Adobe Premiere Elements

Automatic is a major theme of the 2018 version of Premiere Elements, Adobe’s enthusiast-level video editing software . The program can automatically find and save great still shots from your video clips and automatically trim out boring patches. It remains a very user-friendly, capable product, with lots of tools that help you produce compelling movies from your video clips. Premiere Elements falls short of Editors’ Choices CyberLink PowerDirector and Corel VideoStudio, however, when it comes to rendering speed and support for new video technologies like 360-degree VR content and the high-efficiency HEVC H.265 codec used by newer iPhones.

. The program can automatically find and save great still shots from your video clips and automatically trim out boring patches. It remains a very user-friendly, capable product, with lots of tools that help you produce compelling movies from your video clips. Premiere Elements falls short of Editors’ Choices CyberLink PowerDirector and Corel VideoStudio, however, when it comes to rendering speed and support for new video technologies like 360-degree VR content and the high-efficiency HEVC H.265 codec used by newer iPhones.

Premiere Elements is available for Windows 7 SP1 and later and macOS 10.10 and later. (I review the Windows version here.) You can get it together with Photoshop Elements for $149.99 or as a standalone app for $99.99. These are one-time fees. Note that Premiere Elements is not a part of Adobe’s subscription-based Creative Cloud service. If you’re upgrading from a previous version, those prices drop to $119.99 and $79.99, respectively. A free trial gets you 30 days of full-featured program use, but any videos with the trial get stamped with a watermark.

Premiere Elements is available for Windows 7 SP1 and later and macOS 10.10 and later. (I review the Windows version here.) You can get it together with

for $149.99 or as a standalone app for $99.99. These are one-time fees. Note that Premiere Elements is not a part of Adobe’s subscription-based Creative Cloud service. If you’re upgrading from a previous version, those prices drop to $119.99 and $79.99, respectively. A free trial gets you 30 days of full-featured program use, but any videos with the trial get stamped with a watermark.

Make sure you have a fast Internet connection and a capacious hard drive before installing the program, as it takes up 1.5GB of disk space. You also need a reasonably poweful machine with a multicore CPU (at least 2GHz), and at the very least 4GB of RAM and 5GB of available hard drive space. On Windows, the app requires SSE2 support on the CPU and a DirectX 9 or 10 graphics card with at least a 1280 by 800 resolution monitor. When you firs t launch the program, it asks if you want to send diagnostic info to Adobe.

Make sure you have a fast Internet connection and a capacious hard drive before installing the program, as it takes up 1.5GB of disk space. You also need a reasonably poweful machine with a multicore CPU (at least 2GHz), and at the very least 4GB of RAM and 5GB of available hard drive space. On Windows, the app requires SSE2 support on the CPU and a DirectX 9 or 10 graphics card with at least

For longtime Premiere Elements users, here’s a quick rundown of what’s new. It’s less impressive than what we saw in this year’s release of Photoshop Elements, which added whizzbang automatic curation to find your best photos–that feature doesn’t apply to video content.

Candid Moments. This new feature picks the best still images from your video content, so you don’t have to worry about missing a good shot while you’re recording.

This new feature picks the best still images from your video content, so you don’t have to worry about missing a good shot while you’re recording.

Smart Trim. We’ve all shot videos that go on a bit too long. Smart Trim aims to cut out the chaff and just leave the good kernel of video action. I’ve seen similar tools in other software in the past, but Adobe now uses modern AI techniques and face recognition to improve the process.

We’ve all shot videos that go on a bit too long. Smart Trim aims to cut out the chaff and just leave the good kernel of video action. I’ve seen similar tools in other software in the past, but Adobe now uses modern AI techniques and face recognition to improve the process.

Freeze Frame with Motion Titles. This is a Guided Edit (see below) that takes you through the process of creating a freeze frame and then adding a motion title. Premiere Elements already had the ability to produce this effect, but the Guided Edit takes the pain out of the process.

This is a Guided Edit (see below) that takes you through the process of creating a freeze frame and then adding a motion title. Premiere Elements already had the ability to produce this effect, but the Guided Edit takes the pain out of the process.

Bounce Back. This is another new Guided Edit that resembles the iOS Bounce effect in which a video’s motion repeats in forward and backward directions.

This is another new Guided Edit that resembles the iOS Bounce effect in which a video’s motion repeats in forward and backward directions.

