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About Im42n8

I love the outdoors. I enjoy camping, taking photos, and enjoying life.

Tools For ProShow (Update)

ProShow has considerable capability to which Photodex does not provide direct access. That is the domain of the expert, according to Photodex. So, if you want to access that capability, if you even know it exists, you are on your own. Tools For ProShow provide access to much of that capability. ProShow’s cropping tool is minimalistic. Its outlining capabilities are very limited and have not changed much since the program was first introduced. The rotate center function, first introduced in version 4, was meant to allow the rotation of a layer on something other than layer center. Photodex’s implementation provided access to points only within the layer boundaries. First introduced around mid-April 2010, the function has not changed since then. The program doesn’t tell you how wide or tall your layer is. That is something you must figure out for yourself, if you know how. When you rotate a layer on a rotate center value, ProShow does not tell you where that layer really is. The layer’s pan setting is based on where the layer’s center is … unless the layer is rotated off around a point that is different than layer center. The result is a misreported layer position. Sometimes it’s important to know exactly where that rotated layer is located.

Tools for ProShow addresses all of these issues and then some. When first introduced, there were only 9 tools in the toolkit. Now, there are over 25 different tools. Many of the tools are usable in both ProShow Gold and Producer. Only those tools related to modifiers or the case where a change in zoom occurs in each axis are not applicable. In fact, the Layer: Outlines/Frames tool provides the means to use graphics as outline layers similar to what Producer can do natively. It also gives tools to create a graphic that works as a frame. The outlining capability within Gold is next to useless.

I released a new version near the end of June. That was v11.21. I continued making various changes. 88 changes later, v11.33a was released. Some of the changes were cosmetic. Others were a re-working of the equations to provide more accurate information over a more diverse range of settings. For others, the tools were enhanced, becoming more robust. Many changes were under the hood changes.

A new tool was provided to tell how much space is to each side of a layer.

The Layer Outlines/Frames was significantly reworked. It should prove easier to use and understand. The Cropping tool was enhanced slightly. The Findings tools of Cover Layer during Rotation and Largest Width during rotation were reworked considerably. They now work for all scales and layer aspects. The Width & Height, Zoom tool was enhanced slightly.

Each layer has an angle that provides the widest presentation on the screen. This information depends upon the layer’s aspect. That information is now provided in the Layer: Aspect/Dimensions section and the Layer: Outlines/Frames tools. You never know when that information might prove helpful.

I hope you find the toolkit found in Tools For ProShow useful.

Dale
170722-2235

Tools For ProShow

When I first released Tools For ProShow a couple of years ago, there were only 9 tools in it. Today, there are 25 (19 main tools and seven that are a part of the Findings tool). Tools For ProShow gives you access to ProShow capability that Photodex has not given you directly. The tools give you the capability to do things that are otherwise impossible, difficult to achieve, time consuming to do, or labor intensive. This is all to provide you as wide a variety of means to display your images as possible. All you need is the imagination, inventiveness, and drive to go beyond simply what Photodex has provided.

Over the time since the first release of these tools, I’ve learned quite a bit about ProShow too. I knew there had to be a way to do certain things and I found out how to do it. Some people work differently and try different things. . . so they engender ideas about how to present images. Sometimes it’s simply frustration that the program doesn’t provide what you want that leads to change. Well, to avoid reinventing the wheel, so-to-speak, I put those ideas into the Tools. Some get used frequently. Some rarely. It’s nice to have the tool available when you need it though.

As of this posting, version 10.17f1 is the most current release.

OVERVIEW
The tools in this section provide the information needed for use within ProShow. When the data or information is supplied, the results of calculations are provided. The following are included:

