Category Archives: Modifiers

Tools For ProShow, v11.33a

Released recently, there’ve been some 88 changes to the various tools in the worksheet since the release of v11.21 (released some 22 days ago as of this publication).

Many of the changes between the last release and this one are under the hood changes. However, considerable work went into improving and enhancing the Layer: Outlines/Frames tool. Quite a bit of work went into the Findings tools of Cover Layer During Rotation and Largest Width During Rotation. These latter two tools should now work correctly for any scale of layer. You never know when you might need to know the minimum width you need for when you’re rotating a layer or just how wide that layer might be for a given value of zoom.

Fractional values of a layer’s aspect are now provided as are the angles formed by a diagonal between two opposing corners. Sometimes that information can prove helpful, if not enlightening when you’re creating an effect.

You can now compare the widths between the 3 Findings Layers. Further, you are told the amount of space on each side of a layer for its given scale, aspect, zoom, and position.

What’s more, a version of the Tools For ProShow is now also provided in OpenOffice format with this release, v11.33a. This format had been discontinued as of v10.11jf for performance reasons.


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TOOLS FOR PROSHOW. Rotation: Location of Layer

Well, it’s been awhile since I have done anything with ProShow. A few piddling things here and there, but I haven’t followed up on much of anything. I did however, work a fair amount on my Tools For ProShow. I did some work in early January but then, the tax season hit and I got slammed with work. I was working over 120 hours per pay period (I am a tax preparer completing both corporate and individual taxes). So, I did next to nothing else until after tax season ended. Then, I took 2 months off.

New Release of Tools for ProShow. I recently finished off a bunch of changes in the worksheet, many minor and some not quite so minor. The most recent release is now available at my site: v11.21. You can find it here:  http://fenimorephotovideos.com/FPVP_Tools_wp.html

Providing a layer aspect for use by many of the Tools is now much more flexible than in previous releases. Dropdown lists are now much easier to identify. Numerous tweaks of the calculations were made to make them faster, overall. Some were simplified. The reset buttons (macro driven) now work only within their respective sections.

Layer: Aspect/Dimensions (User Values) replaces Layer Information. The option to enter the layer’s scale was removed. The tool using the selected layer makes the scale selection as appropriate. Additionally, a selection of a pre-defined aspect is now provided for each user aspect value.

Findings. Select one of the three user provided aspects. Or, select a predefined aspect from the dropdown list. Select the desired scale for the layer.

Rotation: Location of Layer. This tools provides the actual location of a layer that has been rotated on a non-zero rotate center. A layer’s location is defined by its center point. So, when the layer is rotated on a point other than its center, it’s physical location is not what ProShow reports. Additionally, if you provide a desired position at which to place the layer, the appropriate pan values (location) to place it there are provided.

This link provides access to a demonstration of the use of this tool: https://youtu.be/74-n9bIPvuw

Layer: Outlines/Frames. Considerably revamped and enhanced. When a Change in Zoom is given for the normalized axis (except for Safe Zone selections), it is doubled and added to the final zoom for that axis (effectively, the change in zoom is the amount for EACH layer side). The tool provides the ability to create a Polaroid outline (one size much larger than the other three).

The ∆ ↔↕ (delta width and height) tool simply shows the difference in width and height between the Findings Layers 1, 2, and 3. This can prove helpful if you need to comparing layer sizes.


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FPVP Tools for ProShow

ProShow has capability that the ordinary user has no access to because Photodex has yet to provide any infrastructure to. That is where my Tools for ProShow come in. In September of 2014 I released a version of the Excel worksheet that I developed to assist me with creating various effects within ProShow. I started developing this worksheet around July 2010. I ported this worksheet into Libre Office and OpenOffice formats (both of which are freeware worksheets). These tools are in an Excel 2010 worksheet. The OpenOffice is compatible with v4.1 and later. Libre Office formats are version 5.03 and later.

