Tag Archives: Proshow Tutorials

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

Intrepids Among the Experts …

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

PSP/PSG Layers as “Outline” Layers

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

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

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

CREATE THE OUTLINE LAYER.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

160512-1855

FPVP Tools (Updated)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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!