1.    Cropping Tool. Obtain cropping dimensions for a layer for a specific aspect. This is a significant enhancement over what ProShow provides. This tool is very flexible and very sophisticated to help you crop your layer to a specific aspect. PSG/PSP.
2.    Distances. Move a layer along the line of an angle of rotation for a specified distance or along a line perpendicular to that angle of rotation. PSG/PSP.
3.    Find Halfway Point. Find the slide location point located halfway between two layers given their Starting and Ending locations (X-Axis and Y-Axis). PSG/PSP.
4.    Findings. Exploits the relationships between pan, zoom, and rotate center, layer width and height. PSG/PSP. Note that PSG zoom values are always the same for each axis.
a.    Align Here. Position a layer’s side, corner, or center to a specific screen location.
b.    Calculated Settings. Pan, Zoom, and Rotate Center functions are interrelated. So, when two function values are known, deriving the missing function’s value is possible. This section calculates the value of the unknown function.
c.    Cover Layer During Rotation. Sometimes you will want to rotate a layer over the top of another, completely obscuring it from view. This tool provides information to do just that.
d.    Layer Width and Height. ProShow provides no layer width or height information. This section provides this information. If no values are provided in the ProShow Settings tool, layer width and height is provided for a layer at 100% zoom by default.
e.    Largest Width During Rotation. Sometimes you need to know what the largest width of a layer is for the given zoom setting during rotation. This tool provides that information.
f.    Locations. This gives the screen location of a layer, its side, or its corner. This information is provided for a given Rotation on some portion of the layer.
g.    ProShow Settings. Layer values from ProShow layer settings.
5.    Layer Information. This provides the slideshow’s layer information. There are three layers provided in this section. The section provides each of the three ProsShow Layers with dimensions (to identify the layer’s aspect) and associated scale. This tool’s information is also used by other tools: Findings, Cropping, Width & Height, Distances, Proportional Sizing and Placement: Layer 4, Layer: Outlines and Frames, Slide Information. PSG/PSP.
6.    Layer: Outlines/Frames. This tool gives settings required of a layer to give another layer the appearance of an outline. An outline typically has an equal size on each side of the layer. It also gives settings for an outline that creates the look of a Polaroid Photo (a larger outline section either at the layer top or bottom than on the other two sides). The tool provides zoom and modifier settings for creating a size change via the zoom feature versus changing the layer’s zoom directly. There is also a section that gives settings that allow a layer size change via cropping, a graphic editor, or the ProShow create Layer (Solid/Gradient) feature. This feature allows the creation of an outline in ProShow Gold. PSG/PSP. PSG compliant only for zoom settings that are the same for each axis. Cropping of an existing layer or creating a graphic of a specific aspect may be required to achieve results possible from within PSP.
7.    Modifier Rotation Calculation. Find the rotation value in terms of degrees, phase change, or modifier value. Modifiers make rotation changes in terms of a percent of a rotation. This tool makes choosing the appropriate rotation amount easy. PSP
8.    Modifier Zoom. This tool calculates the missing value when given two of three values: Starting Zoom, Ending Zoom, and Modifier. Zoom modifiers were found to be a bit more complex than once assumed. Ver 10.17 of these tools provided quick and easy access to accurate size changes to a layer via a modifier. It turned out that when zoom for each axis was different, the calculation of the modifier for the other axis changed from how it was calculated when both axes zoom was the same. When tilt was being used (horizontal or vertical), the zoom modifier calculation changed drastically.
9.    Position a Rotated Layer. Given a starting and final location, this tool gives the distance a layer has moved. When Desired Final Position is provided (for a layer that has been tilted — either vertical or horizontal) or rotated, the layer’s pan settings to position the layer at that desired location are provided. PSG/PSP.
10.    Proportional Sizing and Placement: Layer 4. This tool is useful for creating a layer that is proportional in size and location to another layer. PSG/PSP.
11.    Quadratic/Linear Function. This section provides answers for the ProShow modifier functions of Quadratic Curve and Linear Ramp. The quadratic curve uses an equation that defines a parabola. The ProShow factors define a region of that curve to position a layer. When the Quadratic Curve’s first factor (the quadratic factor) is set to zero, the effective equation defines the Linear Ramp. A linear equation defines a sloped line (which can also be defined as “ramp”). PSP.
12.    Slide Information. This provides the slideshow’s Frame Aspect and the Safe Zone size. This information is used by other Tools For ProShow tools: Layer Information, Findings, Width & Height, Distances, Proportional Sizing and Placement: Layer 4, Layer: Outlines and Frames. PSG/PSP.
13.    Time: Frequency. Determine the frequency for a given number of changes over a specific amount of time. Or find the number of changes that occur over a given amount of time and at a particular frequency. Then too, you could find the amount of time required for a specific number of changes at a given frequency. PSP
14.    Time: Show/Slide/Keyframe. Giving a Starting time (minutes and seconds) and a Final (or ending) time, a difference in time is calculated. Some modifier functions have the ability to start at the following three locations: Show, Slide, or Keyframe. As it can be important to know the actual start time at any given location because of the function used and it’s value at that time can be calculated. PSG/PSP. Usefulness within PSG is very limited.
15.    Text Box Aspect. Select a specific aspect for the Text Box. Sometimes you want to provide additional contrast between the background and the transparent background of the caption or text on a text layer. That graphic or ProShow layer may have a specific aspect you want to box to maintain. Sure, eyeballing it works too. However, sometimes you need specific information about the text box.
16.    Text Box Findings. The locations for each of the text box’s sides are provided. Since the text box changes physical location when the text alignment is changed, it also provides settings that can place the text box in its original location. Information from the Text Position tool (see below) is used as starting point information. Supplemental to that information, user provides the Text Box’s width and height.Note that the position information for this tool comes from the Text Position tool. If the position is such that the text box becomes clipped by the screen or layer edge, a warning is provided about the clipping and provides information as to what parts of the text box are clipped.
17.    Text Position. Captions use a different positioning system than Layers do. Text starts its zero point at the screen’s upper left corner. The lower right corner is the 100% of the screen location. Text layers are layers on which captions have been placed. As such, they have the benefits and characteristics of both Layers and Captions. A text layer’s text is positioned on the layer using caption positioning. The text layer is positioned as a normal layer. Therefore, the actual position of that text might need some calculation. This tool translates the positioning information between these two different measurement systems to provides TEXT POSITION (positioning of the caption or text layer text) or SCREEN POSITION (the apparent location of the text within the slide frame). To get text position, the Layer Pan value and the desired Screen location are needed. To get the screen position, the Layer Pan and the Text Position information is needed. PSP.
18.    USER Calculations. This section allows you to make calculations or use the contents of results found within the worksheet to create other calculations you can use for a variety of purposes. PSG/PSP.
19.    Width & Height.  This tool asks for the following information: frame aspect, layer aspect, and layer scale.  If the zoom is provided, the tool calculates the width and/or height. If the width and/or height is provided, the associated zoom value is provided. Width and Height of a layer can be important when you’re building an effect to present your image(s). ProShow provides none of this information. The Width and Height tool allows you to ask directly for a layer’s required zoom for a particular width or height for a given scale. Great time saver.PSG/PSP.

