We’ve already looked at some of the basic features available within Premiere Elements to get your video projects started. However, if all you’re looking for is a quick and easy video editor, you might as well stick with iMovie.

Where Premiere Elements stands apart from iMovie is with its much wider range of special effects and creative tools. It has more than 70 visual effects filters, as well as a powerful set of titling tools that we’ll look at more closely next month.

Another key feature – if you’ll pardon the pun – is Premiere Elements’ ability to use Keyframes to modify effects over time. Keyframes enable you to fade effects in and out at specific times, providing far greater creative control than the limited range of effects found in iMovie ’11.

1. Kick-off  Here is a video we have of a local kids’ football match. We could just string a few clips together in a presentable fashion, but Premiere Elements has an impressive array of special effects tools to play with, so let’s experiment a bit. Click the Edit tab in the Task panel (top-right quarter of the screen).


2. Screen themes  The Edit tab provides access to several different sets of tools. Like iMovie, Premiere Elements includes a set of Themes that can give your projects a particular look, such as this newsreel effect. However, Premiere Elements also includes a much bigger selection of transitions and special effects than iMovie.


3. Special FX  That newsreel theme has given us an idea, so let’s click the Effects tab and explore Premiere Elements’ selection of visual effects. This includes more than 70 effects that can be used to adjust colours, distort the image, create lightning bolts and matte effects. We’re going to use the Old Film effect.


4. Vintage feel  To add any effect to your project, just drag and drop it onto one of the video clips in the Timeline in the lower half of the screen, or directly onto the clip being played in the Monitor panel (top-left quarter of the screen). As you can see, our football clip now looks like a scratchy old piece of newsreel footage.