Solve common video problems
- Common problems solved by Which? using the standard tools of Premiere Elements
- Instantly increase colour saturation
- Stop still images flickering on TV playback
- Re-Synch audio and video
The filming and editing of video footage gives rise to common problems that must be overcome when assembling the project. For example, perhaps there is crackling on the sound that needs removing. Or annoying blank spaces between clips. Perhaps the audio of a certain clip has become out of sync with the visuals or the colour of particular clip is completely out of balance with others in the sequence.
These kinds of problems are common and thankfully, easier than ever before to rectify. Here we look at eight common problems and how they can be solved using the standard tools of Premiere Elements. You can find out more about camcorders, including current Best Buys, in the Which? camcorder reviews.
1Instantly increasing colour saturation
Video clips are often over or underexposed and subsequently colour differences from shot to shot can appear jarring. Where a clip is too dull, increase the colour saturation by selecting Effects in the Tasks Panel, select Presets from the drop-down menu and apply the ‘Increase Saturation’ Effect to instantly add colour. Other colour Effects are found by choosing ‘Video Effects’ in the drop-down and scrolling to the Image Control section.
2Amending clip colour manually
To manually adjust the colour settings of a clip, select it in the Sceneline/Timeline, right-click and select Show Properties. Now, in the Tasks Panel, click the disclosure triangle next to Image Control. Now use the Brightness, Contrast and Saturation sliders to make adjustments. Once initial adjustments are made, fine-tune the settings by clicking the numbers next to each slider and entering a value numerically. The Hue setting must be altered in this way.
3Stopping still images flickering on TV playback
This problem is common when a high-resolution image has been inserted into the video project. To solve the problem, select the image in question, choose Effects from the Tasks Panel and select Video Effects from the drop-down. Now drag the ‘Gaussian Blur’ Effect onto the clip. To adjust this Effect, click the Edit Effects button. Start with a low ‘Bluriness’ value and increase the value until the flickering on playback is eliminated.
4Flipping an image
Occasionally you may wish to flip a clip horizontally. Perhaps you want to make room for a title overlay or simply feel a clip looks better flipped. Select the clip in the Sceneline/Timeline, choose Video Effects within the Effects section of the Tasks Panel and apply the ‘Horizontal Flip’ Effects (within the Transform section). As usual, you can easily undo the effect by choosing File > Undo or Selecting the Fx in the Tasks Panel and clicking the trashcan icon.
5Dealing with problem audio
Premiere Elements has a number of audio effects to deal with common audio problems. Perhaps the most useful is the ‘Dynamics’ effect. This allows you to mute sounds above a certain level or reduce background noises for example. Select a problem clip and choose Effects within the Tasks Panel. Now choose Audio Effects from the drop-down and drag Dynamic onto the problem clip. Now click Edit Effects from the bottom left.
6Using the Dynamics audio filter
Click the disclosure next to Dynamics to reveal the controls and a series of knobs and settings appear. AutoGate allows a level to be set with sounds below that level muted. Use this to remove unwanted background noise. The Expander works in a similar manner but rather than muting the sounds below the threshold, it reduces the sounds by a defined ratio, sometimes producing a subtler effect. The Limiter can be used to prevent sounds exceeding a certain volume. Set a value and the sound is reduced to that level.
7Unlinking audio and video
Occasionally audio may be out of sync with the visuals. Whether this has happened during import or whilst editing (by unlinking the clip) it can be solved in Premiere Elements. Switch to Timeline view and position the Playhead at a significant point (e.g. where someone starts to talk). Right-click the clip and choose ‘Unlink Audio and Video’. Now go to Timeline in the menu and deselect ‘Snap’. This allows greater subtlety when moving the audio in relation to the video.
8Re-Synching audio and video
If the audio is starting late, drag the audio section of the clip left. If the audio is too early, drag it right. As you drag, an ‘offset indicator’ shows how many frames and seconds away from the original position you are. Tweak the offset until the sync plays back as desired on the Timeline. Now re-link the audio and video by selecting both sections (hold down Shift as you click each one), right click and choose ‘Link Audio and Video’. The clip in the Timeline will now display the clip as one but indicate the offset at the top left corner.