Adobe Premiere Elements 4.0 isn't a simple experience but it is far easier to learn than the high-end packages and has far more power than a basic suite. It also allows users to upload completed video directly to YouTube to share with family, friends or the world. Unlike the Photoshop Elements package, Premiere isn't a guided user experience. It's fairly straightforward but there isn't a distinction between skill levels. That's not necessarily a bad thing, because once users have learnt the nuances of the package, the end result can be stunning.
Scene mode is the most simple editing level. Footage can be dropped into a sequence to which filters and transitions can be applied between each clip. Alternatively, timeline mode provides tracks for video, audio, images and transitions. This is a more professional way to cut footage together, providing greater editing flexibility.
Premiere Elements is designed as an editing and publishing tool. Once a video project is edited, the software provides many ways to publish the fi nal product. The most significant two are creating a DVD and uploading to YouTube.
To create a DVD just select a menu system template, rename the buttons and headings and then burn to DVD. The result is good but not brilliant. The clean, crisp menus seen in the program tend to become a little pixelated in some areas with a noticeable level of digital artefacts, particularly around text.
The quality of the DVD discs is on-par with discs produced in Nero 7 using its NeroVision software.
Uploading a project to YouTube is simple. Once the video is ready, click on the share tab and follow the prompts. A YouTube account is required for this feature to work. Once logged in, within Premiere, the name of the video and description can be entered, and the project can then be uploaded directly to YouTube. We were rather impressed with this feature, particularly the high quality video it produced - the program has video presets that are ideal for YouTube.
On the whole, the user interface is easy to follow. It progresses through each stage required to complete a video in a logical order. However, there are some functions that are left unexplained and may confuse novice users. For example, when importing video from a camera, the camera control settings can be difficult to understand and follow. Premiere Elements 4.0 is available as a standalone product or can be purchased in a bundle with Photoshop Elements 6.0.