The Title: Why, Not What

Has anyone with a camera and a garden not done a flower show? We choose our best photos of our best flowers, but when going back to work on the intro, the air goes out of our tires. We end up calling it “The Garden” or “Flowers.” Shortness is a component of a good title, but it’s not what makes a great title. A great title answers a question you ask yourself: “Why?”

Why did you plant the garden? Because flowers “Decorate the World”? Because you see them as “Tiny Miracles”? Are flowers your “Friends”? There could be any number of answers to why you planted the garden or why you love flowers, and by answering that question, answering why, you’re likely to come up with a title that guides viewers through your show with a theme that they apply to all the pretty pictures, giving them more interest, more life.

Without necessarily settling on the exact title until the end, if you keep “why” in mind while building any kind of show, your hand will be guided in the choice and order of photos and in special effects.

Great titles explain “why.” The “what” part is for the rest of the show to deal with.

Published in: on February 26, 2015 at 9:30 am  Comments Off on The Title: Why, Not What  
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Avoiding Caption Blur in ProShow 6

Zooming in on a caption layer causes blur. Why? Because the original text is automatically converted to 100% zoom, and the result of zooming will be no different from that of zooming in on a small image. To avoid the problem, increase the font size to approximately the largest zoom you’ll be using, and only after that should you convert it to a layer.

One way to do it:

  1. Create the text and convert it.
  2. Zoom the layer to the largest you’ll want.
  3. Create a brand-new text line, using the same words, and then move it over the “layerized” caption.
  4. Change the font size of the new text until it matches the size of the zoomed version.
  5. Delete the zoomed caption layer, and then convert the plain text to a caption layer.
  6. Now, instead of zooming in, zoom out so the caption starts out (or ends) at the smallest size you want. Increasing the zoom to 100% will give you a caption that’s both large and sharp as a tack.

Another way to do it:

  1. Create the text and convert it.
  2. Zoom the layer to what you’ll want, and note the percentage.
  3. Reset the percentage to 100%.
  4. In the Text Settings tab, multiply the current font size by the zoom percentage. For instance, if the current size is 12 and the zoom you’ll want is 130%, then 12 times 1.3 (percentage as a decimal) will be a font size of 15.6, which you can type in, or you can round it up, using a size of 16.
  5. Use the same final step as in the first method, zooming the caption out wherever you want it at a smaller size.

As you get used to how captions work in ProShow 6, you’ll probably end up no longer needing these instructions. (Thank goodness, right?)

Published in: on December 21, 2013 at 10:06 am  Comments Off on Avoiding Caption Blur in ProShow 6  
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Slide Styles vs. Templates

Slide styles have come close to obliterating templates, but is this logical? A style creates a single slide; a template creates an entire show. Why would you want the latter? Here’s why:

Say a friend of a friend asks you to create a birthday show for her 8-year-old. She supplies 25 digital photos, which you add in chronological order to a new show, one by one changing the duration of each slide and applying a style. You create the beginning and ending slides from scratch. Captions must be typed in, positioned, and in Producer, keyframed. Then you sync slides and soundtrack. Because you’re doing it slide by slide, even a short show of about 3 minutes will likely take a number of hours to complete. Granted, in the good old days when styles didn’t exist, a 3-minute show could easily take days to finish.

What if, instead of using styles, you use a template created from another birthday show you built last year? (Remember, this is for the friend of a friend, not your mother.) In this case, you start a new show using the template, add the photos, remove any extra slides you don’t need or duplicate some if you need extras. You change captions and sync the soundtrack. If you’ve neither deleted nor added slides, you don’t even have to do the syncing if you use the music included in the template. That 3-minute show has likely taken little more than an hour to complete and possibly less.

If you build shows for clients, or if you’re asked rather consistently to do “favors,” templates are the only way to go. Wedding photographers and people who build memorial shows already know this, so take a hint from them. Whenever you create a show that could potentially be used again, save it as template.

Published in: on November 25, 2013 at 9:58 am  Comments Off on Slide Styles vs. Templates  
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Any Number You Want

No matter how it looks, you aren’t limited to default settings in ProShow. Here’s the truth:

ZOOM – Sometimes a setting such as 103 is too small while 104 is too large. No problem. Type in a decimal such as 103.5, and you’ll have just what you need. If you leave the slide and then go back to it, you’ll find that the number has been rounded off, but don’t be fooled. Beneath the hood, your decimal number is still there.

ROTATION – Do you want an object to spin like a top? You probably already know you can go from -360 degrees to +360 degrees, (two full rotations), but you can also make it spin from -720 degrees to +720 degrees or from -980 degrees to +980 degrees or from whatever to whatever you like.

TILT – What holds true for rotation also holds true for tilt, but in this case, instead of spinning clockwise or counterclockwise, the object will appear spin on a vertical axis like a weather vane.

FONT POINT SIZE – Don’t believe for one minute that the largest you can go is up to 120 points. Type in any point size you want…any. If 56 is too small and 72 is too large, type in 60 or 63 or whatever suits.

All you need remember is that, if there’s a box where you can enter a number, you’re free to enter any number you want.

Published in: on September 1, 2013 at 2:34 pm  Comments Off on Any Number You Want  
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Getting in Sync with ProShow

Do you struggle syncing slide and sound? If you’re a newcomer to ProShow, no doubt you do, but be assured that ProShow veterans can also have problems.

I’ve put together tips, three example shows using 3 very different soundtracks, and a method for easing some of the syncing pain for both newcomers and old-timers.

Will it make you an instant expert? No. It gives you guidance. The rest is up to you.

Download for both Gold and Producer: Getting in Sync

Published in: on May 24, 2013 at 11:36 am  Comments Off on Getting in Sync with ProShow  
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