Fix Action Cam Xootage. CyberLink PowerDirector came out with its Action Cam Center a couple versions ago, and this newly added Premiere Elements tool does the same kinds of things, such as fixing fisheye lens distortion and color correction.

came out with its Action Cam Center a couple versions ago, and this newly added Premiere Elements tool does the same kinds of things, such as fixing fisheye lens distortion and color correction.

Create an Animated Social Post. The most common way to get your cleverness out into the world these days is to post it on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. This final new Guided Edit lets you turn your bland raw videos into eye-catching social posts with animated text.

The most common way to get your cleverness out into the world these days is to post it on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. This final new Guided Edit lets you turn your bland raw videos into eye-catching social posts with animated text.

Changes to Presets. You now get separate presets for NTSC, PAL, and full HD presets for Facebook and Vimeo.

Animated GIF Export. This one is actually a big deal for me, since I’ve suffered through creating an animated GIF from a short video using Premiere Pro or other software.

since I’ve suffered through creating an animated GIF from a short video using Premiere Pro or other software.

As is the case for its companion app, Photoshop Elements, some of the biggest changes to the Premiere Elements interface in the 2018 version are found in the revamped Organizer utility. The separate Organizer window is where you import, rate, keyword tag, and share media online. It’s also where you output your work to DVDs and other project formats. Mode options appear right at the top of the Organizer, including eLive, Media, People, Places, and Events. The last three give you helpful ways of viewing your media. The Organizer is somewhat skewed toward photos–its Instant Fix button only works for photos, as does the Places view. It has, however, been much simplified and improved over the years.

The Organizer shows off its new chops when you tap the Search magnifying glass icon in the top window border. A new set of buttons appears along the left edge, letting you filter your search by automatic AI-generated Smart Tags, People, Places, Dates, Keywords, Albums, Folders, Media Types, and Star Ratings. You can combine search types, looking up, for example, pictures of Jordan Minor taken in New York City in September. Unfortunately, the Smart Tags didn’t find my video content, even when I had a video nearly identical to a photo of the same subject it did find.

The Organizer shows off its new chops when you tap the Search magnifying glass icon in the top window border. A new set of buttons appears along the left edge, letting you filter your search by automatic AI-generated Smart Tags, People, Places, Dates, Keywords, Albums, Folders, Media Types, and Star Ratings. You can combine search types, looking up, for example, pictures of Jordan Minor taken in New York City in September. Unfortunately, the Smart Tags didn’t find my video content, even when I had a video nearly identical to a photo of the same subject it

The eLive tab lives in the Organizer, too. This is where you find product news, ideas, and tutorials. And the Organizer’s Places tab can handle video files, letting you drag and drop clips onto the map for geo-organization of that media format, as well as still photos.

Touch screens on PCs are increasingly common, and they get excellent support in the recent versions of Windows. I’m happy to see Adobe also putting in the effort to support this input option, at least in the Organizer and in Premiere Element’s Quick mode. That said, the support could be better. You can scrub through video and add and split clips, but the program doesn’t have button-accessible tools the way PowerDirector does. Some controls are still on the small side for pudgy-finger manipulation.

Touch screens on PCs are increasingly common, and they get excellent support in the recent versions of

I’m happy to see Adobe also putting in the effort to support this input option, at least in the Organizer and in Premiere Element’s Quick mode. That said, the support could be better. You can scrub through video and add and split clips, but the program doesn’t have button-accessible tools the way PowerDirector does. Some controls are still on the small side for pudgy-finger manipulation.

Premiere Elements’ video editing interface remains largely the same in the latest version, with the standard timeline across the bottom and preview and content panels sharing the top half of its window. I like that the content panel collapses when you’re not using it, for a bigger view of the video window. The editing interface maintains its four mode tabs: eLive, Quick, Guided, and Expert.

As with most consumer video editing software, the program creates a lower-resolution preview version of your clips for immediate quick performance. You can hit the Render button at any time to see the full-resolution movie, but this can take many minutes, depending on your video length and resolution. You can’t render just one clip or section, just the whole movie. A line above the timeline shows which clips are rendered–green for done, and yellow for not ready. Even using lower-resolution previews, however, I still experienced video stutter when working with multiple overlay tracks.