The calculations used to calculate relationships between pan, zoom, and rotate center were improved. They are now more concise and execute faster than previously. A few bug fixes were also included.

Here’s a link to the overview: Tools for ProShow Overview

Dale
161216-1507

 

 

 

Modifier Zoom

Modifiers were first introduced in ProShow Producer v4. Photodex has yet to improve them as of v8. It has been left up to the so-called “expert” ProShow user to figure out how to use them. One of the modifiers deals with a layer’s zoom setting. This modifier alters a layer’s zoom based on the layer’s existing zoom setting. It is entered as a constant value on the layer’s zoom setting.

A cursory review reveals that this constant value represents the percent of change of the layer’s existing zoom setting that is added to the layer’s zoom setting. So, if the layer has a zoom of 100 and a constant value modifier of 10 is assigned to the layer, when the layer is played, the layer will display as 110. If the modifier was -10, the layer would display as 90.

I’ve been using modifiers for years. I do not, however, use zoom modifiers all that often. But, too, I’ve only been making cursory changes using them. My main use has, in the past, been to periodically apply the modifiers to a layer to create appearance of an outline for another layer. These have been related to small changes in size.

I developed a tool in my TOOLS FOR PROSHOW that is used to define size changes to a layer to allow it to work as an outline or frame to another layer. It defines the size changes necessary in terms of zoom settings, zoom settings and modifier values, or a dimensioned layer of a specific and size. But, it was limited in utility to the specific task of frames or outlines. I wanted something that gave me more latitude. So, I created a tool, MODIFIER ZOOM that would help me create a modifier for zoom.

When creating a zoom modifier there are three attributes that are dealt with: a layer’s starting zoom, the final zoom value, and the modifier itself. But, knowing any two of these three values lets you calculate the missing value. Sometimes you want to know what value of modifier is required for a given setting of zoom that provides a desired zoom setting. But, likewise, you may know what the layer’s zoom setting and what its zoom modifier are. What you want to know then, is what the final zoom setting will result from that pair. Other times, you may want to know what the required starting value of zoom is for a given end zoom value and a specific modifier. So, that’s how I built the tool. Choose whether you want to know the start zoom, end zoom, or modifier … the tool will then ask for the values it needs to calculate the values being sought.

The tool was built on the idea that the modifier created a proportional change in the zoom of that layer. What I discovered, however, was that Photodex didn’t build the modifier zoom function that way. In the process of testing the tool, I discovered that the layer’s zoom settings were cross-related. The starting zoom value of one axis had an effect upon the modifier calculation of the other axis.

modifier-equation-x-axis

Equation 1. X-Axis Modifier

modifier-equation-y-axis

Equation 2. Y-Axis Modifier

Where Xe and Ye are the End value of Zoom for the X and Y axis respectively. Xs and Ys represents the initial (or Start) value of zoom for the X and Y axis respectively. Finally, Mx and My are the Modifier values for each axis (X and Y axis respectively). That’s all there is too it. However, note that while the percent change from the starting zoom has been understood for some time no, the idea that the other axis could affect the actual modifier value for current axis was unknown. Photodex has NOT documented any information about modifiers. This particular quirk of zoom modifiers was a big surprise.

Advanced Introduction to Modifier Zoom
Adding A Zoom Modifier to a ProShow Layer

© Copyright 2016, Dale L Fenimore, FPVP LLC, All Rights Reserved

161105-1845

Tools For ProShow (Update)

For the past few months I’ve been working on my Tools for ProShow on and off. As I was doing this, one change, improvement, or tweak led to another. All in all, the Tools for ProShow are an even more useful tool than they were previously for those wanting to take advantage of capabilities within ProShow that Photodex does not provide to its customers. For those of you who don’t know it, ProShow has considerable capability that Photodex hasn’t provided a framework that allows you to take advantage of it. Its cropping feature is weak. Its outline and shadow creation features are poor. Its Rotate Center feature has a very limited implementation of what it’s capable of doing. Right now, as long as you keep the Rotate Center values within the boundaries of the layer, you can make somewhat effective use of the feature. However, that does not mean you can specify your own rotation location on the screen … just within the layer’s boundaries. ProShow tells you little about a layer’s width and height. This is information that could be helpful in proper positioning of your layers on or off of the slide. ProShow does not document its modifiers or the functions that the modifiers use. While I don’t either, at least I provide the means to effectively use the Quadratic Curve and Linear Ramp functions. Captions or the Text on Text Layers use a different positioning method than layers use. Specific positioning of the text relative to a layer can prove confusing, if not daunting, if accuracy in positioning is important. ProShow provides no bridge between the two. ProShow provides you with timing information but provides no means to determine time between various points within the slideshow. This is all addressed in the Tools for ProShow … and then some.

Tools for ProShow is an Excel Worksheet that performs calculations that let you do things in ProShow once thought impossible, very difficult, or labor intensive. These tools started their life when I first discovered the relationships between Pan, Zoom, and Rotate Center in June 2011.

 Tools For ProShow Enhancements/Changes.


