FPVP TOOLS Update Coming

A revised release of the full version of FPVP Tools is coming in the near future. Time permitting, I hope to released in the next week or so. Those who’ve already purchased a copy of the FPVP Tools will receive the update automatically. I’ve had very little time

FPVP TOOLS OVERVIEW
For those of you unfamiliar with FPVP tools, it’s a set of tools I started developing right after I discovered how to effectively use the Rotate Center function back in 2010. Discovering how to use actually use the rotate center function for something other than rotating a layer on its side or corner opened up lots of possibilities. So, I kept notes. The tools I developed kept me from re-inventing things and helped reduce some calculations when creating effects within ProShow.

ProShow provides absolutely no way to effectively use the Rotate Center function for other than rotating a layer on its side, corner, or center. Beyond those limitations, you are on your own. With FPVP Tools, you can select the exact screen position around with to rotate or tilt a layer. Also, any layer can rotate on that same location. It doesn’t matter that the layers can all have different sizes, scales, aspects, or locations themselves. FPVP Tools tells you the appropriate rotate center value.

I now knew exactly what a layer’s height and width was no matter what scale or zoom setting. That helped with layer placement. Not all images I use have the same aspect. Sometimes I used those images together in the same slide. So, I created a copping tool to let me crop images to a specific aspect. That improved the look and feel of the images on the slide. While Proshow allows you to crop (and move that crop region around) a layer, it provides no feedback to let you know what aspect the layer is cropped to. It means you must perform the math to figure out the proper cropping amounts.

The rotation and tilt entry values are in degrees. But, when it comes to creating a rotation/tilt using a macro, you are entering a rotation amount in terms of a percent of a 360-deg rotation. So FPVP Tools has a tool to do the conversion calculation for you.

A new tool helps you determine the screen location of text on a text layer. The text on a text layer is simply a caption encapsulated on a normal layer. The text on that layer is positioned like any caption is: 0 to 100 from left to right and 0 to 100 from top to bottom. Then, the layer itself is positioned according to 50% of the layer being on each side of layer center. Sometimes you need to know specific information. For those times, I’ve created a tool that helps determine the actual location on the screen of that text. It can saves you time and effort.

Want to rotate a layer and then move a specific distance along the angle of rotation or along a line perpendicular to that rotation value? There’s a tool for that too. To do that manually in ProShow is a kind of hunt and peck method. When you need precision, the tool in FPVP Tools is the only way to go. It saves time, effort, and frustration.

And there’s more …

FPVP TOOLS REVISIONS OVERVIEW
A while back, I received a request for reseting layer settings. So, I took a look. This capability required macros, a feature I’ve had little use for over the years. After looking into it a bit, I included a variety of macros that achieve the desired effect. I also looked into other areas in which improvements could be made to the FPVP tools. I subsequently made 52 tweaks, fixes, and changes to the them since the last release. Some of the more visible changes:

The Cropping Tool was expanded to include a set of defined target cropping aspects. Instead of manually entering the aspect to which you wanted a layer cropped, you could simply select the desired aspect from a drop down list.

The Modifier Rotation Calculation was expanded to include the calculation of a difference between layer’s rotation values. It includes a Master layer entry to make it easier to calculate a modifier to follow the rotation of another layer by a specific amount. This might be easy to calculate manually, but this takes some of the guesswork, time, and effort out of it.

Resets. There are now 4 different resets provided. One resets a layer’s aspect, all of its settings, and the highlighters. Another resets only the layer’s settings. Another resets only the layer’s highlighters. The final one resets the dropdown box selections when the worksheet’s language was changed. Previously, a change in language required manually changing each dropdown choice to get the correctly displayed language.

Equal Size Changes.
1) Layer Zoom. Earlier versions did not correctly calculate the layer size change for each axis when the layer’s initial zoom settings were not the same. The previous release locked the Y-Axis to the X-Axis value, keeping the initial layer aspect unchanged. The upcoming release now allows different values of zoom for the X and Y axes. When the desired change in size is selected, the tool now correctly calculates both axes settings (zoom and modifiers), for any scale selected.

2) Exact Size Change. It is now possible to select the exact amount of change to each side of the layer’s center. Select a size of 0.01 or 5 or 20 … and the tool will correctly calculate the necessary values for the new X and Y axis zoom settings. When using a layer to create an outline for another layer, it is now much easier to select the exact width of that outline.

3) Width, Height, Aspect. This tool now displays the layer’s width, height and effective aspect both before and after the selected amount of change is displayed. This is important for those wanting more precise control over how their layers appear in ProShow. Controlling a layer’s width and height can be very important to the look and feel of a slide’s content from one slide to another.

Text Layer Text Position. As discussed earlier, this new tool allows you to determine where the text of a text layer is in the layer coordinate system. Or, it will tell you the text layer position for display at a specific screen location. Of course, this tool only works with a layer that has no applied tilt or rotation.

