Let's see if I can offer a few suggestions:
1) Any tips on doing a good looking intro in Elements? I'm using Impact font over ambient music, there's a combination of still photos and footage. It's a documentary about social change. A bit of a vague question, but any tips appreciated, this is my first film. I want something classic and simple...
Impact should be a good font. I use Arial Bold, or Arial Black a lot. One wants sans-serif, if at all possible, and a good thick sans-serif looks good on video. Serif fonts, while nice in high-rez print, shimmers and starts to break up on video, even when progressive.
I like to animate my Titles, unless its a block of body copy, where reading the details is the most important part. I set the Duration to where I can read the entire text 1.5 times. For my animation, I often Keyframe various aspects and Effects. Opacity is one of the first that I will use, and maybe even a little Gaussian Blur. With Keyframes, I have complete control. With sub-heads, I'll often Keyframe the fixed Effect Motion>Position, to slide them in, and then Keyframe in Opacity to "fade that one out," while another slides in to another part of the Frame. For me, these are usually only 1 - 2 words, or a very short phrase at most. I keep the animations down to just a few, with no Rotations, or Spins. I want the audience to read the Title, and not notice the "neat stuff" that I did to it. That's why just a little movement onto the screen, and then maybe a slow fade (Opacity), with a touch of Blur near the end works for me.
If I am interspersing text block body copy Titles, I just use either Cross-Dissolves, or Dip-to-Black.
2) What's the best rendered format for youtube, google video and other online vid sites? I want the highest possible quality.
Is this an HD Project? For YouTube, many are recommending the H.264 CODEC, though some do like the HD WMV format/CODEC. YouTube changes what they require often. I'd check the very latest specs. Note that each provider might have different specs, so you may need to do a survey of all of your targets, and see if there is any commonality between them. That might be the best way to go, so you do not have to Export/Share different formats. There is a YouTube FAQ entry, and that should be a good starting point. Also, YouTube, and maybe many others, will re-encode your submission, so there is not much that one can do to insure quality - whatever will get changed by the provider.
3) I'm doing the film in 2 minute chunks to save on processing power. Can I render in 7-8 chunks and splice them together after? How?
Yes. Which file format/CODEC you use will depend on your Project. For SD Projects, I recommend that one Export/Share to DV-AVI Type II w/ 48KHz 16-bit PCM/WAV Audio, and then Import those. There are other CODEC's, like the Lagarith Lossless, that I use for transfer, intermediate files. I just do not know how well it works with HD material. For HD, others will have to offer suggestions, as I only do SD Projects.
In general, just Export/Share to the chosen format/CODEC, and then Import that into a new, "master" Project. Assemble, add Titles, etc., and then Export/Share the final production.
4) How do I slow down a crawling/rolling title. (Elements 3.0) I looked around and saw no speed setting.
This is back up to question #1. For all of my animations, I use Keyframing. In the case of either a roll, or a crawl, I Keyframe the fixed Effect>Motion>Position over time. With Keyframes, I have ultimate control, and can roll to a point, hold, and then roll out. Same with a crawl - bring it in, hold it, take it away. One can even adjust the speed of say a roll, so that it slowly enters, holds and then disappears more quickly. Keyframing takes a little time, but pays dividends with complete control.
As for the link - please post that here, when you're done. Only caveat would be to post a link to something like YouTube, or Vimeo, and not to any content provider, that requires a subscription, or sign-up. Also, explore the Muvipix site. There is a nice gallery section there.
Good luck, and hope that this helps,
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That's a lot for a single post! Are you sure you don't want to spread those questions out a bit?
As for some of your basic questions, you may well find the answer in my free Basic Training with Premiere Elements tutorials.
I also offer books on Premiere Elements and on the Premiere Elements/Photohsop Elements combos that are available at Muvipix.com and on Amazon.
Slowing down a crawl or a roll, for instance, is as simple as dragging the end of the clip to make it longer. The longer the titel clip, the slower it rolls or crawls.
As for how to take short video projects and "splice" them together, the answer is in the FAQs to the right of this forum.
Hunt thanks for an excellent and in depth reply. Very helpful. Keyframing a blur seems to be the way forward, nice and subtle. I'm using a mixture of Gaussian and Fastblur... It's an SD project with visuals coming from photos or a Panasonic DVX AG100b MiniDV, the kind used to make Iraq in Fragments. I understand about each website having different specs and will just focus on a few.
***There are other CODEC's, like the Lagarith Lossless, that I use for transfer, intermediate files. ***Every time I export and reimport there will be some loss, right? So I'm looking for the codec with least quality degredation. I might be able to get access to a more powerful computer with more processing power. I've taken in all of the rest of your points.Steve, haha yes I was trying to save on space. I'm happy to spread questions if you like, thanks for the tutorials.
With Lagarith, and a few other lossless CODEC's, there will be zero degradation in your generations. Even the DV-AVI Type II will have a tiny bit of quality loss, so long as Recompress is not used, but that loss is very small, and almost impossible to see. However, if one does several generations, the losses will mount up.
I'll check it out. There's degradation when I export audio to wav, for example- and I want to pay attention to that because it'll suffer even more through several exports.
If one Exports to PCM/WAV with the same Sample-rate and Bit-depth, as the original, there should be no degradation, as PCM/WAV is totally uncompressed. What settings are you using in your Export to WAV?
I'm not sure what the settings are, I'll check. It might be cos I'm listening to it in Windows Player. It's good to know wavs are lossless.
It's good to know wavs are lossless.
Remember, PCM/WAV's (Uncompressed) are lossless. That can be an important distinction.