This could be one of a couple of issues, Luke.
What type of camcorder did your video footage come from and how did you get it into your computer? You could be dealing with an incompatible video type.
If you're working with still photos (as it seems), did you optimize the photos to no larger than 1000x750 pixels? Oversized photos are the chief cause of problems with this program, and photos taken directly from digital cameras can be 10-20 times the size of a video frame.
Also, is there a red line above your video clips on your timeline? This is an indication that your timeline needs to be rendered. To render it, press the Enter key on your keyboard and Premiere Elements will be a preview of your video. When the red line turns green, it should play much more smoothly.
If you're still having problems, it could be a lack of system resources or incompatible or outdated drivers in your operating system.
Dell usually has pretty good updated video (and audio) drivers, but I would check out the ATI site for your card's VERY latest drivers.
Along the lines of what Steve asked, regarding your still images, this ARTICLE might be useful to you.
Steve and Hunt, thanks again for your valuable suggestions. I did not realize I need to resize my stills to 1000x750 max and will study that issue, since I am sure some are oversized. I utilized a firewired Panasonic PV-GS320 to upload video clips from DV tape. That appeared to work without a hitch, except for the "incompatible Graphics Card Driver" error. I used Uniblue's Driver Detector to upgrade the graphic driver for my RADEON X800 XT card. I believe Driver Detector went to the ATI site, but updating didn't fix the incompatibility. Thus GPU playback is disabled, as is Background Rendering.
I am running a 3.6GHz Pentium 4 (Dell Dimension XPS Gen 3), with 3GB memory. I store the project on my C:, which has 155GB free.
There is a red line above most of both the stills and video clips timeline in my slideshow, so I do need to render. What surprises me is that, despite my current problems, the DVD burn ran just fine and produced acceptable output. Last night I tried disconnecting from the Internet and shutting down Zone Alarm before attempting to run playback in edit, just as I do without question when I burn. Surprisingly the playback freeze I was experiencing went away. I wasn't seeing any ZA alerts concerning access of system resources under PRE8, so my best guess at this point is a capacity issue or other conflict with ZA.
Even with ZA shut down and Internet connection severed, I continue to have problems with the first four items on the Help list. Online
Support is understandable, but why Help F1 and How to Use Help and Keyboard? When I select any of these, there appears to be a short wait, and then nothing. Same thing happened with ZA up and the Cat5 cable plugged back into the router. This is similar to problems I earlier reported in the Activating Component Window, where (with Internet connected) clicking on the embedd link had no effect. If I can solve this Help problem, I'll have peeled away one more issue holding me back from better utilization of PRE8.
I used Uniblue's Driver Detector to upgrade the graphic driver for my RADEON X800 XT card. I believe Driver Detector went to the ATI site, but updating didn't fix the incompatibility.
I do not know that program, but would definitely go to the ATI site myself and check the version # and date, just to be sure.
I did not realize I need to resize my stills to 1000x750 max and will study that issue, since I am sure some are oversized.
First, oversized images can stress one's system, and also the resizing (Scaling) algorithms in PS/PSE are better, and offer more control.
There is a red line above most of both the stills and video clips timeline in my slideshow, so I do need to render.
This is normal, as PrE must convert the stills into "video." I seldom bother to Render stills, unless I am doing a lot of Keyframing and need smooth playback.
Hunt, you are right on target about the Radeon display driver. AMD's site shows version 8.591, while Uniblue's Driver Scanner picked up version 8.582. I need to figure out how to update to the latest version without downloading ATI's Catalyst Software Suite in which it is included. A complication is relocation of my ATI Radeon X800 XT graphics card to AMD's "legacy driver support structure."
A further development on the Zone Alarm issue. Once I upgraded Trust Level Preimere 8 within ZA, I am now able to freely execute playback under edit without picture freezes. However the Help list access problems remain. I wonder if there is an Adobe Flash issue here, or perhaps an improper link to data on the Content disk. Any suggestions for further diagnosis of this problem would be appreciated.
I used to use ZA, but it got in my way more than it helped me. I kept having to tweak it for almost everything. Since I was behind a hardware firewall, I removed it. I'm trying to recall some of the issues that others had with it. Seems that this was back when I was using Pinnacle Studio 7, or 8, and the issues might have been with that program - or maybe Photoshop. Just too long ago, and also probably dozens of versions of ZA.
As for Flash, I know that most of the Adobe installers rely on it pretty heavily now, and not having the Flash Player up to date has caused issues for others. Still, that is for installation of Adobe programs, and not what you are doing.
You might explore the ATI Catalyst software a bit. With nVidia, I can choose to ONLY install the drivers. I've got one ATI, but it's an oldie, and that computer does not do any NLE work. I believe that I do have the Catalyst (or whatever it might have been called before) installed, with no negative impact on the programs used on that box.
Good luck, and please let us know if you can get the latest driver and then if that helps. Here's hoping,
I too gave up on Zone Alarm (and later Comodo). They gave so many problems with so many applications. My router has a hardware firewall and I also let Windows inbuilt firewall do it's thing. At intervals I check my PC against Steve Gibsons 'ShieldsUP!' site.
Insanity is hereditary, you get it from your children