You can capture and import video and photos from within the editor as well as from Organizer. The Editor’s Get Media button offers choices for Flip, Camera, DV Camcorder, HDV Camcorder, DVD camera, Webcam, and WDM. Elements supports 4K content, so owners of a GoPro Hero4 or an iPhone 6S or newer can work with their cameras’ top resolutions. It doesn’t, however, support the H.265 High Efficiency Video Coding format, and 3D video clips are still unsupported in Premiere Elements. Competitors such as Magix Movie Edit Pro , Sony Movie Studio, and PowerDirector have long supported this extra dimension.

You can capture and import video and photos from within the editor as well as from Organizer. The Editor’s Get Media button offers choices for Flip, Camera, DV Camcorder, HDV Camcorder, DVD camera, Webcam, and WDM. Elements supports 4K content, so owners of a GoPro Hero4 or an iPhone 6S or newer can work with their cameras’ top resolutions. It doesn’t, however, support the H.265

Video Coding format, and 3D video clips are still unsupported in Premiere Elements. Competitors such as

Premiere Elements also lacks screen-cam recording, which lets you create videos of desktop activity on your computer screen, a feature offered by Corel VideoStudio Pro and PowerDirector. And there’s no multicam editing feature, which lets you sync the same scene shot with different cameras at different angles, as found in PowerDirector and Magix Movie Edit Pro. Mac users get strong multicam editing in Final Cut Pro X , our Editors’ Choice for video editing on the Mac.

Premiere Elements also lacks screen-cam recording, which lets you create videos of desktop activity on your computer screen, a feature offered by Corel VideoStudio Pro and PowerDirector. And there’s no

editing feature, which lets you sync the same scene shot with different cameras at different angles, as found in PowerDirector and Magix Movie Edit Pro. Mac users get strong

The Project Assets panel helpfully drops down to show thumbnails of all your clips, audio, and image files. This resembles the way pro software uses bins to keep track of assets. There’s also a helpful History window, which lets you see what your project looked like at any point during your previous edits. You can also search within the transition and effect selection boxes, which I find helpful.

The Project Assets panel helpfully drops down to show thumbnails of all your clips, audio, and image files. This resembles the way pro software uses bins to keep track of assets. There’s also a helpful History window, which lets you see what your project looked like at any point during your previous edits. You can also

One thing I miss on the Expert mode’s timeline is the ability to quickly solo a track, hiding all the others, though you can hide either a video or audio track by clicking on the film or speaker icons at the head of the timeline. Also missing is the ability to zoom the timeline in and out with the mouse wheel, which most competitors offer.

Quick mode uses an iMovie-like storyboard view of clips and is one of the cleanest views you’ll see anywhere. You can’t pop out panels into their own separate windows as you can in Sony Movie Studio , but you can use a dual-monitor setup. The Quick mode does indeed get you going fast, with a large Add Media box in the middle.

Quick mode uses an iMovie-like storyboard view of clips and is one of the cleanest views you’ll see anywhere. You can’t pop out panels into their own separate windows as you can in

, but you can use a dual-monitor setup. The Quick mode does indeed get you going fast, with a large Add Media box in the middle.

Despite its simplicity, Quick mode has a button bar along the bottom of the screen offering plenty of editing tools, including color and light adjustments, transitions, titles, FX, music, and graphics. I like the Auto options for lighting and color, and they worked well in my testing. The Smart Fix tool attempts to automatically correct all this at once, and did a good job on some of my test clips, though on several it reported doing nothing.

mode has a button bar along the bottom of the screen offering plenty of editing tools, including color and light adjustments, transitions, titles, FX, music, and graphics. I like the Auto options for lighting and color, and they worked well in my testing. The Smart Fix tool attempts to automatically correct all this at once, and did a good job on some of my test clips, though on several it reported doing nothing.

Thumbnails representing transitions are not animated in your own clip in the interface; they’re just a still image with A and B. I do like how, when you choose fade in or out (the most often-used transition), the advanced timeline shows a line graph that lets you adjust the timing of the fade in and out. I also like that a clear dialog lets you choose where a transition takes place–at the first clip, overlapping the two, or on the second. The timeline is magnetic, helpfully snapping a clip to the edge of a preceding one when you drag it near.

Thumbnails representing transitions are not animated in your own clip in the interface; they’re just a still image with A and B. I do like how, when you choose fade in or out (the most often-used transition), the advanced timeline shows a line graph that lets you adjust the timing of the fade in and out. I also like that

you choose where a transition takes place–at the first clip, overlapping the two, or on the second. The timeline is magnetic, helpfully snapping a clip to the edge of a preceding one when you drag it near.

