17 Replies Latest reply on Feb 21, 2013 7:26 PM by the_wine_snob

    Premeire Elements Capabilities

    DrBrown55061 Level 1

      I bought Premiere Elements 9 about 2 years ago (APE 9.0 Ninja) to do basic DVD making.  It's basically a glorified Windows Movie Maker.  I am doing dSLR HD video editing now, or at least trying to. I definitely need the ability to do custom color correction, sharpness, contrast etc. I'd also like to create custom DVD menus with my own backgrounds and layouts. APE 9 lets me insert my own sound files for the built-in menus but they are extremely cheesey and not for me.


      I don't do much animation so I don't think After Effects would be the right choice. I can't even find any detailed information about APE online, it's all about "Premiere Pro". I can only Pro is an upgrade to the elements versionI have? Maybe I just need something non Adobe to do this, like Vegas or something similar. If anyone has suggestions on what programs may be good for this kind of editing I'd appreciate suggestions. Thanks!

        • 1. Re: Premeire Elements Capabilities
          the_wine_snob Level 9

          Dr. Brown,


          I think that your post will fit right into the PrElements Forum, and maybe a MOD will be so kind as to Move it there for you.


          First, I recommend looking over this review of PrE 11 (the latest version), by Steve Grisetti, the MOD of the PrE Forum, and noted author of PrE books: http://forums.adobe.com/thread/1071693?tstart=0


          There have been some changes from PrE 10 (and previous), but other than a bit better Color Correction (still nothing like PrPro's), I did not see all that much to address your desires.


          The authoring in PrE is fairly limited (it has not really changed, from your version, except for maybe a few more Menu Set Templates), though works fine for most users. Adobe Encore is included with PrPro, and is much stronger, with more controls, than PrE. Most of PrE's authoring capabilities are semi-automatic (again, nice and easy for most, but certainly not all), so its Menu Sets have several additional considerations, that Menus in Encore do not. Also, I feel that Encore's Menu Library is much better, and less oriented to just the casual hobbyist). While there are more specialized conventions to account for in the PrE Menu Sets, one CAN create, or heavily modify the existing Menu Set Templates. Having Photoshop is a big plus here, though Photoshop Elements can do most of it. One just needs to first understand what happens with the semi-automatic Menu Sets, and follow those conventions to the letter. A fair amount of work, but doable. One other option might be the Menu Sets available at a nominal fee (or free to subscribers) at Muvipix.com. Steve Grisetti, from above, is a co-founder of that site, and also a contributor of many of those Menu Sets. Take a look around there first.


          I do not know of any "upgrade promotion" between PrE and PrPro, but over the years, there have been a few. The upgrade from one version of PrE to the next is not really THAT great a deal, and one can often find the program cheaper from a certified reseller, than though any promotion.


          If you are talking about serious Color Correction, and the easy creation of DVD/BD Menus, then I recommend PrPro w/ Encore - however, we ARE talking quite different price-points.


          Good luck, and if you do decide to stay with PrE, but want to explore the full creation of Menu Sets, or heavy editing of the existing ones, I have an article from the Photoshop Forum, that I will share for some instructions and tips. When a MOD moves this thread for you, let me know, and I will post a link to it.



          • 2. Re: Premeire Elements Capabilities
            John T Smith Adobe Community Professional & MVP

            While waiting for a MOD to move this to the Premiere Elements forum, you might click the big red A at the upper left and go to the Premiere Pro product page... you should find information there about any upgrade discount path from Premiere Elements... otherwise, you would have to pay full price (I think about $800 ???)


            To find out what PPro will do for you, visit the tutorial list in message #3 http://forums.adobe.com/message/2276578 and do some reading


            Do be aware that PPro is 64bit ONLY and editing DSLR video requires a fairly powerful computer... I would say an i7 3770 at the minimum


            Adobe's MINimums http://www.adobe.com/products/premiere/tech-specs.html

            This message has a really good graphic about requirements - http://forums.adobe.com/thread/810750

            More about Requirements http://forums.adobe.com/thread/618058

            Disk Configurations http://forums.adobe.com/thread/878419

            • 3. Re: Premeire Elements Capabilities
              DrBrown55061 Level 1

              Thanks for the replies.


