ProShow 6 Caption Tips

ZOOM
This one bears repeating because it’s something we’re all likely to trip over periodically even if we know better. When converted, the text layer is automatically at 100% zoom, which is no different from any standard image. Make sure the font size you choose matches the largest size you’ll want when zooming. You can reduce the zoom beneath 100% but not above 100%.

This is what happens when you don’t use a font size to match your largest zoom. Notice those unattractively fuzzy edges:

Fuzzy Zoom

This is how the same caption appears at 100% zoom when the font size was matched to the greatest level of zoom:

Sharp Zoom

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GIVE TEXT BREATHING ROOM
Other than choosing to center or justify left or right, don’t position the text until you’re working with the layer. Most important is to allow space on all four sides. If you do, you’re less likely to have readjust things if you change the amount of text. Here’s what can happen in the converted text layer if you haven’t allowed room, and then you extend it into a paragraph:

No breathing room

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Glorious Texture Fill!
Finally, we can quickly edit the texture used to fill a caption without resorting to an image editor. Just create the caption, turn it into a layer, place an image beneath that layer, and then select the caption layer, choosing to use it as a mask. Now you can select the image layer and change it on a mere whim. Play in the Adjustments tab, or reposition the image to take advantage of specific areas in it. Flip it or even set it in motion.

Here’s a standard texture fill using an image of sand:

Standard texture fill

Here it’s set as a mask above the sand image. Games were played in the Adjustments tab (Hue and Black Point sliders) along with repositioning the image to take advantage of a dark streak:

Caption Mask

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Great Shadows
The default text shadow has always been inflexible–specific size at a specific offset with a specific amount of blur. Now we can duplicate a caption layer,  turn the second caption black, blur it, reduce its opacity, and set it anywhere we want. Here are three examples showing how to create an illusiong of height. The first shows a caption just a bit above the surface, the second with the caption higher up, and the third with a caption all but soaring:

Just above surface

Farther above surface

Far above surface

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Captions as layers? Best thing since sliced bread!

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Published in: on January 14, 2014 at 1:03 pm  Comments (4)  
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Nicer Drop Shadows

Producer is a klutz when it comes to drop shadows. It insists that the light source has to be top left as if light just can’t come from anywhere else. It also creates hard shadows that don’t look so very good. To create nice soft shadows with the light coming from any direction you choose, give this simple setup a try to see how it’s done:

1. Add a blank slide and change it’s background to white so you’ll be able to  see the shadow.

2. Drag any photo into the slide and reduce its size enough so it fully clears all the edges of the screen.

3. Duplicate the photo, and in Layers > Editing, reduce the White Point of the photo in Layer 2 to 0%.

4. Give it a Blur of 50%.

5. Back in Layer Settings, move the black photo’s position to -0.75 x 2. There’s your shadow.

6. If you want a softer shadow, reduce its opacity until you like the way it looks.

7. If you want the light to come from the bottom, just slide the black photo up so the soft edge peeks out from beneath Layer 1. As a matter of fact, move that shadow any which way you please.

Published in: on July 6, 2010 at 8:15 pm  Comments (4)