Premiere Element’s Smart Trim identifies poor-quality sections of your media and can delete them all at once. New for the 2018 update are Style choices–People, Action, and Mix–which affect what sections of the clips are retained. It automatically chose Action for my bike-stunt sample video, and trim suggestions appeared with no waiting required. You can preview the suggested trims, and it did a pretty good job of selecting the most active scenes, though one short section was dull, and some further-away bike tricks weren’t included. It also removed out-of-focus and shaky sections, which you want. Handles let you easily extend its selections, and you can simply hit the Delete key to remove one. If you have long footage of limited interest, Smart Trim is a helpful tool.

Premiere Element’s Smart Trim identifies poor-quality sections of your media and can delete them all at once. New for the 2018 update

Style choices–People, Action, and Mix–which affect what sections of the clips are retained. It automatically chose Action for my bike-stunt sample video, and trim suggestions appeared with no waiting required. You can preview the suggested trims, and it did a pretty good job of selecting the most active scenes, though one short section was dull, and some further-away bike tricks weren’t included. It also removed out-of-focus and shaky sections, which you want. Handles let you easily extend its selections, and you can simply hit the Delete key to remove one. If you have long footage of limited interest, Smart Trim is a helpful tool.

Premiere Elements lets you apply video stabilization from either Quick or Expert mode by choosing Shake Stabilizer from the Adjust panel. There are two methods of stabilization accessible from buttons–Quick and Detailed. Quick isn’t actually that quick: My 1:35-minute clip took about 10 minutes to stabilize in Quick mode. At least Premiere Elements shows you the progress–minutes left, percent done, and current frame.

Premiere Elements lets you apply video stabilization from either Quick or Expert mode by choosing Shake Stabilizer from the Adjust panel. There are two methods of stabilization accessible from buttons–Quick and Detailed. Quick isn’t actually that quick: My 1:35-minute clip took about 10 minutes to stabilize in Quick mode. At least Premiere Elements shows you the progress–minutes left, percent done, and

After that, a banner message says, “To avoid extreme cropping, set Framing to Stabilize only or adjust other parameters.” In my testing, this meant going into the Detailed panel, and then choosing Advanced, where I had a lot of choices, such as smoothness, crop percent, and edge feather. It’s a powerful tool, but you’ll need patience for long clips. Large bumps aren’t always fixed, even with Smoothness set to 100 percent. One cool choice is Synthesize Edges, which prevents cropping.

After that, a banner message says, “To avoid extreme cropping, set Framing to Stabilize only or adjust other parameters.” In my testing, this meant going into the Detailed

and then choosing Advanced, where I had a lot of choices, such as smoothness, crop percent, and edge feather. It’s a powerful tool, but you’ll need patience for long clips. Large bumps aren’t always fixed, even with Smoothness set to 100 percent. One cool choice

Dehaze, a feature that has made its way into a lot of photo editing software, is available from Premiere Elements’ Effects panel’s Advanced Adjustment section. It did a fine job of adding contrast and saturation to my test landscape footage, as you can see in the nearby screenshot.

Premiere Elements’ Guided Edit tools hold your hand through the steps of creating effects that are more complex than just pressing a button or adjusting a slider. You find them at the bottom of the drop-down menu when you tap the Guided Edits mode-switcher button. They display tooltips that tell you exactly what to do, and even prevent you from clicking Next until you’ve completed a step. There are now 18 Guided Edits.

Premiere Elements’ Guided Edit tools hold your hand through the steps of creating effects that are more complex than just pressing a button or adjusting a slider. You find them at the bottom of the drop-down menu when you tap the Guided Edits mode-switcher button. They display tooltips that tell you exactly what to

and even prevent you from clicking Next until you’ve completed a step. There are now 18 Guided Edits.

New for the 2018 version are Freeze Frame with Motion Titles, Bounce Back (which creates a repeating back-and-forward effect), Fix Action Cam Footage, and Create an Animated Social Post. The first two are pretty self-explanatory and worked as expected, so I’ll just detail the last two.

Freeze Frame with Motion Titles, Bounce Back (which creates a repeating back-and-forward effect), Fix Action Cam Footage, and Create an Animated Social Post. The first two are pretty self-explanatory and worked as expected, so I’ll just detail the last two.

