Thursday, March 31, 2016

PE 14/14.1: Cinematic Film Look Based On Widescreen Letterboxing

INTRODUCTION

One approach to cinematic looks for the Premiere Elements 14/14.1 project is using fx Effects (Hollywood Looks) which was presented in the January 2016 blog "PE 14/14.1: Hollywood Look Effects". See HEREAnother approach to "cinematic look" is by way of the use a black band at the top and bottom of the view (widescreen letterboxing). Two of the possible ways to achieve this Premiere Elements cinematic "widescreen letterboxing" look for the project are to be described.

ISSUE

How to achieve this Premiere Elements cinematic "widescreen letterboxing" look for the project?

SOLUTION

Cinematic "widescreen letterboxing" looks were achieved by
  • creating a black band at the top and bottom of the frame using Black Video and Scale property with Uniform Scale option disabled
  • creating a Premiere Elements 1920 x 822 p29.97 project with a user 1920 x 822 p29.97 created project preset, followed by a 1920 x 822 p29.97 export.

HOW TO*

Black Video/Scaling

Step 1
Premiere Elements 14/14.1 project preset
NTSC
DSLR
1080p
DSLR 1080p30@29.97

Step 2
Expert Workspace
Import 1080p source media

Add Media
Files and Folders
Project Assets
and from Project Assets drag 1080p source media to Timeline Video Track 1.

Step 3
Project Assets
Panel Options
New Item
Black Video
  • Select Black Video file which was automatically placed on Timeline at the position of the Timeline Indicator. 
  • Move the Black Video file so that it is on Video Track 2 directly above the source video on Video Track 1. 
  • Extend the duration of the Black Video file so that it matches the duration of the source video file. 
  • Select the Black Video file. Go to Applied Effects/Applied Effects Palette/Motion Panel expanded, and remove the check mark next to Uniform Scale so that the Scale width and height can be adjusted separately.
Step 4
With the Black Video file selected on Video Track 2, click on the monitor to bring up the file's bounding box. Click on the bottom middle handle of the bounding box and drag upward to create a black band at the top of the frame.

Step 5
Duplicate the Black Video file on Video Track 2 ( Select Black Video, then Edit Menu/Copy, followed by Edit Menu/Paste at position of Timeline Indicator), and move the duplicate to Video Track 3 directly above the Black Video file on Video Track 2. Select the Black Video on Video Track 3 to bring up the bounding back for the black band at the top of the frame. Click/drag that Video Track 3 black band to the bottom of the frame. If source video re-positioning is necessary, select source on Video Track 1, click/drag image in monitor.
Tip. If problem with selecting content wanted, right click the monitor, select Select, and the click on the wanted file name in the pop up the appears. 

Figure 1. Premiere Elements 14/14.1 Widescreen Letterboxing Using Black Video And Scaling With Uniform Scale Disabled.


1920 x 822 p29.97 User Project Preset

Step 1
Create a 1920 x 822 p29.97 project preset as described HERE.

Step 2
In Expert workspace, manually set the project preset to the new 1920 x 822 p29.97 project preset using the following steps:
  • Open the project to the Expert workspace, and go to File Menu/New Project and Change Settings.
  • In Change Settings, set the project preset to the newly created 1920 x 822 p29.97 project preset. OK out of there.
  • In the New Project dialog that opens, rename the project and make sure to have a check mark next to "Force Selected Project Setting on This Project". OK out of there.
  • Back in the Expert workspace, import your source media using Add Media/Files and Folders/Project Assets, and from there drag the file to the Timeline.
Step 3
Make sure that video fills the 1920 x 822 space in the Edit area monitor.

Step 4
For export of the 1920 x 822 p29.97 Timeline content, use
Export & Share
Devices
Custom and its Advanced Settings to obtain the 1920 x 822 p29.97 H.264.mp4 file

The 1920 x 822 p29.97 export will present with black borders (top and bottom) when imported into the Premiere Elements 1920 x 1080 p29.97 project and exported from it with 1920 x 1080 p29.97 export settings.

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* Work was done on Windows 7 Professional SP1 64 bit and confirmed with Windows 10 Home 64 bit. Principles apply to Premiere Elements versions other than just Premiere Elements 14/14.1.

