What model of camcorder is your video coming from and how did you get it into your computer? Which project settings did you select when you set up your Premiere Elements project?
In most cases, the video data does not change in any way when you add it to Premiere Elements. This means that, if you're seeing this problem before you add effects, it's because caused by something in your camcorder. But that depends on which kind of camcorder you're using.
If there is a red line above the clips on your timeline, you will need to render (press Enter) to see your video at full quality.
Thank you so much Steve, the camera is Cannon HD Vixia HF M30. The Project settings are Editing mode at 1080i, timebase 29.97 fr/sec, 1920/1080, 30fps. I first got the video onto my hard drive then imported to Prel 8. I don't know what i'm doing wrong but the lighting variations between clips remain after rendering.
In the camera settings, was Exposure set to Auto?
It would be helpful if you were more specific, Usora.
Did you shoot your video in MXP mode? And then did you select the AVCHD Full HD 1920x1080 stereo project preset?
Also, how did you get your video onto your hard drive? Did you use Premiere Elements' Get Media/From AVCHD and Hard Drive Camcorder tool?
If you had the camera on auto exposure, the slightest change in content such as a different person walking into the scene will change the exposure and or black level.
You can change the gain or video level of any clip using the appropriate preset applied seperately to each clip.
Brightness controls the blackness of the picture while Contrast controls the difference between the black and white.
Also the gain is shown by a yellow line in the clip and you can adjust the height of this line in each clip with the mouse or type in the value to get it exact.
If all else fails use a dissolve between the clips and you wont notice the change so much!
That would be a filmers biggest mistake is to leave the white balance in auto...never ever use auto white balance. Do a check of your footage by using a video play back on your computer like Quicktime or Window Media Player what ever can play your footage files with out importing to your PreE 8 to see if your footage plays back the same way it plays in PreE 8 and you will know right there if you made the mistake on not setting your camera's white balance. If it does you obviously didn't set the white balance and every clip you recorded had a different balance. Next time use a white or grey scale card to balance the one scene and when you are ready to do a completley new scene where light setting is different repeat the procedure. Remember, once the scene lighting is setup and ready to shoot, film all your different wideshots, angle shots, etc without changing the light setup with the exceptions of minor adjustment for closeup lighting. You can get a light tutorial book on these technics or you can go to Youtube and get that same information for free. LOL I made that mistake on vacation hiking in the woods the balance was all over the place lucky for me it was only a vacation video and not a scripted film project.
Regarding white balance, while it is important, it depends a lot on how good your camera is.
Some popular cameras are quite hopeless with this and flesh tomes in general but Sony have a very clever system.
I have two Sony cameras and in general, the end result is better than what you would get with manual white balance.
The technique of using a white card can give misleading results because the source of the light illumination the card is often not quite the same colour temperature as the whole scene. Outside colour temperature will change considerably as a cloud temporarily obscures the sun.
I have been caught a few times forgetting I had left it on manual color balance and using the camera on another day in different conditions unknowingly on manual. Moderate colour errors are not always visible in the viewfinder.