Cropping for 4:3 and 16:9

A few years ago, I did all the necessary math to build a chart for resizing images to fit the screen precisely. Cropping images or creating original ones to fill the screen without ProShow dictating what gets lost is now a piece of cake. Since the chart is handwritten on 3 cardboard pages–both front and back totaling 148 combinations–I can’t give you a file to download, but below are some typical numbers you might find useful. You read it as, “If the width is this, then the height needs to be that for 4:3 (or 16:9).” I use the chart both ways depending on whether I need to retain the width or the height of an image since nobody wants to cut off the top of Rover’s head.

Width      4:3 Height     9:16 Height
800                600                   450
960                720                    540
1024              768                    576
1184               888                   666
1200              900                   675
1280              960                   720
1344            1008                   756
1440            1080                   810
1552             1164                   873
1600            1200                  900
1792             1344                 1008
2000           1500                  1125

My favorites? 1552 x 1164 for standard screen, and 1792 x 1008 for widescreen.

Published in: on May 30, 2011 at 8:52 am  Comments (6)  
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Crop for Style

Slide styles are usually designed with the assumption that the photo’s main point of interest is close to the center of the photo. It often is, but when it isn’t, important parts of the image can be cut off. In a style where the photo isn’t panned, the adjustments to zoom and position are fairly easy as long as we remember to plug the new settings into each keyframe. However, when the style pans the photo, changing those settings can result in wreckage.
A solution: Go into Layers > Editing, and crop the photo so the point of interest is near the center.

But what about when the style has duplicates of the photo and those duplicates need, of course, to be exact matches?
A solution: Make sure the crop frame has one of its corners coinciding with one of the photo’s corners. Jot down the coordinates you’ve used, and then type in the same coordinates for the duplicate(s), making sure the crop corner sits flush with the same photo corner in each instance. NOTE: Michelle on the Enthusiasts forum has a much better way of dealing with copying the crop to duplicate layers. Just right click on the copy button on the editing tab and select “copy to other layers”. Choose all the different layers that have the duplicate picture.

Being contrary, we humans like choosing photos where there’s just no way the crop corner can coincide with any of the photo’s corners. For example, maybe we want to use a landscape photo in a style built for a portrait photo, and that portrait photo is duplicated.
A solution: Forget ProShow. Crop the photo in your image editor, save it as a copy of the original, and you’re good to go.

Published in: on November 6, 2010 at 10:26 am  Comments Off on Crop for Style  
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Perfect Photo Crop

The one thing that’s still missing in the ProShow crop screen is the ability to see other layers so you can crop to a specific shape. I run a commercial site loaded with frames of all kinds, I’ve been using Producer for a long time, and yet the simple answer to the problem didn’t occur to me until recently. Here’s how to do it:

  1. With the frame layer selected, go to Layers > Editing.
  2. Click the Crop button.
  3. Draw a bounding box so it fits the opening of the frame, allowing the crop lines to just slightly cover the solid part of the frame.
  4. Write down the numbers you see in the size boxes. Example: 1352 x 885
  5. Press the Cancel button.
  6. Open the photo in the crop screen.
  7. Type the numbers you noted in step #4.
  8. Shift the crop box so it encloses the part of the photo you want inside the frame.
  9. Press OK.
  10. The photo is now in the correct proportions, and all you need do now is zoom it so it’s the right size.

Don’t ask me why I didn’t think of this ages ago.

Published in: on May 31, 2010 at 3:38 pm  Comments Off on Perfect Photo Crop  
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Cropping in ProShow…

…is a big fat pain when the crop absolutely must be precise because it’s for a photo that needs to fit perfectly inside a frame. Until Photodex gives us the ability to see other layers along with the photo we’re cropping, we’ll have do a little work.

The basic move is to do a “pretend” crop on the frame, cropping it down to the open section, scribbling the new dimensions on paper, and then canceling the crop. When cropping the photo, type the dimensions you wrote down (and now can’t find) in the little boxes. This will work when the photo’s size and its width-to-height ratio are similar to that of the frame, but we have to get crafty if they aren’t. Get out your calculator.

Let’s say the dimensions you discovered for the inside of the frame were 780 pixels wide by 495 pixels high, and what you want to fit in there is a photo that’s 3000 pixels wide by 2000 pixels high.

Divide the width of the photo by the width you wrote down (780 pixels), then multiply the result times the frame height (495) to get the number to type into the height box on the crop screen.

If that doesn’t work (and it doesn’t always) do the reverse, dividing the height of the photo by the height from the frame, then multiply the result times the frame’s width to get the number to type into the width box on the crop screen.

Like formulas?

(photo width / frame width) x frame height = crop height


(photo height / frame height) x frame width = crop width

However, I’d rather open the photo in Photoshop, turn it into a layer, open the frame, drag it onto the photo, use Transform to proportionately enlarge the frame and to move it into position, select the resulting inside frame area, invert the selection, go to the photo layer, and press Delete. It’s fast and it doesn’t require a calculator.

Published in: on March 30, 2010 at 4:53 pm  Comments Off on Cropping in ProShow…  
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