Adobe Premiere Elements 11 review
A major interface overhaul delivers big rewards for both newcomers and experienced users
Review Date: 25 Sep 2012
Reviewed By: Ben Pitt
Price when reviewed: £66 (£79 inc VAT); Upgrade, £57 (£68 inc VAT)
Features & Design
Value for Money
Ease of Use
Adobe clearly knows a thing or two about video production, but we've found previous versions of Premiere Elements to be lacking. Version 10 addressed long-standing preview performance issues but responded lethargically to user input, and we found numerous instances of poor attention to detail. While it packed seriously powerful tools inherited from Premiere Pro, they sat awkwardly next to the mounting number of consumer features.
Premiere Elements 11 is the update we've been waiting for. The interface has been overhauled, and no longer feels like it's been cobbled together from other editors. The simpler and more advanced components are much better integrated, giving users a more gradual progression as confidence grows.
The old Sceneline and Timeline views are replaced by Quick and Expert modes, but even the latter presents users with a clean, inviting layout. Various colour-correction filters are a single click away, and each one has a selection of template settings. Creative effects and various other editing functions are to be found in the new Action bar that runs along the bottom, and it's much quicker to use than the old tabbed panels.
Timeline editing is much as it was. There are still no ripple-editing options, but otherwise it works well. We like the Split Clip button's new location, which now sits directly on the playback marker.
Most of these changes could be described as cosmetic, but there are new functions too. A Time Remapping tool produces variable fast- and slow-motion effects. The controls keep matters simple, with speeds from 1/8x to 8x that are applied to time zones within a clip; there's also the ability to ease in and out. Audio is unaffected, so sync is lost, but there's an option to remove the clip's soundtrack. The Frame Blending option avoids strobe-like slow motion by cross-fading frames instead of interpolating motion to generate new frames, as in the case of CyberLink PowerDirector.
Blend modes allow colours in clips to be combined in complex ways. It's a common feature among image editors but rare in consumer video editors. This feature is neatly integrated into the Opacity settings, and builds on Premiere Elements' standing as the best consumer editor for creating animated montages from many discrete elements.
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