Zoom Following

This is the simplest version of automatically and exactly following the zoom values of another layer. One of the disappointments of Photodex’s implementation of zoom is that the value that exists in a zoom box that a modifier reads is not the value we see there. Instead, the value that is read has to do with the zoom seen across the layer’s entire timeline. This is true through the release of ProShow v6 and into the foreseeable future. So, there are a few caveats for this particular technique:


  • Match Maximum Zoom values. The referencing layer’s X and Y zooms for all keyframes must match the referenced layer’s largest zoom value. If the layer 1 (the layer being zoom followed) maximum zoom is changed from 50 to 80, change the zoom of all keyframes in all layers zoom following the referenced layer to 80.
  • Maximum zoom value: 200. If largest value of zoom is over 200, the dependent (follower) layers may not zoom down to zero the same as the master layer. This seems to be a limitation related to how zoom functions. (NOTE: This is particularly evident when the slide on which large zoom following values are used is expected to work in both 16:9 and 4:3 aspects.). If your layers have a Fit to Frame or Fill Frame scale, the maximum zoom value may be considerably larger than 200%.
  • No Rotation. For some reason, a rotation breaks zoom following technique.
  • Zoom actions. It seems like zoom following is using a value that appears to be interpreted as percent of a percent in the referencing/following layers’ zoom. Unexpected zoom values will occur if you don’t provide a correction value. So, adding the -100 action after the reference to the layer being followed seems to create a correction that works well for most zoom values.
  • Each layer must have the same scale. Differing scales can have some interesting effects but, the layer doing the zoom following will not have the same size as the layer it is following.

The Zoom Following Modifier. The actions will apply to ALL KEYFRAMES. There are potentially some considerable problems when applying the modifier to a pair of keyframes and having the zoom changes exactly match the zoom of the referenced layer. That is the subject of another topic. The following are the basic steps you will take to create your zoom modifier. The basic zoom follow modifier is composed of 2 simple actions:
•    [+] Zoom X of Layer # (“layer name”)
•    -100

•    First action: # refers to the layer number who’s zoom-X (in this case) is being followed.
•    Second action.
A)    enter the value as -100 directly (in the Constant Amount box) or
B)    enter 100 into the Constant Amount box and change the Type of Action from [+] Add to Modifier to [-] Subtract from Modifier.
•    When a modifier exists on a function, a small red triangle appears in the upper right corner of the function’s value box, as indicated in Figure 28.

(First reported: 25 Nov 2009)

ZOOM FOLLOWING EXAMPLE. What I’ll do is provide a relatively simple and practical example that demonstrates the use of modifers, masks, and keyframes. I’ll have an image zoom into view, pause, and then fade from view as it zooms to 0 percent.

This example assumes you have a working knowledge of PSP. You need not be proficient. 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.

• First, place a portrait image onto the slide.
• Set the slide time to 5 seconds.
• If the Slide Options is not open, double click on the slide to open it.
• Add a gradient layer. Put this as layer 1. Note: I often use a gradient instead of a solid color layer because I may want to use multiple colors later.
• Make the layer solid white (Allows interchangeable use as a Grayscale or Transparency mask).
• Set the size to 800×1200. This is 3:2 aspect. If for a 4:3 aspect image, use 900×1200.

Select the Layers Tab.
• In Layer Settings, set the scaling for each layer to “Fit to Safe Zone” and the zoom to 90%.
– Note that this makes the two layers have the same scaling. Zoom following will work 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.

Select the gradient layer.
• Now, select the Effects tab. Click on the Motion Effects tab
• Add keyframes. Right click on the time line. In the resulting dialog select “ Insert Multiple,” put 5 into the resulting dialog. Click on OK.
• Right click on keyframe 2.
• Select Set Time. Assuming the transition in time is set to 2 seconds, set it to 2.01s (or any time slightly PAST 2 seconds; as of this writing there is a still a bug in PSP that can cause problems if the slide is copied with a keyframe located exactly where the transition time changes to slide time or vice versa).
• Click on OK.
• Set keyframe times. Right click over each, in turn and set its time as specified and click on OK.
– kf3 = 3.5s, kf4 = 4s, kf5 = 5s, kf6 = 5.5s, and kf7 should be firewalled at 9s.

Select the region between kf1 and kf2. Set the pan (pan-x, pan-y) and zoom (zoom-x, zoom-y):
• kf1- pan: -20,20. zoom: 0,0.
• kf2- pan: -20,20; zoom: 50,50
• kf3- pan: -20,5; zoom: 0,20
• kf4- pan: 20, -20; zoom: 40,0
• kf5- pan: 0,30; zoom: 20,20;
• kf6- pan: 0,0; zoom: 90,90;
• kf7- pan: 50,50; zoom: 0,0.

Select layer 2 (image layer).
• Right click on pan-x box. Select Add Modifier. Set to the following:
– Apply to: All Keyframes; Type of action: [+] Add to Modifier; Variable Amount Based On: Pan X. From: Layer 1; Multiply By: 1.00. Select OK
• Pan-Y box. Add Modifier. Set to the following:
– Apply to: All Keyframes; Type of action: [+] Add to Modifier; Variable Amount Based On: Pan Y. From: Layer 1; Multiply By: 1.00. Select OK
• Zoom-x box. Add modifier. Set to the following:
– Variable Amount Based On: zoom-x; From: layer 1; Multiplied By: 1;
– Add an action. Type of Action: [-] Subtract from Modifier; Constant Amount: 100.
• Zoom-y box. Add modifier. Set to the following:
– Variable Amount Based On: zoom-y; From: layer 1; Multiplied By: 1;
– Add an action. Type of Action: [-] Subtract from Modifier; Constant Amount: 100.
• Set Zoom-X and Zoom-Y to the largest value in Layer 1: 90

Set layer 1 as a mask (gradient or transparency).
Layer 1 (gradient) and layer 2 (portrait) are now a mask set where layer 1 is the masking layer and layer 2 is the masked layer.

Create a Border.
Add a gradient layer. Note that you could use another image or graphic for a frame or border to achieve this effect too. However, rather than do that I’m creating this border in PSP for illustration and the specifics of adding your own frame / border to follow zoom and position is up to you!
• 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. However, if you do duplicate it, remove all keyframes except the firewalled left and right keyframes. Set all pan values to 0. Keep the zoom settins as they are, for now.).
• Set the color to white.
• Set the size “fit to safe zone,”
• Set the zoom to 91% (1% larger than the largest zoom of layer 1).
• Move this layer to the lowest layer, layer 3.

Add modifiers (set to 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. Add an Action and set it as follows. Type of action: [-] Subtract from modifier; Constant Amount: 100.
• Zoom-Y. Variable Amount Based On: Zoom-X; From: Layer 1. Add an Action and set it as follows. Type of action: [-] Subtract from modifier; Constant Amount: 100.
• Go to Effects | Adjustment Effects. Set Blur to 40.

Note that this layer (layer 3) and layer 2 only have the default number of keyframes.

You’re Basically Done!
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.

Advanced note: add a keyframe to layer 1 just after keyframe 1. Change the setting of keyframe 2 from automatic to manual (this fixes the zoom size). Set keyframe 1 to 200. Now, set the zoom value of the layers that follow layer 1 to 200. Now, it won’t matter it if you change the zoom value of any of the layer 1 keyframes with the exception of keyframe 1. This keyframe determines the maximum zoom setting and is what the follower layers will use as their zoom settings.

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.

© 2010, Dale Fenimore, All Rights Reserved
110416-2311, 140525-1650


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