Category Archives: Tips/Tricks/Etc

Various tips and tricks

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.


170726-1755

 

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.


170704-1530

ProShow LAYER OUTLINES

LAYER OUTLINES

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.

CON’s:
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.

PROS’s:
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.

CON’s:
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)

PRO’s:
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.

CON’s:
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

LINKED LAYERS

 INTRODUCTION

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.

BASIC INFORMATION

  • 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.

LINKED LAYERS INFORMATION

Layers are linked to another layer by the following code:

templateImageId=####

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

cell[18].images[0].templateImageId=59816

cell[18].images[9].templateImageId=59816

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.

20130408

Converting Layer Types

Some time ago, I advised that you create you solid layers using gradient layers. That’s because gradient layers can simulate solid color layers but the reverse isn’t true. This was important because, if you were developing a show using these solid color layers (as masks, borders, outlines, and / or shadows), if you needed or wanted multiple colors in the layer, it was impossible. Whereas you can duplicate the layer to retain all of the keyframes and their settings, you could never change the solid layer to get those multiple colors. Well, that’s not necessarily true.  You CAN change the layer type AND retain all of its keyframes and their settings. This means, for example, that you can do a lot of the initial development work with a solid color layer. You add all of the necessary keyframes and then set the pan and size settings for each keyframe. You intend for this layer to be your layer mask. Now, you can duplicate the layer to retain all of the settings you just made. Now, make it a mask (the duplicate layer is now masking the original solid layer). Finally you can copy the image layer onto the slide. Then you will use the image layer to convert the masked layer to an image. After the conversion you can delete the image. For your result, you will have an image masked by a solid layer and both will have the exact same keyframes and settings. Fast, efficient, easy!

CREATING THE LAYER CONVERSION
To make the change, you need a source layer and a destination layer. The source and destination layers may be on any slide.Right click on the layer that you want to copy. CopySettings_menuA menu will appear. Hover over the Copy option. A set of copy options will appear; click on Copy Settings. This opens the Copy Settings dialog which has 3 columns: Source Layer, Settings to Copy, and Destination Layers. The source layer is selected. In the Destination Layers section, click on the “+” for the slide on which you’ll copy layer settings to. Next, select the layer that will accept the changes. Now, let’s assume that the source layer is Gradient that is colored bright red to dark red and the destination layer is a white solid layer. So, in the Settings to Copy column, select Gradient under the General Section. When you do that, Enable Layer and Image Type are also selected. Now click on Copy & Close. You are done. If you look at the layer on the slide to which you just copied the settings to, you should see that it is no longer a white solid layer. Instead, it is now a gradient layer that is colored bright red to dark red.

What is really nice about this is that you can convert a gradient to a solid, an image layer, or another gradient. You can likewise convert a graphic or image to a gradient, solid, or another graphic/image. The solid can be converted to another solid color, an image layer, or a gradient. That’s really nice and can prove very handy at times. Further, you can convert multiple layers at the same time.

AN EXAMPLE CONVERSION

SettingsCopy_1In this example, I want to convert the blue gradient to the same color as the green gradient. But, I don’t want to mess with the color settings. The easy way is to just copy the green gradient onto the blue gradient using copy settings.

In the graphic below, the Green Gradient is selected as the Source layer. In the Settings to Copy, under the General section, the following are selected: Enable layer, Layer Type, and Gradient (selecting Gradient will SettingsCopy_SelectionMadeautomatically select the other 2).

SettingsCopy_Done

 

 

 

 

 

In the Destination Layers column, I’ve expanded the slide containing the layer I want the settings copied to and I’ve selected the Blue gradient layer. Finally, I’ll select Copy & Close. This following graphic shows the result of what was just done. Note that the last layer is now no longer blue.

 

Copyright © 130129-1945, Dale Fenimore, FPVP LLC

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!

ProShow Rotations

INTRO. Understanding the Photodex rotation system is very useful. It means you can choose a rotation direction without a lot of trial and error. Earlier versions of ProShow have always included the Rotate function. It has always represented rotation around the Z-Axis, the one axis we could never use. Since ProShow is a two dimension (2D) program, Photodex had invent a way to simulate a three-dimension (3D) environment. Their answer to that challenge was Tilt, rotation simulation about the X (Tilt-Vertical) and Y (Tilt-Horizontal) axes.

3D Simulation. Tilt simulates a 3D environment by the clever manipulation of a layers’ two sets of outside edges (i.e., top and bottom sides and/or the  left and right sides). If the distance is increased between one side’s two opposing corners and decreased between the opposite sides two opposing corners, movement into and out of the screen is simulated (along the Z-axis). This size contrast of opposing layer sides tricks the brain into seeing a third dimension. That’s because the wider side “appears” closer than the narrower side.

ROTATION DIRECTION.  When it comes to determining the rotation direction about an axis, which direction is associated with positive or negative values (as represented in the associated rotation box for Tilt-Horizontal, Tilt-Vertical, or Rotate)?  The answer is fairly simple but requires a little explanation. To start with, a rotation around an axis is

  • Positive, if rotation is clockwise (to the right),
  • Negative, if rotation is counterclockwise (to the left; also known as anti-clockwise)

An easy way to remember it is to use the Left Hand rule. If you curl the fingers of your left hand and point the thumb pointing toward your face, you will note that the fingers curl in a clockwise direction.

DETERMINING ROTATION DIRECTION

All axes derive from a central point called the “origin.” All axes meet there. Let us assume that the thumb points along the axis in which you are interested. A positive axis direction for the

  • X axis is LEFT,
  • Y axis is UP, and
  • Z axis is OUT of the screen (directly toward you)

So, for positive rotation values, if you point your left thumb

  • UP, the curl of the fingers indicate that the layer will rotate to the left (Tilt-Horizontal)
  • LEFT, the curl of the fingers indicate that the layer will rotate down (Tilt-Vertical)
  • OUT (toward your face), the curl of the fingers indicate that the layer will rotate to the right (Rotate).

