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.


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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!

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.


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).







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 #”)

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.


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.

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.


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.

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

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.


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.

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

TIP: Delete Keyframe

There are at least 5 different ways to delete a keyframe. But, most people only know method 1 below.

  • Method 1. Right click while hovering over or after selecting the keyframe to delete. Select the Delete option from the popup menu.
  • Method 2. In the Slide Options | Effects | Motion Effects window, drag the keyframe right or left until another keyframe is reached. The overlapping keyframes are now outlined in yellow. Release the mouse button to delete a keyframe.The keyframe that remains, including all settings, is the one that was dragged.
    • CAVEAT. As of release 4.52.4049, if you still have the default ProShow Intro show selected, you may not see this behavior. Instead, you will find it impossible to delete a keyframe by dragging a keyframe left over a previous keyframe. This is a behavior bug and an odd one at that (since there should be absolutely NO connection between the keyframe behavior and an introductory show). So, turn off the ProShow intro or select one of your own as an intro show. One way to do this is by clicking on Create Output, Select DVD. In the Create DVD window, select Shows. In the lower right is the Include Intro Show section. Unselect the box (it will change from a check in a green box to a white box labeled off) or select your own show as an introductory show.
  • Method 3. If all time between two keyframes is removed, the keyframe to the right is removed. The remaining keyframe has the settings of the keyframe from which time was removed. (See Keyframes: Add/Remove Time).
  • Method 4. In the Multi-Layer Keyframe Editor there are two methods for deleting keyframes: single layer and across multiple layers. In either case, to delete: right click the mouse(s) over one on the selected keyframes and select Delete Selected Keyframes. Delete a single keyframe at a time or multiple keyframes across multiple layers (one keyframe per layer).
    • 4a) Single Layer. Select a keyframe. Delete it as given above. The keyframe gets deleted and the next keyframe gets selected. Do it again. Upon deleting a keyframe, the next keyframe gets selected. Good for quickly deleting many keyframes in a row. This is similar to method 1 above. However, it does not automatically select the next keyframe when a keyframe is deleted whereas this method does.
    • 4b) Multiple Layers. There are two methods here: rubber banding and multiple selections.
      • 4-b1) Rubber Band. Select Keyframes by positioning the cursor above and to the left or right of a keyframe, Click and hold the mouse button while dragging down and over the keyframes on the multiple layers. The keyframes closest to the right of the inside of the rubber band on each layer will become selected (as long as the keyframes are within the rubber banded region). These keyframes need not exist at the same time location. When deleted, the next keyframe to the right of the deleted keyframe on each layer becomes selected. Delete again if desired.
      • 4-b2) Multi-Select. CTRL-click on a keyframe selects it. One 1 keyframe on any layer is selectable at a time. But multiple layers may have a selected keyframe. The keyframes may be located anywhere within the layer. Deleting them selects the next available keyframe located to the right of the deleted keyframe on each layer.

CAPTION KEYFRAME DELETE. The delete methods outlined above also work with caption keyframes. Additionally, when using the click-drag method to delete a caption keyframe, you’ll see a red outline instead yellow.

© 2011 Dale Fenimore

Keyframes: Add/Remove Time

Keyframes are something with which new users are usually unfamiliar. It can take a while to get one’s head wrapped around them before you can use them effectively. Hopefully this article can help shorten that learning curve. This is not really a tutorial nor is it an in-depth treatment of how to use them. However, it is a description of how to add or remove time from a keyframe (and thereby add or remove time from a slide without directly adjusting the slide time. This information is especially useful if you want to add time without affected other keyframes on the same layer).

IMPORTANT: Time is added or removed from a keyframe’s right side (see exception below).

  • Move the cursor over a keyframe and right click. Select “Add/Remove Time from Keyframe” from the resulting menu.
    Add/Remove Time

    Add/Remove Time
  • In the resulting dialog (see below), select the keyframe to/from which to add/remove time.
  • In the Time:box,
    • ADD time with a positive number
    • REMOVE time with a negative numberAdd time here
      Add time to keyframe
    • Time is removed only from the region in which the keyframe exists (in other words, the transition in/out or slide time). See example below.
    • Removing time from the last keyframe (which is also firewalled to the far right), results in no removed time (since there is no time to the right of the keyframe to remove!)