There’s a big overlap between video editing enthusiasts and action cam shooters. Top adventure YouTubers like Chris Rogers and Atua Mo’e are good examples. CyberLink PowerDirector appealed to this audience with its Action Cam Center tool in version 14, which dates back a few years. Like that tool, Adobe’s Action Cam Fix Action Cam Footage Guided Edit addresses lens distortion, lighting, and color. The two tools differ in that Adobe directs users to the previously described Smart Trim tool, while PowerDirector adds effects like stabilization, time-shift, and freeze frame. The Adobe tool does improve footage, but for my money, the PowerDirector version of this offering is more powerful.

There’s a big overlap between video editing enthusiasts and action cam shooters. Top adventure YouTubers like Chris Rogers and

are good examples. CyberLink PowerDirector appealed to this audience with its Action Cam Center tool in version 14, which dates back a few years. Like that tool, Adobe’s Action Cam Fix Action Cam Footage Guided Edit addresses lens distortion, lighting, and color. The two tools differ in that Adobe directs users to the previously described Smart Trim tool, while PowerDirector adds effects like stabilization, time-shift, and freeze frame. The Adobe tool does improve footage, but for my money, the PowerDirector version of this offering is more powerful.

The Create an Animated Social Post owes its existence to those punchy captioned videos you see on Facebook and Instagram. The guide starts you by directing you to the motion title tool. It also has you apply motion to the main video so that it slides from left to right. Finally, it directs you to the social sharing panel. In all, it’s not a very ambitious tool, but some may find it helpful.

The Color Pop Guided Edit replicates an effect that most people first saw in Spielberg’s Schindler’s List, in which a powerful effect highlighted a young girl in a red coat in the midst of a primarily black-and-white movie. You start with the Color Pop Guided Edit by switching to Expert mode, and then pick the Red Noir Hollywood Look from the Effects menu. Then you open the HSL Tuner tool, from which you can adjust not only the red content, but also that of seven other colors. One weakness of this approach is that it pops everything of the specified color. In CyberLink PowerDirector and other apps, you can create a mask or use motion tracking to limit where the color pops.

in which a powerful effect highlighted a young girl in a red coat in the midst of a primarily black-and-white movie. You start with the Color Pop Guided Edit by switching to Expert mode, and then pick the Red Noir Hollywood Look from the Effects menu. Then you open the HSL Tuner tool, from which you can adjust not only the red

This new tool is available in either Quick or Expert mode, and it lives in the Toolbar’s Tools/Video group. Before you can use it, you have to select video clip(s). The tool looks for faces that are in focus and well lighted. It actually did a great job of identifying pleasing stills from my video walk around the office. You can use a slider to create more or fewer shots, or simply click on a tool at the cursor to add one on-demand.

and it lives in the Toolbar’s Tools/Video group. Before you can use it, you have to select video clip(s). The tool looks for faces that are in focus and well lighted. It actually did a great job of identifying pleasing stills from my video walk around the office. You can use a slider to create more or fewer

A feature shared by Photoshop Elements and Premiere Elements is Auto Smart Tone. After adjusting the image to its best-guess fix, this lighting correction shows a control puck in the center of a rectangle, with four extremes shown in thumbnails in the four corners of the preview window, towards which you can drag the puck and refine the app’s correction. In Premiere Elements, the tool finds similar scenes within a clip for correcting at the same time. The tool let me noticeably improve a test clip’s lighting.

A feature shared by Photoshop Elements and Premiere Elements is Auto Smart Tone. After adjusting the image to its best-guess fix, this lighting correction shows a control puck in the center of a rectangle, with four extremes shown in thumbnails in the four corners of the preview window, towards which you can drag the puck and refine the app’s correction. In Premiere Elements, the tool finds similar scenes within a clip for correcting at the same time. The tool

All the effects we’ve come to expect in a consumer video editor are here. There’s a wealth of transitions, picture-in-picture, chroma-keying, scaling, opacity, and even keyframe-timed effects. There are dozens of animated and still picture-in-picture presets, but it’s easy just to drag a clip above another on the timeline and resize it. And the Graphics tool can insert animated and still objects such as flying birds (and other animals), stars, snow, and speech bubbles.

Elements’ Video Collage feature is basically a set of templates for Picture-in-Picture Mode. Available from the Create menu, the Video Collage interface does make it easy to drop clips into prefab templates that even include animated motion. It’s a lot easier than messing with keyframe editing! You can also add thematic background music with a button click, and choose whether to play the component video clips altogether or in sequence. Cleverly, the background is lowered during speech in the clips, and it stretches to fit your movie.

