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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Framing 101 for ProShow Producer

The quick-and-dirty way to frame a photo is to add an outline. It’s nothing to write home about.

A less quick-and-dirty way is to duplicate the photo, zoom the underneath photo a little larger, set its contrast at 0%, and Colorize it. There’s more versatility in size and position with this method.

The least quick way is more elegant and uses masks to create a frame with interior shading for a realistic sense of depth. The magic is in Transparency Inverted masks.

A step-by-step example:

The Photo

Original Photo

Creating the Frame

1. Add the photo to a slide and set as “Fit to safe zone” to allow space for the frame around it.

2. Duplicate the photo 4 times for a total of 5 layers.

3. Set layer 1 to a Transparency Inverted mask.

4. Select layer 2, set Zoom to 103%.

5. In the Adjustments tab, set layer 2’s Contrast to 0% and Colorize it.

Showing only layers 1 and 2, here’s the result…

Frame Bare

6. Select layer 3 and Zoom it to 101%.

7. Turn layer 3 into a Transparency Inverted mask.

8. In the Adjustments tab, add a Vignette with a size of 7 to layer 3.

9. Select layer 4, and in the Adjustments tab, set the White Point to 0%, turning it black.

10. Set layer 4’s opacity to about 55%, turning it into a shadow.

Showing layers 1 through 4…

Frame-Shading

And with layer 5, the photo layer, included…

Frame & Photo

If you follow the instructions, you can gain an understanding of how inverted masks operate. However, if it’s just too much fussing around and you prefer getting on with life, download the free Framing 101 slide style from The Frame Locker to keep handy for whenever you need a nicely framed photo.

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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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:

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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Create Photo Drawings in ProShow Producer

Drawing in Brown

Kind of cool, isn’t it? Would you like to do this too? Here’s how:

1. Add a photo to a slide.
2. Duplicate the photo twice so there’s a total of 3 layers.
3. Set all 3 layers to Fit to Safe Zone.
4. Rename layer 1 to “Adjustment,” layer 2 to “Photo,” and layer 3 to “Frame.”
5. In Layer Settings, put a checkmark in Adjustment and choose Transparency Inverted
6. Go to the Adjustments tab and make these changes:

Adjustment layer:
Sharpen 100%
Opacity 0%
Contrast 100%

Photo layer:
Sharpen 100%
White Point 37%
Contrast 34%
Colorize 140, 125, 96
Outline turned on – black

Frame layer:
Black Point 100%

  • If the image is too “crunchy,” you can reduce this by moving the Photo layer’s Sharpen slider toward the left until the image smoothes out just a bit.
  • If the image is too dark, move the Photo layer’s White Point slider toward the right until you like what you see.
  • You can change the color of the sketch by choosing a different hue in Colorize.
  • The Outline color doesn’t have to be black. Choose another color, making sure it’s dark enough to show up.

Here’s one done in blue ink:

Blue Drawing
Now that you’ve seen how to do it, the Photo Drawing slide style is free at The Frame Locker. 🙂

Want to learn something just a bit more advanced? Try Control Producer’s Adjustment Layers

More on this technique at Photodex’s Slideshow Blog