              I only paid like $100 for APE 9, so the $799 PrPro version must have loads more options. And of course AfterEffects is $1000. The bad part is I'm never gonna pay that much money for something I'd use 3-4 times a year for non-commercial use. I think I'm stuck with what I have and I'll just get by w/out any menus because they are just too cartoonish. The muvipix.com site has promise so I will keep looking that option over. I would be willing to pay for decent intros/menus to accomplish the goal because that would be much cheaper.


              In terms of my computer, it's an AMD x6, 8GB RAM, 1GB GPU so it's decent enough. I've had slowdown issues rendering 45-minute long movies. But I think that's a given regardless how much RAM and processor you have. Thanks for some ideas at least.


              And admins, feel free to move it if it makes more sense to be in the Premiere forum.

              • 4. Re: Premeire Elements Capabilities
                Jeff Bellune Level 6

                No worries.  Considering the nature of your question, I think you made an excellent choice of forums to begin with.



                • 5. Re: Premeire Elements Capabilities
                  the_wine_snob Level 9

                  I completely understand.


                  For those Menu Sets, this thread might be helpul: http://forums.adobe.com/message/2490848#2490848


                  Also, as PrE has some limitations in its Motion Menus, that Encore does not have, if you are going to be modifying any of the Motion Menus, this article might be helfpful: http://forums.adobe.com/thread/577893?tstart=90


                  Also, the forums at Muvipix.com are very helpful, and a lot of those users do modify the Library Menus.


                  Remember that other than just changing the background image, and a few minor edits, one will need Photoshop, or Photoshop Elements to really modify Menu Sets. One limitation with Photoshop Elements is that it cannot create Layer Sets (the defining structure of a Menu Button), though it can edit existing Layer Sets in the Menu PSD. If one only has PSE, then they would definitely want to work from an existing Library Template, and customize it, as the Layer Sets will already be in place.


                  If you get into more intriciate navigation, that PrE provides, many users (if they do not have PrPro and Encore) find that Sony's DVD Architect does a good job, as a pretty full-featured authoring application.


                  Good luck,



                  • 7. Re: Premeire Elements Capabilities
                    DrBrown55061 Level 1

                    Thank you for all these links. I have a lot to learn! I have a about a decade of web/graphic design under my belt and I have PS CS5. Hope that makes the learning curve easier. I have no clue what a .prtl file is, so this is going to be interesting and hopefully fun!


                    The Muvipix site is pretty cool. Already tried to register on their forum as I am going to have a lot of questions along the way.


                    The Sony program has a free trial so I'll have to give that a try to see how it works. Thanks for that one!

                    • 8. Re: Premeire Elements Capabilities
                      the_wine_snob Level 9

                      I have no clue what a .prtl file is, so this is going to be interesting and hopefully fun!


                      Now, a .PTRL file is a Title Template, in either Premiere Pro, or Premiere Elements, though the .PTRL files are now a thing of the past. In PrE 10, and PrPro CS 5.5, one could Save a Title as a Template, and it would appear as a .PTRL file. Those can ONLY be used in Premiere, but not Opened in PS.


                      Good luck,



                      • 9. Re: Premeire Elements Capabilities
                        DrBrown55061 Level 1

                        Yeah I had already tried to import and open them in PS, and no dice.


                        Since this is still Adobe afterall, does this mean there are other "formats" of menus that are compatible with Premiere? I notcied the Muvipix site never really advertises what format their menus are that you can purchase, but they say they are compatible from v.4 through 11.

                        • 10. Re: Premeire Elements Capabilities
                          Steven L. Gotz Level 5

                          Other title formats? No. There are some third party apps that can create titles, but excellent titles can be made in Photoshop. Especially now that Photoshop has a timeline. Your titles can be animated. There are a lot of things that After Effects can do that Photoshop can't, but that doesn't mean that Photoshop can't make fantastic graphics for your DVDs.

