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…


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.

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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