8 Replies Latest reply on Jul 11, 2015 7:23 AM by A.T. Romano

    Help, help help Premiere Elements

    computer tadpole



      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.

      Thanks, Tim

        • 1. Re: Help, help help Premiere Elements
          A.T. Romano Level 7



          Good news and bad news.


          Somewhere along the line you must have moved, deleted, or renamed files and folders that went into the project after you saved closed. You cannot do that without serious negative consequences. When you import source media into the project, all you get in the project file are copies of the originals which remain intact at their hard drive save location. But, the project's copies must trace back to those originals at the location where they were when they were first imported into the project.


          A sure sign that this has happened is the project opening and you finding colorful media offline displays all over the place. And you should be getting a "Where is the file _____?" message for every (every) media disconnect. You use these messages to save yourself if

          a. You know where the specifically named missing files are


          b. You point each "Where is the file______?" message to the specific file that the message is asking for.


          Another possibility for the missing media syndrome is a malfunctioning external hard drive where you have stored your project's source media.


          The keys to success will be

          a. knowing where the named missing files are


          b. using the missing media messages for the reconnects


          c. if applicable, correcting any external hard drive malfunctions


          Please review and consider. Do not move or delete anything from the project at this time until we talk again.





          • 2. Re: Help, help help Premiere Elements
            computer tadpole Level 1

            Thanks ATR

            I'll try a and b.  I never did use any external hard drive for this project so we can eliminate c

            I do have the rendered files which contain every clip from my slide/video show.  If I copy them and put them all in a new folder, that would be just those specific files.  I wonder if PE could find them if I direct it into that folder?


            Thanks for your time and help.



            • 3. Re: Help, help help Premiere Elements
              A.T. Romano Level 7



              Do the original files still exist? Best direct the messages to them and not copies of the rendered files.


              Those messages want specially named files in specifically named folders.


              When you Timeline render, whether you have a video or still, for HD projects, those rendered files are all MPEG2.mpg video with an companion informational file xmp.


              Consider. I will be reading your thread for future developments come the morning morning.


              Thanks for the follow up.



              • 4. Re: Help, help help Premiere Elements
                computer tadpole Level 1

                Hey AT

                Thank you so much! 

                It dawned on me late last night that I had saved/backed up all the slides and videos used in the show, a couple months ago and I put them on Cloud. so I remembered that and went back to the cloud, and sure enough, there were all the files with their original names ( which really were not names, but were long numbers originally given the photo or  video....by the camera with which they were taken. That is how pics get their jpeg names, right.  I think that is how they get their original names)"

                I am following your suggestion not to use a connection to rendered file copies.


                So I am now going through the very laborious process of reattaching each clip to the show.  Here are my steps and tell me if you think it will work....


                AT, Also, think about if there is a way that these slides can reattach themselves since they are all in one folder, and the slides in the show have the same "name" as the slides and videos in the new folder that were downloaded from the cloud.  The paths would be different but file names the same.  I can't remember what the original pathway was to the source files when I dragged them originally into project assets.   Is there a way from the clips in project assets to see what the original path to the source file was, and what project assets still thinks it is, and I could re-create that pathway putting the cloud downloaded clips in the proper path that project assets already wants to use?


                1.  Download from the cloud all of the original pictures and videos used in the show


                2.  Saved them in their very own brand new created folder in my PC (They came zipped to me into my downloads folder, then I unzipped them into their own brand new folder)


                3.  Go back to my actual project in PE11 and click on project assets, which drops down all of my slides (yes, the numbers corresponding to the clip is there, but all of the clips are the same with a little icon indicating I imagine, that it doesn't know where the source file is)


                4  In project assets, I start at the very beginning of project assets and click on the first clip.


                5. While that clip is now "selected", I go up to "edit" button and click it....and on that drop down menu I click "Locate Media"


                6.  Then opens what could best be described as Premiere Elements version of Windows Explorer.  I direct it to look in the new folder, and then match up the numbers (name) of project asset clip with the source file with the same number (name)


                7,  This appears to work because when I do it, the clip in project assets becomes a little thumbnail of the actual picture, just like it normally always was and should be.


                So because I have 1000+ slides/videos to reattach, I may be here until Christmas.  I am grateful that at least I haven't lost my project and all the edits and styling and effects and transitions, etc., because I could never have recreated that part.

                So the problem is solved   BUT is there a way for my project assets to find their own link automatically, since all of the source files are sitting in the same folder and I'm  just manually matching slide number from project asset with the number of the slide in source file folder?


                Thanks again for your advice


                • 5. Re: Help, help help Premiere Elements
                  A.T. Romano Level 7



                  Am seeing some steps in your plan that I do not suspect will work.


                  Please review the following for the media project reconnect plan


                  1. In the long run, I think it is going to be best using the "Where is the file _____?" messages that you get when you open the project, rather than clicking Skip All to get into the project and trying to use Project Assets thumbnails in some way of another for the media project reconnects.


                  2. Given you now have all your project source files in a folder on the hard drive, and each file in the folder has the name of the file that existed at original import of the file into the project.....


                  The critical part is that, in that folder, will be a specific file name for a video file and a specific file name for a still or music file. If the "Where is the file ____?" message is asking for a specific file name, it is also looking for that file name associated with a specific type of source media. For example, if the message is looking for a video file named "Day at the Lake"; it is not going to accept as a substitute a still file which also happens to be named "Day at the Lake".


                  3. Count on doing each "Where is the file _______?" message one at a time, and be pleasantly surprised if doing one triggers some or all of the rest to reconnect automatically. No guarantees, but it can happen.


                  4. If you are concerned about losing edits to the missing before they went missing, you could always Skip All on the missing media messages, go to Project Assets and use the Replace Footage feature.

                  ATR Premiere Elements Troubleshooting: PE11: Replace Footage

                  But, as I said, right now, I am encouraging you to use the "Where is the file ______?" message for the media-project reconnects.


                  We will be watching for your progress.


                  Thanks again for the follow ups.



                  • 6. Re: Help, help help Premiere Elements
                    computer tadpole Level 1

                    You're so smart A. T.  Do you work at Adobe or are you just a user who is super knowledgeable and altruistic.

                    Your advice is spot on and # 3 in your suggestions which I've rewritten here.......3. Count on doing each "Where is the file

                    • 7. Re: Help, help help Premiere Elements
                      computer tadpole Level 1

                      You're so smart A. T.  Do you work at Adobe or are you just a user who is super knowledgeable and altruistic.

                      Your advice is spot on and # 3 in your suggestions which I've rewritten here.......3. Count on doing each "Where is the file

                      • 8. Re: Help, help help Premiere Elements
                        A.T. Romano Level 7



                        Thanks for the follow up. Sounds like workflow is moving forward. Always great news. And, great job sorting through the details of an often difficult task of media -  project reconnecting.


                        I am not affiliated with Adobe in any way. Just a Elements user (visitor here) who has an overactive troubleshooting gene.


                        Best wishes