ATR





Saturday, March 12, 2016

PE 14/14.1: Add Media Alternative Routes

INTRODUCTION

Add Media choices for the Premiere Elements* project are many, and there can be more than one way to access an Add Media choice. A comprehensive overview of the situation can be found in the Adobe document titled "Adobe Premiere Elements Help/Add Media". The current blog post will focus on a review of Premiere Elements 14/14.1 Add Media/Files and Folders choice which works for the media from internal or external hard drive. Choice of Add Media/Files and Folders/ for access to DVD and removable media (USB Flash Drive) is blocked by a use Video Importer or Image Importer choice instead message.

ISSUE

Forum help can be found with different suggestions for where to find and the best or preferred way to add media from files and folders on the internal and external hard drive.

REVIEW

EXPERT WORKSPACE

Classical Way

Click on Add Media (toward top left of workspace) OR Add Media Panel in starting monitor view (See Figure 1)
in order to get the drop down menu which includes
Files and Folders which is clicked on to open to Add Media Dialog
And, in Add Media Dialog that opens, browse to/select/Open selected source media

Figure 1. Premiere Elements 14/14.1 Classical Way Add Media/Choices. Expert Workspace View.

Alternative Ways To Get To The Add Media Dialog To Add Source Media From Hard Drive
  • File Menu/Add Media from/ and, drop down list which includes Files and Folders which is clicked on to open the Add Media Dialog.
  • Right click empty space in opened Project Assets to get that drop down list which includes Files and Folders which is clicked on to open the Add Media Dialog.
  • Double click empty space in opened Project Assets to open directly to the Add Media Dialog.
Drag and Drop Method

The Drag and Drop method for adding source media from the internal and external hard drive into the project is also possible. The Drag and Drop is not associated with a Add Media Dialog as seen in the above ways. With the Windows cascaded, dragging and dropping the file from the hard drive into the Timeline track results is a quick flash on and off pop up labelled Add Media before the file appears in the Timeline track at the position determined by the position of Timeline Indicator. If the file is dragged into the monitor instead of the Timeline, a drop down menu appears with choices of what is to be done with the file when it gets to the Timeline at the position determined by the position of the Timeline Indicator. The choices are
  • Insert after the Scene
  • Split and Insert
  • Place on Top
  • Picture in Picture**
  • Place on Top and Apply Videomerge
  • Replace Clip
Typically the drop down menu has been appearing for a drop down addition when it is the second or after drop down addition to the Timeline.

QUICK WORKSPACE

Classical Way

The CLASSICAL WAY described for Expert workspace is the same in the Quick workspace.

Alternative Ways To Get To The Add Media Dialog To Add Source Media From Hard Drive
  • File Menu/Add Media from/ and, drop down list which includes Files and Folders which is clicked on to open the Add Media Dialog......Same Quick and Expert workspaces.
  • Quick workspace does not have Project Assets feature, so ways using Project Assets are not applicable to Quick workspace.
  • If a Filmstrip empty "Drop Files Here" space is double clicked, Add Media (toward top left of workspace) opens to give the drop down menu which includes Files and Folders which is clicked on to open to Add Media Dialog. And, in Add Media Dialog that opens, browse to/select/Open selected source media
Drag and Drop Method

Drag and drop opportunities for adding source media from the internal and external  hard drive into the project's Quick workspace are essentially the same as they are in the project's Expert workspace.

COMMENTARY

My preference is for the Expert workspace, Classical Method...Add Media (toward top left of Expert workspace)/Files and Folders from drop down list/Project Assets choice for adding media from the internal or external hard drive into the project Timeline. Compartmentalizing Add Media choices at that location provides for a smoother workflow for me.

For those Expert workspace users who are focused on minimum number of clicks to get to the Add Media dialog for obtaining project media from the internal or external hard drive, the Project Assets way (double click of empty space in Project Assets) to open to Add Media dialog) would appear to offer the fastest route. But, doing the actual click count did not show a significant advantage. This matter is not a consideration in the Quick workspace since Project Assets is an Expert workspace only feature.

