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Chapter 4. Managing Clips > Interpreting Footage

Interpreting Footage

In most cases, Premiere Elements correctly interprets imported clips, accurately processing characteristics such as frame rate, pixel aspect ratio, and alpha channel. Nevertheless, sometimes you must override Premiere Elements’ assessment and specify how these characteristics should be interpreted.

For example, a still image sequence may be designed to play back at a particular frame rate that you need to set. Or, an imported still image may appear distorted—a sure sign that its pixel aspect ratio (PAR) hasn’t been interpreted correctly (see the sidebar “PAR Excellence,” in Chapter 3, “Capturing and Adding Footage”). Finally, you may need to manually specify how to handle a clip’s alpha channel. In these situations, use the Interpret Footage command to set things right. As usual, Premiere Elements doesn’t alter the source media file; it just processes it differently.

To set the frame rate of a clip:

1.
Select a clip, and choose File > Interpret Footage (Figure 4.55).

Figure 4.55. Select a clip and choose File > Interpret Footage.


An Interpret Footage dialog box appears.

2.
Select an option:

“Use Frame Rate from File”— To use the file’s inherent frame rate

“Assume this frame rate”— To enter a frame rate for the footage (Figure 4.56)

Figure 4.56. To use a frame rate different from that of the file, select “Assume this frame rate” and enter the rate expressed in frames per second.


To set the pixel aspect ratio of a clip:

1.
Select a clip, and choose File > Interpret Footage.

An Interpret Footage dialog box appears.

2.
In the Pixel Aspect Ratio area of the Interpret Footage dialog box, select an option:

“Use Pixel Aspect Ratio from File”— To use Premiere Elements’ automatic interpretation of the file’s PAR

“Conform to”— To select an alternative PAR from a drop-down menu (Figure 4.57)

Figure 4.57. To change the PAR, select “Conform to” and select an option from the drop-down menu.


To ignore or invert a clip’s alpha channel:

1.
Select a clip, and choose File > Interpret Footage.

An Interpret Footage dialog box appears.

2.
In the Alpha Channel area of the Interpret Footage dialog box, select the options you want (Figure 4.58):

Figure 4.58. In the Interpret Footage dialog box, select whether to ignore or invert the clip’s alpha channel.


Ignore Alpha Channel— To disregard the clip’s alpha channel so that it doesn’t define transparent areas when the clip is added to video track 2 and higher

Invert Alpha Channel— To reverse the transparent and opaque areas defined by the clip’s alpha channel

✓ Tips

  • If you need more information about a clip than the Media window provides, you can view detailed information by selecting the clip and choosing File > Get Properties For > Selection.

  • For more information about superimposing clips, see Chapter 10, “Adding Effects.”


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