This is probably
the best presentation software ever created. While most ďslide showĒ
programs handle hundreds of transitions and effects, ProShow Producer allows the user to insert video, create multiple keyframes,
and turn your photos into works of art with image enhancement
techniques found only in photo-editing software.
puts YOU in charge of the production. If you want it, all you have
to do is create it. Everything is in the control of the user. Your
limits are your imagination.
One enormous plus to the
software is the number of templates supplied for some really nifty
custom effects. You can even purchase
more templates or you can create your own.
literally hundreds of transitions and effects, and you have complete control sizing and placement with exactness. You
get to view your show a piece at a time before moving on, and if you
need one slide to pick up exactly where the last left off, thatís as
easy as a click of the mouse.
donít like using more than just a few transitions and effects in a
show. I feel that too
many different effects in a slide show detract from the photos. Our
MTV mentalities have forced upon us quick transitions and constant
movement, but you don't need this if your photos want to speak for
shows all over the web where a simple photo is not presented simply,
but is in constant movement; every translation results in a photo
moving toward the viewer from different angles.
Your show is
totally up to you; simple is
the best, with a little glitz thrown in as a slight
break in stride.
Open the program
and youíll quickly see a very intuitive arrangement of the programs
parts on your screen. The top left is your directory: below are
thumbnails of the photos in that directory; to the right is your
preview screen; and on the bottom is your time line where your
slides and videos will go.
Now you can
start a project or a show. Personally, Iíve never created a project.
A project consists of many shows and a menu. I create shows and then
put them together with a different program. However, ProShow
Producer is HD ready. If you have drives that write BlueRay disks,
youíve got everything you need in one program to created hours and
hours of slide shows all connected to menus and playable in HD.
The display is
very intuitive. All the menus are at the top, as with most programs.
Then you've got icons to assist you. Below that you've got your
folder list, thumbnails from the chosen folder, and to the right is
the slide you've chosen. Below is the timeline. Each slide has it's
time below it (3.0 seconds) and to the right is the transition and
time (3.0 seconds). The soundtrack is below this, but right now it's
empty. In addition to a sound track, every slide can have its own
soundtrack, and the main soundtrack will soften its volume when the
soundtrack assigned to the slide kicks in. When you click on a
slide, it will show up in the preview window.
There is a slide
above the second slide in the timeline. This means that when you
click Play, your show will start there and return to there (used for
question you should have at this point is: What do I want to create?
How you create
your project is up to you. You can take every picture in your
folder, highlight them all by clicking on the first, holding the
shift key and clicking on the last and then drag them to the
timeline. Youíll automatically get the default timing for each
slide; a three second view of each slide
with a three second transition―unless
you change it.
transition is a crossfade blend. One slide blends into the next.
However, if you
want to change the transition, you can change it for just one slide,
for a group of slides, or for all slides.
program is so intuitive, most of you would know how to do this in
just a few keystrokes.
can choose the slides to make changes on by clicking on them
individually with the Control key held down (weíre talking PCs
hereÖ.you Mac users will have to translate these keys on your own)
click on the slides you want to change. To chose a group (or all) go
to the first and click on it, then go to the last (in the group) and
hold the shift key while clicking on that slide. All those youíve
chosen will now be highlighted, and any change you make to one
(concerning the timing of the slide or transition), you
make to all. You can shorten the transition, increase or shorten the
length of time the slide is held in view, and change the transition.
changed these things, the next slide you add to the show
automatically gets these same timings and transition.
Want to add
music? Simple, just click on Show, then Soundtrack. You can pull in
music from anywhere on your computer or from a CD.
Once you have
your soundtrack, you can set up your photo show to last as long as
the soundtrack in a number of ways. You can highlight a number of
slides and have then stretch or shrink to be presented for as long
as the song lasts. Or you can set up all your slides to last as long
as the entire soundtrack. Or, get really creative and choose to have
slides change with the music.
Soundtrack window open, choose Record Slide Time. You can play with
this; itís really a lot of fun. You listen to the music, and while
youíre listening, you choose when to change the slide. You can
choose the transition, the timing, anything you want according to
the music. This feature is a lot of fun.
Just keep in
mind that once youíve set this up, and then decide to set the series
of photos to equal the length of the soundtrack, youíll overwrite
your earlier edits when you chose transitions time according to the
music. The way to get past this, is to remember which slides appear
and fade to the music, then select the rest of the slides to sync to
the rest of the soundtrack.
Always keep in
mind that you can go back to a previous state by clicking on
Control-Z. This has saved me many times. Just go back and start
Right now, you
already know enough to make a really good slide show. But, before we
take a look at some advanced features, letís take a look at our preferences.
It is here where
you will set up all your preferences for all your shows, however,
this one tab is where youíll want to go before starting a show. If
your show is for the computer, youíll want different settings than
if your show is for a television.
settings will be found elsewhere (from one of the icons atop the
opening screen). If you are creating a show for TV,
you can set your show up for a standard TV or a WideScreen (HD)..
