Tag Archives: ProShow Producer

Tutorial: Swap Images during 90-deg Rotation

Swap Images in 90-degrees

Most ProShow users transition images during a rotation of either 180 degrees or 360 degrees. Doing that in only 90 degrees presents some problems that have to do with differences in apparent size over the rotation range. Those changes require some physical adjustments to the zoom and pan settings.

This tutorial shows how those changes are dealt with in two different ways. The first is accomplished using 1) a mathematical analysis of the changes in layer width and height from the non-rotated state to the state at 90-degrees of rotation (using relevant relationships and geometry) and 2) an approach using my Tools for ProShow (which does all the hard mathematical work for you). Knowing how to look at such an effect makes creating that effect much easier to do.

If you’d like to create the effect but would like to:

  • Have the math done for you, try my Tools For ProShow (the basic and free version helps figure out what to do but the Full Version provides much more assistance)
  • Do the math yourself, here’s the relationships that apply: ProShow Equations

Cheers!

181016-1630 (u/d link 181020)

 

Tools For ProShow (Update)

FULL Version. This version of my tools brings only 26 minor changes. A couple of the changes (Align Here and Findings-Rotation: Location of Layer) were calculation fixes. One of the changes (Modifier Zoom) made some corrections that trapped errors from appearing (in general) and adjusted for some rare conditions.

An additional section was added to the Quadratic/Linear function which displays 11 time increments for a user selected increment and specific start time. This can be useful when needing some specific information around a start or end time value so you can get the exact equation value you need quicker and easier than before.

Nothing earth-shaking … that’s for sure.

Tools for ProShow (BASIC). These tools now contain the same functionality of the Full version’s FINDINGS section (including the following: Settings (ProShow), Settings (Calculated), and Layer: Width and Height). Also, the Slide Information and the Layer Information are included and are the same as found in the Full version. Finally, the User Calculations section was included. These changes should give additional flexibility to the basic user than was previously possible. Now, multiple settings comparisons are possible.

Tools For ProShow (Update)

This new update brings an additional 57 changes to the tools since the release of version 33a. A few of the changes were made to improve and ease the conversion of the worksheet to OpenOffice Format.

Layer Information was brought back from the change to Layer: Aspect/Dimensions so that it remains consistent with the Slide Information tool. That is, it provides aspect information. Additionally, the user can now provide their own list layers aspects they use regularly. This saves re-entering the information layer. So, the Layer Information section now has 4 separate Layer Settings to choose from. These settings are available for use by the following tools: Findings; Width & Height,Zoom; Text Box Aspect; Cropping Tool; and Layer: Outlines/Frames.

Those tools can quickly and easily switch between the various Layer aspects provided. It might not sound like much but, the increased flexibility makes it easier to make changes and perform the necessary analyses.

The release of ProShow Version 9 brought with it a change in how Zoom is handled. When Photodex implemented the FOLLOW FILTERS, it quickly discovered how broken the zoom function was within ProShow. This was very apparent when you tried to use zoom modifiers or for when you wanted to know exactly what a layer’s width and/or zoom was. Those considerations changed considerably when tilt was involved. So, Photodex made some significant changes to its handling of Zoom within ProShow.

A number of changes were made to the tools which deal with Zoom in some fashion so they are compatible with the changes in Release 9. The changes particularly affected Layer: Outlines/Frames and Modifier Zoom. These tools now provide backward compatibility to ProShow versions prior to 9, should you need that capability.

These changes are now available.

OpenOffice is a free Office suite that includes a worksheet with similar capabilities to those of Microsoft’s Excel. Both the EXCEL (XLSM) and OPENOFFICE (ODS) formats of the worksheets are made available.


170902-1140

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

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.

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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

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.