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Long post Another Proshow vs Premiere Elements

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Long post Another Proshow vs Premiere Elements

Postby FalvinP » Tue Jan 26, 2010 3:10 pm

I just joined the forum and am interested in finding a good solution that fits with my situation.

First of all, from reading posts on several different computer/photographic etc message boards I’ve observed that many times the original poster doesn’t provide enough information to enable people to help him or her. I’ll probably go too far in the other direction, but in this case providing more information might result in a better reply.

I built my computer 2 ½ years ago. Core 2 Duo 6750 processor, Vista Home Premium 32 bit, 4 gig ram (aprox 3.3 useable), nVidia 7950GT video card, several WD Caviar Black 500 gig hard drives, Liteon dvd writer. As far as I can tell, all drivers are up to date.

I’ve produced a video slide show of a high school softball team for several years now, using various incarnations of Roxio products, most recently Creator 2009 Ultimate. The next slideshow will be produced this Spring

The slideshow is usually about 45 minutes long. It can contain anywhere from 400 to 600 photos (aprox). Included in this production are a few dozen scanned photos. It has a music sound track with manual crossfades etc. The last five minutes is a collection of short video clips, that I often trim, in avi format, taken with my Olympus SP550 camera. I take many, but not all, of the pics used in the production, but when I shoot stills, I use a Nikon D90.

Some of the photos have some text on them (player ID shots etc.) I have rolling credits at the end of the production. Other pics have some pan and zoom in them.

I don’t make things too fancy. In this area, I like the “less is more” saying. I use the dissolve transition for the majority of slides, throwing in one or two different transitions sparingly for a different section of the production. I also use the pan and zoom sparingly, no more than about 20-25 times for the whole production.

I burn the production to a dvd and give each team member a dvd. I use a standard jewel case and print labels for the case and the dvd. We play the dvd at the awards function at the end of the season. The girls love it and I enjoy the accolades. One year the dvd froze 2/3 of the way through its premiere and wouldn’t start again. Not wanting this to happen again I output the production two times, first, as a video file to play on a parent’s laptop with a projector and second, the dvd to give to the kids.

Last year I started having problems with the Roxio product. The main thing was that the transitions would sometimes simply not work, both when previewing and after a production was rendered. Sometimes I could get them to work if I deleted the transition and put it back in or copied it from another spot on the timeline etc. The point is that it seemed to be hit or miss. I even did a complete uninstall/reinstall per Roxio’s very detailed instructions and I couldn’t resolve the issue. I really like the ease of use of the Videowave (Roxio) interface, but I didn’t want to deal with the time involved in making the thing work.

Another thing is that although I have separate sections of my production (candids, action, Seniors, awards etc.) I was never able to get a sub menu with chapters to work when using the Roxio program.

In view of this, I decided to search for a product that would solve these problems. Late last summer I bought the Photoshop/Premiere Elements 7 bundle for a good price on Amazon. I didn’t realize version 8 was soon to come out….lol.

I installed Photoshop Elements, but not Premiere Elements. From what I’ve read, I need to completely uninstall the Roxio software before I install Premiere due to Premiere not being able to burn to the dvd.

In the meantime, I came across Proshow Producer 4, which I also bought. I played with it for a month or so, even buying the guidebook for it. The book helped, but I found that it had some errors, and the sample files sometimes didn’t work as they should. In reading forums, I found I was not alone in some of the issues with the book.

I soon got discouraged in using Proshow. It’s a fantastic program, but due to my relatively limited use of wow! effects (my term) it seemed to be simply too much. The reason I bought Producer over Gold is that I wanted the keyframing ability. I’m not nearly creative enough to fully exploit all the features into a coherent production, especially when I use those features sparingly. I do like the fact that I can default to Photoshop Elements to edit photos from within Producer.

I’ve started to use Photoshop Elements with the intention to install Premiere Elements soon. I bought the Muvipix Guide that uses both products together. I’ve read the thread in this forum that discusses Premiere Elements or Proshow for slide shows. I’ve read a little bit about how the products work together, but I simply haven’t used Premiere Elements yet.

In reading the book, I’ve seen that you create a slideshow in Photoshop Elements and then output (render) it and then open it in Premiere as a wmv file. Even though I don’t necessarily use a lot of features, the slideshow interface seemed somewhat limited in what you can do.

After this is done, can you then add/delete photos, transitions, adjust time of pics/transitions etc. put in blank slides with text etc.? My point is, with Roxio and Proshow you completely do your project and then when everything is finalized, including the soundtrack, you output it in one of several ways. I like this approach the best. One thing I don’t like about Producer is that the audio editor has only only track to work with. I’m very visually oriented when it comes to audio tracks and I like the multi-track interface of Roxio so I can visually see how the tracks relate to each other on the timeline.

I also have Smartsound, which I got with Roxio and have bought some music off their site.

So that’s my situation. I’ve tried to outline exactly how my production is put together. Should I continue to investigate using Photoshop/Premiere Elements to produce this production or should I go back to Producer and just use the basic features?