The Tools worksheet has been updated. It has a release version of 10.15e. Extensive revisions, enhancements, or tweaks of many of the tools has occurred since the last update.

The Equal Size Changes tool was renamed LAYER: Outlines/Frames. This tool was extensively revised. The tool is used to create the appearance of an outline or frame around another layer. One enhancement was the ability to specify the width of the outline on each layer’s side. This width is applied to each layer’s side. A second enhancement was that the layer’s aspect is now selected from a dropdown list of defined aspects as well the three original layers given in the Layer Information tool. A third enhancement was the ability to give the layer a Polaroid outline. That is, equal sized outline widths on three sides and a very wide outline width on the fourth side. A fourth enhancement was that the number of modifier-based zoom changes was changed from three to six. A fifth enhancement involved the Aspect, Effective section. A user defined Aspect, Effective End layer was included. This extends this tool’s usefulness to ProShow Gold. With the ability to use a layer with a size specified by the user, cropping or editing it in a graphical editor becomes even easier than previously possible.

Findings: Calculated Settings. The calculations for the layer zoom and width were extensively revised for improved speed and reduced resources. A few calculation errors related to the safe zone were also corrected.

Findings: Formulae. Removed. In its place were two new tools: Largest Width During Rotation and Cover Layer During Rotation.

The Largest Width During Rotation calculates the largest width of the layer during its rotation at the currently entered zoom setting.

The Cover Layer During Rotation gives the required zoom setting of the current layer to cover a layer of its given zoom setting during a rotation.

Layer Support Information. Removed. In its place are the new tools Width & Height and Modifier Zoom.

Numerous minor data arrangements within various tools were also made.

OVERVIEW


 The Tools for ProShow include the following:

1)  Cropping Tool. Obtain cropping dimensions for a layer for a specific aspect. A sophisticated too that far exceeds the limited capabilities of the ProShow cropping feature.. PSG/PSP.

2)  Distances. Move a layer along the line of an angle of rotation for a specified distance or along a line perpendicular to that angle of rotation for a specified distance. PSG/PSP.

3)  Find Halfway Point. Find the slide location point located halfway between two layers given their Starting and Ending locations (X-Axis and Y-Axis). PSG/PSP.

4)  Findings. Exploits the relationships between pan, zoom, and rotate center, layer width and height. PSG/PSP. Note that PSG zoom values are always the same for each axis.

  1. Align Here. Position a layer’s side, corner, or center to a specific screen location.
  2. Calculated Settings. Pan, Zoom, and Rotate Center functions are interrelated. So, when two function values are known, deriving the missing function’s value is possible. This section calculates the value of the unknown function.
  3. Cover Layer During Rotation. Sometimes you will want to rotate a layer over the top of another, completely obscuring it from view. This tool provides information to do just that It gives the minimum zoom values necessary to cover the layer and what its width is while it is doing that.
  4. Layer Width and Height. ProShow provides no layer width or height information directly. You must make some assumptions or a bit of math if you need that information. This section provides this information. (NEW)
  5. Largest Width During Rotation. Sometimes you need to know what the largest width of a layer is when rotated at a given zoom setting. This tool provides that information. (NEW)
  6. Locations. This gives the screen location of a layer, its side, or its corner. This information is provided for a given Rotation on some portion of the layer.
  7. ProShow Settings. Layer values from ProShow layer settings.

5) Layer Information. This provides the slideshow’s layer information. There are three layers provided in this section. The section provides each of the three ProsShow Layers with dimensions (to identify the layer’s aspect) and associated scale. This tool’s information is also used by other tools: Findings, Cropping, Width & Height, Distances, Proportional Sizing and Placement: Layer 4, Layer: Outlines and Frames, Slide Information. PSG/PSP.

6)  Layer: Outlines/Frames. This tool gives settings required of a layer to give another layer the appearance of an outline. An outline typically has an equal size on each side of the layer. It also gives settings for an outline that creates the look of a Polaroid Photo (a larger outline section either at the layer top or bottom than on the other two sides). The tool provides zoom and modifier settings for creating a size change via the zoom feature versus changing the layer’s zoom directly. There is also a section that gives settings that allow a layer size change via cropping, a graphic editor, or the ProShow create Layer (Solid/Gradient) feature: Frame Creation Helper (for Bitmap Editors). This feature allows the creation of an outline or frame layer within ProShow Gold.   Cropping of an existing layer or creating a graphic of a specific aspect for use in PSG may be required to achieve results that are otherwise only possible from within PSP. PSG/PSP.

7)  Modifier Rotation Calculation. Find the rotation value in terms of degrees, phase change, or modifier value. Modifiers make rotation changes in terms of a percent of a rotation. This tool makes choosing the appropriate rotation amount easy. PSP

8)  Modifier Zoom. This tool calculates the missing value when given two of three values: Starting Zoom, Ending Zoom, and Modifier. This tool works for either a layer’s single axis or both axes. PSP. (NEW)

9)  Position a Rotated Layer. Given a starting and final location, this tool gives the distance a layer has moved. When Desired Final Position is provided (for a layer that has been tilted — either vertical or horizontal) or rotated, the layer’s pan settings to position the layer at that desired location are provided. PSG/PSP.

10) Proportional Sizing and Placement: Layer 4. This tool is useful for creating a layer that is proportional in size and location to another layer. PSG/PSP.