The tools provided in this worksheet are FINDINGS, EQUAL SIZE CHANGES, MODIFIER ROTATION CALCULATIONS, CROPPING TOOL, DISTANCES, PROPORTIONAL SIZING AND PLACEMENT, QUADRATIC/LINEAR FUNCTION, TIME: SHOW/SLIDE/KEYFRAME, FIND HALFWAY POINT, POSITION A ROTATED LAYER, and TEXT LAYER TEXT POSITIONING.  These tools provide a way for you to do things you thought were impossible, very difficult, or labor intensive. They have the potential to save you lots of time and effort. These tools help release some of that ProShow power you probably didn’t even know was there. The results of the tools are compatible with both ProShow Gold and ProShow Producer except for the MODIFIER ROTATION CALCULATIONS, QUADRATIC/LINEAR FUNCTION, and TEXT LAYER TEXT POSITIONING tools. That’s because Gold does not support modifiers (and the former two are modifier-related) or text layers.

FINDINGS. 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 (PROSHOW SETTINGS, CALCULATED SETTINGS, and LAYER: WIDTH AND HEIGHT). It lets you find a layer’s actual position after being rotated on a side, corner (LOCATIONS). The rotation has to be in increments of 90 degrees from ±0 to ±360. You can also find the screen location of a rotated layer’s side or corner. You can also align a layer’s side, corner, or center to any specific screen location upon demand (ALIGN HERE). Pick a screen position. Then, choose what part of the layer (corner, side, or center) that will align to that position. The worksheet gives the settings required to align to that screen position.

EQUAL SIZE CHANGES. Creating layers to use for your own borders, outlines, or frames is easy now with the EQUAL SIZE CHANGES tool. A layer’s size change is given and the resulting zoom settings and the percent of change from the original zoom settings is given for both axes. The size change is specified as a change in the X-axis or Y-axis or by an axis independent amount. For the axis specific change, two methods are provided: By a Percent Change or End value. The Percent Change method is useful for specifying a modifier value of zoom. For the axis non-specific change, the amount of size change along a side is provided. For any approach, the resulting size change is specified as a percent change from the original zoom value and an ending zoom value for each axis.

The Effective Aspect for the Starting (or reference) Layer and the End (or “Outline”) layer are given. This section of the Equal Size Changes tool provides information useful to ProShow Gold users who want to provided an outline and/or frame to a layer. The aspect values are simply reference values. The width and height for each (Start and End Layer) is also provided. Also provided is the amount of the dimension on any side that will extend beyond another layer (when the “outline” layer is positioned in ProShow below the layer that is being “given” and outline). This is useful for editing a graphic in a bitmap editor to provide change only to the area that will extend beyond another layer’s edges. Deleting the inner portion of the layer can create a graphical frame for the image layer in ProShow. Finally, the amount of zoom for the graphic to provide the correct outline/frame to another layer is provided.

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 TOOL. Cropping is a very useful feature when you want “standardized” layer aspects. The CROPPING TOOL is a smart tool.You can crop a given layer dimension to a desired aspect. It also provides for cropping a region within a layer to the desired aspect. No more guessing.  Each aspect (the target or the layer) is invertible. That is, if the dimension/aspect values are for a wide layer, simply inverting the settings results in a tall layer; no need to re-enter values (and potential entry errors).

DISTANCES. This tool allows you to rotate a layer and then move that layer a specific distance along that rotated angle or along a line perpendicular to that angle. That may not seem like a big deal but, when you need it, an awful lot of trial and error (and therefore time) is removed. This is particularly important when you need to move a layer an exact amount of distance exactly along the rotated angle (or perpendicular to it). It’s important when you need it! It is possible too, to find the exact actual location of a rotated layer. ProShow will not tell you directly … so, while you can see the layer’s position on the screen, getting its exact coordinates is less than simple.

PROPORTIONAL SIZING AND PLACEMENT. This tool is useful for providing a 4th layer that is sized proportionately to another. Say, for instance that you had two tall layers of A and B. A third layer is C. Layers A and B are sized differently. Layer C has a given size difference from Layer A. This tool calculates the size and position of a Layer D such that the relationship between it and Layer C corresponds to the relationship between Layers A and B. This way, two sets of layers can have the same visual relationship (size and position) to each other. The User Input is into the Layer Input settings for Layers 1, 2, and 3.

