Tag Archives: Modifiers

The use of modifiers

FPVP Tools for ProShow

The tools have a number of minor revisions, bug fixes, and feature additions.

  • The previous release only provided for finding a layer’s side, corner, or center when rotated on Rotate. This release expands upon that. The ability to find the actual position of a layer that was rotated on a rotate center was added.
  • The rotation may now use Vertical tilt, Horizontal tilt, or Rotate.
  • The EQUAL SIZE CHANGES tool was completely revamped.
  • A 4th language option was added (“YOURS”). Now, you can translate the given text to whatever you want to change it to, if you so desire. The other language options are English, French, and Russian.
  • The method of selecting a language was made easier to use.
  • Changes to the worksheet were also made to better accommodate language changes (so the columns don’t get really wide).
  • A link to the tutorial is provided directly within the worksheet now too.

This set of tools provides unprecedented access to some of the power ProShow possesses but which is not apparent except to the more Expert users. These tools provide access to features even most ProShow experts do not have. ProShow is not likely to provide access to the features this set of tools provides any time soon. For instance, 1) ProShow does not give you any information as to how tall or wide a layer is (rotated or not). 2) If you want to crop your later to a specific aspect, you must do the math yourself before entering numbers to get the crop. 3) Rotate Center (a feature that ProShow has provided since the release of v4 over 4 years ago) is implemented in a limited fashion. The power of the rotate center is effectively limited to a layer’s corner or side.

If you want easy access to some of that power, these FPVP tools are the answer. They let you do things that would otherwise require modifiers. As noted previously, these tools can let you do things you thought impossible, very difficult, or labor intensive. They can save you a considerable amount of time and effort. In truth, these tools make the difficult extremely easier. I’ve been using variations of these tools for several years now. Now, that power is available to you as well.

Dale
140927-1833

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!