Best advice...check out the information, and then go with what works best for you.

_____________________________________________________________________________
* Study done with Premiere Elements 14/14.1 on Windows 7 Professional SP1 64 bit (confirmed on Windows 10 Home 64 bit).  Principles apply also to Premiere Elements 11, 12/12.1, and 13/13.1.
** Offers another route to Picture in Picture (PiPs) besides fx Effects/Video/Presets/PiPs or just scaling the Video 2 image which is above the Video 1 image. The Picture in Picture option from the Drop and Drag Method gives a default Scale = 40% Picture in Picture. Since fx Effects/Video/Presets/PiPs offers editable presets with default 25 and 40% scaled stationary and motion PiPs, good idea to check them out first. See HERE and HERE and HERE.


ATR

Monday, March 7, 2016

PE 14/14.1: Saving Titles

INTRODUCTION

Premiere Elements 14 is the first version to offer titles creation using Motion Titles in addition to the Classic Titles* that are available in Premiere Elements 14 and earlier. Documentation for these titles can be found also in the Premiere Elements 14 Help PDF   See Chapter 8: Creating Titles (pages 197 - 224).

Adobe describes the Motion Title as a convenience customizable package of "preloaded animated graphics, stylized text, and background styles".
You save all the time creating elaborate animation and graphics for your titles by simply using the rich templates available to you.
Lots to discuss related to Premiere Elements and its Classic Titles and Motion Titles, but for now this blog post will focus on "Saving Titles" to clarify the following described in ISSUES.

ISSUES
  • The how to for saving a Classic Title in 14 is different than that for saving a Classic Title in 13, but the Premiere Elements 14 Help PDF gives the 13 instructions and not 14 for doing this.
  • The instructions for saving a Motion Title are not the same for Classic Title, and the instructions for saving a Premiere Elements 14 Motion Title are not well defined in the Adobe documentation.
  • Also, how to use the saved Motion Title or Classic Title and the use of the saved titles need review.
SOLUTION

To Save A Classic Title In Premiere Elements 14/14.1

Step 1
Create the title in the Titler using
Text Menu/New Text/Default Text, Default Roll, or Default Crawl
or
Titles & Text Tab/Classic Title/ selection of a Classic Title from one of the 15 Classic Title categories
After creating the title, close the Titler.

Step 2
Open Expert workspace's Project Assets, and in Project Assets right click the thumbnail of the title just created and select "Export Title" from the drop down menu that appears after the right click. And, then do the Save As Type = "Title designer Title (*.prtl) to the computer hard drive location of choice.
Note: If 14.1, it should not matter if the Project Assets is set for Panel Options/View = Grid or List.
The 14.1 Update corrected 14's problem where "Export Title" was visible only when Project Asset Panel Options/View = Grid.

Figure 1. Premiere Elements 14/14.1 Expert Workspace Project Assets/Panel Options/View With Grid Or List Choices.
Step 3
The saved .prtl title can be imported into other Premiere Elements 11 through 14/14.1 projects (Add Media/Files and Folders/) as well as into other Premiere Elements 4 through 10 projects (Get Media/Files and Folders).

In Contrast, To Save A Classic Title In Premiere Elements 13/13.1

Step 1
Create the title in the Titler using
Text Menu/New Text/Default Text, Default Roll, or Default Crawl
or
Titles & Text Tab/Classic Title selection from one of the 15 categories
After creating the title, close the Titler


Step 2
Open Expert workspace's Project Assets, and there just left click once the thumbnail of the title just created in order to select/highlight it. Then go to File Menu/Export/to find the now active Title command, and then do the Save As Type = "Title designer Title (*.prtl) to the computer hard drive location of choice.

Step 3
Same as Premiere Elements 14's saved Classic Titles - 13's saved .prtl title can be imported into other Premiere Elements 11 through 14/14.1 projects (Add Media/Files and Folders/) as well as into other Premiere Elements 4 through 10 projects (Get Media/Files and Folders).