Sorry to be rambling and long-winded but, as you might be able to tell, I’m a little overwhelmed at this point.

Thanks for taking the time to read this post.
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Re: Long post Another Proshow vs Premiere Elements

Postby Steve Grisetti » Tue Jan 26, 2010 3:45 pm

Hi, Falvin. Welcome to Muvipix.com! And glad to hear you picked up a copy of our book. That shows you are very wise. ;) Actually, it does let us know that you've got a good background in the ins and outs of the program suite.

There are actually at least four different ways to create a slideshow and output it as a DVD from the Photoshop Elements/Premiere Elements Suite. And there are advantages and challenges to each method.

If you prefer to start in the Organizer, as you've described, and then port the file to Premiere Elements, use the Send to Premiere Elements option if you can rather than export the file as a WMV, as I describe in the book. The reason I didn't mention this method in the book is because the option only seems to show up on some computers and not all computers. If you're one of the fortunate ones, then use it.

Once you do that, the slideshow will show up on the Premiere Elements timeline as a single file -- but you can right-click on it and select the option to Break Apart Slideshow and it will turn back into your original photos, with pans & zooms and transitions still intact. Then you can continue to add to it and edit.

One warning about video from that Olympus camera. As I say in the book, Premiere Elements doesn't perform well with video from still cameras. The book explains how to use Windows MovieMaker to convert that video into a DV-AVI so that it will be compatible with Premiere Elements.

You may want to do a couple of short test runs -- maybe five minutes long or so -- just to make sure you get how it all works and how the programs work together. If you have problems, you'll find it's better to work them out on a short test video/slideshow than it it is work with a project with 600 photos in it when you're rushing under a deadline! (BTW, you did note in the book that you should resize your photos to no larger than 1000x750 before you bring them into a Premiere Elements slideshow project, right? That's very important if you plan to work with large quantities of photos!)

Finally, it sounds like you've been making labels for your DVDs and sticking them on the discs. I highly recommend that you do NOT do this! Sticky labels cause many problems, and can ultimately damage both your DVD and your DVD player! In fact, they may be why your DVD jammed up last year.

If you want to add color to your DVDs, I'd recommend you use an Epson printer designed to print ink directly onto your discs. These discs look terrific and they don't have any of the problems labeled discs have.

Meantime, I encourage you to go to our products page and do a search on the word "slideshow". You'll find lots of great tips and tutorials there -- much of it free and even more available to our site subscribers. Between them and our book you should find just about everything you'll need to know to create an exciting and fun video/slideshow project!

And, if you've got any specific questions, of course, you'll find lots of great people eager to offer help on this forum!
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Re: Long post Another Proshow vs Premiere Elements

Postby Barb O » Tue Jan 26, 2010 5:29 pm

Hi Falvin and welcome to Muvipix,

I have never used Proshow, so I can't help with any comparisons to ProShow products. Therefore, my comments will be addressed to Photoshop and Premiere Elements.
The slideshow is usually about 45 minutes long. It can contain anywhere from 400 to 600 photos (aprox). Included in this production are a few dozen scanned photos. It has a music sound track with manual crossfades etc. The last five minutes is a collection of short video clips, that I often trim, in avi format, taken with my Olympus SP550 camera. I take many, but not all, of the pics used in the production, but when I shoot stills, I use a Nikon D90.

referencing Photoshop Elements
Even though I don’t necessarily use a lot of features, the slideshow interface seemed somewhat limited in what you can do.

As specific comments,
--400 - 600 photos (even downsized resolution as Steve recommended) might be too many for a single slide show in the Photoshop Elements slide show editor. (Now I have never seen an official limit stated by Adobe, but there was a post on the Adobe user forum talking about limits of 300 photos and 1 hour run time.) Most probably, you could work around this by creating a separate slide show for each section and then combining them in Premiere Elements.
-- Smart Sound - I think that Premiere Elements 7 supports Smart Sound (but I have not done that myself). Photoshop Elements does not.
-- and a question
the DVDs that you make: are they Widescreen or Full Screen ?

If you have other questions about what the Photoshop Elements slide show creation can do, just ask.

As a general comment,
Presuming (for the purpose of discussion) that you decide not to use ProShow you will need to make a decision whether to do all of your slide show work in Premiere Elements or whether to start with the Photoshop Elements slide show editor.

As a recommendation I am leaning toward suggesting that you
--- choose, edit and prepare your photos in Photoshop Elements and then
--- do all of your slideshow and video work in Premiere Elements.
(note: if working in Premiere Elements and you identify the need to do an additional edit to a photo, you can directly transition to and back from Photoshop Elements for that edit.)