                          • 11. Re: Premeire Elements Capabilities
                            the_wine_snob Level 9

                            Are you saying that you are unable to Open the PrE Menus (which are but Layered PSD's) in Photoshop?


                            If so, then something is very wrong somewhere. The PSD is the "native" Image format for Photoshop.


                            In each Menu Set, there will be at least two PSD's, one for the Main Menu, and one for the Scene Selection Menus. There may well be more, such as a pair for HD, or a pair for Widescreen. There could also be Menu Sets for different languages in the folder. Usually, the files' naming convention will tell you what they are. In the folder, there should be at least two PNG Images, which are the thumbnails, that are displayed in PrE's Menu Library. There might also be Audio and Video files, if the particular Menu Set is animated (Motion Menus) in any way. Those will likely be a WAV, or MP3 for the Audio, and likely an MTS or MOV for the Video. Once, when PrE was only ported for the PC, the Video was most often a WMV file.


                            This Image shows two of the PrE Menu PSD's Open in PS. The Main Menu is active, and you can see the Layers Panels, with many of the Buttons' Layer Sets revealed (twirled down). The Scene Selection Menu, if active, would show similar.


                            Good luck, and hope that this helps,



                            • 12. Re: Premeire Elements Capabilities
                              the_wine_snob Level 9

                              Dr. Brown,


                              As for the formats of PrE Menus, they will be in PSD. The same for Menus for Adobe Encore. The ones for PrE have some special naming and structural conventions, as they are used with PrE's semi-automatic authoring. Some of those naming conventions can be seen in the Layers Panel, in my attached Image above.


                              Because one will create the navigational links by hand in Encore, there are different Layer naming conventions, and some different characters in those.


                              Good luck,



                              • 13. Re: Premeire Elements Capabilities
                                DrBrown55061 Level 1

                                I was able to locate the correct files, which were clearly just PSDs like you show above. The only thing odd was there are 2 sizes, seems like one size for 16:9 and the other is 4:3 maybe. But both template files show being 720px wide. I think I can probably find a way to replicate a new menu theme but it will take a bit of tinkering and troubleshooting. Not sure I'll be able to pull off all the effects I want but this is definitely a start.


                                I appreciate the suggestions and hints.

                                • 14. Re: Premeire Elements Capabilities
                                  the_wine_snob Level 9

                                  For SD (Standard Def) Menus, they WILL be 720 x 480 for NTSC. The differences are with the PAR, or Pixel Aspect Ratio, that differentiates Standard 4:3 from Widescreen 16:9, and then the difference between the total number of Buttons on each - Standard having the capabilities for twice the total number of Buttons, as Widescreen, 36 vs 18.


                                  Good luck,



                                  • 15. Re: Premeire Elements Capabilities
                                    the_wine_snob Level 9

                                    it will take a bit of tinkering and troubleshooting. Not sure I'll be able to pull off all the effects I want but this is definitely a start.


                                    What exactly are the Effects that you hope to attain? It could well be that with the limited, and rather linear authoring in PrE, you will hit a wall, and need to look beyond - or maybe not, but it does depend on what you are looking to do. The more detail, the better.


                                    Good luck,



                                    • 16. Re: Premeire Elements Capabilities
                                      DrBrown55061 Level 1

                                      Well for this particular project my idea was to have the entire background image as a movie clip, around 20 seconds long with my own music clip dubbed in. I don't think I can do this with the Premiere program because in PS all I can really do is modify the menu template. So my end all may be using a still image instead of the movie. That would probably be easiest, but not the best

                                      • 17. Re: Premeire Elements Capabilities
                                        the_wine_snob Level 9

                                        In both Encore, or PrE can produce and then author a Menu with 20 sec. duration for both Audio & Video in a Motion Menu. PrE has a 29.9 sec. limitation, but Encore does not.


                                        The Audio & Video can be produced in either version of Premiere.


                                        Now, the Audio and the Video should match 100% in Duration.


                                        Good luck,