To Save A Motion Title In Premiere Elements 14/14.1

Step 1
Create the title in the Titler using
Text Menu/Motion Titles/auto placement on Timeline of Contemporary/GeneralLabel choice
or
Titles & Text Tab/Motion Titles/user selection of one of the Motion Titles, followed by user Timeline placement of Motion Title selected by user from categories of Contemporary, Decorative, Formal, Fun, Geometric, or Typography.

Step 2
To save the Motion Title just edited and created, in the opened Titler, click on "Save As New Title" and name the saved new Motion Title. After that is done, a Custom category is found in the lineup of Contemporary, Decorative, Fun, Geometric, or Typography under Titles & Text Tab/Motion Titles/. Under the Custom category, is found the saved Motion Title for use in other Premiere Elements 14/14.1 projects, to be accessed via Titles & Text/Motion Titles Tab/Motion Titles/Custom of current project or new projects. See Figures 1 and 2.

Figure 1. Premiere Elements 14/14.1 Motion Title Creation Save As New Title.


Figure 2. Premiere Elements 14/14.1 Saved New Motion Title Access Via Title & Text Tab/Motion Title/Custom.

STEP 3
The saved New Motion Title displaying in Title & Text Tab/Motion Title/Custom traces back to the Windows computer hard drive location (with Folder Option Show Hidden Files, Folders, and Drives enabled)
Users\Owner\AppData\Roaming\Adobe\Premiere Elements\14.0\Rich Title Templates\Custom\a folder for the New Motion Titles and its assets.

If the saved New Motion Title is to be used in Premiere Elements 14/14.1 on another Windows 7, 8, 8.1, or 10 64 bit computer, then copy the whole folder for the new Motion Title on computer 1 and place it in the Custom Folder in the directory of computer 2
Users\Owner\AppData\Roaming\Adobe\Premiere Elements\14.0\Rich Title Templates\Custom\
If Premiere Elements 14/14.1 on computer 2 is a "first use", then, if necessary, create the Rich Title Templates Folder and/or Custom Folder to accept the folder for the New Motion Title transferred  from computer 1 to computer 2.

Unlike the saved Classic Title (.prtl), the Premiere Elements 14/14.1 saved Motion Title is not usable in Premiere Elements versions earlier than 14/14.1 on a computer 1 or 2.

COMMENTARY

When Premiere Elements 14 was first released in September 2015, a frequent issue was related to stability in editing and creating Motion Titles. Often, the saved Motion Titles would not show up in Titles & Text/Motion Titles/Custom after the Motion Title save, and, if there, some refused to be deleted when they were no longer wanted. Another curious 14 Motion Titles issue was saving the edited/created Motion Title to Custom and, after a save close reopening of the project, having the thumbnail for the saved Motion Title gone, leaving only the thumbnail's title bar. And, that had no function.

The Premiere Elements 14 Motion Titles issues appeared to resolve after the 14.1 Update was released. However, the only Adobe fix in 14.1 related to Motion Titles was shown as
When copying a Motion Title from the Project asset panel, a copy of the text layer is also created. This means that changing the text of the copied Motion Title will not affect the text of the source Motion Title.
In spite of the 14.1 Update, periodically the following Motion Titles issue is still run into
saving the edited/created Motion Title to Custom and, after a save close reopening of the project, having the thumbnail for the saved Motion Title gone, leaving only the thumbnail's title bar. And, that had no function.
But, there seems to be an "auto fix" for that situation. If the user reopens the project with the flawed Motion Title in Custom and creates and saves the next new Motion Title in that project, the flawed Motion Title in Custom is automatically fixed and exists there along with the newly saved Motion Title.

Work In Progress....
______________________________________________________________________________
*Premiere Elements 13/13.1 and earlier titles are not referred to as "Classic Titles". However, they are the "Classic Titles" referred to in 14/14.1 by Adobe in order to contrast them from 14/14.1's new Motion Titles.


