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In Premiere Elements 9 Essential Training, author Jeff Sengstack breaks down the editing workflow into bite–sized pieces, covering topics from setting up a project to exporting the final video to any format. The course also covers the basics of editing and advanced features like picture-in-picture overlays and audio and visual effects. Exercise files accompany the course.
Most newer camcorders and digital cameras store audio, video, and images as files somewhere in those cameras, either on an internal hard drive or a DVD or flash media or those little SD cards. The thing is before you can edit those video or audio or image files, you need to get them onto your hard drive. You need to download them. Now you don't have to use Premiere Elements to download files from an external device into your computer, but Premiere Elements has a couple of downloading tools that have some nice features so I recommend you try them out. But before you can start downloading, you've got to make the connection.
So let me show you a few examples of how these things work. Let me start with this Kodak pocket video camera. It has a built-in USB connector. You just pop this guy up here. There we go, there is that USB connector, very much like the very popular Flip HD xamcorders. These guys are really changing the way that videos are recorded these days. They are really lot of fun and they record in HD, for crying out loud. It's compressed but still it's HD, folks. There is a Nikon camera. This Nikon camera has a removable SD card. Just pop, it opened, then you just press here and it pops out.
There is your SD card and on here you can have tons of HD videos. It's amazing what can be done in SD cards these days. You need to get this SD card into your computer and most computers these days have SD card readers, but if yours doesn't, you can buy one of these guys that has multiple ports for SD cards. This costs me $2, people. Just connect this via USB connect cable and then plug this guy into it. It becomes like an instant hard drive. It immediately shows up as a little hard drive on your computer. It's really the way to go these days. I think if you're shooting HD, shoot on SD cards like that.
Finally, if you're getting photos from a digital camera that does not have an SD card or some other means to just plug it directly, you'll do it with the USB like this and you can download the photos. So that's how you get connected. So first let me show you the process of how things will work let's say outside Premiere here inside Windows and the process is similar on the Mac. I'm just going to insert an SD card into that SD reader I showed you earlier. I'm just going to plug it in and see what happens when I do that. Right away, I get this little thing that says "Okay you've basically added a removable disk to your computer.
What do you want to do with it?" I guess open up the folder to view the files. Under DCIM, this is the folder structure for this particular camcorder. Click on that, click on that, and here all the video files. AVI, which is Audio Video Interleave, all the AVI files that were on that SD card, and I can double-click on one and preview it to just actually select all of them. Whatever I want to do, I can select them and then say transfer them from the SD card to some place on my hard drive. Fairly easy to do.
We can skip Premiere Elements if we want to go with this route, but I'm going to show you the Premiere Elements route in just a moment. Let me close that for now. I'm also going to turn on a little digital still camera, which is another type of piece of software that's inside Premiere Elements. We'll do it outside for now. when I turn that camera on, Windows will pop up in something like this. It says "Okay, do you want to import the pictures using the Windows Importer," and on Mac it would be very similar. It just asks you do you want to just import these guys using another piece of software. We'll just take a look at them here inside the file folder.
Here again we will take a look at them and DCIM the same kind of structure. There are the images and I could select which images I want and simply drag them or copy and paste them to some folder on my hard drive, and that's fairly simple process and can bypass the whole Premiere Elements process. But there are some features that are worth looking at inside Premiere Elements that allow you to download pictures to your hard drive through Premiere Elements. Let me show you how that works. We'll start by going to Get Media and here we're going to be concerned about the Flip, AVCHD, Cameras and Phones, or the DVD Camcorder and PC DVD Drive, or the Digital Still Camera & Phones.
We'll do all three of these in this particular movie. Let's start off with the Digital Still Camera & Phones. So I click on that. That opens up this thing called the Photo Downloader. This is what's used for still images. If you want to take a look at all the photos, you click Advanced Dialog. That will show you all the photos, once you tell it which device you want to connect to. So we'll connect to this little camera. Now it shows all the images. They're all checked, meaning that if you download them now it'll download all of them. You can always uncheck all of them and select the ones that you wanted to download. Now, what's good this particular download is that you can put up a folder that you could create using this name or create a custom name.
