Yes, you read right – get started with Adobe Premiere Elements in three easy steps. In this post you’ll learn how to turn your raw video clips into a polished movie that you can share with family and friends. And we’ll do all of that in an hour!
We have a clock ticking, so without wasting any time, let’s jump straight into the job. And before starting, I’m making two assumptions:
- You have your video clips at hand (can be stored on your camcorder, camera, memory stick, and so on).
- You have Adobe Premiere Elements installed on your computer. If you don’t have it installed already, you can install a free trial version from http://www.adobe.com/go/trypremiere_elements/. If you need help with installing, see the detailed installation instructions.
Step 1: Launch the video editing workspace & import video clips
When you launch Adobe Premiere Elements, you see this Welcome screen:
On the Welcome screen, click Video Editor, and select New Project. Your video clips and all other project assets that you add, like audio files and graphics, are stored in the project.
Note: I’m not covering any details about using Elements Organizer in this post. If you wish to learn more, you can see my earlier post, where I cover details about using Organizer.
The project opens in the video editing workspace. The workspace offers two modes of editing – Quick and Expert.
In this post, we’ll focus on using the Quick mode of editing. The Quick mode of editing provides you a simplified user interface, where you can simply drag and drop special effects, trim video clips, add transitions, and create a memorable movie . To learn more about the panels, timeline, and views in the Video editing workspace, see this article.
Import video clips
You can import your videos clips into the video editing workspace in two ways:
- By dragging and dropping your files on to the timeline, or
- By clicking Add Media, and selecting from your DVD, camcorder, device, and so on.
Step 2: Create your movie
Once you’ve imported your video clips, you can create an instant movie or manually put together a movie by adding your choice of visual effects and audio. I tried both, so let me explain a bit about how to go about using each of these methods.
If you want to spend absolutely no time on editing but want to see a well put together movie, then this is a good option for you. You can use out-of-the-box themes (comes with theme-specific audio and visuals) and let Adobe Premiere Elements intelligently put together a great looking movie for you.
It’s as simple as clicking Instant Movie in the Action Bar and selecting from the many themes that are provided. Just add a title for your movie and click Apply. You’re done.
Now sit back and let Adobe Premiere Elements take over. While you’re sipping on your coffee or getting on with your other jobs, a professional-looking movie is created right at your desktop. No prizes for guessing why I love this feature!
If you want to watch how this feature works, see this short video.
Manual editing – trim video clips, add special effects, and audio enhancements
You can add the “wow” factor to your movies by adding some good special effects and well-timed audio. And here’s how you can go about this activity.
Trim video clips – One of the most common and important tasks that you would need to do while editing your video clips is trimming out least interesting or low quality footage. You can do this manually by setting in and out points for your clips. Or you can use the Smart Trim feature and allow Adobe Premiere Elements to do the job for you. Just select Tools and then Smart Trim from the Action Bar. Watch this video to learn more about how to effectively trim your video clips.
Add special effects – To add special effects of your choice, click Effects in the Action Bar and drag-and-drop the selected effect over the clip. Your clip automatically takes on that effect. For example, I applied the Old Film effect, which gave a yesteryear’s feel to my video clip instantly. See this article for more information.
Add transitions – When you’re using two or more video clips to create a movie, adding the right transitions are so important in providing a graceful transition from one clip to another without any abrupt pauses. Just click Transitions in the Action Bar and drag-and-drop the selected transition. See this article for more information.
Adding audio enhancements to your movie is really a personal choice. A lot of you may prefer to use the audio that you recorded while shooting the video. I just feel that you can make your movie more appealing by adding complementary audio. And it’s so easy to add some good music or a narration, that it’s an option worth exploring.
Add music – Adding music to your video is as simple as selecting Music in the Action Bar and dragging and dropping the music track that you like. If you want to do more advanced audio mixing, you can do so in the Expert editing mode. For more information, see this article.
Add narrations – You can also provide a nice personal touch to your movie by adding a chatty narration. You can record and add a narration to your clip by clicking Tools and selecting Narration from the Action Bar. Then, just press Record and talk away! For more information, see this article.
Step 3: Publish or share your movie
Once you’re done with editing your video, you can publish or share your movie in a few clicks. You can publish your movie to a disc, a web DVD, a device or share it to a video-viewing website like YouTube.
Click Publish+Share in the editing workspace, and select the required publishing or sharing option. For detailed information on using the various publishing options, check out these articles.
Now that we are done with the essential tasks in creating a movie, you can try using the Expert mode to explore advanced editing options. And to help you with that, we’ve got a bunch of helpful resources:
Getting started tutorials
Advanced Help & tutorials
And not to forget, we have a great community out there to help you with any questions that you may run into in the course of learning and using Adobe Premiere Elements. Just head over to the Adobe Premiere Elements forums, and join the conversation.