Author Archive

October 6, 2010

Announced: Premiere Elements 9

Adobe Premiere Elements 9 top new features for educationLinda Dickeson, Adobe Education Leader and Distance Learning Coordinator, Lincoln Public Schools, Lincoln, NE

From an educator’s perspective, I have been anticipating the release of the new version 9 of Premiere Elements. For several years, Premiere Elements has been a popular movie making solution for education. It’s an intuitive video project environment for students from upper elementary school age through high school (and beyond).

At younger ages, students arrange media clips on a Sceneline, similar to creating a storyboard or slideshow. Older students move into using a Timeline with multiple video and audio tracks; keyframes for animation; and professional quality effects, filters and transitions. These experiences position students well to move into using Premiere Pro, Adobe’s professional video editing solution.

So why should educators be excited about Premiere Elements version 9 release? Among all of the various new features, here are a few of my favorite:

  1. The TOP of my list is that now Premiere Elements is available for Macintosh! For school districts or institutions supporting both platforms, having cross-platforms solutions that look and operate the same makes support and training much easier.
  2. You can share a final project by creating a Web DVD, which makes a Flash-based movie for the web including the easily created interactive disk menu (scenes and chapters). Upload the Web DVD to your own web site or for sharing, making the project available to a much wider audience.
  3. Premiere Elements has enhanced support for HD video and supports video from newer camera types (Flip, DSLR, etc.).
  4. There are lots of new professional quality filters and effects.
  5. New Themes give you more choices for Instant Movies, DVD menus or Title clips.

There are great resources at Adobe’s new Education Exchange—successful lesson plans, activities and tutorials for multiple curricular areas shared by educators (sign up for your free account). Adobe TV has free video tutorials on every product.

If you don’t have Premiere Elements 9 yet and want to take it for a spin, download the trial and get started! Premiere Elements can be purchased individually or bundled with the new Photoshop Elements 9. It also is a part of the Adobe Digital School Collection.

5:19 PM Permalink
May 10, 2010

Photos Inside of Words: Use a Clipping Mask!

In Photoshop Elements, putting a photo inside of words (or any layer object for that matter) is easy when students have a basic understanding of layers. A clipping mask allows a layer to assume the shape of a layer directly below it.
clipping mask.png
In this example, I started with a picture of a zebra taken at the zoo. The steps are easy:
1. Open the photo to be put inside of the text.
2. Add the text over the top, then size and format the text. A font with thick letters works best, and it doesn’t matter what color is applied to the text.
3. Since a background layer can’t be used for a clipping mask, duplicate the background layer (Layer>Duplicate Layer).
4. Move the duplicate background layer above the text layer. Don’t be alarmed that the text is now hidden!
5. With the background copy layer selected, choose Layer>Create Clipping Mask. (It will look indented with a little arrow under it.)
6. To see what happened to the upper two layers, hide the Background layer by clicking the “eye” icon (then go ahead and show it again).
7. To make the type “pop” off the Background, select text layer and apply layer styles from the Effects panel, like a bevel or drop shadow.
8. In the example above, a solid color adjustment layer was added (round black/white icon in Layers panel) just above the original Background layer.
To learn more about adjustment layers or see a video of this tutorial, go to my website on Photoshop Elements, what you didn’t know. Several video tutorials will teach you other fun things you didn’t know you could do with Photoshop Elements. Have fun!

7:43 AM Permalink
January 23, 2009

Adobe at FETC 2009

Setting the stage for a great experience at FETC (Florida Educational Technology Conference) 2009 in Orlando, the Adobe events continue to be well-attended and “where the action is” for attendees. On this second official day of FETC, the Adobe Education Leaders (AELs) have already led many workshops (including pre-conference). On Friday alone, the AELs are conducting nearly half of the hands-on workshops.
The Adobe booth is always busy and buzzing with people clamoring for more information on the creative products they are using with their students. The theater sessions in the booth are presented by Adobe experts while AELs spend their time visiting with educators and answering questions. Attendance is still very good this year, even in bleak economic times.

Continue reading…

8:41 AM Permalink
August 22, 2007

Tricks for Type – Photoshop or Photoshop Elements

Easily select text and quickly choose or resize fonts with these tricks. Teachers tell me that the first trick here has been terrific for students who were struggling to select type…especially younger students. Any ways we can make writing in a creative environment easier for students are worth a try!
Double-click on Type Layer Selects Type
Having trouble selecting text with the Type Tool? Just double-click on the Type Layer Indicator (the box with the T in it) to select the text on the layer. Never again will students accidently create new type layers by clicking too far outside of the text to make a selection!
Find the Perfect Font
Ever spend way too much time trying to decide on a font? It can take a lot of time to choose a font from the menu, look at the results, decide you don’t like it, choose another, look at it, decide you don’t like it…and on and on. To scan through many fonts quickly, select the text, then highlight the font name in the options bar. With the font name selected (highlighted), just use the up and down arrow keys on the keyboard to scroll quickly through the font list and look at each one. The scroll wheel on the mouse also works! This little trick works in all Adobe software.
Resize Selected Text from the Keyboard
Hold down CONTROL (COMMAND – Mac) with the SHIFT key, then press to make type larger or smaller. The type changes in 2 point increments.
Now that Photoshop Elements can do paragraph text (starting in version 4.0), it is much easier for students do creative writing projects with illustrations. Happy writing!

2:33 PM Permalink