Adobe’s software cycles are so predictable that, if it’s autumn, then it must be time for new versions of Adobe Photoshop Elements (PSE) and Premiere Elements (PRE)! PSE11 and PRE11 each offer first-time-for-Elements features, including a couple that have trickled down from Photoshop CS6, while other features have been enhanced since PSE 10 and PSE 10.
Although also compatible with Microsoft Windows Vista, Windows 7, and the forthcoming Windows 8, PSE and PRE still run on Windows XP, too.
The Share function in the Organizer offers a long list of options including Facebook, SmugMug, Flickr, YouTube, Vimeo, email, PDF Slide Show, and burning a video to DVD, among others. The new context-sensitive Action Bar at the bottom of the screen is one of my favorite new features because it’s so convenient. Using EXIF data, the Events view will organize images by the times and dates when images were captured.
As in the Organizer, the clean look extends to the top of the window where you’ll find the previously mentioned Open drop-down menu to select an image. New to the Guided Edit Mode are several additional Photo Effects including Tilt-shift, Vignette and High-key and Low-key. The Vignette effect is much easier to use than Tilt-shift and you’ll probably get great results straight away. High-key and low-key are common photographic terms to indicate how lighting is used to basically either brighten highlights or darken shadows and increase contrast. Like previous versions, PSE11 offers an advanced Expert Edit mode where you get access to many of the same tools and features available in Adobe Photoshop CS6 including Refine Edge, layers, special effects and filters.
Preset actions include Borders and Lose Weight, along with some special effects (Faded Ink, Sepia) and two Instant Snapshot options that resize images to 240ppi and 300ppi. Also important are several new additions to Premiere Elements 11, especially the very cool Time Remapping feature.
Some of the most impressive slow motion videos making the rounds on the Internet were captured with a Phantom movie camera that costs in the tens of thousands of dollars. Other new additions for Premiere include a trio of film looks: Old Film, Pandora, and Red Noir.
When you’re done creating a video, there are plenty of sharing options built into the software. Although the new version of Elements brings cool new features, it won’t give you revolutionary bells and whistles that will make you gasp in awe.
All content posted on TechnologyGuide is granted to TechnologyGuide with electronic publishing rights in perpetuity, as all content posted on this site becomes a part of the community. If you do IR Photography, you might want to swap the red and the blue channel on a file to get back blue skies. Two-page tutorials, full-color screen shots, and step-by-step instructions make it easy to see and follow the directions, helping you to get the very most from this top-selling image-editing software. Indeed, Adobe has now released version 11 of its enthusiast photo and video editing software applications for Macs and Windows PCs. The big news, though, is the brighter and cleaner user interface (UI) for both applications. Icons and text are larger, adding to fairly straightforward navigation throughout the applications. Granted, my previous reference point is Elements 10 on a four-year-old Mac with 4GB of RAM, where it took forever to switch between Organizer and Editor modules. As in previous versions, this is the digital asset management module of the software where you can view, sort, tag, rate and generally organize and locate images. It also allows you to open an image or video clip in one of several editors, including an external editor of your choice: Photoshop and PSE or PRE editors. In my experience, it quickly placed frames around faces, even a few where the face was turned sideways, so that I could type in a name or associate it with a Facebook friend. Elements uses Google Maps with options for a map view, hybrid view, and dark or light views.