11)  Quadratic/Linear Function. This section provides answers for the ProShow modifier functions of Quadratic Curve and Linear Ramp. The quadratic curve uses an equation that defines a parabola. The ProShow factors define a region of that curve to position a layer. When the Quadratic Curve’s first factor (the quadratic factor) is set to zero, the effective equation defines the Linear Ramp. A linear equation defines a sloped line (which can also be defined as “ramp”). PSP.

12)  Slide Information. This provides the slideshow’s Frame Aspect and the Safe Zone size. This information is used by other Tools For ProShow tools: Layer Information, Findings, Width & Height, Distances, Proportional Sizing and Placement: Layer 4, Layer: Outlines and Frames. PSG/PSP.

13)  Time: Show/Slide/Keyframe. Giving a Starting time (minutes and seconds) and a Final (or ending) time, a difference in time is calculated. Some modifier functions have the ability to start at the following three locations: Show, Slide, or Keyframe. As it can be important to know the actual start time at any given location because of the function used and it’s value at that time can be calculated. PSG/PSP. Usefulness within PSG is very limited.

14)  Text Layer Text Positioning. Captions use a different positioning system than Layers do. Text layers are layers on which captions have been placed. As such, they have the benefits and characteristics of both Layers and Captions. A text layer caption is positioned on the layer using caption positioning. The text layer is positioned as a layer is positioned. Therefore, the actual position of that text might need some calculation. This tool provides that information to give TEXT POSITION or SCREEN POSITION. To get text position, the Layer Pan value and the desired Screen location are needed. To get the screen position, the Layer Pan and the Text Position information is needed. PSP.

15)  USER Calculations. This section allows you to make calculations or use the contents of results found within the worksheet to create other calculations you can use for a variety of purposes. PSG/PSP.

16)  Width & Height.  This tool asks for the following information: frame aspect, layer aspect, and layer scale.  If the zoom is provided, the tool calculates the width and/or height. If the width and/or height is provided, the associated zoom value is provided. This can be helpful when dealing with v8’s text region that you want constrained to a specific size and/or aspect. PSG/PSP. (NEW)

NOTES:
PSG: ProShow Gold
PSP: ProShow Producer

161018-2130 DLF-FPVP

Intrepids Among the Experts …

INTRODUCTION
Photodex has created one of the best commercially available video slideshow programs. Right out of the box, ProShow provides its users with considerable control over their resources. ProShow Gold, the consumer version, is limited in what it can do. However, it is still very capable and quickly mastered. The professional version, Producer, offers considerable capability beyond what Gold offers. This version takes more time to master its considerable feature set it. But Producer users are productive with it in nearly the same amount of time as Gold users. Because of its feature set, Producer has more capability than is immediately apparent. Taking advantage of that capability requires a considerable understanding of ProShow itself. Delving into ProShow’s finer details often has you asking others for help and guidance. You who do often find yourselves encountering some interesting personalities. Most are helpful. However, now and then you may find your are dealing with someone who is less than helpful. You may not know why they are like that. But, if you recognize what is happening, you could save yourself some anxiety and/or consternation.

DISCUSSION
ProShow offers a lot of power and control to even the novice user. Those who spend a lot of time with ProShow tend to learn how to take advantage of its various features. The power of some of those features is not recognized until the user has reached a certain level of expertise.

In general, ProShow users are a helpful group. There is usually someone who can provide an answer to any question you might ask.  New users can easily feel intimidated by all that expertise. They often wonder how they will ever learn ProShow’s ins and outs. ProShow usually has more than one way of doing something. That is not always obvious. Actually, learning all that the program has to offer does not happen very quickly. Often, the merely proficient ProShow user thinks of themself as a ProShow expert. They often do not know that there is more to ProShow than is immediately evident.

While learning ProShow’s ins and outs, you will probably come across a variety of ProShow user expertise. Most people are quite helpful, or try to be helpful. Even those do not know ProShow well. In the process, everyone learns. However, for whatever reason, some are less than helpful.

I started with ProShow Gold v2.6. Just over a week later, I upgraded to Producer. I’ve been pushing ProShow’s limits ever since. Eventually, I started delving deeper into ProShow’s secrets. Sometimes I succeeded. In the end, some of the things I learned were ProShow secrets few outside of Photodex know. All I was trying to do was to present my material the way I wanted it presented.

Using version 3’s new masking capabilities, I was the first to demonstrate a lensing effect. I created effects that rolled an image onto and off of the screen. I created the first in-slide page curl. When version 4 was released, I quickly adopted modifiers. They allow you to do things that were previously impossible, very difficult to accomplish, or extremely time consuming to create. One type of modifier allows a layer to follow another layer’s function changes. That type of modifier does not work when following another layer’s zoom changes. But, I discovered a way to exactly follow another layer’s zoom settings. A year later, I found another way to do it. I also found a way to follow the zoom of another layer while keeping the same distance between each layer as they changed size . . . something previously considered impossible.

Those of us who try to expand our understanding of ProShow’s features may run into resistance, for a variety of reasons, from others. They do not appreciate or understand what you are trying to do or what you have learned. They are a naysayer. That is, someone who tries to impede your learning. I’ve run into at least three different naysayer types: the Purist, the Self-Proclaimed Expert, and the Legend-in-Their-Own-Mind.