QUADRATIC/LINEAR FUNCTION. This is a modifier function that is NOT documented by any Photodex literature. The quadratic function defines a parabolic curve. What this tool does is to allow you to plot that curve and perhaps define where on that curve you want the ProShow to work from. Without the first value of the function, the equation that defines the Quadratic function becomes the Linear function. The same idea applies to it. After you provide the numbers for the function, the curve is plotted for you. A visual representation definitely helps you figure out what is going on! Once you’ve got it all worked out, you can then enter the results into ProShow.

TIME: SHOW/SLIDE/KEYFRAME. ProShow deals with time in minutes and seconds by default. But, it can, with a setting change in Preferences, change that to show time in seconds. This tool provides a difference in time from the start of a show, slide, or keyframe (only for Producer) to a given point within the show. This difference in time is given minutes and seconds as well as the total of seconds. The primary purpose of this tool is to provide some information that’s usable with modifier functions which start at the beginning of the show, slide, or keyframe.

FIND HALF-WAY POINT. This tool provides the distance half-way between two points on the screen. The user provides the pan values for the X-Axis and Y-Axis of each point. A use for this might be to find a rotation point around with to rotate the two layers.

POSITION A ROTATED LAYER. This tool provides the final position of a layer that’s been rotated using the TILT function. For instance, if the rotate center for the layer is set to the layer’s left side, the layer is set to the left of screen center, and the layer is horizontal tilted 180 degrees. Using the LOCATIONS tool found within FINDING, the layer’s new location is determined. This is position is entered into this tool. Next, a final desired position is entered. This tool reports how far the layer has moved and also what pan setting to enter to position the layer where you want it. Note that when a layer has been rotated 180-degrees, re-positioning the tilted layer is not a straight-forward exercise unless you know exactly what the layer’s width or height is and how much distance was traveled by the layer during the tilt (or rotation). Instead of going through the mental contortions that are normally required, you use the various tools to help you determine the information you need to know to re-position a tilted layer.

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

Dale
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Updates

I have been busy lately … compiling information and rewriting topics I have previously created. I have rearranged, revised, and updated the blog entries. Generally, the information posted should be easier to read and topics to find. Blogs have some significant limitations to making information really easy to find and read  … but I have tried to minimize those limitations wherever I could.

One thing I discovered was that this blog contained more information than I thought was there. Another was how much information needed some updating. Some of it was current as of Proshow Release 4.52 and here we are using version 6. Much has changed since then.

The introduction to Proshow, ProShow Discussion, has its own chapter now as does the ProShow Equations (this establishes the relationship between the functions of Pan, Zoom, and Rotate Center, how layer width and height are determined, and the relationship of the show and layer aspects).

Useful for nearly any user expertise level, most of the information presented is for users familiar with ProShow, particularly the advanced and expert user. Basically, this is information that is not in the ProShow manual … it’s beyond the manual. Peruse, study, and Enjoy.

Dale

Zoom Following (Technique 1); Summary Tips

This article simply synopsizes my first Zoom Following technique. It was something I discovered in the October/November 2009 timeframe. Of all the functions provided by ProShow, only the values in the zoom box are not directly usable via a modifier. You can follow the value of any other layer’s function values (pan, rotation, tilt, opacity, blur etc) easily. The value you see in the zoom box, however, is NOT what a ProShow modifier sees. ProShow saw fit to cause a reference to a lower level of functioning. That value is something like a percent of a percent … but more than that. Somehow, ProShow sees the zoom settings along the entire timeline through the value in the zoom box. I don’t know how it’s done … I just know that it is. It’s something I discovered while working out the 2nd technique for zoom following. For that version, see  Simple Modifier-Based Zoom for an introduction to it (discovered around the October/November 2011 timeframe). It shares none of same limitations of the 1st technique, save for the reference to rotation and tilt (both still break the technique).

ASSUMPTION. Assume Layer 1 is the layer being followed and Layer 2 is the layer doing the following.

ZOOM FOLLOWING (of another layer).
Hover over the Zoom-X (or Zoom-Y) Box. Right click. Select Add modifier.  Variable Amount Based On: Zoom-X (or Zoom-Y); From: Layer 1;  Multiplied By: 1; (this is the first action)
Add another action: Click on the big “+” in the Actions title line.
Set Type of Action to [-] Subtract from Modifier;  Constant Amount: 100.

