As far as the differences between the two pieces of software, I can't help you there as I don't have Elements. That said, the color output of your finished file will probably have no basis on the program you use to make your show--it's all dependent on the color of the original file, filters you apply during editing, and the output medium you use; so for what you're needing to do, the program you choose will probably not affect your finished product. It's what you do with that program that will make a difference...
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The main differences between the authoring capabilities (the assembly of DVD/BD, navigation and Menus, plus burning) of Encore (the authoring program, that ships and installs with PrPro) and PrE 9 are:
1.) Encore is a full-featured authoring program, offering a lot more power and flexibility, but at the expense of having to do it "by hand," where PrE 9 is very limited in the navigation that can be employed, and it uses Menu Sets for that automation. Though PSD's, like the Menus in Encore, they have many special aspects, that must be considered, when doing any customization.
A.) In Encore, one can create almost all sorts of navigation in the DVD/BD, limited almost exclusively to the limits imposed by the DVD, or BD specs.
B.) PrE 9 will allow Autoplay, with no Menu, or will automatically create Scene Menus, per the Chapter Markers that you add - and that is ALL. There will be no Into AV material. No Subtiltes. No supplemental Audio streams. Only linear navigation, or no navigation.
C.) Menus for Encore are much more easily customized, where there are some major conventions in those from PrE, that MUST be addressed.
2.) Encore can Burn an Image (ISO) - no Image in PrE, and can Burn a BD to Folder, which cannot be done in PrE - only for DVD.
3.) Encore offers the capability to adjust Layer Breaks for DL discs.
4.) Encore allows one to adjust the Burn speed, and in PrE, one is stuck with the "fastest" based on the speed of the media + the burner
5.) Encore allows output to a Flash delivery with pretty much full navigation.
6.) Encore allows for changes in the Subpicture Highlight Color Sets, and PrE will only do that, with some Menu Set editing.
7.) Encore offers a SlideShow feature, but I feel that it is rudimentary and limited, and assemble mine in PrPro, then go to Encore for authoring.
8.) Encore is a separate program, though interfaces with PrPro with ADL (Adobe Dynamic Link), and is NOT available as a stand-alone any more - only with PrPro.
There are probably more differences, and some of the above might not make any difference to you. Things can probably be summed up as: Encore = great power and flexibility, but with things being done manually, and PrE lacks the power and flexibility, but is semi-automatic, so probably easier to use on simple Projects.
Good luck, and hope this helps you make the decision,
[Edit] Sorry that some of the formatting for the Outline did not translate well. Gotta' explore the Outline formatting in the editing screen more, 'cause it would probably have fixed things. Sorry about that.
Thanks David. If by editing you mean the color adjustments I make either in Lightroom 3 or Photoshop CS5 then with all do respect that is not the case. The color I see on my Mac 30" display either while the images are in photoshop , present and i Movie or saved as a 1080p H264 file as quicktime movie from lightroom 3 all have the identical colors. The entire problem I am referring to in the orginal post occurs when I attempt to burn the movie files to a DVD. Images that are very faithful to the colors in the orginal landscape look like I intentionally maxed all the saturation sliders in Photohop and blew out the gamuts when I view the movie file a commercial flat panel TV. I questioned Apple folks a year ago on this and they said Final Cut would be reguired to have any chance of producing DVD's that would have reasonable color on commercial TV's. Movies I rent from Netflix all play with natural color, e.g., on my Samsung flat panel while the movies I burn on a DVD do not. Thus my questions regarding approrpoiate Adobe products to accomplish this. I have no need for high end video editing. Rather I need a way to burn DVD that matches reasonably what I see on my color corrected Apple monitor or for that matter what I see on PC's and Mac's with monitors that are not color corrected when I view the same photos on my web site (www.canaanvalleyphotogaphy.com).
It is my opinon that the software technology in the DVD rendering and burning function matters, but so far I do not have clue of what software to select.
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Well, see Bill's post above for a very in-depth explanation of the benefits of having Encore over what's built in to Elements.
That said, I can burn files that perfectly represent my color on my high-end Encore software or my cheapo Nero burning software--where you're probably running into trouble is in the codec that you're putting out. Different codecs use different color space settings. In Premiere Pro you've got a whole bunch of presets that are autoset for the best quality. Not sure if Elements has those or not. You don't reference what you've been using before for media output, so there's no way for us to help you figure out if you've got a problem with some other software/codec in getting your video onto a DVD.
How have you been arranging your pictures in a slideshow and exporting them before, that has given you the bad color?
Bill is Encore a free standing Adobe product or is it only available bundled with Premiere CS5 Pro? If it is free standing I might be able to experiement with the trial version before I purchase it. Encore does not appear as free standing product on the Adobe web page product list. Perhaps it is only avaible with the Production Premium or Master Collection Suites.
David, you comments are at the core of the problem. Other than producting fine art prints from either Lightroom 3 or PhotoShop CS5 and prior versions, I have no experience at all with media production. I am about to begin using InDesign to prepare both print and eBooks and some cases render them in acrobat pro. Simple PDF files I export from Lightroom 3 have faithful color rendition on diverse computer monitors and presumably the eBooks I produce with InDesign via the ePub format will render will on eBook readers like the iPad, Kindle and others. The only other media I wish to enable is the slide show mentioned in the orginal post.
Encore is no longer a free-standing program, and is only available with PrPro, as of CS3. Also, due to licensing limitations, the "trial" of Encore basically is disabled. Do not even think that one can do any form of try-out, but maybe some functionality in Encore CS5 has been added. The limitation is that no Adobe PrPro, or Encore trial has any MPEG-2 capabilities - only with the full-paid version. Sorry.
If all you want to do is slideshows, then it seems to me that going with a video production platform is way overkill...
Check out Ann's suggestion above.
And no, Encore is not a free-standing program. It comes bundled with Premiere Pro, so you'd either have to buy one of the Creative Suite collections that includes Premiere or else buy Premiere as a free-standing application.
One of the issues with Video production is that the color gamuts are not equal to those in printing. They are really quite limited. Not, with that said, PrPro offers a lot of great CC tools and scopes to get the best possible colors, and gamma. Color and gamma are topics that well covered, but usually in full books on the subject. I think that Craig (ShooterNZ) offered up a "reading list" for Video Broadcast CC, but maybe it was Colin?
Coming from an advertising still background, I was first horribly disappointed with the color limitations when clients began asking for Web work. I cried, watching my wonderful colors go to pot. Then, I began working in video, and more tears.
As a test, do a Project/Sequence with the synthetic media, Color Bars, and output those. Check at how faithfully they are reproduced.