Tag Archives: Gold

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
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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
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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.

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