These actions should apply to ALL KEYFRAMES.
The two actions should look like the following:

+ Zoom X from Layer 1 (“Gradient #”)
-100

where, “Gradient #” refers to the type of layer being followed and its layer number.

NOTE: Set the Zoom-X and Zoom-Y values to the largest value of Zoom on the layer begin followed.

NOTES and LIMITATIONS


1.    If the layer being followed has a maximum zoom of 90, then the largest zoom of the follower layer is set to 90. If the largest zoom followed layer is 110, then set the follower layer’s zoom to 110.
2.    If the value of the maximum zoom is over 200 the dependent layers may not zoom down to zero the same as the master layer. This is NOT necessarily true but may depend on your scale settings. For instance, if you’re using a scale of “Fit to Safe Zone,” you may see it sooner than if you are using a scale of “Fill Frame.”
3.     Zoom actions … when you follow the zoom of another layer, you’re using a value that appears to be interpreted as percent of a percent in the referencing/following layers’ zoom (unexpected zoom values are possible if you don’t provide a correction value). Adding the -100 action after the zoom reference to the master layer seems to create a correction that works well for most zoom values below a maximum zoom of 200 in the master/reference layer.
4.    DO NOT enter a rotation amount for any of these layers. For some reason, a rotation breaks this “fix” I’ve discovered.
5.    TILT cannot be used with this technique of zoom following either. Tile is a form of rotation. Even a simple reference to the tilt box will corrupt the link. The function Tilt was introduced with ProShow version 5.
6.   Set both the Following and Follower layers to the same scale. If one is Fill Frame, the other should use Fill Frame. They both now have a common scale and reference point. Different scales between the follower and following layers will result in some different zoom results. I’ll call them “interesting” for lack of a better description. Depending on the layer aspects (ratio of one set of sides to the other), the scale mode can result in significant differences in the effective layer zoom. For instance, Fit to Safe Zone is a effectively a percent of the mode Fit to Frame.

Zoom Following with Pan Following Tutorial

MODIFIERS. Modifiers are an advanced feature of Photodex’s Proshow Producer (PSP). Their use is typically attributed to something for a master PSP user. However, that is not necessarily the case. Actually, simple modifiers require minimal PSP knowledge to use them. This tutorial was first posted on the ProShow Enthusiasts Forum back on 27 Nov 2009

Photodex’s documentation of modifiers is lacking. Effectively, modifiers are described at a top level. However, aside from an example or two, nothing in the modifiers manual provides any effective guidance to the potential user on how to use them. While Photodex describes modifiers as limited in what they can do, they have the potential to save some slideshow builder’s a considerable amount of time and effort (especially if they’re building an effect for use as a style in a later show). What I’ll present here is a quick example that you can easily expand upon for even more practical uses.

Knowledge of masks and keyframes is crucial to the effective use of modifiers.

MASKS.  A common use of a mask is to constrain an image to a certain size. This allows you to zoom and/or pan an image within the confines of that mask while not using any additional screen space. An example of why you might want to use this feature is when you want to fade one image away to reveal another. However, if the two photos are different sizes, the fade from one to the other can appear disconcerting. Also, you may only want part of one image to appear (as in the case of a landscape image masked to appear as a portrait image). There are various reasons why you would want to mask an image. Understanding masks is crucial to effectively using PSP.

An image that has been masked cannot directly use PSPs outline and shadow features. That is because the outline and shadow are typically clipped away by the mask. Instead, you have to build the outline or a shadow.

KEYFRAMES. Keyframes help you control the movement or appearance of an image/layer. Knowing keyframes is also crucial to take advantage of the power of PSP.

EXAMPLE DESCRIPTION. I’ll provide a relatively simple and practical example that demonstrates the use of modifers, masks, and keyframes. This tutorial will create a masked image with an outline. The mask layer changes position and size during the slidetime. The other 2 layers will follow the position and zoom of the mask layer. Those other two layers will only contain the default two keyframes.

This example assumes you have a working knowledge of PSP. Exact steps on how you use/access a particular feature is not presented. I’m assuming a transition time of 2s on either side of the slide.