The Purist types think you should only use ProShow’s features as provided. They say that if ProShow programmers wanted you to have the functionality or information you want, they would have provided its framework.

The Self-Proclaimed Expert is usually an expert only by virtue of the time and effort they investment in learning ProShow’s capabilities. An example of such is claiming to have invented or discovered functionality that was actually common knowledge and/or in common use long before their claim. It is akin to Al Gore’s claim that he invented the internet. Not true but, it is one way to self-promote. They like being recognized as an expert. They would prefer no demonstration of expertise that diverts attention away from them.

Finally, there is the Legend-In-Their-Own-Mind type. They are God’s gift to the ProShow user. They have an overly inflated opinion of their expertise: capabilities, skills, and/or knowledge. They feel compelled to give you the benefit of their expertise, whether or not you want or need it. They have difficulty admitting that they may be wrong; misguided; don’t understand or comprehend what you are doing, want to do, or have done; or that their way of doing things is not the best. They also tend to find it difficult to figure out how to take advantage of what you’re trying to do or have already done. This naysayer is the most insidious type. Once they have wormed their way into your confidence, they have no problem making decisions for you. They will tell you to stop what you are doing. They will tell you that you are wasting your time or effort. They will tell you that what you are trying to do will never amount to anything. Their overly inflated opinion of themselves often interferes with the ability to exercise foresight. This especially true when they do not know how to take advantage of a ProShow feature, capability, or discovery. They may appear as being dense.
When the Legend-In-Their-Own-Mind types think you have exposed their unrealistic self-assessment, beware. They will do whatever is necessary to prevent being reminded that they are not as expert as they hold themselves out as.

A year after ProShow introduced version 4, I wanted to know a layer’s width and height. Placing multiple images on the slide resulted in varying screen positions depending on the layer’s size, aspect, and scale. I wanted to know specifics instead of placing layers through trial and error. In general, unless the layer has the same aspect as the frame, you only know the layer’s width or height, not both. I thought I could save time and effort if I knew both values simultaneously. I began with a geometrical approach. A straight forward mathematical method would have been simpler. However, at the time I didn’t know what I didn’t know. I wanted to know what some of that was.

I told an acquaintance what I was doing and why. This person used the program as often as I did. They had been using the program longer than me too. I thought this was person who would appreciate what I was trying to do. I was wrong. Their first response was that I immediately stop what I was doing. I was wasting my time. I was also told that what I was trying to do would amount to nothing. I was not amused. How does someone who barely knows me know that I am wasting my time? How could they know that nothing would come of my efforts? When you are learning how to use software, you try different things so you can learn how to accomplish some goal. Success is never guaranteed. But even if unsuccessful, you might learn something about the program that is often more valuable than the desired result. It is defeatism to quit before beginning simply because you might not succeed. However, that’s exactly what this naysayer wanted me to do.

I did not stop. My research was a success. I made an unexpected discovery that also gave me a layer’s width and height. The discovery was something only the Photodex programmers knew: Pan, Zoom, and Rotate Center are interrelated. I became the first person to make effective use of ProShow’s Rotate Center function.

Previous to ProShow version 4, a layer could rotate only around its center. The Rotate Center feature lets you rotate (or tilt) a layer around a point other than layer center. When the Rotate Center function’s values are not larger than ±50, a layer can reliably rotate (or tilt) around any location within a layer’s boundary. A rotation point beyond the layer boundary, however, puts you on your own. Suppose you want to rotate a layer around a specific onscreen point that corresponds to a point on the layer. Suppose too that you change the layer’s position, aspect and/or size, or change the frame’s aspect. You may need to expend considerable time and effort to find that same onscreen rotation point again.

My discovery let me select any point around which to rotate (or tilt) any number of layers; each layer possibly having a different scale, location, size, and/or aspect. Discovered in June 2011, I worked out all of the relationships and then publically released that information around October 2011. In September 2011 I published a video demonstrating my discovery.

I began using Version 4’s layer names, layer notes, and slide notes in effects I was creating. People tend to ignore documentation that comes with products. I thought it more convenient to provide help within the effect itself. That makes it easier to make changes to the effect rather than looking for PDF documentation. I told an acquaintance what I was doing and why. I was promptly told to stop immediately. I was told that nobody paid attention to layer notes, slide notes, or layer names. Therefore, I was wasting my time. Within a year, however, this same acquaintance was following my example.

The legend-in-their-own mind type’s may have an approach that is at odds with yours. I will give you an example. CB uses only static presentations of their material. DD includes motion. CB uses pan, zoom, tilt, and rotate center in extremely limited ways. DD uses those functions dynamically.

Static presentation represents a two dimension (2D) show. Adding motion is like adding a third dimension (3D) to the show. 2D people tend to find motion confusing and complicated. Their advice on issues related to 3D is often off the mark. Nobody can comment intelligently on something about which they know nothing. It doesn’t stop some however.

CONCLUSION/SUMMARY
Had I listened to the naysaying I experienced, I wouldn’t have learned as much as I have about ProShow. Aside from the various unique effects I’ve created, I wrote a book of tips and hints for ProShow called “Beyond the Manual.” I created an Excel spreadsheet (“Tools for ProShow”) that people can use to take advantage of ProShow’s capabilities that available but not readily apparent. I’ve also been able to create many “How-To” tutorials to help people learn ProShow and take advantage of its capabilities.

