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Yes, you're right. It's an artifact -- a component that was carried over from Premiere Pro but that was never functional in Premiere Elements.
I know the folks on the http://muvipix.com/phpBB3/ forum figured it out at one time, but I don't remember what it was originally for. Maybe if you ask there someone will chime in with the answer and how to turn it off.
I just hate mess
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The gray area indicates In & Out Points on the Timeline.
It usually surfaces when one has the focus on the Timeline, the CTI somewhere beyond 00;00;00;00 and the I (eye key), or the O (oh key) is hit. It is functional in PrE, though as one cannot Import a Sequence (the PrPro reference to a Timeline and its Assets), or Copy one Sequence to another, it is of little use. Let's just say that it is an "undocumented feature."
The Muvipix article that Steve links to is a good reference.
Now I now how I could turned it On. Thanks Hunt.
So if i understand it well I can put my project.prel to PrPro and even set the In/Out in PrE by "gray area bar"?
But what is the CTI? (Computer Telephony Integration? Coaches Training Institution?)
I've tryed to do it again and nothing happend.
Steve gave link to Muvipix, not to article.
I'm registered now in Muviepix so I will search for it anyway, but if you know exactly where that article is please post it.
CTI is Current Time Indicator. By default it shows your position in the project in Hrs:Min:Secs:Frame. In Project Settings you can change this display to Frames.
Insanity is hereditary, you get it from your children
Neale has given you the answer there. Sorry for the jargon. I usually do a parenthetic definition, (Current Time Indicator), but got lazy. Mea culpa, mea culpa. We see the CTI as a little moving icon on Timeline, with the red "Edit Line" attached. I will not be so lazy in the future.
As for bringing the PREL into PrPro, with either Open, or Import Project (something that PrE lacks), that will work up to a point and with a few exceptions. The "up to a point," is regarding versions. I can Open/Import Project from PrE 4 into my PrPro 2.0, but cannot do so with PrE 8 Projects. I have never tried with PrE 7 Projects, but would guess that it would be a no-go. I would also assume that PrPro CS5 would have few issues with PrE 7, or PrE 8 Projects, but do not know for a fact.
Now, for those exceptions: Themes and Instant Movie Projects will not Open/Import well, if at all, due to PrPro having nothing like that. Also, Transitions (3rd party like some of the NewBlue included ones) will be problematic, unless they also exist in PrPro. Same for some of the Effects.
In PrPro, I have Opened/Imported much older Pr and PrPro Projects, and when there is a missing Transition, PrPro signals this and gives me the exact location of the faulting Transition (via the TimeCode). In most cases, it will even try and tell me the name of the Transition, so I can just replace it with one that exists in PrPro - neat!
The Timeline In & Out Points have some uses in PrPro, but can also cause issues, such as limiting the area of the Timeline, where one can add Clips. If one has set the Timeline's Out Point to less than the full Duration, and then they attempt to add Clips beyond that Out Point, they cannot. The program now limits operations to the Out Point, so it should be either extended, or eliminated.
I do not know of a real use for these In & Out Points (Timeline) in PrE, but there might be something that I am missing. With the lack of detailed info (no manual), there could be some use for this "feature," but there seems to be no documentation. IIRC, it took quite a bit of digging and then a comment from an Adobe tech, who just happened by, to get the full details, back when this first came up in this forum (before my days here, but I remember reading that older thread - probably long gone, as of the forum changeover).
Now, the WAB (Work Area Bar) will do many of the things that the Timeline In & Out Points can do, and IS fully available in PrE. It mostly affects Share/Export of the Timeline.
Back in PrPro, it is often used to limit how much of the Timeline is included, when one Nests a Timeline into another. This is a feature that PrE does not have.
This is just a guess, but I would think that about the only use for this "feature" would be to limit playback of the Timeline to just a smaller segment. Guess that it's time to go play with this and find out for sure.
I can turn it On in the Property panel Timeline, not in the timeline. I can't turn it off, but it doesn't matter.
Thank You all. Now I know it won't be useful for me.
There ought to be some way to fully turn it OFF, but I'm not even sure where to look. There might be some tips in the linked Muvipix, or the Adobe Forum articles, but it's been a very long time, since I read those.
OTOH, I would assume that a workflow similar to this would yield about the same results:
1.) Hit \ [Backslash key], to zoom out to the full Timeline (to make sure that you have no "Orpahns."
2.) Make sure that the Timeline has focus, by clicking in the area, just above the top Video Track Header (actually anywhere in the Timeline, that is not a text box, or similar).
3.) Hit Home key to get to 00;00;00;00, and hit the I (eye key) to set the Timeline In Point to the very beginning of the Timeline
4.) Hit the End key to get to the last Frame in the Timeline, and hit the O (oh key) to add an Out Point to the very end of the Timeline
That will extend that gray bar for the full Duration of the Timeline, so anything that would be controlled by the Timeline In & Out Points would be 100% of your Timeline.