Initial Setup
•    First, put your portrait image onto the slide. Scaling: Fill Frame; Zoom: 30%
– This is a typical setting for a 2:3 aspect image (many digital camera sensors have a 1.5 aspect).
•    Set the slide time to 5 seconds.
•    Double click on the slide to open the Slide Options Dialog
•    Next, add a solid white gradient layer. Resolution: 800 x 1200.
– I often use a gradient instead of a solid color layer because I may want to use multiple colors later. If you start out with solid color layer and then later find out you need colors for some reason (i.e., need a gradient layer), you will have to add a new layer and then duplicate keyframes and their locations/rotation/zoom/etc, and/or modifiers etc … it can result in lots of work!). [Update: I’ll have to give a little tutorial on this, but there’s a way to convert solid color layers to gradients or even to image layers! Neat. But, it’s outside the scope of this tutorial.]
– White allows use as an intensity (grayscale) or alpha (transparency) mask interchangeably.
•    Put this as layer 1. Zoom: 30%, Scale: Fill Frame
– Note that this makes the image and the mask have the same scale. Zoom following works best between layers that are scaled similarly. Dissimilarly scaled layers that use zoom following may result in unexpected/unwanted results (but it could be interesting!). In this case, the two layers (the portrait image and the image mask layer) are sized approximately the same.

Now, let’s start setting up the positioning. In this case, the image layer will follow wherever the mask goes.

Select the gradient layer
•    Now, select the Effects tab and click on the Motion Effects tab (v4); you don’t have to do this in version 5+.
•    Add keyframes.
–    Right click on the time line (the section where the timeline numbers are or the yellow bar). In the resulting dialog select “ Insert Multiple”
–    Put 5 into the resulting dialog and hit OK.
•    Set the time for each keyframe. Remember, this tutorial assumes a 2 second transition on either side of the 5 second slide.
KF1: 0s; KF2: 2.01s; KF3: 3.5s; KF4: 4s; KF5: 5s; KF6: 5.5s; KF7: 9s
•    Set the position for each keyframe:
– kf1:-20,20; kf2: -20,20; kf3: -20,5; kf4: 20, -20; kf5: 0,30; kf6: 0,0; kf7: 50,50
•    Set the Zoom for each keyframe
– kf1: 0,0; kf2: 50,50; kf3: 0,20; kf4: 40,0; kf5: 20,20; kf6: 90,90; kf7: 0,0.

Select layer 2 (image layer).
• Right click on pan-x box.
Select Add Modifier.
Apply to: All Keyframes;
Type of action to [+] Add to Modifier;
Variable Amount Based On: Pan X.
From: Layer 1.
Multiply By: 1.00.
Select OK

• Pan-Y box.
Select Add Modifier.
Apply to: All Keyframes;
Type of action to [+] Add to Modifier;
Variable Amount Based On: Pan Y.
From: Layer 1.
Multiply By: 1.00.
Select OK

• Zoom-X box.
Add modifier.
Variable Amount Based On: Zoom-X;
From: Layer 1;
Multiplied By: 1;

Add an action.
Set Type of Action to
[-] Subtract from Modifier;
Constant Amount: 100. • Zoom-Y box.
Add modifier.
Variable Amount Based On: Zoom-Y;
From: Layer 1;
Multiplied By: 1;

Add an action.
Set Type of Action to
[-] Subtract from Modifier;
Constant Amount: 100.

• Set Zoom-X and Zoom-Y values of each Layer 2 keyframe to Layer 1’s largest zoom value: 901, 2, 3

SET layer 1 as a grayscale mask.
–    Layer 1 (gradient) and layer 2 (image) are now a mask set.
–    Layer 1 is the masking layer and Layer 2 is the masked layer.

Add a border layer.
• Add a gradient layer.
• Give it a size of 800,1200 (again, this is for a 3:2 aspect image; use 900×1200 for a 4:3 image. This layer should be the same size as layer 1 for border purposes. I could have duplicated layer 1 and obtained all of that layers settings but that’s not the purpose of this tutorial).
• Set the color to white.
• Set the size “fill frame,”
• Set the zoom to 91% (1% larger than the largest zoom of layer 1).5
• Move this layer to the lowest layer, layer 3.

