I'm new here and am working in Premiere Elements 11 (on Windows 7). Putting together a movie in PE11 using 1000+ slides, and about 150 video clips that range in length from 10 seconds to 60 seconds, which will be interspersed throughout the slide show movie. There's also audio music and narration talking. I've spent close to 300 hours "editing" working on each slidef (I haven't really kept track of hours, but been working on it for three months evenings and weekends), perfecting each clip by enhancing with multiple effects from zoom and pan to spin out, varying durations, etc., and sometimes with multiple layers of slides and videos occurring simultaneously. Really a pretty impressive little production for a neophyte, who bit off quite a bit more than I can chew........but here's the real problem....
I'm brand new to the 21st century and the digital world and any type of video editing, so I'm having a great time learning as I go, creating a show that makes me look much more talented than I am....and I do love that. But, because I am new to all of this, and not that terribly computer literate (I'm 54 years old and never really use more than emails and internet, Word and Excel, etc.), Don't laugh, but I really didn't have a clue (because I didn't even think about it) that when I dragged a picture or video from my Windows Explorer into Premiere Elements 11 "Project Assets", to use in the show, that it simply created a shortcut (and only a shortcut) to the source from which I just dragged the file, and was not a complete copy of the file (picture or video clip).
You probably see where this is heading....So cleaning up my windows explorer picture and video folders and files, I didn't delete anything thankfully, but I changed the file name on hundreds of pictures, changing the name from "94820204845768992.jpeg" to "Nancy at Luau on Maui" for example, so they would be easier for me to find, or group and sort, etc. Then on top of that, in an effort to organize my "digital junk drawer" I began dragging pictures and videos all around into new folders I created, to keep the "Hawaii" picture files in a folder separate from the "Europe 2014 Vacation" pictures, etc. Not giving my Premiere Elements project any thought at all as I busied myself cleaning up and organizing my 20,000 pictures.
So, long story long, ...so sorry....Feeling so good about myself and how I'm really getting organized digitally speaking, the next morning I opened up my PE11 video project, which I was planning to put the finishing touches to this week, by insertion of music as well as adding some more fade in or other fun effects. Much to my horror, my entire "show" was gone. The project was still there seemingly with all of the various slides and videos and their effects still in place, but every file (slide and video) in the show was the same red slide that says media off-line, in many different languages.
This is a project that 40 or 50 people are waiting for me to send them the link to see it, because each of them has contributed video clips to me, to be included as part of the grand and final consolidated project, and in its entirety is being given as a surprise to somebody special. So I can't just throw in the towel, give up, and toss my computer out the window in a fit of rage. If it were just for me and my entertainment, I may wait another year before picking it up and trying to create it again. But I can't do that because there are lots people are counting on it. And I really don't want to put together a kindergarten type project (no offense to Kindergarteners - I know they're pretty smart and computer savvy. They had my son and his class putting together Powerpoint presentations, etc. and this was 20 years ago) but don't want to just slap the videos back to back and boring slide show with no effects and editing and the hundreds of hours of customization and enhancements I had created within this project.
One of you techies or experienced video editors will know what I can do to salvage my project perhaps. A ray of hope.....this looks like it may be good news though I have no idea how to proceed, but I just found in the Adobe Premiere Elements Auto Save/ Adobe Premiere Elements Preview Files/project name, all of the files and clips from my project, prior to my changing all the source file names and locations. They all say Rendered-and then a long number with letters and numbers like this example Rendered fff53fac-3948-4722-aac6-1c2e198b5766.mpeg So all the pictures and videos have names like that and end with .mpeg. Then next to each pic or video is a blank white sheet with the top right corner folded down (dog-ear) and that is named the same as the pic or video next to which it sits, except instead of mpeg, they all end with xmp.
If there is anybody left reading this after my lengthy question, do you know how I can link up the red files that now appear in my project and that still have the formatting and editing instructions, but they are just waiting to find a link somehow back to the source document, which doesn't exist as they know it, but which exists somewhere in my computer. Unfortunately, the red screen doesn't show what the picture used to look like to help me find them again. But these rendered ones I found in Autosave do have the pic showing and even appear to have the formatting and editing in them because I can see some of the layered pictures with three or four slides on one clip that I had made.
Thanks for reading through to the end, and I would appreciate you providing any assistance, advice, etc. that could save or retrieve my labor intensive project. However, keep it at the 5th grade level of explanation, because it is quite obvious that my computer skills are lacking, to have landed in this mess to begin with. I'm afraid to touch anything now until I know if my project is salvageable, so I don't accidentally erase something that could have provided the cure.