ATR


Tuesday, March 1, 2016

PE: ISO Images (Burn to, Opening, Virtual Burners/Virtual Discs)

INTRODUCTION

The classical response to Premiere Elements burn to failures for DVD-VIDEO or AVCHD on DVD disc had been Premiere Elements burn to Folder (VIDEO_TS or BDMV Folder respectively), followed by taking the saved folder to disc with 3rd party software, such as ImgBurn (Windows Only). The Premiere Elements burn to Blu-ray disc format on Blu-ray disc had no built in alternatives. But, a popular 3rd party alternative for the Premiere Elements Blu-ray situation was the Phantom Burner (virtual burner plus choice of DVD+RW or BD-RE virtual disc) used in conjunction with Premiere Elements burn to Disc to obtain the DVD, AVCHD, or Blu-ray iso image. In this instance, the Phantom Burner virtual burner drive with a virtual disc inserted was recognized in the burner location field of the Premiere Elements burn dialog set to burn to Disc. The result was the .iso file saved to the hard drive location designated in the Premiere Elements burn dialog Save In field.

In Premiere Elements 13/13.1, ISO Image joined burn to Disc and Folder choices for DVD and AVCHD and gave Blu-ray its first and only alternative to burn to Blu-ray Disc. However, except for burn to ISO Image DVD-VIDEO, the burn to ISO Image for AVCHD and Blu-ray is seriously flawed and is for all intents and purposes useless when the .iso file produced has a file size greater than about 1 GB. See HERE for details. The Premiere Elements 13/13.1 burn to ISO Images issues are resolved in Premiere Elements 14/14.1. And, in the case of 14/14.1, burn to Folder is discontinued for DVD and AVCHD, making burn to ISO Image the only alternative for the burn to Disc failures for DVD, AVCHD, and Blu-ray.

ISSUES
  • For all intents and purposes, Premiere Elements 13/13.1 built in AVCHD or Blu-ray opportunities for ISO Image are worthless if the iso produced has a file size greater than about 1 GB. And, there is no indication that there will ever be another 13 update to correct this matter in 13/13.1, especially since the problem is corrected in Premiere Elements 14/14.1.
  • The Phantom Burner tryout version image creation comes with a 1.4 GB limit for the DVD+RW and BD-RE media. There is a "Buy" version which costs about $29.99 (USD) which does not have the 1.4 GB limit. However, the "http://www.phantombility.com" web site of the manufacturer of the Phantom Burner is no longer functional. And, a functional "Buy" button has not been found in the tryout nor at web sites that offer the Phantom Burner download.
  • How to open a DVD-VIDEO, Blu-ray, or AVCHD.iso file to obtain its structural folder - VIDEO_TS for DVD-VIDEO, and BDMV for Blu-ray or AVCHD?

SOLUTIONS

Premiere Elements 13/13.1 and 14/14.1 ISO Image

There is no fix known for the Premiere Elements 13/13.1 flawed built in burn to ISO Image feature, and it is highly unlikely that there will ever be one. Premiere Elements 14/14.1 was not found to have this problem; consequently moving to Premiere Elements 14/14.1 seems the way to go if the user wants to use Premiere Elements to burn its Timeline content to ISO Image for AVCHD or Blu-ray to produce a usable .iso image with file size greater than about 1 GB.


Work in progress....for those who want to continue with 13/13.1 and do not want to move to 14/14.1 to obtain a functional .iso file (greater than file size 1 GB), please read on as it relates to Phantom Drive.

Phantom Drive As Replacement For Phantom Burner And More

The 1.4 GB DVD+RW and BD-RE media limit of the Phantom Burner tryout coupled with the current (and possibly  permanent) absence of a "Buy" source (without the media limitation) for the program puts Phantom Burner at a major disadvantage with regard to iso image creation.

The solution for the Phantombility's Phantom Burner situation appears to be the "Phantom Drive" (v 1.0.0.5) which is a for purchase software from publisher "H und H Software GmbH" with a free 30 days tryout.  Phantom Drive seems to offer virtual burner + virtual disc, Premiere Elements recognition of Phantom Drive as a burner drive, and compatibility with Premiere Elements on Windows 10 besides the publisher's posted supported Windows 7 versions. There is a "Buy" opportunity ($19.95 USD) for those users who decide the Phantom Drive works for them. IMPORTANT: This mention is for informational and not promotional purposes.