Add modifiers (apply to all keyframes) to layer 3
• Pan-X. Variable Amount Based On: Pan X; From: Layer 1.
• Pan-Y. Variable Amount Based On: Pan Y; From: Layer 1.
• Zoom-X. Variable Amount Based On: Zoom-X; From: Layer 1. Type of action: [-] Subtract from modifier; Constant Amount: 100.
• Zoom-Y. Variable Amount Based On: Zoom-X; From: Layer 1. Type of action: [-] Subtract from modifier; Constant Amount: 100.
• Go to Effects|Adjustment Effects. Set Blur to 40.

Note that this layer and layer 2 only have the default number of keyframes.

Play the slide and see what happens! Next, change the layer 1 settings of the pans and zooms and see what you get when you play the slide.

NOTES
1.    If the layer 1 maximum zoom is changed from 90 to some other value, you need to change the maximum zoom of the other layers that depend upon it for their zoom to the same value (if you want to zoom amounts to be the same). That is, if the largest zoom of layer 1 is 110, then set the zoom of the dependent layers to 110).
2.    If the value of the maximum zoom is over 200 the dependent layers may not zoom down to zero the same as the master layer.
3.     Zoom actions … when you follow the zoom of another layer, you’re using a value that appears to be interpreted as percent of a percent in the referencing/following layers’ zoom (unexpected zoom values are possible if you don’t provide a correction value). Adding the -100 action after the zoom reference to the master layer seems to create a correction that works well for most zoom values below a maximum zoom of 200 in the master/reference layer.
4.    Do not enter a rotation amount for any of these layers. For some reason, a rotation breaks the zoom “fix” I’ve discovered that enables a zoom follow.
5.    Size changes in Different Axis notes. Since the horizontal and vertical aspects of a show may have considerably different proportions, you can get the appearance of large differences in size. Since Photodex uses percent to change size, a 50% size in one direction may result in a larger or smaller actual size change in the other direction with the same 50% size change. So, if you want a size change that looks the same in each direction, you need to adjust it by the show’s aspect. For instance, if you want to change the X-Axis size from 90% to 91%, that represents a 1/90*100 = 1.11% increase. So, the corresponding Y-Axis change by the screen aspect. So, the increase would be 1.11(9/16) = 0.625%. That change would then be 90 + (90*0.625/100) = 90 + 0.56 = 90.56. So, a change from 90% to 91% in the horizontal requires a 90.56% setting for the vertical to keep the same effective width change.

As you can see, if you work with it, this example is rather simple. It consists of only 3 layers (a mask layer, an image layer, and a border layer). But, what I’ve provided is information that can easily be expanded to other layers or sets of layers. (NOTE: if you want to have a layer follow another layers’ location but be beside it, you can add an action of -1 that multiplies the pan-x value … so a pan-x of 20 becomes a pan-x of -20 for the referencing layer). So, if you decide to change the location and/or zoom of the master / referenced layer, that’s essentially the ONLY layer you may need to change! It’s not appropriate for all situations. But where it does, it can save you time and effort.

Good Luck!

Modifier-Based Zoom

You can change a layer’s zoom setting using a modifier. Why you would want to do change a layer’s zoom is subject to what you’re trying to do. One example might be that you are going to use an effect you created as part of a style. That style contains a rotation center change. Because of the way rotation center changes work, if a change is made to a layer’s size, aspect, or position, the rotation center changes. If you know how to do it, you can set up the style to recognize a zoom change for the primary image and have all of the secondary images change their size automatically and accordingly. A size change in this case might be necessitated by the fact that the main image size change was required to make it fit completely within a mask. If there are any smaller versions of the same image (which may be visible now or later as the slide is played), you can change them to fit their masks as well (and any associated rotation center changes) without having to manually change the settings for each layer.

The possibilities are limited by your imagination.

A modifier changes the existing zoom value by a percent that zoom. So, if the layer has a zoom value of 30, a constant modifier of 1 changes that zoom value by 1%. If the constant modifier is 20, the zoom value is changed by 20%. If you’re trying to increase a number by a certain percent then you’d use the first equation:

ZoomStart + ZoomStart(%ChangeModifier/100) = ZoomEnd, (eqn 1)
Where “%ChangeModifier” is a decimal number. ZoomStart is the layer’s initial zoom value. ZoomEnd is the zoom that you want the layer to end up at.

