In most cases this is a symptom of choosing the wrong preset. Where have your clips come from and how did they get onto your computer? And are you tying to mix clips from multiple sources with different file formats?
Also check these basics:
Install all Windows Updates.
Install latest version of Apple QuickTime (v7.6.8 at time of writing). Even if you don't use QuickTime, PRE relies heavily on it.
- Install most recent graphics and sound drivers from the manufacturers web sites.
- Run Disk Cleanup.
- Run Defragmenter.
- Temporarily disable any anti-virus realtime scanning.
If those don't help give us additional info:
- Use the GSpot Codec Information Utility to analyse the file and post screen image.
- Post back here with the necessary information described here: Got a Problem? How to Get Started
Insanity is hereditary, you get it from your children
Also if you render it it usually shows you what it should look like but this should only be necessary if you do complicated things like zoom in on a part of the picture.
To take the Render concept a bit further, what happens is that PrE creates an AVI file, just for playback at the ultimate quality, and these are really what one sees, when the Timeline has been Rendered. Think of these a bit like one would a "proxy" file.
I agree with Neale that if one has a Project Preset that matches the Assets 100%, things will be much better to begin with, and one will encounter fewer problems along the line. I believe that this is the single most important thing to remember, and is done at the beginning of the Project. When this is done properly, initially, then the other considerations for smoothest playback are:
CODEC of the original Asset files, like AVCHD, WMV, etc. Each CODEC can either cause more work (like WMV), or require more CPU power (like AVCHD).
Effects added, as Ted points out.
GPU power and settings, both in PrE and also in the GPU's console..
In PrE, one can also adjust the Program Monitor's Magnification to 100% (from Fit) to get the best viewing, but one will then need to adjust the Program Monitor's Panel size to do what Fit does automatically. [In PrPro, one also has an additional Quality setting, that will affect things greatly.]
In Timeline View Mode, there is a little colored line above the Clips. Red means that for smoothest playback, Rendering will be needed. A green line means that the material has been Rendered.
Thank You... I did everything
that was described and some success. After
all the updating I tried each format again and also tried
some various presets. The files that I
have (wmv, avi, and mod) are all on my desktop hard drive. When I put them in pe using the DSLR 640 preset they became clearer during the playback. How should I determine what preset I should use for specific file types? I am planning to get two more cameras. One canon sd1400 powershot that records in the mov format. I am in the market for a camcorder as well. I prefer canon but I really prefer finding somthing that allows me to convieniently get the footage into pe for editing without to many headaches... What format is preferable? Should I get the cameras that use the HCSD cards? I am kinda new as you can see and appreciate all of your help!...
>How should I determine what preset I should use for specific file types?
That is by knowing what CODEC is used inside the file
Neale already posted a link to GSPOT
Some more information...
Read Bill Hunt on a file type as WRAPPER http://forums.adobe.com/thread/440037?tstart=0
What is a CODEC... a Primer http://forums.adobe.com/thread/546811?tstart=0
What CODEC is INSIDE that file? http://forums.adobe.com/thread/440037?tstart=0
Nothing is ever as simple as it first seems
I am learning much in a short time... I have already downloaded and played with my new G spot as it were and opened some assets and found very detailed info... The G tells me that I do not need a new codec. Sounds good so far. What I still do not understand is how specifically to determine which presets to use for the various formats and codecs. Is there a chart for the most common ones?
In PrE 9, things just got a bit easier. The program will help you with the Preset, based on your source footage. I cannot give you the complete details, as I do not have PrE 9 yet. In PrPro CS5, one just drags a source file to the New icon, but I think that it's different in PrE. Others can tell you the specific details.
Otherwise, one makes a list of the attributes from G-Spot and then uses the drop-down for the Project Preset that matches those attributes.
Question: if you have multiple files types in the project, then can you optimize per file type or is there one preset for the project?
The original preset applies to the whole project. Many user do suffer when placing clips of different types in the same project. If you plan to do so, then load your clips, render and play through before doing any serious editing. You could maybe apply some transitions as well to see how they render. If you encounter problems doing this quick test you may need to convert all the clips to a common format before loading to PRE. You could also load each clip to a project with the clips format and export to a common format in which you load those exports.
You might find these articles from the FAQ helpful.
Insanity is hereditary, you get it from your children
You do NOT, by the way, want to mix video of different formats or from different sources in the same Premiere Elements project.
You should create a separate project for each source and export each as either Share/Computer/AVI DV for standard def video or Share/Computer/MPEG 1440x1080 hi-def and then combine the resultant footage in either a project set up for standard DV or hi-def HDV.
Seeing you are thinking of a cam corder compatable with PE9, it depends a lot on how much money you want to spend.
While Canon have the still camera market I think Sony lead the field in medium price movie cameras.
Professional stuff can be a different matter.
I recently researched camcorders that I could afford and bought a Sony CX350 (Solid state 32g memory with another 32g remopvable card))
I found it was noticeably better in every respect to a Canon of the same price (around $1,000 here in Australia.)
Its advantages above others were:-
The resolution on ACVHD 1900x1080i is every bit as good as the best full HD TV transmission I have ever seen on 1900x1080i
Skin color is very natural
Wide light dynamic range
Excellent optical shake stabilisation.
Wide Angle lens
Excelent auto mode plus manial touch screen spot focus & exposure
VGood low light performance
GPS tells you where each clip was taken.
The cheaper SONY model that looks like it that sells around $500 is nowhere near as good- but neaither are the others.
The real cheapies for $250 might be OK in bright sunlight on a tripod and that's just about all !
This is a bit off-topic, but I would just like to add that I have Steve's wonderful book covering PE9 (I also used his previous version for PE8), and I highly recommend it to all users as a first class PE aid (no, I have not financial or other connection to Steve -- I'm simply a very satisfied user of his book).