ProShow 6 Caption Tips

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


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


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


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


Captions as layers? Best thing since sliced bread!


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

Motion via Placement in ProShow

Since the advent of ProShow version 4, we’ve been buried in slide styles, but some of the older ways of doing things not only still work, but they continue to be admirable.

Once upon a time, we not only used zoom, pan, and rotation to create motion; we used placement, too. In its simplest form, you’d have one slide with the photo on the left and the next slide with the photo on the right. With a cut in between the two slides, and if you ran the slides, a photo would pop into view on the left and then pop off as the photo on the right popped into view. Not a single special effect was used, and yet there was motion.

This idea is still valid, and it can extend itself to any number of slides. For instance, one might have photo 1 at top left, photo 2 at top center, 3 at top right, 4 at middle right, and so on until a complete circling of the screen is accomplished. Running the slides causes the perception of motion where absolutely none exists. And guess what? This was the original idea that launched the invention of film.

Published in: on May 25, 2011 at 9:17 am  Comments (6)  
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What Does It Say?

It’s always a good idea to choose slide styles that suit the photo. If we don’t pay attention to what’s happening, we can easily create atrocities such as slicing up our mother, sending half the photo with half our mother off the screen to the right and the other half of our mother to the left. What’s this saying? Nothing we want to think about. That same slide style might work, however, if we have a photo with two people standing on either side of the split. Unlikely, but possible.

You can’t go wrong if you always ask yourself what a special effect is really saying.

Published in: on May 19, 2010 at 10:29 am  Comments Off on What Does It Say?  
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