A number of changes were also on some look and feel, bug fixes, or minor corrective actions. This is particularly true of the OpenOffice version of the worksheet. That worksheet now also works within LibreOffice. Both of which are freeware alternatives to Excel. The look and feel or the OpenOffice version has been made to be as close to the Excel version as possible.

VIEWERS, ProShow Producer 5+ Styles

This has been a very busy year for me. Too, I took some time off to visit family in Hawaii on the island of Oahu. Needless to say, I haven’t spent a lot of time working or had a lot of time to work with ProShow this year. Still, every now and then, some inspiration keeps showing up and that results in the creation of an effect for ProShow. Along with that comes the requisite testing to find out what works as well what the final effect will look like. The result, Viewers, includes 6 effects for a total of 14 styles.

The TOURNIE effects (supplied for 3:2 and 4:3 image aspects; Vertical and Horizontal) were inspired by Tennis Tournament score keeping graphics used on TV. There are two different effects here, In one, the frame rotates horizontally and the other rotates vertically around the displayed image. As the frame sweeps across the image, it sweeps it away and leaves the next image in its place. This effect uses 2 images of the same aspect.

The NOTE-A-TALL effect (supplied for 2:3 and 3:4 image aspects) was inspired by previous effects I created. The portrait image is displayed at screen left with a caption located to the screen right. This effect uses the tilt function to move two framed panels (that are sections of the original image) across the screen. The two panels move along different paths. The caption moves INTO the panel as it moves to the right. It exits the panel as a different caption as the panel move left. The two image section panels recombine at the right to form the next image where the previous image had been. This effect uses 2 images of the same aspect.

ROUNDER and SQUARER are full screen effects. A circular section of the next image is swept into view over the initial image in Rounder. In Squarer, small squares come into view from a large square’s corners. When the small squares meet, they form the large square that shows a portion of the next image. In both cases, the next image portion is located at screen center.  Then the remaining section of the initial image folds into the screen, from a vertical line located at screen center, to reveal the full extent of the next image. This effect uses 2 images of any aspect.

2By2-TO-TALL (supplied in 3:2 and 4:3) comes in 3 versions. Each version uses 4 wide images of the same aspect. In each version, the image that will display at full-size is shown in a 2×2 grid, framed at screen center. These images move out of the way to reveal the full-sized image within the framed region. The 2×2 grid then moves back over the displayed image and the next image is prepared for view. The next image that will display is shown in full color while the remaining images are shown in grayscale. In Version 1, the images pan off-screen the same way they panned on-screen. In Version 2, they pan off-screen the opposite of how they panned on-screen. In Version 3, the images move on-screen the same way they moved off-screen (using the tilt function). Versions 1 and 2 have more than 8 additional built-in variations of how the 2×2 grid images enter/leave the screen. Version 3 has more than 21 additional built-in variations. That’s over 40 possible variations for the 2By2-To-1 effect! Experiment and Have Fun!!!


Link to FPVP VIEWERS

New Producer Styles: Flip Images, Pairs, Quadrature, and Twins

After months of working on a number of different effects, I finally finished them. Once tax season here began, I found myself with a very little time with which to dedicate resources. Hence, the release of them was considerably later than I had hoped. This was a very unusual year and free time was at a premium. However, many tweaks made to the initial effects made for a final effect that I believe was worth. These effects display images in a simple and compelling fashion. In the end, I had the following effects: Flip Images, Pairs, Quadrature, and Twins. In all there are 44 styles.

Each effect is designed for Widescreen (16:9 aspect) shows. Each works in ProShow Producer v5 and later. The effects are designed for use with images that have been cropped to an aspect of 2:3, 3:2, 3:4, and/or 4:3 (these being the most common digital image formats these days). Many SLR cameras take photos with an aspect that is close to 2:3 or 3:2. You may still want to crop these images to be exactly 2:3 or 3:2 aspect (instructions are included in the style itself). Many of the camera’s known as the “point and shoot” type, take images with a 4:3 or 3:4 aspect.

The TWINS effect was derived from an effect I initially created in September 2011 to demonstrate the effective use of the rotate center function. This revamped effect allows their use as a stand-alone effect or to match effects seamlessly to transition from one image aspect to another.

The other 3 sets of effects were created, in part, to help demonstrate use of my FPVP tools. One thing led to another and the Pairs, Quadrature, and Flip Images effects resulted. I found that some of these effects were better released as effects to use in an actual show.

