Master Digital Video. $50.
I had no idea how to produce entertaining videos with my new camcorder. I bought Adobe Premiere Elements and it would've taken months, if not years, to learn to use the darn thing.
I bought the Total Training "Digital Video and Adobe Premiere Elements" training on DVD.
The instructor Brian Maffitt walks you through:
- importing video into a new project
- arranging the scenes
- putting in transitions between scenes
- adjusting the audio
- adding some music as a background
- putting in titles and closing credits
- finally, outputting to DVD and other formats
If you want to go from total ignorance (that was me) about working with video to understanding the tools of the trade, you can't get there any quicker than with this reasonably-priced training on DVD.
I suggest you find the .mov clips on the DVD and copy them to your hard drive. Two reasons for this: the interface buttons for playing the videos and pausing them and fast forwarding got confused when I tried to skip ahead in the first clip (explaining what digital video is). So I just copied the video clips from the DVD and play them with the free QuickTime player.
One thing you might consider if you go this route is to pay the $30 to Apple to get a serial number you can plug in that converts the free player to QuickTime Pro. I think it's worth the money for one feature alone -- when you double-click a .mov file to watch it, you can press Ctrl-F and watch it full-screen. For an interface as crowded with doodads as premiere elements, it helps to see a close-up of what the instructor is doing.
Be aware the training covers Premiere Elements 1.0, though version 2.0 is now shipping. Doesn't seem like the general tasks are done differently, just a few added bells and whistles, so what you learn in the training still applies.