You can rename the files from these numbers to something more logical, like the location or the data something like that. You can use this drop-down list to pick from those options including Custom Name. If you choose Custom Name then it'll add 001, 002 after it, something like that as you incrementally load these guys up. That's the basic way of going about downloading photos from your camera to Premiere Elements and in the process creating a couple of links. So I'll select these three here let's say. And I'll say Custom Name and the Custom Name will be sunny, my dog, and we'll just use the file folder and do another Custom Name for the file folder.
Let's say Sunny playing and we'll put it inside our Pictures folder, but we could change it to something else but we will accept the default ones like Get Media. It'll get those three guys and what's convenient is that it adds them to the project. It doesn't just load them to your hard drive and ignore Premiere Elements. It puts them into project, assuming that you wanted to work with them inside your project. Let's go back and look at Get Media for some other things. You can also take videos from DVDs.
Now we're talking about the DVDs that are inside camcorder, usually they're mini DVDs. You can also get video from let's say DVDs that you've made or friends have made or you probably can't get videos from those, from commercial DVDs. Those have codes on them. They're encrypted such that you generally cannot transfer a video from a Hollywood film DVD to your computer. So we're talking about ones that you've made or ones that come from camcorders or ones that you've got from friends of yours and those have what are called VOB files on them and then you can go grab those VOB files and convert them into a format.
Premiere Elements does this automatically such that you can work with them inside Premiere Elements. So let me show you how that works and then it examines the DVD. It will give you thumbnails. So it takes a while for the thumbnails to appear. But once you do, you get a sense for which clips you want to load up. You can load up all of them if you want to and these are called VOB files and usually the first VOB profile here, the VIDEO_TS, is the menu that would go with the DVD and then the 0.VOB file is not the one that you can use, but these four are the actual video files with audio associated with them.
You can preview them down here, but it takes a while again to load them up to preview, but basically you can say okay, good. We'll accept those guys. You can click this Create an InstantMovie which is this InstantMovie feature inside Premiere Elements that just takes videos and instantly creates a movie based upon a theme. I don't particularly like going that route, so I would not check that. Now I don't want to add it to the Timelines in this particular case, so let's uncheck that and then we will just go Get Media. In this case we'll take a long time to do that. This is more than an hour. So I'm just going to skip this one, but we will say Cancel now, but as you can see it's the same process of selecting a filename and selecting a location.
So I'll go Cancel here. Finally, we hooked up our Flip-like camera. This is not exactly a Flip camera. It's a Kodak camera, but it works very much like a Flip camera. I select that and it is all hooked up, ready to go. It gives you little previews. If I go to the Card Reader, we have another camera here. We'll set this one and not only a camera but we have a card reader as well. So we have two things hooked up right now. Again it's the same process. Do you want to select all four of these clips? They're all checked right now. You can add them to the Timeline or not. You can create InstantMovie or not.
You can delete the originals. Boy, I always like checking on that one! I like to keep them on the SD card until I'm sure that everything is okay. Again you can select filenames and so I just preview this one here. My producer Nick. It compresses the view here. It's actually widescreen but it shows it here in standard definition. Stop that. Once you selected all you want to select here you can then say Get Media. Well, we'll get these four guys here. They'll be fast. Again the advantage here, rather than just dragging them let's say from a folder onto a hard drive, if you do it within Premiere Elements using the Get Media process, then it loads them up into your project here in the Media view and in the Project view.
So right off the bat, if you want to get started editing, you just take one of these guys and drag them down to the Timeline and you're ready to rock 'n roll. I'll just turn this guy off right now, but it's all right. Let's say no for this time being. You can see our clip right there and you just start editing your project basically instantly rather than the process of dragging it into a folder, opening up Premiere Elements, and then editing it. So that's a cool little feature that's inside Premiere Elements, the Get Media feature when you're working with external media like an SD card, a camcorder with the hard drive on it, or just a digital still camera.
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