Category Archives: Products – Transitions

Transitions for Producer 4.5+

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.



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:

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:

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.


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.

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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.




Layer outlines are useful for a variety of reasons to the user. In general though, outlines add some contrast to an otherwise borderless image, making it easier to view. View a version of this tutorial in a video tutorial here,

Using ProShow Gold you can add a simple outline to any layer in your show and change the outline’s color. In Slide Options, select a layer, click on the Adjustments tab and click the check box next to Outline. You can adjust the color and toggle the outline on or off.

ProShow Producer takes layer outlines a step further and offers multiple ways to create an outline around a layer: the outline feature, vignette feature, and manually creating the outline.

Outline Feature

Using this feature, ProShow Producer provides five outline widths and the ability to set the outline’s color. To access the outline feature, open the Slide Options. Select a layer and then select the Adjustments Tab. The outline feature is located under the Editing Tools section. There you can set the function. Set the outline color and size.

PRO’s: Convenient, fast, easy to use. Quickly set the outline width from 1 to 5.

1)   Producer’s narrowest setting, 1, is sometimes too wide.
2)   Producer’s widest setting, 5, is sometimes too narrow.
3)   The outline rests half on and half off the image.
a)   An image cropped by a mask generally hides the outline
b)   When the mask is nearly the same size as the masked layer, a portion of the outline may be visible
4)   The outline is often positioned slightly off-center on the layer.
5)   Outline corners are always rounded.
6)   On masked layers, the outline is usually chopped off.
7)   When a duplicate layer is placed behind the masked layer, sized to match the masks’ size, and given an outline, the outline’s rounded corners do not display well.
8)  If a blur is applied to the layer, it is also applied to the outline. Something that you may not want to happen.

PSP Outline 1
PSP Outline 1
PSP Outline 5
PSP Outline 5

Vignette Feature

ProShow Producer can create an “outline” via a vignette. This applies a color over the inside layer edges. To access the Vignette feature, open Slide Options. Select a layer and then select the Adjustments Tab. The Vignette Feature is located under Editing Tools. Click the Vignette checkbox and then click on the Vignette button or simply click on the Vignette button.. This opens the Vignette dialog.

To create an “outline,” under the Vignette Type, set the Type to Solid Color (then select the desired color).  Under the Vignette Options, set the Vignette Size, to a size of 0 to 100%. Select Solid borders and Fill corners. Leave both Border Size and Corner Size at a setting of 0. If Solid Borders are not selected, the border will start out as a solid color at the outside edge and fade to transparent at the width specified by the Vignette Size. If Fill corners is not selected, the “outline” will have rounded corners.

1)   Quick and easy
2)   Options for rounded or sharp corners.
3)   Faded Outline is possible.
4)   A gradient (or multi-color) “outline” is possible.

1)   Covers part of the image to create the impression of an outline.
2)   Not appropriate for most masked layers. May have an unbalanced in size.
3)   An applied blur applies to the whole image and may not be what you want.
4)   Except for selecting a preset gradient (which you can change the colors/opacity/position/color space of, there is really no control over it. It appears to be a variation of a radial gradient type and you are unable to change it.

Manually Created Outline

Since ProShow lets you add or duplicate layers, it is fairly easy to create a layer that has the same aspect and size as the layer for which you want to create a border. There are a variety of techniques you can use to create this outline. It is possible to create extremely narrow outlines or very wide ones. You can create solid color, multiple color, variations in the opacity, variations in the blur, and multiple variations of the type of outline. The outline may be created with a single layer that is slightly larger than the original or a masked set to create a more complicated looking outline. While this is by far the most complicated approach, it is also the most flexible. However, the extra work involved is well worth it.

No Vignette Image
No Vignette Image
Vignette Outline (White Border)
Vignette Outline (White Border)

1) Extremely flexible,
2) Extremely narrow to extremely wide outlines,
3) Outlines with transparent regions between the layer to which the outline applies and the actual outline,
4) Blur the outside edge or the inside edge of the outline is possible,
5) The outline can be offset from the layer it is outlining,
6) Multiple color/opacity options.
7) Does not require covering any part of the image.
8) The “outline” has sharp corners unless specifically rounded.

1) Requires a modicum of skill with Producer,
2) May require imagination,
3) Extra effort is involved,
4) May require some knowledge of masking,
5) To make it look correct, some math skills are probably required.

Creating A Simple Outline

To create a simple layer outline, assume the outline layer has an aspect of 3:2 and a scale of Fill Frame. Add a white gradient layer of 1200×800. The mask is the layer 1 gradient. The masked image layer is layer 2. Both layers’ zoom is 65. Duplicate the gradient layer and move it below the image layer. Create the outline by changing its zoom-x to 60.5. Now, calculate the zoom-y amount. Start with the difference in zoom-x: (65.5-65.0)/65.00 =0.5/65=0.00769. Next, calculate the required zoom-y change by multiplying this difference by the mask layer aspect: 0.00769(3/2)=0.0115. Now, multiply that value with the starting zoom-y: 65*0.0115=0.75. The final zoom-y is 65 + 0.75= 65.75. So, zoom-x = 65.5 and a zoom-y = 65.75. The border/outline around the image should look equal on all sides.

