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Adobe Announces Premiere Elements 8

Adobe has announced its annual update to its consumer digital media editing software -- Premiere Elements 8 for video (Wiindows only) and Photoshop Elements 8 for photos (Win & Mac) -- see respective press releases.

The pricing is unchanged: the applications are $99 each, or $149 bundled together. The Plus versions add stronger online integration -- increasing the online storage from 2 to 20 GB, and providing ongoing updates of new tutorials, themes and artwork. The Plus versions are $139 each, or $179 bundled.

The most visible change in this release is a more-integrated Elements Organizer, now a separate application for importing, organizing, and tagging both photos and video. You can rate the best clips, group clips in nested Albums, and apply Tags to clips.

The next major theme of this release is automated analysis to determine the video quality, including video features, audio characteristics, and video content. And for photos, the Auto-Analyzer not only finds multiple faces in each images, but then does people recognition -- prompting you to enter the names of different people, and then finding additional matches to those faces.

Of course, this analysis requires significant processing time, so the Organizer will crunch away in the background as you import new collections of media (and, by default, will continue running even if you close the application). This is similar to the background processing in Premiere Elements conforming the audio and rendering the timeline.

The pay-off for this automated analysis, and your work in organizing albums and manually tagging clips, is not just a warm and fuzzy feeling. Given all this information about your clips, Premiere Elements then can be much more intelligent in performing a new level of automated editing, creating a polished movie using a specified theme, and with new assists for trimming lower quality footage, fixing shaking and lighting problems, and balancing across audio tracks. The new motion tracking also adds overaly graphics that automatically moves with subjects in footage.

The third theme in the new Elements application is even stronger support for online backup and sharing though Photoshop.com. New online albums use Adobe Flash animated themes to create dynamic online presentations. And the online catalog can be used to sync media across multiple computers running Elements.

Adobe describes Premiere Elements as consumer software, but the Elements applications are not for beginners. These tools actually provide a surprising depth of the power of Adobe's Premiere Pro CS4 and Photoshop CS4 professional applications, including video timelines with keyframed effects, and images with layered effects.

Yes, these tools add a friendlier interface with extensive tips and tutorials, and simplified editing modes like the video storyboard and one-click photo quick fixes. But the interface is not overly simplified to just big fat buttons -- the depth is still visible in the many smaller controls and icons.

The bottom line is that Adobe has designed the Elements tools for motivated enthusiasts who want to do more than a quick occasional edit. If you're the type who is organized about shooting and managing your footage, and willing to put in the effort to tag and analyzer it, then Premiere Elements 8 will help you do more, doing guided edits with the new automated assists, and then doing more sophisticated work with the depth from the Adobe CS pedigree.

See more- Adobe Premiere Elements 8 Reviewed (Videomaker Magazine)

See my full article - Summary: Adobe Premiere Elements 8 for more on the new features and a visual tour of the applications.

See summaries of video applications and versions in my Video Editing Software Gallery.

    Find Adobe Premiere Elements 8
    and bundle with Photoshop Elements 8 on Amazon.com

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