Elements’ Video Collage feature is basically a set of templates for Picture-in-Picture Mode. Available from the Create menu, the Video Collage interface does make it easy to drop clips into prefab templates that even include animated motion. It’s a lot easier than messing with keyframe editing! You can also add thematic background music with a button click, and choose whether to play the component video clips altogether or in sequence. Cleverly, the background is lowered during

The app’s chroma-key works well, with good control over opacity and chroma threshold, but at one point, when moving the threshold slider, my background in the preview switched to blue. When you add a clip with a solid background to your timeline in Expert mode, a dialog asks if you want to use the Videomerge feature, which makes the background transparent. You can even use Videomerge on non-green-screen clips, for a degree of overlay transparency.

You get a slew of spiffy NewBlue effects (as you do in PowerDirector), including Film Look, which adds damage, sepia tint, and jitter with a choice of wear patterns, to make your movie look like it was shot in Charlie Chaplin’s day. Frankly, my interest in photos with retro effects is wearing as thin as the image on a hundred-year-old negative, but I’m sure many still find them charming. The FilmLooks effects offer a variety of looks, including a bright and blurry Dreamy, Hollywood Movie, which pumps up colors, and Pandora, which gives your movie the cool color cast of that title. These effects, however, are not always adjustable–some are either on or off. And applying a FilmLooks effect removes any other effects adjustments you’ve made to the clip.

A powerful tool in Premiere Elements is the three-way color corrector. This lets you pump up a selected hue separately for midtones , highlights, and shadows.

A powerful tool in Premiere Elements is the three-way color corrector. This lets you pump up a selected hue separately for

The app’s six preset Motion Titles include Contemporary, Formal, Geometric, Decorative, Typography, and Fun, along with a custom option. These are very professional looking, and most offer opening , ending, and lower-third options. You also get good customizability with fonts, background image (including transparent through to your video), and you can even change the animation type–wipe to center, fly in with twist, and so on.

The app’s six preset Motion Titles include Contemporary, Formal, Geometric, Decorative, Typography, and Fun, along with a custom option. These are very professional looking, and most offer

, ending, and lower-third options. You also get good customizability with fonts, background image (including transparent through to your video), and you can even change the animation type–wipe to center, fly in with twist, and so on.

There have also long been attractive themed-titling options, like Prime Time, Aquarium, Coming Book, and Ladybug Picnic. Most offer four templates, for credits, frame, lower third, and title. I had to download some of these before I could use them, but that is pretty painless since installing the content is all handled within the program. WYSIWYG editing makes customizing the text a snap. But you’re not restricted to the present templates: You can choose from a huge variety of fonts and size it, choose a color, drag the text anywhere on the movie, and apply any of 38 animation styles.

Premiere Elements’ title masking lets you show moving video behind your text titles–a cool effect, for sure. The procedure is far from taxing, and once you’ve gone through it, there’s ample opportunity for customization. The screenshot below shows the look you get, although here it’s static.

Premiere Elements’ Music Remix tool works with any MP3 file and is the default for sound you’ve placed in the Music track on the timeline. In several tests, it worked acceptably, though there was often extra silence at the end.

you’ve placed in the Music track on the timeline. In several tests, it worked acceptably, though there was often extra silence at the end.

The audio-only view in the timeline opens up the Master volume control. You see waveforms on the standard timeline, and yellow line in the middle helpfully lets you raise or lower a clip’s volume graphically. The Adjustments menu includes volume, balance, and treble and bass boost, as well as AudioGain, which normalizes audio to match sound levels of all your sources. From the Effect menu (the same one from which you get all the video effects), you can choose Audio Effects, which include DeNoiser, delay, dynamics, and more. You get some powerful NewBlue audio effects, too, such as Audio Polish, which eliminates most background noise, a hum remover, and a reverb adder that lets you change the room size.

Elements can pump up your digital movie’s aural impact with scores and sound effects. The Scores feature includes dozens of musical backgrounds to fit different moods, but the cool part is that they dynamically adjust their length to your movie. Scores are grouped into categories such as Ambient, Urban, as well as genres like Country and Rock-Pop. You can check the fit-to-entire-video box, and then choose whether to delete existing clip sound.

