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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

An Example of Using Two Different Scales in a Mask Set

Recently, I came across someone asking for some unique help. He was using two different scales in the same mask set: fit to frame for the mask and fill frame for the masked layer. He had two different mask sets that displayed the same image. One mask set was smaller than the other. The information concerning size and position of the smaller mask set were known as was the size and position of the larger mask set’s mask layer. What he wanted to know was how to determine the size and position of the larger mask set’s image layer such that it displayed the smaller mask set’s image exactly the same … just at a larger size.

An explanation (tutorial if you will) of how to figure out how to deal with this little doozy of a problem is located here.

FPVP Tools for ProShow

I couldn’t let the darned thing go.Things were missing from the initial release that I thought should be included. So, even though I wanted (and needed) to do other things, I ended up making the changes. In the process, I made the worksheet less prone to really wide columns when a language other than English were used. Different people have different ways of describing the same thing. That goes for languages. So, I added a 4th language option: YOURS. When you select this option you may edit the text in the YOUR LANGUAGE column to a language other than English if that’s what you need.

The ability to locate a layer’s actual position after it has been rotated is pretty novel. I don’t know of anyone who offers that feature (aside from me). But, this ability, which was previously only available to rotated layers (in the previous release), is now afforded to layers that are also tilted (vertical or horizontal). The other nice feature is that if you rotate (or tilt) a layer on a Rotate Center, you can now find it’s actual screen position as well. Nobody else even comes close to this capability.

The bottom line of that capability is the ability to do things that might otherwise require the use of modifiers. Imagination is your only real limitation. The power of ProShow that you probably didn’t even know existed is provided with these tools. They offer access to things even most ProShow experts aren’t even aware of.

All of the tools are compatible with ProShow Producer. ProShow Gold is able to take advantage of all of the tools except EQUAL SIZE CHANGES (Gold doesn’t allow different values of zoom for the X- and Y-Axes) nor the MODIFIER ROTATION CALCULATIONS (Gold doesn’t support modifiers).

Check out the Introduction to the Tools or go to my site’s webpage.

Dale

FPVP Layer Calculation Tools for ProShow

Back in July 2010, I finished my first draft of an Excel worksheet that let me calculate Rotate Center for Fill Frame and Fit To Frame scaled layers. Over time, I kept adding features and abilities as I learned more about ProShow. In time, it became a pretty full featured worksheet. I have decided to release a version that has the most useful features in it to the public. I’ve spent the past number of months getting it ready for prime time. That meant numerous revisions to find the version that would work best for everyone. The end result is a set of tools that lets you do things you thought impossible, very difficult, or labor intensive.

The worksheet supports all ProShow scale settings (however, if you want a “Stretch to Frame” scaled layer, simply use a layer that has the same aspect as the show). The FINDINGS tool allows you to exploit the relationships between the ProShow features of Pan, Zoom, and Rotate Center as well as a layer’s features of width and height. It lets you find a layer’s actual position after being rotated on a side, corner. The rotation has to be in increments of 90 degrees from ±0 to ±360. You can also find the screen location of a layer’s side or corner (which has been rotated as described or not). You can also align a layer’s side, corner, or center to any specific screen location upon demand. You pick the screen location, the layer’s corner or side (or center…) and the worksheet gives you the settings to align your layer there accordingly.

Creating layers to use for your own borders, outlines, or frames is easy now with the EQUAL SIZE CHANGES tool. You can set a size change for either the X-axis or Y-axis and the appropriate setting for the other axis (that gives the exact same size) is provided. Two methods are provided: By a Percent Change or by a Start and End value. The Percent Change method is useful for determining modifier values of zoom.

The MODIFIER ROTATION CALCULATION tool gives you rotation amounts in Degrees, Phase Change, and Modifier Value. You can enter the appropriate type (Degrees, Phase Change, and/or Modifier value) and the results for the remaining types are also provided.

Cropping is a very useful feature when you want “standardized” layer sizes. The CROPPING TOOL is a smart tool. You can invert the target aspect (the aspect to which you want your layer cropped to) and/or the layer aspect (that layer that you want to crop). That means you can quickly switch from a tall aspect to a wide aspect with the click of a mouse button … no need to re-enter the information. Any target aspect is allowed. Cropping values are clearly provided.

Compatibility is important. ProShow Producer is compatible with all of these tools. ProShow Gold is compatible all of the tools except those dealing with modifiers and Equal Size Changes. That’s because Gold does not support modifiers nor does Gold allow different values of zoom for the X- and Y-Axes.

Check out the Introduction to the Tools or go to my site’s webpage.

ProShow Unleashed: Beyond the Manual

The FPVP book is now available:

http://fenimorephotovideos.com/BeyondTheManual.html

The book has gone through a slight name change from when I first announced it and there’s even more content too. The 97 page book is in PDF format.

Useful for both Novice and Expert users, there is something in this book for everyone. I hope you find it useful. The link above takes you to the webpage with the updated table of contents (no page numbers though). This is the first book of its kind for ProShow users.

Dale