16 Replies Latest reply on Feb 23, 2011 2:33 AM by nealeh

    If you only import photos and audio, you may want to read this.


      I have just entered the world of video in the last couple of weeks, and I have learned a lot!


      If you don't import video, just photographs and audio, and want to improve your ability to sync clips to clips, then you have more options than you may think.


      I use Premiere Elements (PE) to create music videos of photographs I have taken. I don't have any experience with shooting video and have never imported a video into PE. I have never even seen a video file. I can only speak of my experience with photographs and audio.


      The most important point I can make is that photographs and audio don't know and don't care about frame rates. So when you create a project in PE, select the highest frame rate template you can find. I use AVCHD LITE 720p60.


      Why does this matter?


      When you are moving audio and "video" clips around, you cannot simply place them anywhere you please. The start and end points of ALL clips MUST fall precisely on a frame. You cannot nudge clips expecting to have their begin or end points fall in-between a frame. You can turn the "Snap" option off all you want, but at the frame level, you ALWAYS snap to a frame.


      With that in mind, imagine trying to sync a video clip (in my case a photograph clip) to an audio peak. Say you want a photograph to display at the exact moment a snare drum is hit Unless you are real lucky, the snare drum audio peak will lie somewhere in-between a frame. OK, you may be thinking that you can simply move the start point of the video clip over the start point of the audio peak. In reality, what you can do is position the start point of the photograph to one of the frames that lie on either side of the audio peak. You cannot place the start point of the photograph precisely over the audio peak because the audio peak lies in-between a frame.


      So how can I precisely sync the photograph to the audio peak?


      You can edit the audio so that the audio peak falls precisely on a frame. Then you can align the photo clip to that frame.


      If you don't want to edit the audio, then there is only one more option, and it will get you closer to syncing the clip to the audio, but will still not be precise, but usually good enough. You can select to use a higher frame rate when creating your project.


      Still not with me? OK, imagine you have a frame rate of 4fps. That is, 4 frames per second. You can position your clips in only one of four frames within each second. That is not very precise. The granularity is rather low. Now imagine 60fps! Now you can position your clips in one of sixty frames within each second. That is way more precise and the granularity increases significantly. Now you can position your clips closer to the precise time you desire.


      It would be nice if PE had the option of a higher frame rate, like 120 or 240! Then you could nudge your clips more precisely than your ears or eyes could discern!