There’s a full selection of sound effects–from Air Conditioner to Wire Bunched Hitting Hollow Wood. And a Foley group of sounds–such as Bottle Cap Screwing on and Cell Phone Battery Inserting–can give your video a true Hollywood touch of faux reality. I easily timed an explosion sound effect with a bike jump in my test movie.

You can find most output options are in the Organizer app, but there is an Export+Share button in the editor at top right that can send your cinematic creations to DVD, computer files, or the web. You can upload directly to Facebook, YouTube, and Vimeo, choosing HD or SD quality. Saving files for use on Apple and other mobile devices is also simple. The app offers all kinds of control over your output files. You can choose Flash, MPEG, AVCHD, AVI, WMV, QuickTime, with options for all standard resolutions and bitrate targets, both maximum and minimum.

You can find most output options are in the Organizer app, but there is an Export+Share button in the editor at

right that can send your cinematic creations to DVD, computer files, or the web. You can upload directly to Facebook, YouTube, and Vimeo, choosing HD or SD quality. Saving files for use on Apple and other mobile devices is also simple. The app offers all kinds of control over your output files. You can choose Flash, MPEG, AVCHD, AVI, WMV, QuickTime, with options for all standard resolutions and bitrate targets, both maximum and minimum.

The new Animated GIF export option is a godsend if you’re sharing a very short video to a destination (like a photo spot on a website) that doesn’t accept video. There’s not a big obvious choice for it, though. On the Export panel, you need to choose Devices, then Custom, then tap the Advanced Settings button, and then select Animated GIF from the format drop-down. It’s best to keep the video as short as possible–definitely under 10 seconds–and to choose a lowish resolution. Otherwise, your resulting file will be too huge to use.

The new Animated GIF export option is a godsend if you’re sharing a very short video to a destination (like a photo spot on a website) that doesn’t accept video. There’s not a big obvious choice for it, though. On the Export panel, you need to choose Devices, then Custom, then tap the Advanced Settings button, and then select Animated GIF from the

drop-down. It’s best to keep the video as short as possible–definitely under 10 seconds–and to choose a lowish resolution. Otherwise, your resulting file will be too huge to use.

I tested rendering time by creating a movie consisting of four clips of mixed types (some 1080p, some SD, some 4K) with a standard set of transitions and rendered it to 1080p30 MPEG-4 at 15Mbps, H.264 High Profile. Audio was MPEG AAC Audio: 192 Kbps. I tested on an Asus Zen AiO Pro Z240IC running 64-bit Windows 10 Home and sporting a 4K display, 16GB RAM, a quad-core Intel Core i7-6700T CPU, and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 960M discrete graphics card.

I tested rendering time by creating a movie consisting of four clips of mixed types (some 1080p, some SD, some 4K) with a standard set of transitions and rendered it to 1080p30 MPEG-4 at 15Mbps, H.264 High Profile.

running 64-bit Windows 10 Home and sporting a 4K display, 16GB RAM, a quad-core Intel Core i7-6700T CPU, and

Of the three top consumer video editors, Premiere Elements lags in rendering speed. On the test movie (whose duration was just under 5 minutes) it took 5:36 ( minutes : seconds ) seconds to render, compared with 1:59 for PowerDirector, and 4:20 for Corel VideoStudio. Both Pinnacle Studio and PowerDirector took less than half the time Premiere Elements did. During export, Elements does show you a progress bar with the percent elapsed and time remaining, but not the elapsed time, current frame, or a video preview, as some other editors do.

Of the three top consumer video editors, Premiere Elements lags in rendering speed. On the test movie (whose duration was just under 5 minutes) it took 5:36 (

) seconds to render, compared with 1:59 for PowerDirector, and 4:20 for Corel VideoStudio. Both Pinnacle Studio and PowerDirector took less than half the time Premiere Elements did. During export, Elements does show you a progress bar with the percent elapsed and time remaining, but not the elapsed time, current frame, or a video preview, as some other editors do.

If you like the integration of the Elements Organizer and Photoshop Elements, the 2018 edition of Adobe Premiere Elements is a very good choice. Its many guidance features provide a good education on how to create compelling projects. It is not, however, the most powerful or fastest enthusiast-level video editor. It’s also behind when it comes to support for new standards like 360-degree VR content and the HEVC high-efficiency codec used by new iPhones. For that, look to our Editors’ Choices for consumer video editing software, CyberLink PowerDirector and Corel’s VideoStudio Pro on Windows, and Final Cut Pro X on the Mac.