Wednesday, March 25, 2015

PE13/13.1: News Reel Movie Menu Theme Unusable


The News Reel Movie Menu theme first appeared in Premiere Elements in version 9. It works there. The theme is continued in 10 and 11. It works there also. However, in version 12/12.1 and 13/13.1, the News Reel Scene Selection page is unusable.

The situation is bizarre since, if version 11's News Reel files (which work in 11) are moved into Premiere Element 13/13.1 on the same computer, they are not usable there. But, if version 13/13.1's News Reel files (which do not work in 13/13.1) are moved into Premiere Elements 11 on the same computer, they are completely usable there.

The News Reel theme requires content download and can be found for Premiere Elements 13/13.1 Windows 7, 8, or 8.1 64 bit in the path
Local Disk C\Program Data\Adobe\Premiere Elements\13.0\Online\DVD Templates\All_Lang\Movie Genre\(A) News Reel

The (A) News Reel Folder includes a main menu and scene selection menu set for formats of "s" standard, "w" widescreen, and "hd" high definition. All the sets appear to be similarly affected.
high definition
The project preset setting will determine which of these sets will be available to the project in the Movie Menu customization area of the project. So, if you do not edit all 3 sets, make sure that you edit the set that you know will be used by the project.*


Main Menu Page

  • Overlapping Play Movie and Scenes Buttons, but Play Movie and Scenes Buttons as well as background can be customized in the Movie Menu customization area of the project. See Figure 1.

Figure 1. News Reel Main Menu in Movie Menu Customization Area When First Opened From Tools Menu/Movie Menu.
Scene Selection Page 

  • Major red frame around entire Scene Selection page, Adjustments Palette displaying options for Menu Background for Scene Selection page. See Figure 2.
  • When screen is clicked on, Adjustments Palette opens to Menu options for the buttons, highlight is for whatever last scene thumbnail is on the page, handles appear on the major red frame, and all is frozen at that situation....if one of the handles of the major red frame is dragged on, it is the last scene thumbnail on the page that is moved and reduced in size.

Figure 2. News Reel Scene Selection in Movie Menu Customization Area When First Opened From Main Menu's Scenes Button.


Main Menu Page

The overlapping Play Movie and Scenes buttons are easily corrected within the Movie Menu customization area
  • With the mouse cursor move the Play Movie button away from the Scenes button on the same strip of film where they were placed by Adobe
  • With the mouse cursor move the Scenes button to another strip of film to the right of the one where the Play Movie is positioned.
Scene Selection Page

To resolve the Scene Selection Page issues, a new (%) video layer in each of the 6 scene buttons Layer Sets needs to be created and the following layers deleted from the button's (+) scene Layer Set
  • frame
  • Hue/Saturation
  • (%) video
  • mask
For (+) Scene 1 Layer Set, before and after solution is shown in Figure 3.

Figure 3. (+) Scene 1 Layer Group Before And After Solution.

For (+) Scene 2 Layer Set only, there is an additional step taken to correct the position of Scene 2's original highlight layer which appears to be out of place.
  • Drag the (=1) copy layer into the folder icon of the (+) Scene 2 Layer Set panel. This takes that layer to the bottom of the layers in the (+) Scene 2 Layer Set.
  • Then move the (=1) copy layer to immediately above the frame layer, and rename it (=1) highlight.
  • Then go about the remove the 4 layers indicated in Figure 4.
  • Then place a newly created (%) video layer under the (=1) highlight layer.

Figure 4. (+) Scene 2 Layer Group Before And After Solution, Including Correcting Misplaced Original Highlight Layer.

For (+) Scene 3, 4, 5, and 6 Layer Sets, before and after solution is shown in Figure 3. If not already, for all 6 buttons, assure that the "after" shows the highlight layer with the name (=1) highlight. In the "after", the layer below the new (%) video layer was left unedited.

The next part will detail how the new (%) video layer is created.


Creation of New (%) Video Layer (Abbreviated Version for Now)

Open News Reel Scene Selection in Photoshop 5.1 Extended (Photoshop CS or higher).
Close all the Layer Sets in the Layers Palette of the .psd file except (+) Scene 1.

Open (+) Scene 1 Layer Set, leaving the subLayerSet named (^^) closed.

Set the Photoshop 5.1 extended's Color Picker to Black as foreground color.
In (+) Scene 1 Layer Set, go to the layer named frame. Ctrl click the thumbnail of that layer to bring up marching ants around the Scene 1 thumbnail seen on screen.

Create a new layer. With the new layer selected and the marching ants still marching, use Alt Backspace to fill the selection with the color black.

Position that new layer to immediately below the (=1) highlight layer. Rename that new layer to read  (%) video. Refer to Figure 3.

Leave (+) Scene 1 Layer Set opened as previously described, and open (+) Scene 2 Layer Set.
Duplicate the (+) Scene 1 Layer Set's new (%) video layer, and move it upward into the opened (+) Scene 2 Layer Set to a position immediately below the (=1) highlight layer. Change the name of this duplicate to (%) video.

At this point, a black thumbnail will not be seen for Scene 2 thumbnail on screen. That is due to the fact that a Scene 1 duplicate is involved, and the duplicate is still hidden behind Scene 1 thumbnail on screen. Select the (+) Scene 2 Layer Set's new (%) video layer, hit Ctrl+T to see a bounding box around Scene 1 thumbnail on Screen. Use the right arrow key to move the duplicate to its position for the Scene 2 thumbnail. Hit Enter to commit. Close (+) Scene 2 Layer Set. Refer to Figure 5.

Figure 5. Creating New (%) Video For Scene 2 Thumbnail.


Continue to leave (+) Scene 1 Layer Set opened and duplicate its new (%) video layer for (+) Scene 3, 4, 5, and 6 Layer sets using the above scheme.


The Premiere Elements 13/13.1's Movie Menu theme "News Reel" was made useable within a Premiere Elements 13/13.1 project** after the above modifications were made to its main menu and scene menu .psd files. However, all the whys are not neatly in place at this time. The tentative whys
based on what worked to produce the theme usability
  • main menu needed repositioning of Play Movie button and Scene button to avoid the overlapping of these buttons (non critical)
  • scene menu needed replacement of (%) video layer and elimination of some related layers in the Layers Palette of the scene menu .psd (critical)

* SD project uses the "s" set of the theme; Widescreen project has been found to use either "s" or "w" set of the theme; HD project uses the "hd" set of the theme. Before version 13/13.1, the user could  open the Notepad document for the saved project file to read which Movie Menu theme set the project was using. This has been found to be no longer possible for version 13/13.1.
**Windows 7 Professional SP1 64 bit computer used.