      Add time area
      Add/Remove Time Region

    Use this information to remove unnecessary/unwanted time from a slide without affecting the amount of time between the layer’s other keyframes.


    When there is no transition out time (to the right of the slide) and the last keyframe is firewalled to the far right, time added to this last keyframe is actually added to the keyframe’s LEFT side! If, however, the transition time is non-zero, time is added on the keyframe’s right side! This is odd, inconsistent behavior! Probably a bug masquerading as a feature.

    NOTE: As of this writing, this behavior is present up to and including Version 5.


    You can only delete the amount of time that exists between the selected and next keyframes.

    • If all time between two keyframes is removed, the keyframe that existed to the right of the keyframe from which time is removed will cease to exist (it’s replaced; the values of the resulting keyframe are those of the selected keyframe).

    Another limit is related to the amount of time between the keyframe and the point where the slidetime begins/ends and transition time ends/begins. If the amount of time deleted is larger than the available amount time to delete, all time (and only the time) from the keyframe to the demarcation (that is where the slide time ends and the transition out starts) is deleted. For instance,

    • Suppose keyframe 1 is located a the far left (firewalled on the left side) and the transition time is a total of 3 seconds. If the amount of time selected to delete is 20s, the entire transition time is deleted and the slidetime is unaffected.
    • If the time between the slidetime keyframe and the transition out is 3 seconds and 15 seconds are removed from the keyframe, only 3 seconds is actually removed.

    Removing time from a keyframe also results in time being removed from all other layers on the slide from the time at which the keyframe exists. As such, be careful that you don’t end up with significantly overlapped or removed (i.e., deleted) keyframes on those other layers. If you are removing time from a slide to shorten it and/or to remove excess/unneeded time, try to ensure that no important keyframes exist to the right of the time point on any layer above or below the layer from which time is being removed.

    There is a bug in the public release 4.52.3053 of Producer (This bug may also be present in versions 3.2 through 4.1 since a similar, possible the same bug was present). This bug causes keyframes to jump into a position where they would not normally appear (such as from keyframe 1, 2, 3, and 4 to keyframe 1, 3, 2, 4). If time is removed from a keyframe that is not the last keyframe (on the current or another layer), 1 or more of these keyframes may land in front of a keyframe they should be behind!

    SLIDE TIME: Change it without Affecting Existing Keyframes

      In this case, two conditions are required. The keyframe to which time is added
    1. Must exist within the slide time,
    2. be the last keyframe on all layers before the start of the transition out region.
      Further, that keyframe must have at least 0.001 seconds of space between it and the start of the transition out region. That’s because, as given above, time is added to the right of the keyframe AND is added to the region in which the keyframe exists. Now, add the desired amount of time.
      The assumption here is that the excess/unnecessary time exists at the end of a slide. Therefore, removed time must come from the right side of last keyframe (on any layer) (NOTE: see the Important Note above). Remove the slide’s extra time as given above. If necessary, add a keyframe at the point that will become the end of the slide and delete the desired amount of time. Then, delete that keyframe (if it’s no longer needed).

    2011/2012 Dale Fenimore

    that keyframe MUST be the last keyframe before the start of the transition outregion.T

    Adding Time

Drop Shadows


This gives only the basics to adding your own shadow to a layer. Generally, this approach is used when the image is masked (by a non-inverted mask). Since ProShow shadows on a masked layer are themselves masked (hidden) another step is required to give your masked image a shadow. Alternatively, if the ProShow shadow is not what you’re looking for (for example, is too small and/or too sharp), you will need to do something else.

So, to add your own shadow:

  • Duplicate the mask (this retains any keyframes, keyframe settings etc of the original layer).
  • Move the duplicate layer to below the masked image.
  • Change the duplicated layer’s color to the desired shadow color
  • Adjust its opacity (generally 50% to 70%)
  • Add blur (generally 20 to 40 will work)
  • Offset it’s position slightly relative to the mask (change the pan-x and pay-y to place the shadow where you want it and to make its size as large as desired)

So, this is the final basic setup on the slide:

Layer 1: Mask (set to alpha(transparency) or intensity(grayscale) mask, non-inverted, depth=1)
·  Layer 2: Image
Layer 3: Shadow Layer

See also Create Image Shadow page.