ac­ces­si­ble from the new Home Screen be­cause you lit­er­ally don’t have to do any­thing but hit the Share but­ton. With its over­haul of the Quick Edit mode, the pro­gram channels two ma­jor kinds of ed­its to their most use­ful in­ter­face and then pro­vides all the tools needed to ac­com­plish the edit­ing task. It is re­mark­ably stream­lined and will make for a faster and eas­ier work­flow for most home­based moviemak­ers.

As with most Adobe El­e­ments up­grades, which are de­liv­ered like clock­work ev­ery year, it is al­ways fine to skip par­tic­u­lar ver­sions if you have bought or up­graded the pro­gram fairly re­cently. New users will find Adobe El­e­ments fun and easy to use, which takes so much of the daunt­ing chal­lenge out of video edit­ing. Own­ers of older ver­sions have much to look for­ward to with the 2019 ver­sion. ■

Adobe seeks to make the Home Screen an in­de­pen­dent ref­er­ence and re­source that is al­ways avail­able to users re­gard­less of whether they are in the edit­ing process.

The Smart Trim in­ter­face lets you choose pre­sets that will select ar­eas from your video to cut.

This alert tells users that if they started to cut their video, us­ing the pre­set later would erase their work.

The pre­sets look for scenes con­tain­ing ac­tion and faces to de­ter­mine where to cut.

With the Scene­line fea­ture, ti­tles, fades, tran­si­tions, and mu­sic are all in one place.

The image grad­u­ally be­gins to fade in and out as the tran­si­tion pro­gresses.

The Glass Pane ef­fect dy­nam­i­cally moves through your video.

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