Adobe Photoshop Elements 8 & Premiere Elements 8 (Page 5 of 6) | Reports

Page 5 - Premiere Elements 8 Feature Highlights

For the purpose of this article, I have made three demonstration videos to highlight three features that I found interesting and worthwhile to show in Premiere Elements 8. I'll admit that they may not have any practical qualities, so please don't throw things at us. They're for demonstration purposes only, haha!

Videomerge Effect

I made a video, embedded above, to demonstrate the usage of Adobe Premiere Element's Videomerge effect, as well as an integrated commentary -- after all, there's nothing much to demonstrate, and I don't want to make the video five seconds long, haha. If you're too lazy to watch the entire two minutes which I have composed, that's not a problem. Pardon my lack of TV personality and improvisation skills. Basically, what Videomerge does is take the main subject of one scene, and make the background of it transparent automatically and overlay it on top of another video layer. By doing this, it creates the illusion of one subject in one scene to be in the presence of another scene. This is useful for special effects or creating alibis if you ever got in trouble with the law. The implementation is fairly simple.

However, from my experience, this feature has its limitations. You will need to film where there is consistent lighting, minimal shadow, and a flat dark background so the software does not confuse the background with the main subject -- if it even detects the background. Unfortunately, I found this feature to be better on paper than in real life, as you can see in my video above. There is only one place here at APH Networks where I can film that Premiere Elements 8 correctly detects that there is a plain background, and even at that it somehow messes up with my skin tone so even I become transparent to an extent. Options such as custom color selection and tolerances are available for user configuration, but in the end it is mostly reliant on automatic detection, and adjusting the tolerance and color selection did not really do much to help, if at all.

UPDATE: As many of our readers have pointed out, it will require a background furthest from human skin tone; where green is the most optimal color for this feature. Our background is not green, and due to the yellow lighting, it contributed to a negative result as shown in the demonstration video.

Generally speaking, it is a pretty cool feature, and the logic is fairly simple -- but only when you can get it to work. And that alone could be a challenge for many casual users.

Motion Tracking

Motion Tracking is quite an interesting feature. You can either use the Auto Analyzer to automatically scan for objects to be tracked, or you can manually highlight entities for Premiere Elements to follow for as long as it can trace. Since Auto Analyzer is pretty slow even with my overclocked Intel Core 2 Extreme QX9650, the best option that I've found is to simply find and select the object you want to track in the program. It is very easy to use, and works surprisingly well. Of course, you cannot pan your camera and change the angle of which you are shooting the object at, since Premiere Elements will lose track of it once the changes reach a certain threshold. However, it does a reasonably good job at tracking something that is recognized at more or less the same angle consistently on the screen. You can use this feature to affix objects to follow something in your video from a relative distance, including your own custom images or built in speech bubbles -- which is actually pretty cool, and proves to be very valuable. My only complaint is that the objects do not change size depending on the changing distance of the followed entity, so it will remain the same size even if the followed item is coming closer and closer. Changing the size of an object following a specified item based on the changing distance (Or the size it appears on the screen) probably isn't hard, and it would definitely be a welcomed improvement for Premiere Elements in the future.

I produced a quick demo below to demonstrate Motion Tracking in Adobe Premiere Elements 8. As you can see, it actually follows the little SUV in front of my car pretty well -- but it won't follow the Mazda minivan the entire time due to the continuously changing angle. By the way, the lemon is just randomness, haha.


The InstantMovie feature is fairly straightforward. Simply select the clips you want, then a theme to go by -- and Adobe Premiere Elements 8 will run the Auto Analyzer to take a "look" at the clips, and compose it into a movie with desired effects. It's pretty interesting if you want to make a show of clips in a more interesting manner. However, do take note that it does not take the clips in chronological order, and it will automatically cut scenes. It tends to repeat sometimes as well, as seen in my demonstration above -- even though I more clips than the 3 minute 35 second preset length for the theme. The above demonstration video was made with a 4 minute 2 seconds of completely random clips that I had no intention of making it even interesting, and let Premiere Elements do its job. I had to admit that it's still not bad for something automatically generated by the computer!

Page Index
1. Introduction, Packaging
2. Photoshop Elements 8 Interface and Usage
3. Photoshop Elements 8 Feature Highlights
4. Premiere Elements 8 Interface and Usage
5. Premiere Elements 8 Feature Highlights
6., Conclusion