Adobe documentation as late as for Premiere Elements 12 (current version) cites 4096 x 4096 pixels as the maximum size for a still image import into the project. And, there are some who mistakenly believe that means "The limit is 4096 pixels in the largest dimension". Rather this maximum limit is in the total number of pixels, 16777216, obtained by multiplying the still image width 4096 in pixels by its height 4096 in pixels. In support of my interpretation of this still image import maximum dimensions, a while back I wrote
I believe the Adobe Premiere Elements Help PDF claims support for stills up to 4096 x 4096 pixels. But, 4096 is not the largest dimension since, if you try it, you will see that the determining factor is the total number of pixels 4096 x 4096 = 16777216, not 4096 as the largest dimension.
For example, 5000 x 3750 (4:3) would not work because 5000 x 3750 = 18750000. And, with Premiere Elements 7 or 8 Get Media/Files and Folders, you would get a message File video dimensions (width/height) too large. But, 4600 x 3450 (4:3) would import successfully since 4600 x 3450 = 15870000. There are all sorts of math possibilities. Key is not to exceed 16777216.
As you said, typically you would choke the system with images with these sizes, and the highest export resolution is 1920 x 1080. That Help PDF max file support size plus "Premiere Elements will automatically resize photos for you" need more explanation than that which is provided in Adobe description. So, why do they give that high a limit? I saw one conjecture that it had to set a limit somewhere so users would not crash their PCs????
The Adobe Enforcement of the Limit
In Premiere Elements 4 through 9 (all only 32 bits applications), the import of a still image greater than this maximum limit is not possible and is blocked from being imported by the program with "File Dimensions (width/height) too large"Add Media Failure message.
|Figure 1. Premiere Elements 9.0/9.0.1 Add Media Failure Message When Still Image Total Pixels Exceeds 16777216 Pixels.|
|Figure 2. Premiere Elements 8.0/8.0.1 Add Media Failure Message When Still Image Total Pixels Exceeds 16777216 Pixels.|
However, although Premiere Elements 10, 11, and 12 documentation contain the same "4096 x 4096" still image dimensions limit, it was found that still images with pixel dimensions of at least 10000 x 7500 pixels (total pixels = 75000000) could be imported into each of these programs without this Add Media Failure message popping up.
How is the "4096 x 4096" still image dimensions limit published by Adobe consistent with the fact that Premiere Elements 10, 11, and 12 permit the import of still images with pixel dimensions of at least as large as 10000 x 7500 pixels?
Premiere Elements 10, 11, or 12 can be a 32 or 64 bit application depending on the computer operating system on which it is running. Premiere Elements 4 through 9 can only be a 32 bit application whether they are run on a 32 or 64 bit computer. It appears that it is Premiere Elements 32 bit application that has the still image dimensions limit enforced by Adobe to the point where the still image fails to import with the error message cited in the INTRODUCTION. In Premiere Elements 64 bit application, the Adobe enforcement of a maximum still image dimension is non-existent. This situation can be seen in the comparison Premiere Elements 10 on Windows XP Professional SP3 32 bit where the 10000 x 7500 image fails to import and the Add Media Failure message presents; whereas, the Premiere Elements 10 on Windows 7 Professional SP2 64 bit allows the import of the 10000 x 7500 without the Add Media Failure message or other issue.
Is it OK to take advantage of this Premiere Elements 10, 11, or 12 64 bit perk which allows for the import of images which are grossly oversized for the project settings? Just because the user can import still images into Premiere Elements 10, 11, or 12 when the still image dimensions reflect total pixels greater than 16777216, does not mean the user should. The answer goes to a large extent to computer resources. If Premiere Elements 10, 11, or 12 is run on Windows 7, 8, or 8.1 64 bit, it is a 64 bit application which benefits from the 64 bit resources; whereas otherwise Premiere Elements is a 32 bit application which is limited by the limitations of 32 bit system characterized by its maximum supported installed RAM = 4 GB of which typically 3.2 to 3.0 GB of that are available.
As for Premiere Elements 4 through 9 (32 bit application), there is no solution to make one of these programs allow the import of a still image whose total pixels count is greater than 16777216 pixels. As for Premiere Elements 10, 11, or 12, the solution to get these still images whose total pixels are greater than 16777216 to import successfully into a project is to use the 64 bit version of the program and have enough computer resource support.
It is assumed that these considerations would apply to Premiere Elements Mac as well as Premiere Elements Windows, but no Premiere Elements Mac testing on this has been done. Keep in mind that
- The first version of Premiere Elements to offer a Mac version was Premiere Elements 9.0. Both the Premiere Elements 9 Windows and Mac versions are only 32 bit applications.
- The first Premiere Elements Windows version to offer a 64 bit application is verison 10; whereas a 64 bit application for Premiere Elements Mac was not available until Premiere Elements 11.