When setting up
a show for television, I prefer the Default Image Settings to be set
to Fit to Safe Zone. The safe zone is something you can play with
but youíll have to create a DVD every time you make adjustments and
It is also here
where you can adjust the standard transition youíll be using and the
length of the slides.
For some reason
you are able to adjust the smoothness of the movement of your slides. I
donít know why anyone would choose their slides to move jerkily. This is the one flaw of ProShow,
by the way: if your slide move a good
distance during its presentation, youíll get jerks. Iíve found NO cure for this, yet.
Now, letís take
a look at all you can do with your slides.
For your first
show, I would suggest that you to grab all your slides you want, drag them to the
You can also open an explorer window, go to a
folder with photos, and drag them directly to the timeline. The
program is very flexible. It's up to you to test and try and
can add a soundtrack in a number of ways. The easiest is to find one
(on your desktop or in an Explorer window) and drag it to just below
the timeline. Then highlight all the slides (by clicking on the last
one, holding down the shift key, and clicking on the first), then
right click on the slides, choose audio, and then choose to sync all
the slides to the soundtrack.
There you have
it. Your first slide show. It is that easy.
Now letís play.
Take it from a pro, "No card is faster or safer than
Do I need to
tell you to play? Click on everything, see what happens. Nothing is
permanent; you can always roll back to where you were by using
Control Z (or Edit; Undo). And donít be afraid to right click and
check out all the options!
The first thing
you have to do, is go to the slide where you want a caption, and
double click on it. The window below opens.
Itís always best
to click on all the tabs to see all the options. The first thing you
will notice is that THERE ARE WAY TOO MANY OPTIONS IN THIS PROGRAM.
Most of them you will NEVER use. However, itís good to know that if
you want to do something really special, or different, you will have
the options needed to do exactly that.
Under the Show
menu option (in the top menu) you can add a background or caption to
every slide. You control all the show defaults there.
But to give just
one slide a caption, after youíve double clicked on the slide,
choose Captions (in the above photo) and then just type it in. You can choose how it will be
presented (entrance), what it does during the slide, and how it
leaves. You can have it grow, move about. You can choose the font,
size color, drop shadow, outline. You name it. The only thing you
canít do are the Star Wars like titles, though you never know what
options will come with future versions.
Always check out
your options. You have the option, under Caption Motion, to have the
caption start in one location and end in another; great if youíre
creating rolling credits.
Though I am a
believer in the theory that simple is best, you donít have to listen to me.
Click on Slide and youíll see a whole bunch of options (templates)
for your slides (as seen above). You can add layers here and have all the pictures
on the layers presented to you in a number of ways.
The worst thing
about this feature is if you click on one of the icons to add a
layer, you have to go to your file folders and search for a photo
(ostensibly). What you don't know till you experiment, is that you can open an explorer window and drag in layers, or you
can go behind this window into ProShowís thumbnails and drag one in
from there. You will want to play with this.
Next youíll want
to create your own templates and effects. You can add layers to any
slide, move them about, add keyframes and work within those those
keyframes. A keyframe is a point at which the manipulation/movement of a slide
begins or ends. You can add as many keyframes to a slide as you
need, and have all your layers moving about, with the last keyframe
consisting of the transition to the next slide.
Now, one problem
beginners have is they love the way they presented a slide, but when
viewing the slide, just as the slide is right where they want it, the transition starts
and the next slide appears. In other words, you
know exactly how you want the slide to appear, but right as that
moment appears, the transition to the next slide begins.
What you need to learn is how to make the end of this slide (or
layers) into the beginning of the next slide, with NO transition.
What you get is your presentation, and then, a good long look at
The first thing
you have to do is RIGHT click on the slide after the slide your
working, and choose to insert a blank slide.
Then go to the
transition between these two and choose 0 (zero seconds) as the time of the
transition and then choose CUT as your transition (click the
transition icon and choose).
Next you have to copy the end of the slide (and all layers) to the
next slide. With the Slide Effects window open, click on the icon
on the left side with the two keyframes and the arrow thru them to
the right, and choose to "Copy End to Next Slide" (all layers). Your
next slide will begin where this one ended.
find so many options that youíll probably never use. However, the
best way to learn a program is to experiment with all the different
settings. This way you learn as you go and youíll know what to do to
get the effects you want.
Your choices for
output are limited ONLY to every possible form of output possible.
You can put your show on YouTube, create an executable file, make a
DVD, or BlueRay Disk, or even something to go on your iPod. You can
create a show for your web site, or create a screen saver.
The only problem
is if you are making something for your TV, you are going to have to
determine the resolution of your TV. Iíve found that most DVDs are
created with a resolution of 720 X 480. However, I donít own an HD
TV (and wonít for a long long time) and Iíve not had to create one,
yet. When I do, Iíll go look up the resolution.
you can make are fantastic. You get to see your photos as big as
your screen, with the music of your choice in the background.
All in all,
ProShow Producer is the best of the best presentation software
around. As a professional photographer, I wouldnít be without it.
There is nothing like it on the market. Nothing.
To see all the
different features, go here:
ProShow Comparison. To see a product demo, go here:
Demo. I know you wonít be disappointed if you decide to order
one of Photodexís programs.