For those of us who are less than diligent about labeling photos from various occasions, this is a real time-saver. Quick, Guided and Expert editing modes are available with a click of the mouse at the top of the window, with a Create drop-down menu on the right panel. It’s a quick and simple way to enhance your images either automatically via Smart Fix (let Elements do the work) or by selecting one of several adjustments (Exposure, Levels, Color, White Balance, Sharpen). High-key brightens the highlights of an image almost to the extreme while low-key darkens shadows and increases contrast for a seriously dramatic look.
Let’s say that you want to select a person from a photo and use it in a collage but there are too many fine details (wispy hair, part of piece of clothing) for any of the standard selection tools to identify all the edges. However, Adobe has added a number of preset actions that you can supplement with those created in Photoshop. The Quick Mode, although pared down, provides the ability to either make a single-click Smart Fix adjustment or to use the automatic and manual options for Color, Lighting, Temperature and Tint. For example, Expert Edit adjustments include the ability to adjust color by channels (RGB Color) and Gamma Correction. This feature alone may be worth the price of PRE since it allows you to slow down and speed up video clips with just a couple of clicks and it can add creative edge to your movies or to just a couple of frames. Yet other slow motion videos have been made with compact digital still cameras equipped with a slow motion movie option. It gives you an affordable way to work with full-sized video files (with sound) and turn them into slow motion footage.
In Expert Edit mode, you can essentially layer two videos and adjust how one shows through the other.
Transitions from one mode to another are much more seamless than in the past — and most, if not all, of the new features will most likely find their way into your photo and video repertoire. Depending on the Whitebalance of the picture your sky should now be at least a little bit blue. Please be aware that once you have closed the Channel Mixer, you can not make additional adjustments to this layer, unless you open it in a full version of Photoshop. This guide gets you up to speed on Photoshop Elements 11 and helps you expand your skill set with these best practices for getting the most out of the new version. Both software programs are lighter and definitely simpler-to-use versions of their more powerful siblings, Photoshop Creative Suite 6 (CS6) and Premiere Pro CS6. Tools and functions have been conveniently moved to a context-sensitive Action Bar at the bottom of the screen, so current active tools are clearly evident and quickly accessible.
Across the top of the screen, you’ll find Import, Media, People, Places, Events, Create and Share. You can also set up Preferences to automatically download images when a camera or card reader is connected. Images can be ported over from the Organizer or opened directly from within the Editor via a drop-down Open menu at the top of the window or the Photo Bin drop-down menu in the Action Bar.
Within each, you can make manual or automatic adjustments, viewing the latter with a mouseover of thumbnails. The latter provides slider bars for adjusting the amount of feathering and the roundness of the vignette.
Both effects can be used on color photos or black and white, with an option to convert an image to b&w from within the PhotoEffects panel.
Graphic Novel, my favorite of the three new filters, creates a stylized black-and-white image. Under these headings, clickable preset thumbnails show how they will affect the video, while slider bars allow you to make more fine-tuned adjustments. On the audio side, in addition to Volume and Balance, you can also tweak Treble, Base and Audio Gain. If timing is critical, specify the amount of time the footage should run and the software will calculate the appropriate speed.

Depending on your installed plugins and Effects, this view could be different on your system.
You can tweak every channel now by moving the sliders around like crazy until you like the result. But you can always create an additional adjustment layer on top of the current one in case you need to make some smaller adjustments.
The end result is a visually simplified and uncluttered UI that offers a smoother workflow. Opening an image from the Organizer into the Editor was so much faster than before that it can’t be just the newer laptop and OS that made the difference. Once you’ve identified a person, the software can help you find untagged images of the same person.
For the latter, you can zoom in on a map to select a location or search for a specific place or landmark.
These are all pretty convenient, so the choice is up to you and how you work within the software. Only one adjustment option can be open at a time, though, so you’ll have to switch back and forth to make multiple changes. One thing to keep in mind for the Vignette effect is that the intensity slider bar is counter-intuitive. These are simple to use, but it’s easy to go overboard, so I made good use of the Undo and Redo tools in the Action Bar. While this is certainly an improvement to the Quick Selection tool it comes with a learning curve, so be patient. Click on the arrow for each option and drill down to see exactly what steps each one will let you take. Of course, you can simply click Auto within each category to allow PRE to analyze and make its own adjustments.
Current users of PSE may gripe about the change, but the transition to the new UI should be easy and it’s likely to actually speed up your workflow. However, I strongly recommend to spend the additional 12USD, as Elements+ boosts your PSE installation to a whole new level. The good thing is, these settings can be saved as a preset, so if you shot some pictures at the same location at the same time, you can apply those to additional photos. Again, the technology isn’t foolproof but it will get you close enough to make life easier.
A view from above looking down a street filled with traffic might work, for example, but a photo of a person will not. From your own experience, you probably associate moving a slider bar to the right to increase an effect or adjustment, but here it’s just the opposite. Photoshop Elements 11 offers a complete solution for editing, organizing and sharing photo creations while Premiere Elements 11 offers easy creation of engaging home movies with professional flair. If you apply the settings by pressing OK an then click on the Layers tab at the bottom, you will see that PSE (with the help of Elements+) has created an adjustment layer with your Channel Mixer Settings. When I moved the Vignette increase intensity slider bar to the right, it decreased the effect while I expected it to boost the visibility of the halo. Available as stand-alone products, Photoshop Elements 11 and Premiere Elements 11 can also be purchased together in a low-priced bundle, providing powerful, easy-to-use tools that simplify editing and turn everyday snapshots and videos into sensational photos and home movies, creating memories that can instantly be shared with friends and family.

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