Photo & Caption Moving in Sync

Scenario: You want to pan in a photo with a caption, and you want them to maintain the same distance from each other throughout.

To do this, we’ll use a text layer because raw captions use confusingly different numbers for positioning. A text layer uses the same positioning as an image.

Here’s how to do it:

1. In Slide Options, right-click the preview, select Define Grid, and set both boxes to 2. This divides the screen in half horizontally and vertically…

Grid

2. Type a caption, and choose “Flush Left.” If it’s long enough that it goes off the screen, use the Enter key to break it up into shorter lines.

3. With the grid lines as a guide, move the caption so it’s centered vertically and horizontally, using the dots on the caption’s bounding lines to center it. The green arrows in the illustration below point out the dots.

Caption Setup

4. Convert the caption to a text layer.

5. Add a portrait photo. In Layer Settings, move it to the left of the vertical line, positioning it at -20,0.

6. In Layer Settings, move the text layer to 20,0. The illustration below shows how it might look…

Photo-Text Position

7. Turn off the grid. You no longer need it.

8. In the Effects tab, move keyframe 1 of both the text layer and the photo layer to 2 seconds.

9. Add a keyframe at the zero point in both the text layer and the photo layer…

Add Keyframes

10. In the Effects tab, select keyframe 1 of the text layer and set its position to -70,0. (We’ve moved it left 20 places to the zero point, and then an additional 70 places offscreen. In total, that’s 90 places.)

11. Still in the Effects tab, select the keyframe 1 of the photo layer and move it exactly 90 places to the left from its original position of -20. Since -20 plus -90 equals -110, the setting will be -110,0.

Run the slide, noting how the text and photo move into position without ever getting out of step with each other.

The Rule: For two layers to move in unison, they must travel the same distance in the same amount of time. In the example, we used a distance of 90 and a time of 2 seconds, but when doing this for yourself, your initial positions and timing may be different, but the rule still applies. Same distance, same amount of time.

You can see the technique being used right at the very beginning of The Frame Locker’s video for Changeable Plaid.

By the way, I used Flush Left for the caption because changing the words wouldn’t alter the starting position. If the photo had been on the right, the caption would have to be Flush Right. To see why, bring back the grid created in step 1, add a short caption, and choose Flush Left. Next, choose Flush Right. Flush Left is immediately to the right of the center line, and Flush Right is immediately to the left of the center line. Yeah, I know, it can take some getting used to.

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2 Comments

  1. Very helpful tip. Thank You!

    • You’re more than welcome. In real life, I already knew that two people walking down a street together would arrive at their destination together, so when I finally realized the same applied to ProShow, I had to laugh at myself for taking so much time to figure it out. 🙂


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