I found a solution to this problem, but it is quite a bit sidewards (through Lightroom) as opposed to straight-ahead (strictly through PremEl). It does work though.
Just use Adobe Lightroom (4.0, for me) with the Stills Collection, Edit, Sync, Slideshow, Export to 720p method to create an intermediate video file. In PremEl, this intermediate file can easily be faded in and out as needed, with just the couple of edit points to control it (as was my original desire). Encodes out of PremEl then work pretty quickly too, if all the material has previously been encoded into 720p - it's as though the final encode is mostly a copy. I would say the ultimate output quality suffers with this mechanism, the it's still fairly good. This subtle loss of quality was one of my original reasons to try for a one-pass mechanism strictly through PremEl.
Another advantage of this method is that you can straighten out the horizon & make a couple basic image edits, to increase the quality & maybe help cancel out the loss referred to above, with the multiple edit steps.
There is a way to vary the brightness of your stills across the Timeline series in Premiere Elements 12/12.1, 13/13.1, and 14 without using any other programs and without making adjustments to the individual stills. The perk comes from the introduction of "Adjustment Layer" which is not offered in version 11.
For 11, I would have suggested exporting the Timeline of stills to file to obtain the video version to work with in a new project. I would not have involved another program. But, if you see perks in doing that, so be it.
Any questions about the above, please do not hesitate to ask.
Ok, thanx ATR!
That's pretty worthwhile information. I usually upgrade every three versions, so as PremEl 14 starts to be replaced i'll probably upgrade and then get to take advantage of that new feature, which sounds like it should be a 100% solution for me!
I guess i was happy to pick up that other technique out of Lightroom, as that 'Sync' step is something i had heard about but not been taking advantage of.
Thanks for the follow up.
If you do decide to update to a later version of Premiere Elements, I would suggest that you evaluate the tryout before purchase to assure the compatibility of the version with your computer environment and project goals. Lots of changes even from 11 to 14. Several important feature removals as well as advantages.
If more information needed, please do not hesitate to ask.