First, just to be clear, a .prel file is not a media file. It is a project file. You can't add a .prel file to a Premiere Elements project. You will not see .prel files among your assets.
Your workflow looks to be correct. You are outputting each short segment of your movie using Publish & Share/Computer/AVCHD using the M2T 1920x1080 30i output, producing M2T files. Then you are combining those finished M2T files into a final mix-down project and outputting your DVD from there.
If you're using this workflow, you should see virtually no degradation in quality as you output each segment. They should look virtually identical to your original footage.
The only reduction you will see is in resolution when you go from 1920x1080 high definition video to 720x480 DVD. There's nothing you can do about this (other than output a BluRay rather than a DVD). DVDs are standard resolution, so they don't have nearly the detail of high-def video. But, other than that, your finished DVD should look almost as good as the original.
Many thanks, that's very helpful Steve. Good to know I'm on the right track re publishing short sequences and then connecting them up. Also thanks for clarifying the question of degradation of images. I'm so used to working in Photoshop (full versions) where things are very different.
Thanks Bill. I think I do (or I thought I did, but maybe I don't really) understand about .prel files -- I regard them as comparable to MIDI files, ie instructions to the computer on how to go about constructing the piece of music, but not the music itself. The MIDI file might be a few kilobytes but the music it eventually puts together will be Mb or Gb ...
Where I perhaps don't understand is not seeing why you can't import these instructions (prel files) from a folder on your computer into existing instructions (the prel files you've been working on in the project). I do understand that this cannot be as media files since they're not media files, but so what? Why can't Adobe simply arrange it so that we can import them? It's actually a very long time (many years) since I worked with MIDI, so I may be wrong here (many will be able to correct me on the forum I know) but I seem to recall that one could add new MIDI files to an existing MIDI project.
Incidentally, PE11 is very insistent and obtrusive (at least on my pc!) -- eg I won't have closed it while working on something outside PE to include in my project (it could be a Photoshop file, or Audacity, or something from the web) but every so often the PE project screen will pop up, rudely interrupting what else I've got going. No other software I know does this! LOL. Like an infant, it *will* not be neglected.
>Why can't Adobe simply arrange it so that we can import them?
People here are other users, not Adobe... so can't answer that... but there is a link where you may tell Adobe what you want
The MIDI analogy is a good one. Many people think that a MIDI file IS a music file. As you state, it is just instructions for a MIDI program, telling how to play music from those instructions with the program's "voices."
What saddens me, is the post saying something like "I Saved my Project, then Deleted all those media files, since they are in my PREL... " If the Recycle Can has been emptied, the user is usually hosed - unless they can recover the Deleted files with a utility like Stellar-Phoenix. I always hate to share the bad news with them. If they are lucky, and Captured from miniDV tape, or still have their SD/CF card, with the original files, they will just need to Capture again, or Import again, but the files that they used, are gone.
In PrPro, there is an added benefit - Sequences, which are like mini-Projects within a Project. For doing what you are doing, they provide a very good workflow. Unfortunately, PrE provides a single Timeline per Project.
Your workflow is as good as it gets in PrE.
Good luck, and thanks for the MIDI file analogy. I will use that in the future. Unfortunately, too few will get it.
Hi Bill, thanks yet again! Pleased the MIDI analogy is useful. OMG that little vignette about the ‘deleted files’ is a real horror. Actually invariably not only do I make copies of all photo and video files before I start work on them, but I leave the originals on the SDHC card until I know I wont need them again (belt and braces) and I have more than one card of course.
If I continue, and I think I will, I can see I’m going to have to upgrade at some stage to the Pro version (but I’m nowhere near good enough yet) and anyway if I do, I’m sure I’ll need something better than my movie-capable Canon DSLR.
Thanks for the encouragement re the workflow – it complements Steve’s kind comments earlier.
Thanks John. For interest, what do you use for editing videos? I may have mentioned several months ago, before I got PE11 I tried Corel but it kept crashing my machine and correspondence with the makers (supposed to be a helpline) got me absolutely nowhere. So Corel’s loss was Adobe’s gain.
Bill Hunt has given me some ideas about prel files. It might not be that easy – it may be one thing to start a project creating the files, but simply not practicable to add such files later.
But it can’t do any harm to write to them, so thanks.