You may decide to stop looking into how to achieve a desired result after an interaction with a naysayer. But, if you do, make sure you stop for reasons of your own, not theirs. That way, you’ll have no regrets. This is a video slideshow program. It is not rocket science. In the scheme of things, nothing you do with this program is likely to have much of an impact on the world. Still, discoveries you make concerning ProShow capabilities are self-satisfying. Share those discoveries if you can. Help others take advantage of what ProShow is capable of doing. Help them create great shows. Do not throw cold water on their efforts. Do not let your ego get in the way of thing – it’s not worth it. Most of all, have fun with what you are doing. Help others to have fun too.

PSP/PSG Layers as “Outline” Layers

Some years ago, I developed a tool in Excel to allow me to get around the limitations of the outline feature in ProShow. There is only one outline in Gold and it is narrow. However, it’s often either not narrow enough or not wide enough. Producer has five outline widths with 1 being the narrowest and 5 the widest. What I found was that the narrowest outline was often not narrow enough and the widest was not wide enough. ProShow outlines are centered on the layer’s outside edge. Changes to the outline’s width vary from that centerline. That means that half the outline is on top of the layer while the other half is on the layer’s outside edge. ProShow outline corners are also rounded. These outlines are not editable … and their appearance often leaves something to be desired. ProShow outlines remained unchanged since they were implemented.

If you want improved looking outlines you are on your own. What you must do is to create your own outlines. This is often done using another layer situated below the layer to which you want to give an outline. This other layer is then resized in some fashion to give the appearance of an outline or frame around the upper layer. What people quickly realize when they attempt this is that, unless the layer is square, a change in zoom results in a larger size increase in one axis versus the other. For instance, if your layer has an aspect of 1600:900, and you want to increase the size by 10%, you’ll find that 10% of 1600 is larger than 10% of 900. With locked axes, this results in a lopsided looking outline.

In Producer, you can unlock the X and Y axes and vary the zoom of each axis independently or use a modifier on each axis to effectively do the same thing. This option, however, is unavailable to Gold users since varying the zoom of each axis is unavailable. Further, Gold has no idea what a a modifier is. The only option left is one that requires adjusting the layer’s dimensions and applying an appropriate value of zoom. This approach, which works in both Gold and Producer, is not as easy as it sounds. As a valid option, it’s been prone to a labor and time intensive effort to get the dimensions and associated zoom correct. That is, until I completed some recent enhancements to my Equal Size Changes tool.

CREATE THE OUTLINE LAYER.

Define the Outline Layer. In the tool, you first identify the starting layer’s aspect (or dimensions), scale, and starting zoom.

Define the Amount of Size Change from the Reference Layer. Provide the desired amount of change to the layer’s size.

RESULTS. The tool then provides information that is useful in either ProShow Gold or Producer to create a layer you can use as an outline or frame for another layer. The result is either zoom values for each layer’s axes (or modifier values) or a layer’s dimension and associated zoom to be used when the graphic/solid color/gradient layer is imported into ProShow at the specified scale.

For Gold users, this provides an unprecedented capability for giving your image layer an outline or frame that looks like you want it to look. It is now possible to do things in Gold that are very similar to what Producer users are already capable of doing. While Gold users must use an appropriately created and sized graphic, Producer users (who can also use the graphic approach described) have the additional option to use either a solid color or gradient layer (when making simple outlines) when creating a layer being used for an outline.

The tool also provides information as to how much of the layer being created in a graphical editor would be seen as the “outline” around another layer. This means you can edit that region in any way you want and then delete everything else … actually creating a frame (a graphic with a transparent center).

This is a quick overview of the tool’s capabilities and how it can be used (in Gold and Producer):  FPVP TOOLS: Equal Size Changes Tool

Take a gander at the video overview … tell me what you think. Also, do not expect Photodex to provide this functionality to Producer or Gold any time soon.

160512-1855

FPVP Tools (Updated)

THEY’RE HERE! A few months back, I was asked if there was a way to reset the FPVP Layers values from the one’s entered. At the time, all settings changes depended on whatever values were entered. To set them all to a zero value was done manually. Also, a reset function would have required the use of a macro, a feature I hadn’t used for many years. But, I looked into it and one thing led to another. In the end, I made over 60 changes or tweaks to the existing program. I improved the functionality of the OpenOffice version which then were made compatible with LibreOffice (another freeware version of an alternative to Microsoft Excel). I enhanced the features of the Cropping Tool, Equal Size Changes, and Modifier Rotation Calculation.  I also added a tool that made it easier to figure out where a text layer’s text was on-screen. A text layer’s text is movable independent of the layer’s position. So, I created the tool to give me control I didn’t have previously. I let the tool tell me the screen pan values of the text given the text layer’s position and the position of the text on that layer. But it works both ways too. The position of the text on the text layer is given when you tell it where on the screen you want that text for a given position of the text layer.

This update (v10.11d) contains many changes and tweaks to the originally released version. Below are the main changes to FPVP Tools.

