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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.
There are two more automation features in Premiere elements, Smart fix and Smart trim. I am going to show you both features in this video. Smart fix looks at your clips that you have auto-analyzed, clips that have smart tags on them, and looks for things that are too shaky, or too dark, or too bright, and then compensates for that by applying effects to deal with that to improve them. So I am going to take all 15 clips here, there is the first one, Shift+Click on the last one. So they are not in the proper order, but, you know, it'll be close enough to the original video that I produced earlier. And then this little guy pops up.
It says Fix problems in clips? Okay that's called SmartFix. I am going to say sure that's the purpose of the game. Let's fix on them. So what it does is, and you'll be able to see what it does in a moment, everywhere you see the little redline, that means it's applied an effect there. It's looking for things are too dark, too bright, or too shaky. Well all these shots were shots with good lightning, so that's not going to be an big issue there, but some shots are little shaky and some things were handheld and might had zooms in them or whatever so it's trying to compensate for the fact that some of these shots are kind of shaky.
Let me take a look at how that works inside a clip. I will select a clip here like this one, go to Edit, Edit effects. And what it does is it adds this effect called Stabilizer. Stabilizer is a kind a cool. It zooms in on a clip a little bit, then it looks for something in the clip that it kind of latch onto and then if the camera moves it moves the image in the opposite direction to compensate for the camera's shakiness. It has to expand the clip a little bit zoom, in a bit to compensate for the shakiness so you don't see black edges around the edge, but that's how it works.
We will just kind of let this guy play out a little bit. And the thing about an effect like this is that it's a very processor-intensive effect. So what I try to do is compensate a little bit of camera movement there while Richard pulled the bread out. So let me just go to another one, this guy here, and you see that it also applied stabilizer and always the default values are going to be 40 for smoothing and 110% for the zooms. So it always zooms in a little bit and then uses this thing called the 40 factor to try to compensate for any motion.
Let me right-click here and see if the playback quality is set to highest, I will go to Automatic and see if we can see this guy but again a stabilizer works really hard. It pushes the processor to the max. We may actually not see whether this thing is stable or not, let's just try it though. Yeah, not really but you can see that it zoomed in and it kind of pixilates the picture little bit but that's also because it's not set to high quality. So it does make it a little bit fuzzy because it goes to 110% but you know this is a great way to a deal with low lighting conditions or overly lit conditions and it'll do it for automatically, so - and then you can always go back and adjust the effect parameters manually to compensate for it.
So that's not a destructive thing that, might as well just accept that if you feel like using this automated feature. Let's look at the other automated feature called Smart Trim. Smart Trim looks for low quality areas of your clip and then will say, you want to trim these guys away, or you know, I can do it for you automatically or you can do it yourself. So I am going to click on this little icon here. It's called the Smart Trim Mode. It looks suspiciously like the split clip Mode, so don't confuse the two. It's not that big a deal, but that's the split clip and this is the Smart Trim Mode, click on that. It opens up this little blue-boxed mode here with a little button upper right-hand the corner.
So I click on the Smart Trim options and it says okay, here are the options, Quality Level and Interest Level. In the meantime look down at the bottom here. It's already, at these settings, decided that these are things that should be trimmed away. A little zebra striping there, a little one right there, and a couple guys right here. And if I click on Save, and with Automatic selected, it will trim those guys away. If I change this to manual, it'll then just tell it to identify things. I want to retain the highest quality stuff so get rid of the lowest quality stuff or retain things of the highest interest and get rid of everything else.
So the highest interest include faces and groups of people and things that are really in good focus, things like that. So things in terms of quality that are shaky and way out of focus, all those things will be highlighted here with zebra stripes on the manual modes. So I will click Save and a whole bunch of stuff shows up basically telling you, if you want to, you can trim this stuff away, you can see it there, so you can split it and trim it away, there is a little trim thing, I just hover over that and I trim back to compensate, that little blue box is telling me I can trim that away. I am not going to do that right now. I am going back to Smart Trim options and say okay, let's kind of tone it down a bit here, right there. I will leave it on Manual.
Let's see what you come up with. It looks like you up with three things 1, 2, and 3. Let's see what we are talking about here that needs to be trimmed away. Here is the end of a pan of what's called a rack focus. So I really don't mind if that gets trimmed away that's fine, but right here in the middle of the rack focus I am not so sure I want to trim away something in the middle of the rack focus but we're going do it anyway and see what happens. Now this last little things is probably barely even noticeable so I'm not going to sweat that. It's a little bit out of focus stuff right there that it wants to get rid of. So I am going to have it automatically get rid of the stuff and we'll see what happens.
Notice when I hover over there, I get that little blue box and I could do the manual trimming here, I got a blue trim to indicate I could manually do it. But let's just see what just happens when I go to Automatic. Smart Trim, Automatic and we are going to get rid of these two things. When you get to tail end, don't mind that, but this guy I am kind of curious what's going to happen there. Now it shortens the entire project by the lengths of those things that were trimmed away and it trims something away in the middle of this little pan here. And if I go carefully, if I just play this I might not even notice it. You see what happened there, it added a little cross dissolve there, I still have one clip but in the middle of that one clip it added a little cross dissolve. Kind of tricky.
Watch as I - I am going through one arrow at a time, see that little cross dissolve there. That's the stuff that it took out to compensate for what it thought was a little bit of shaky video, in the end though it's really hard to notice tha,t and still, I did not want that to go out. So I could have manually trimmed the ones that were marked and not manually trimmed that one. In that way Smart Trim helped me out. It identified things that maybe I wanted to trim away and I could make the choice, if I select the manual option. So these kind of fall into the category of, you know, Do you want to use them? Are they really going to help you? In some cases, you know, if you really quickly need to deal with some low lighting or overly lit situations, fine, or really shaky stuff, that's fine, it will apply those effects. Or if you want to trim away things that it thinks are low-quality and you can sort of tell it what quality you want, it will trim them away automatically, at least identify them for you.
So in that way these guys are kind of worth trying out.
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