With this equation, you can check out what modifier values give you what final zoom when given a starting zoom. It’s helpful to realize that the modifier value is actually a number that represents a percent. That is, a modifier of 125 represents 125% which is actually a decimal value of 12.5. A modifier of 1 is 1% which is actually a decimal 0.01.

If you’re looking for the modifier value that you would get with a given start and end zoom, you’d use the following formula:

%ChangeModifier = (ZoomEnd – ZoomStart)100/ZoomStart (Eqn 2)

The reason I added the “100” value into the formulae is so that the final result would be the actual modifier value that you would use in your modifier action (remember, a modifier value is not just a number, its a Percent value). If you forget to convert the decimal number to the percent number and use that decimal value instead, you will NOT get what you expect (yes, it’s easy to do!). Hence, the inclusion of the 100 into the formula. This is particularly important if you put the actual formula in the modifier actions: +ZoomEnd – ZoomStart * 100 / ZoomStart (and yes, there are times when you may want to have the program calculate the values for you on the fly …)

If you wanted to, for example, create a thin border around your image you would want to increase the size of a single color gradient or solid color layer by a small amount and place it behind your image. In this case, assume our starting zoom is 65. If we only want a 0.5% increase our thin border calculation would be:

%Changemodifier = (65.5 – 65)100/65 = 0.7692, or 0.77 (modifiers only round to 2 decimal places).

If you wanted a thicker border of something like 5%, then we’d have

%Changemodifier = (70 – 65)100/65 = 7.692, or 7.69

UPDATE 111114


When the layer’s zoom remains constant throughout the slide time, a constant value zoom box modifier changes the existing zoom value by the percent represented by the modifier. So, if the zoom is 100 and the modifier value is 20, the layer’s zoom is increased 20% to 120. That is, starting zoom is 100 and the ending zoom is 120, a difference of 20. That’s because 100 * 20/100 is 20. Or, if the starting zoom is 65 and the modifier is 60, the increase in zoom is calculated as follows: 65 * 60/100=39 (the difference between starting and ending zoom). So, the final zoom value is 65+39=104.

Things change a little when it comes to a slidetime that has varying zoom values. If a constant modifier is entered into the zoom box it effectively creates a difference value between the slide time’s largest zoom value and the percent of that value calculated by the modifier value. So, if the slide’s largest zoom value is 60 and a constant zoom modifier value of 75 is added, the ending modifier-adjusted zoom is now 105 and is calculated as follows: 60 + 60(0.75) = 60 + 45 = 105. The difference between 105 and 60 is 45. All other zoom values in the slide time are now increased by 45 as well. if there’s a zoom of 20 in the slide’s timeline, its new zoom value is 20+45=65. If there’s a zoom of 40, it’s zoom becomes 85.

© 2011, Dale Fenimore 111101

Modifiers and Layers

Have you ever dipped you toes into the arcane world of modifiers, saved the slide as a style, and then found out that the modifiers no longer worked? Well, this is to help you figure out what’s going on so you no longer experience this.

What are modifiers?
Modifiers are a wonderful tool in letting you do things that are difficult or impossible to do without them. They can make adjustments to an effect much simpler by letting you make changes to only a few slides and having those changes automatically affect many other layers. For that reason it’s important to understand how Producer works with these tools so that they work as you expect them to work. However, modifiers are an advanced feature of Producer and remain undocumented over 2 years after their introduction!

Saving the Created Effect.
After you have created your effect, you will want to save it so you don’t have to go about recreating it. After all, some of these user created effects take a considerable amount of work and time. Applying a style to a slide only takes a few seconds. When you apply a style to a slide, the effect gets built a layer at a time. After it is created, that layer’s settings are also created. If a modifier on that layer exists that references another layer, Producer will check to see which layer it is. If the layer is a lower numbered layer (higher level), it exists and the layer reference is created as designed. If that referenced layer is a higher numbered (lower level) layer that does not yet exist, the layer reference defaults (typically) to layer 1. That typically breaks your effect completely.

Bottom Line
So, to make sure your effect works after being converted into a style, make sure your modifier references lower numbered (higher positioned) layers. If this effect you have created is never going to end up in a style, your modifier can refer to earlier or later layers without a problem.