The detour around Premiere Elements 13/13.1 built in ISO Image situation may be AVCHD or Blu-ray ISO Image creation in 13/13.1 using Phantom Drive in conjunction with Premiere Elements 13/13.1 to create the ISO Image. Limited exploration of the Phantom Drive for Premiere Elements 13/13.1 ISO Image creation has shown this route to produce functional Blu-ray disc format on actual BD-R when
  • Premiere Elements 13/13.1 Timeline content to give so far burn dialog 2 GB/10 minutes or 5 GB/30 minutes or 10 GB/ 60 minutes.
  • Blu-ray ISO Image produced from virtual Phantom Drive with virtual BD-R* disc set in the burner location field of Premiere Elements 13/13.1 set to Publish+Share/Disc/Blu-ray and burn to Disc (burn preset = H.264 1920 x 1080i NTSC Dolby).
  • Blu-ray ISO Image produced taken to BD-R disc with ImgBurn, using actual Blu-ray burner and actual BD-R 25 GB disc.

Opening DVD-VIDEO, AVCHD, or Blu-ray ISO Image to it Structural Folder

If the computer is Windows 8, 8.1, or 10 64 bit, the easiest way to open the Premiere Elements  DVD-VIDEO, AVCHD, or Blu-ray .iso file to obtain its structural folder (VIDEO_TS or BDMV) is to use a built in feature of these Windows' versions which allows the user to right click the .iso file at its hard drive save location, select Open With, followed by Windows Explorer. According to Microsoft "Windows automatically assigns it a drive letter and reads it as a virtual drive". It works.

Other ways to extract/read/mount a Premiere Elements .iso file in Windows include

7-ZIP was found to work if interest is in obtaining Premiere Elements VIDEO_TS from DVD-VIDEO.iso, but was not found to work for BDMV from AVCHD nor Blu-ray .iso file from Premiere Elements. In support of that current observation is the 2013 report found HERE. The 7-ZIP is known as a file archiver; and Adobe writes in its "Adobe Premiere Elements Help/Burning an ISO Image" document
ISO images are easy to burn and open using standard file archivers.
Without Adobe definition as to "what ISO images"and "what standard file archivers" it is referring, the ISO Image advantage suggested by Adobe would appear to be in conflict with actual user observation unless its is thinking just DVD-VIDEO iso image with this generalization.

Numerous free and not free virtual burners can be found online for use mounting and reading .iso files. A Google search points to them.

COMMENTARY

The Phantom Drive was an unexpected find at this time to replace the Phantom Burner. Work is in progress to explore the how to details and pros and cons for its use. Initial studies showed that it is compatible with Premiere Elements 14/14 and 12/12.1 on two different Windows 10 64 bit computers and a Windows 7 64 bit computer. First impression is that it is a good choice for iso image creation, virtual burner mounting, and opening the iso file to its structural folder, be it VIDEO_TS for DVD-VIDEO or BDMV for AVCHD or Blu-ray.

IMPORTANT....attention should be focused on any drive letter changes conflicts that might develop related to existing drives and
a. drive letter automatically assigned to Phantom Drive at installation
b. drive letter automatically assigned with Windows Explorer drive created in the opening of the iso file to its structural folder

If the only interest is opening the .iso file, the need to download and install 3rd party virtual burner software to mount, open, and read Premiere Elements .iso files seems minimized by the existence of the automatic feature for this in Windows 8, 8.1, and 10 64 bit. Some Windows considerations for Window 7 and earlier can be found HERE

Phantom Drive in conjunction with Premiere Elements needs to be fully evaluated for obtaining iso file from Timeline content in Premiere Elements versions that do not offer burn to ISO Image (Premiere Elements 12/12.1 and earlier). And, it may be the answer to produce a usable iso image file size greater than 1 GB in Premiere Elements 13/13.1. Work in progress, with full details to follow.

_______________________________________________________________________________
* The tryout Phantom Drive settings offered virtual discs Blu-Ray-R, Blu-Ray-R DL, HD-DVD-R, HD-DVD-R-DL, DVD+R, DVD+DL, DVD-R, DVD-R DL, and CD-R. Blu-ray-RE, Blu-ray RE DL, DVD-RW, or DVD+RW were not found in the list.


ATR