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.

Modifiers and Layers

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

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

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

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


Welcome to my Blog! I hope to provide useful information to ProShow Gold and Producer users. The main focus however, is on Producer since it has such substantially more capability than Gold. The material here is mostly on tips and how-to’s.