Simple Outline
Simple Outline

Create A More Complicated Outline (A Transparent Region Between the Image and Outline)

Duplicate the Simple Outline as given above. Then, duplicate layer 3, the outline layer. Set layer 3 zoom-x to 66.0 and zoom-y to 66.5.  Set layer 4 zoom-x to 67.0 and zoom-y to 68.0. Set layer 3 as an inverted grayscale mask. Set layer 3 blur to 20. You should now have an outline with sharp outside edges and soft inside edges. The outline should have a transparent region between the image and the inside edge of the image.

Variations on this more complicated layer outline are very numerous and relatively simple to modify once the initial outline setup is created. I’ve used this type of outline for in my own shows for a number of years. Generally though, I use the simple outline.

Keep these tips in mind when manually creating your outline:

•         Calculate the proper zoom value increases from the starting zoom value for each axes.
>         An outline with all sides the same size generally looks more pleasing to the viewer.
•         Ensure all layers have the same scale type (e.g., Fill Frame).
•         Ensure the mask and outline layers have the same aspect.
>         For example, if the mask has an aspect of 3:2 then the outline layer should too.
>         It isn’t strictly required but is highly recommended

Complicated Outline
Complicated Outline

Method for Calculating the Proper Size Increase for Manually Created Border/Outline Layers.

  1. Subtract Starting Zoom from Ending Zoom (This calculates the amount of change)
  2. Divide the result by the Starting Zoom (Gives the decimal value of the Size Change)
  3. Multiply the result by the image aspect to get the size change for the other orientation
  4. If step 1 was for the horizontal axis (zoom-x)
    • Multiply step 2 value by the layer’s horizontal axis value, then
    • Divide the result by the layer’s y-axis value
    • Add the result to the Starting Zoom value
  5. If step 1 was for the vertical axis (zoom-y)
    • Multiply step 2 value by the layer’s y-axis value and then
    • Divide the result by the layer’s x-axis value
    • Add the result to the Starting Zoom value
  6. Change the outline layer’s zoom values to the values calculated in step 3

Note: if the layer aspect is 3:2, then the x-axis value is 3 and the y-axis value is 2. If the layer has an aspect of 4672:3104, then the x-axis is 4672 and the y-axis is 3104.

Using Graphical Layers for Outlining

Often, the quickest way to create a border/outline of a non-masked layer is to simply duplicate it. Then, move it from its default location from above the original layer to below the original layer. Resize the lower layer relative using the technique describe above. The next thing you want to do is to change the image layer to a color other than the default colors. In Slide Options, go to the Adjustments tab. This is where adjust the layer’s color(s).

•         To make the image layer black, set the white point to -100.
•         To make it white, set the black point to 100.
•         To set the layer to any other color,
>         Click on the Auto button to automatically set Brightness, White Point, & Black Point
>         Set the contrast to -100.
>         Select the Colorize tool and set the desired color.

Video Tutorial Version



ProShow has a unique ability to link layers. You will notice this feature after applying a style that duplicates layers as part of its effect. It is a feature that templates and styles use. You can see this in action when one of the duplicate image layers is replaced with a different image (via select or by a drag-and-drop). When that happens, you will notice that the new image replaces all of the associated duplicate layers.

NOTE: THIS IS NOT the layer Linking typically associated with modifiers (where a subordinated layer’s feature settings reflect any changes made on a master layer).

If you wanted to use a different image for one of those duplicate images, however, you are out of luck. That is because there is no direct way to break the link between those layers. If you duplicated one of those layers, the linkage to the other similar layers remains. But, all is not lost. For those times when you must remove the link between one or more of those linked layers and rebuilding the style’s effect is not an option, what can you do?

The only other option that you have is to directly edit the show’s PSH file. Each of these files is ASCII (text) format. So edit it with a text editor. If a word processor is used, make sure to save the edited file in ASCII format. Always WORK ON A DUPLICATE PSH file. That way, recovering from a mistake is easy. Otherwise, the mistake(s) may result in a PSH file that ProShow cannot read.


  • Make no line changes nor add or delete lines until you know exactly what you are doing.
  • ProShow starts its counting from 0, not 1.
  • A slide is referred to as a “cell.” Each “cell” is followed by a bracketed number. So, cell[18] refers to slide 19.
  • Each layer is referred to as “images” (which are either photos, graphics, solid layers, or gradients layers). Like cells, images are identified by a bracketed number.


Layers are linked to another layer by the following code:


Where “templateImageId” is the ProShow function that identifies a link; “####” is a unique ID number (which may have a positive or negative value).

All “images[xx]” that have the same templateImageId number are “linked.” If more than one set of linked layers exists, each set will have a different template image id number.

An example of a linked set of layers is as follows



In this example, layers 1 and 10 on slide 19 are linked. Replace one of the linked image layers with a different image and the other gets replaced as well. While it is NOT advisable, note that it IS possible to link layers across multiple slides. That way, all such linked layers in a show may be changed at once.

Knowing how a layer is linked to one or more layers means that you now also know how to unlink them.


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.