Classic Photo Effects in ProShow Producer

Though we can simulate a number of classic photo effects in the Adjustments tab, if we add a mask, we double the chance of success because the mask allows us to multiply and alter any effects we’ve applied to the photo. Try this:

1. Add a photo to a blank slide.
2. Duplicate the photo.
3. Turn the top layer into a grayscale mask. (Photo turns dark, probably too dark.)
4. Change the mask to “Grayscale Inverted.” (Weird.)
5. Select layer 2 in the Adjustments tab, setting White and Black Points to 100%. (Film negative.)
6. Set the mask layer to regular “Grayscale.”
7. Select the mask in the Adjustments tab and set Sharpen to 100%, White Point to 100%, Black Point to -100%, and Contrast to 100%. (Oh my!)

Continue playing, doing anything you want to the layers. Notice how often the mask literally affects the effects.

ADVICE: If you like an effect but want to play some more, duplicate the slide, playing with the copy so you don’t lose the original.

Playing as described above, I created 5 classic photo effects:

Posterize: Simulates a soft wash of color with black ink giving definition.

Classic Posterize

Photocopy: Harks back to old photocopiers that turned photos into b&w graphics.

Classic Photocopy

Antique Photo: A soft sepia with sharp edges and an optional mask to create torn edges.

Classic Antique

Grain: There was no way around it–an extra layer was required for the grain.

Classic Grain

Soft Focus: This can’t be properly achieved by just blurring a photo. The result is a blurry photo. By masking the photo, sharpness can be added back in.

Classic Soft Focus

All 5 effects are available as a free set of styles called “Classic Photo Styles.” Go to The Frame Locker and click on “Free” at the bottom of the page.

Play with your own layers! Play with the styles you’ve been given! Have fun!


Published in: on June 18, 2016 at 2:19 pm  Comments Off on Classic Photo Effects in ProShow Producer  
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Colorize vs. Hue

Anyone who’s played with the separate functions of Colorize and Hue has, no doubt, seen that there’s a distinct difference, meaning there may be a reason to choose one over the other. Basically, Hue changes colors individually, while Colorize changes everything into a single color. Since a picture is worth a thousand words…


Original Graphic

Hue slider (still a color array, but they’ve all changed except for the center gray):

Hue slider

Colorize (now it’s all one color, including the center gray):




Hue (colors have changed, but not the grays and blacks):

Photo hue

Colorize (it’s now monochrome–there are no neutrals):

Photo colorized

Is one choice better than the other? Absolutely not. The Hue slider is often the better choice for graphics, but Colorize is usually better for photos. Using Colorize, for example, you can turn a modern, full-color photo into a sepia-tinted old photo. Using the Hue slider on a photo is likely to create something odd (orange eyes, perhaps?) unless you’re going for modern art. However, did you notice what Colorize did to the graphic? It wiped out every color except for red. Even the gray was turned red. Gray is the color of shadows, and so if you have a graphic that contains shading, stick with the Hue slider.

Published in: on December 8, 2013 at 4:53 pm  Comments Off on Colorize vs. Hue  
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Control Producer’s Adjustment Layers

An adjustment layer will inevitably alter every layer beneath it, including the background. True or false?

It’s false. If you place an adjustment layer inside a mask, you can control what’s affected. Just one rule: First set up the mask and the layers it controls, and set up the adjustment layer last. Here’s how:

In the Layer Settings tab…

  1. Add a solid color or gradient to a blank slide to serve as a background.
  2. Add 3 photos above the background, sizing and placing them so all are visible.
  3. Add a white color solid, making it layer 1, and turn it into a mask.
  4. Drag the masking bracket down so it includes only the 1st and 2nd photos.
  5. Select the 1st photo and then add another white color solid so it becomes layer 2.
  6. Turn layer 2 (the solid) into an adjustment layer. See how photo 3 and the background are excluded from the adjustment?

Layer Setup:

Layer setup

In the Adjustments tab…

  1. With the adjustment layer (layer 2) selected, move the Hue slider while watching the preview. The third photo and the background are untouched.
  2. For fun, play with all the sliders with the exception of Opacity, which merely reduces an adjustment layer’s effects.


Before Adjustment

Just a subtle change to spark up the color:

After Adjustment

Why bother? Well, because you can quickly make identical changes to a gang of images, doing it with one layer rather than laboriously altering each member of the gang.

If you want to, you can have more than one masked adjustment in a slide, but you must follow the rule: Set up each mask with its layers before adding the adjustment layer.

Here’s another neat use for adjustment layers: Create Photo Drawings.

Published in: on April 4, 2013 at 8:43 am  Comments (2)  
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ProShow Producer’s Adjustments vs. Adjustments

Every newcomer to Producer ends up confused by the fact that there are two areas in which to make Adjustments. Photodex probably gave up trying to come up with an obvious differentiation because, after all, both areas deal with identical characteristics that can be…well, they can be adjusted. The true difference lies in what happens to those adjustments over the time period of a slide. If you’re a newcomer, maybe this will help reduce all those inevitable confusions:

Layer Adjustments

The above screenshot shows the Adjustments tab. Whatever you do there will be a permanent change. If, as in the example, you move the Hue slider into the purple range, those Christmas ornaments (originally orange) will be purple for the entire duration of the slide.


Effects Adjustments

In this screenshot, the same purple was created with the Hue slider, but the ornaments will be purple for only a single point in time marked by one keyframe. From that keyframe to the next one, the purple will mutate back into orange. Notice how the main preview is showing the image as it will appear halfway through the slide. It’s returning to orange.


In short…

(Layer) ADJUSTMENTS: Any characteristic you set is permanent for the entire slide.

(Effects) ADJUSTMENTS: Any characteristic you set is temporary.


Published in: on November 20, 2012 at 9:44 am  Comments Off on ProShow Producer’s Adjustments vs. Adjustments