Note that this is a very subjective recommendation and is not the only possible workflow. This recommendation does assume that you are can spend the up front time learning Premiere Elements.
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Re: Long post Another Proshow vs Premiere Elements

Postby VernonRobinson » Wed Jan 27, 2010 7:40 am

Falvin,
Welcome to Muvipix. I will quickly cut to the chase. When it comes to creating a slideshow, the ProShow software is second to none. However, it's ability to handle video is rudimentary at best. Limited primarily to trimming a clip. 300 - 600 photos is not an issue inside ProShow. I routinely use ProShow to create Season DVDs for the kids sports team. The last one graduated last year, 2009. I use ProShow if the show is mostly stills. I use PrEl if the show has a lot of video. And lately, I use both, creating the slideshow portion in ProShow and exporting an AVI to use in Premiere to combine with the video. While the menuing system in PrEl is basic in comparison to DVD-Architect, it is light years ahead of the Chapter Only based approach in ProShow. The menu system is a weakness of ProShow also. If you want to create world class menus, then invest in DVD-Architect Studio. A decent investment of $50. Don't forget to watch the free DVD-Architect videos here on the site and for even more information, pick up Steve's latest book on DVD-Architect., Both are really pretty good.

Since you have a relatively small amount of video, I would tend to create the show in ProShow. It's "slide centric" approach is easier to master and handle. Also, ProShow has made a lot of changes to improve stability and usability functions in version 4.1. If ou are still within your one year period, I would recommend that you upgrade. On second thought, I would recommend that you upgrade anyway. The improvements in 4.1 are worth the money if it fits the budget. The manual has also been significantly upgraded and updated. You can get it here: http://www.photodex.com/support/resources. I would recommend reading the 4.1 manual. All of the features are there with some minor variations, but I get the impression that you can make the bridge.

If you run into questions with the direction that you choose to go, Muvipix is the place to get answers.

All the best,
-Vernon
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Re: Long post Another Proshow vs Premiere Elements

Postby Steve Grisetti » Wed Jan 27, 2010 8:38 am

In short, I agree with Vernon. If you're going to create what is predominantly a slideshow and you want great results with minimum challenges, Pro Show Gold is definitely the way to go.
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Re: Long post Another Proshow vs Premiere Elements

Postby FalvinP » Wed Jan 27, 2010 11:48 am

Thanks to all for your replies.

:meet:

I'm inclined to follow the advice to start in Proshow Producer and end up in Premiere Elements. I do like being able to see the progress of the production as it's being built, for example, how much time each section takes up, which is not available, as far as I can tell, in the slide-show editor of Photoshop Elements.... it only shows the total time of the slide show. I build my productions keeping in mind the length of each section in relation to the total length of the production.

I still don't like the single track audio in Producer. It's hard for me to visualize how things will sound with the overlapping tracks. If I export a slideshow to Premiere Elements, will it show the audio track on the audio track section? If so will I be able to edit it.....for example, add additional tracks or edit the existing track etc. I'm hoping for an answer similar to being able to break apart the video in Premiere Elements as Steve mentioned earlier. I'm not holding my breath for this since Producer is not an Adobe product.

I need to have the video section at the very end.... after six years doing this, it's tradition... :no:

I didn't realize that there is an upgrade to Producer 4.0. I've downloaded the 4.1 manual and will take a look at it. Is there a place that details exactly what the improvements to the newer version are, as opposed to saying that there are improvements to useability and stability etc.? Since I'm well within the one-year period, I'm going to upgrade soon. Is via a download the only way to upgrade, or is there a boxed option? I bought the boxed version so I could have the cd/dvd.

Once again, thanks for the replies. I'm sure I'll have more questions as I learn more about the programs.
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Re: Long post Another Proshow vs Premiere Elements

Postby FalvinP » Wed Jan 27, 2010 11:54 am

I found all the info I need on the Photodex web site regarding Producer 4.1
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Re: Long post Another Proshow vs Premiere Elements

Postby Ron » Wed Jan 27, 2010 11:59 am

FalvinP wrote:I still don't like the single track audio in Producer. It's hard for me to visualize how things will sound with the overlapping tracks. If I export a slideshow to Premiere Elements, will it show the audio track on the audio track section? If so will I be able to edit it.....for example, add additional tracks or edit the existing track etc. I'm hoping for an answer similar to being able to break apart the video in Premiere Elements as Steve mentioned earlier. I'm not holding my breath for this since Producer is not an Adobe product.

What I do to overcome this is export the slideshow without an audio track, then add the audio in PE. Depends on exactly what you're trying to achieve. The audio track would be editable in PE, but somewhat limited. I mean, it can be done, but it would be more cumbersome editing it after the fact (especially with fades and timing) whereas in PE you have full control with having several audio tracks to play with.

2 cents.
Regards,
-Ron

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Re: Long post Another Proshow vs Premiere Elements

Postby VernonRobinson » Wed Jan 27, 2010 5:20 pm

FalvinP wrote:Since I'm well within the one-year period, I'm going to upgrade soon. Is via a download the only way to upgrade, or is there a boxed option? I bought the boxed version so I could have the cd/dvd.



Falvin,
Unfortunately, the only way to upgrade is via the download process. However, once you download the file, you can burn it to your own DVD and put it in with your original disk.
Regards,
-Vernon
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