The following graphic might help:

ProShow Rotation Reference

TECHNICAL NOTE: Normally, a positive axis is to the right for X, up for Y, and OUT for Z. The representation of these axes might be a little different depending on your application. However, the relative orientation between each axis will remain the same. Photodex experienced a little faux pax that wasn’t discovered until it was too late to change. That’s why the X axis is giving clockwise (positive) rotations on a negative value axis. No big deal as long as things are consistent. But, still good to know.
TILT ORDER CONSIDERATION:

Here’s another helpful hint when dealing with rotations. If you want to know a layer’s correct orientation for a given set of rotations, consider each rotation type in the following order:

  1. Tilt-Horizontal
  2. Tilt-Vertical
  3. Rotate

Or the following order:

  1. Rotate
  2. Tilt-Vertical
  3. Tilt-Horizontal

Never start out with Tilt-Vertical … it will throw you off every time!

That’s it!

Dale Fenimore
© 2012 Fenimore’s PhotoVideo Productions LLC
121102-2000

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

Stationary Side During Zoom

When changing the zoom of a layer, its ProShow has both sides approach the layer center equally. Sometimes though, we’d like to hold one side stationary as the other side approaches. This creates an effect that effectively makes it appear as if the image is rotating on an axis so that one edge rotates toward you as the other rotates away. ProShow doesn’t do this automatically. You have to set it up to work that way. So, we do that by physically and continuously changing the location of the layer’s center as the layer’s zoom changes to 0%. When the layers zoom reaches 0%, the layer’s center is located at the same location as the layer’s edge. The first thing we have to do is to unlock the xy axes that will have one of them go to 0. You do that by locating the little “lock” symbol located to the immediate right of the Zoom-X and Zoom-Y settings. Next, set the one axis to zero without changing the other. Now, to keep one side stationary as the other side approaches, we need to know the pan value (the location on-screen) where the layer side is located. If this value is incorrect as the zoom moves to 0, the side that should remain stationary will move.

DEMO: Demo_StationarySide.mov

So, the question is, how to find that screen position in Proshow Producer. There are a number of easy and quick ways to do this. The method described below is one I’ve found to be both fast, easy, and one of the most flexible in terms of the variety of workflows it is useable with (particularly if you do not know how to figure it out mathematically).

What we’re going to do is to use the center marker of a temporary layer as our “ruler.” We will guide it to where we need it and read the pan value of its position to tell us the pan value of the layer’s edge we are going to hold stationary. So, we first add a new layer (gradient or solid). It can be any size you want. The default size I use is 1280×720. I change its opacity to 0% so I can see everything below it. All I need to see is its outline and the icon that identifies where the layer center is. So I need to make sure the Show Layer/Caption Controls is selected. If not, right click over a preview window and select it (it’s a toggled option).

One setting that may be active is the Show Motion Path. For the purpose of finding a layer’s edge, it should be turned off. The icons that identify the layer’s location at each a keyframe only interfere with seeing the layer’s center icon (it’s also known as the rotation center icon). Toggle it off by right clicking over the preview window and clicking on Show Motion Path. LayerSideHoldStationary

The layer is a 1280×720 layer that is set to a fill frame scale and sized to 50%. It is located at pan 0,0 (screen center).  The “Starting Position” (keyframe 1) settings show that the layer edge is located at Pan-X of -25.
LayerSideHoldStationary_KF1

The layer is decreasing in size between keyframes 1 to 3. Here at keyframe 2, the layer has reduced its width by half while the right side has remained stationary. Note that keyframe 2s pan-x value is -12.5 here.LayerSideHoldStationary_KF2

The layer has reduced in width to 0 at keyframe 3. Note that the layer has reduced to 0 width where the layer’s left edge remained. Note that the pan-x indicates -25 here.LayerSideHoldStationary_KF3

Other Options.

Some people advocate duplicating the image layer itself and editing it while referring to the original layer. When you’ve found the right pan location by editing the duplicate layer settings, you would then delete the original layer. The problem with this is method is that it only works if you don’t use modifiers on that layer or any layer that refers to that layer. When you make a duplicate of a layer that refers to other layers (via a modifier), most of the time those references are reset to the duplicate layer itself. If other layers refer to the layer of interest, all references to that layer interest must be found and changed to the duplicate layer. If you don’t do this, all you get is a reference to a once the original layer has been deleted.

Too, if you already have a large number of layers, adding a new one can only add confusion. A duplicate layer goes to the top of the layer stack. You may not want it there and you’ll have to move it back down the stack until its where it belongs. Also, you could end up deleting the wrong layer when it comes time to removing the original layer! However, adding a solid or gradient layer can be made immediately above the layer of interest (thereby reducing the chances of confusing things for yourself!).

You could also use a “measuring” layer that has one axis reduced to 0.25% zoom while keeping the other at 100%. You end up with a line that you would then move around until it is aligned with the edge of the layer of interest. The pan location of that line would then be the pan value used on the layer of interest’s keyframe that has the zoom value of 0%. You just need to make the line’s color distinctive and easy to view (just change the color to a green, red, magenta or some similarly distinctive color when the layer is created). This is effectively the same as using the Measuring Layer above because you’re still using the layer center point to identify the edge of the layer of interest.

2011, Dale Fenimore (131009-1300)
Fenimore’s PhotoVideo Productions, LLC
FenimorePhotoVideos.com/PSP