Flip Images. The images flip and turn over to reveal the image on their backside. What’s different here is how the images do their flip maneuver. 12 styles, Image aspects supported: 2:3, 3:2, 3:4, 4:3

Pairs. Images break into slices which rotate and merge to become different images. The term “Pairs” refers to these slices rather than the images themselves. 8 styles, Image aspects supported: 2:3, 3:2, 3:4, 4:3

Quadrature. 4 Images are rotated around a central point. Those images are either 2:3, 3:4, 3:2, and 4:3 image aspects. Each Quadrature image has the same aspect. 8 styles, Image aspects supported: 2:3, 3:2, 3:4, 4:3

Twins (Slide, Swap, Split 1, Split 2) Pairs of Images Transition to another Pair of Images. The initial pair of images may have a different aspect than the next pair of images. Transitioning between aspects of 2:3 and 3:4 is a breeze! 16 styles, Image aspects supported: 2:3, 3:4

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FPVP Tools for ProShow – UPDATE

FULL VERSION, Freebie Version

Ok, as promised, the latest version of the FPVP Tools has been released v10.9f. It is provided in XLS (Excel 97-2003), XLSX (Excel 2007 through 2013), and ODS (OpenOffice Calc 4.1.1). The addition of the OpenOffice format is new. OpenOffice is an Office Suite that offers an alternative to Microsoft Office but is somewhat compatible with it. It’s also FREE.

As stated in the previous post, Microsoft doesn’t support a number of key features I was using in my Worksheet. OpenOffice did a decent job of importing the Excel 2013 worksheet but, it did not translate everything perfectly … and a number of tweaks were required. I believe I got most of them.

With this release of the tools, I made quite a few changes. Each tool can help in creating effects in ProShow. They can minimize the amount of and intensity of planning that would normally be required. I also found a way to determine exactly where a rotated layer (rotated using the rotate function) was located on the screen. Rotate the layer on a rotate center and its actual screen location is determinable. This is useful for when you want to stop at a specific rotation value, then move the layer along the rotated angle or perpendicular to it without having to rely on a modifier. This is also important from the perspective that if you change the rotate center of a layer that is rotated on a rotate center tends to “move” or adjust its position if you change its rotate center. Knowing exactly where the layer is lets you swap out the current layer for a repositioned layer … and then do things that would be otherwise impossible to do. The effect would be extremely difficult to achieve in any other fashion … and not intuitively obvious as to how you actually achieved that effect (for those trying to duplicate what you did).

Another tool lets you find the physical location of a layer that’s been rotated/tilted (in increments of 90 degrees). ProShow includes the modifier functions of Linear Ramp and Quadratic Curve. This release includes tools to take advantage of those features. The Linear Ramp is actually a sub-function of the Quadratic Curve. The Quadratic curve feature is actually quite a bit more complicated than it looks. It defines a parabola … but the tools that ProShow provides gives you no insight into where on that curve you are for the values you use. The FPVP Tools of Quadratic / Linear Function graphs the values you provide and lets you actually see where you are on the curve or what the linear ramp looks like for the given values. It helps to design from a knowledge of exactly what is happening in ProShow.

These are the biggest changes but, a number of usability changes were made too. If you like to tinker with things, this is a tool that can help you ferret out the features of ProShow … features that ProShow has but which it doesn’t provide direct access to.

FULL VERSION, Freebie Version

FPVP TOOLS – Info Update

I know it’s been quite awhile since anyone’s heard a peep from me but, I have been busy. The “day” job has been pretty good at taking up most of my free time. However, in my free time I have worked on some effects that I created while working on demonstrations to support how to use my FPVP Tools. The development of those new effects are now mostly done complete. However, I’m in the testing and demo developing phase and that can take some time (due to the limited free time, doggone it). At present there are 4 basic effects that are comprised of some 44 styles. So, hopefully I’ll finish the fine tuning and tweaks soon. Then, i can start releasing them. I think you’ll like what you see when you finally see them.

I’ve also been hard at work improving and tweaking the Full version of my FPVP Tools. A substantial number of changes were made to the tool set last released. Importantly too, switching languages does not impact column widths as much as what occurred previously. As of now though, I believe that testing is mostly complete. I hope to have and an update in the near future.

Recently, someone asked me whether my Excel worksheet (in which the FPVP Tools were developed) would work in OpenOffice. I’d forgotten completely about that choice. A quick check revealed that every time I imported the Excel worksheet into OpenOffice, it acted a little differently. Seems the translation is not perfect. Further, Microsoft does not support a number of features that I used in the worksheet … effectively crippling the utility of any export to an OpenOffice format from within Excel (at least, for now).

All is not lost however. OpenOffice 4.1.1 imported most of the worksheet intact. I just had to figure out what it was not translating or was not translating correctly. Once I figured that out, it turned out the fix wasn’t anywhere nearly as bad as it initially appeared to be.

The FREEBIE version of FPVP TOOLS – Basic now includes an OpenOffice compatible worksheet.

The full version of the FPVP Tools still requires some tweaking to deal with some formatting issues and such. But, the main issues appear to have been resolved. I hope to have an OpenOffice compatible version of the FPVP Tools – Full available with next release. Hopefully I can do that in the not too distant future.

Keep tuned!

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