Cropping Tool. The aspect to which you want to crop a layer is now either manually entered or selected from a dropdown list of defined aspects. Also, a Zoom% feature was added. This is useful for cases where you are cropping a defined region of a layer within ProShow and you want to define it as a percent of the full sized image. Alternatively, if you create a crop region within ProShow, this zoom setting can be changed until one of the axis reports a size similar to what you have in ProShow. This will then give you the proper crop values for each axis that give the desired Aspect. Likewise you could keep the zoom at 1000% and enter the ProShow crop region’s values to obtain the crop values for the desired aspect. What is provided now are additional options that, hopefully, make the task of cropping your ProShow layer easier and more informative.

Equal Size Changes. Previously, the X and Y axes were required to have the same zoom setting. Now, they may have different values of zoom. You can now select the exact amount of change you want on all sides (scaled to the layer’s aspect). This change may be as small or as large as you want. Previously, the amount of change was made by entering a percent of change from the layer’s existing zoom value or as a specific value of zoom. These changes work for any size of zoom on any axis or scale of the layer.  The effective aspect of the layer before and after any changes is now displayed. This could be useful information for some situations. More useful information is the layer’s width and height before and after any changes. Further, the amount of change on each side (normalized to the frame aspect) is displayed.  This shows how large the change is on each side of the layer. The actual change on each side is also displayed for reference purposes as is the total change in width and height.

Note that this tool was specifically created to address the limitations in ProShow’s layer’s outlining and shadowing features. Add to that the fact that a 10% change in zoom size of a layer that is NOT square can result in a visual change that is larger in one axis than another. Visually, this is can result in some glaring disparities.

Modifier Rotation Calculation. This tool was modified to allow finding a layer’s amount of rotation, change of phase, and/or amount of rotation. An cell was added to provide the “Master” layer’s rotation amount. Also, a checkbox was added to have the tool calculate the amount of rotation required for a layer to obtain the desired rotation angle. There’s also an option now to have the tool calculate the difference in rotation.

For instance, if the existing rotation (Layer) is set to 120, Rotation (Additional) is -360. The tool reports that the Change of Phase is -1.00, Value of Modifier is -100.00, and a Rotation (Final) is -240.  If a “Master” Layer (a layer that another layer will “follow” the rotation of) has an existing rotation of 45, with the Layer’s values as given, the layer’s final rotation will be a rotation value of 525 degrees (when the modifier of 100 is added to the Layer AND the layer is also following the rotation of the “Master” layer).

At the very least, this approach can show you what the final rotation value is given the Master layer’s rotation and the follower layer’s rotation value for a given offset rotation amount. The basis for each result is given to the right of each of the three different lines the user can use as rotation input information (in degrees, change of phase amount, or a modifier value).

Text Layer Text Positioning. (NEW!) This new tool compensates for the fact that a text layer is a caption layer contained in a normal layer. The caption is positioned in a different positioning method than a layer’s position is. A caption is positioned where the 0,0 location is the upper left corner of the screen and 100,100 is the lower right corner of the screen. Further, the center point of a caption is located according to the alignment setting for that caption (left or right). The top to bottom center point is still roughly the halfway point from the top of the first line of caption to the bottom of the last line of caption, adjusted by the amount of leading associated with the typeface of the caption. So, the position of the text of a text layer is determined by the text’s selected alignment type (left, right, center) and the top-to-bottom center point of the caption. This tool helps to simplify figuring out exactly what the normal screen coordinates are for that text when the caption text is NOT the default 50,50 position. Likewise,  if you desire to know how to place of layer’s caption at a specific place on the screen for a specific layer positioning, this tool can calculate that for you too.

MACROS. Macros were also added to this new version of FPVP Tools. These macros allow you to reset the Layer Aspect in the Layer Information and within the FINDINGS section: reset the ProShow Settings, Highlights in the Calculated Settings section, and the dropdown list selections in Locations and Align Here. Specific graphics provide the ability to reset all of them at once (The graphic associated with each layer under the Layer Information section) or separately (in the Findings section). Previously, when the language was changed, the dropdown list selection displayed remained displayed in the original language. You had to manually change each dropdown list selection. That no longer is the case. Select a different language and the dropdown list is refreshed to display the the default selection in the language selected.

OPEN OFFICE 4.1.1 and LIBRE OFFICE 5.3. The ODS worksheet works substantially the same as the EXCEL Version. The previous OpenOffice release version had some problems which have all been addressed. Libre Office did not properly import the ODS worksheet previously released and this has been fixed as well. OpenOffice and Libre Office are free spreadsheet programs that provide substantially the same capabilities as Microsoft Excel. If you don’t have Excel and don’t have the money to spring for it, OO and LO provide excellent alternatives that do NOT break the pocketbook.

SUMMARY. FPVP Tools provides the ProShow user a means to access ProShow’s power without becoming an expert on how ProShow performs its magic. It provides a means to do things that are otherwise impossible, extremely difficult, or very time consuming to do. If you have an inquiring and open mind as to ProShow’s capabilities, FPVP Tools is a way to save you time and effort to effectively display your images.

If you want to make effective use of ProShow’s rotate center feature, for instance, FPVP Tools is the only way to do it. FPVP Tools allows you to define a specific point around which to rotate or tilt a layer. Many layers may then use the same rotation point. At this time, ProShow does not provide the means to effectively use the Rotate Center function.

Effective placement of a layer, when precision is necessary is significantly enhanced using FPVP Tools. This is far superior to eyeballing placement of a layer and its support components, whether you use some form of “motion” or a static presentation (that is, when using the features of pan, rotation, zoom, or tilt).