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Hi folks,

 

We have shared slide shows in the past with ProShow Gold. I recently upgraded from Gold to Producer and I have to say that it is an incredible slide show software. Producer is a little pricey ($500) and $350 for current Gold owners, but the features are worth it. However, I just started using it and was wondering if anyone else has used it and what their thoughts are? Here is what I like:

 

1. you can have up to 100 layers on a slide

2. software supports transparent layers (you can be very creative here)

3. You can save your file as a template, using drag and drop of other images for other subject shows

4. You can copy parts of a template into another show. This is important because you might spend hours developing a complex series of layers doing tricky things, and now you can save that complex series and just drop in new pics. For example, you might do a diving show and have a really cool series of transitions and layer alignments and motion, then next year you might shoot a wedding and want to use that same series of workflow. You merely have to copy that part of the template into your new show, drag in the photos from your wedding and the work is all done for you from your underwater show. Really nice feature.

5. You can control opacity on all layers within Producer. This used to have to be done in PS and then saved as a new image file. More images makes the show more complex.

 

5. Supports PSD files from Photoshop.

 

What I don't like

 

1. You cannot control when each layer enters and leaves a slide, they all pop up when the slide is introduced. You have to have many slides of one image if you want to be creative....LOTS more work.

 

 

2. You cannot control how each individual layer dissolves into the slide...if you choose transition "CUT" all layers "CUT". To avoid this, you have to create as many slides as you have layers, and this is a lot of WORK!

 

http://www.photodex.com/sharing/viewshow.h...l=2565428&alb=0

 

The above is a link to a show I have just started creating. It is only a dozen slides and is only my very rough introduction to a California dive show I am creating. It in no way represents my finished product nor have I put any music to it yet. But it shows some idea of what the software can do. I still have timing adjustments to make etc, but take a look and let me know what you think.

 

Anyway, I was wondering if anyone on Wetpixel has used Producer (www.photodex.com) and what they do and don't like about it. BTW, I have nothing to do with Photodex, and don't own any stock in them. :P

 

Joe

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Joe you are always two steps ahead. Really like the two overlays that melt into the black cod (?) and at the start when the underwater portion clears and comes into focus. Can you splice in short video clips?

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Hi Martin,

 

I am not sure if I like the fish in the opening slides, but it was fun to do. You can definately use video and I intend to. Tomorrow I am going to shoot some vid of surf and seagull squeals and use the sound from the vid to put in the show. I am also going to get some vid of water ripples from under the water and adjust some of the opacity. Once I do that, I can inject water ripple motion effects to some of the still images. The risky thing for Producer is the transparency support because you can get carried away with schooling fish, like I did.

 

I'll post updated files as I make some headway.

 

Joe

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Joe -

 

That is very cool! I've been looking for those features for some time now. Do you know if ProShow Producer uses high resolution images properly when you zoom in, instead of taking the largest part of the zoom and using that as a master? For example, if I have a huge image and want to zoom in 1000%, I would expect the image quality to be good all the way through the zoom. I seem to recall that ProShow Gold does bad things (when doing huge zooms), but I can't remember now...

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I had a lengthy reply to this, but some moron at the keyboard musta deleted his cookies before hitting send, so I'll go with the condensed version....

 

I love PSP, I was a longtime user of PS Gold and upgraded last summer.

 

Things I love about PSP: Its a great product and I can't say enough good things about it so I'll be brief.

 

Their Devs respond to feature requests! There are features that I've seen evolve from suggestions that little ole me.

 

PSP and Photoshop file integration was a huge improvement they made.

 

 

Problems.

As Eric mentioned, it's handling of large images leave a bit to be desired. I've mentioned this to them. I've gotten around it partially by zooming in part way, then cutting to another slide starting at that point (Photoshop is still my best friend).

 

There is a minor problem with audio sometimes, when the final cut is rendered, I've had the audio come out noisy with pops, crackles, etc. Removing the audio file from the project and readding it usually fixes the problem but I've been read on newsgroups that not always.

 

Zooming to 0% One feature I'd like to see is that I'd like to zoom an image down to 0%, it's currently (well I haven't upgraded versions in a few weeks) only lets you zoom down to 20% size, I want it to go down to a single pixel and disappear.

Again, something that can be worked around, but would be nice to see integrated.

 

I've had problems rendering DVDs directly using large images, I've had it lock up when using 3000x2000 images rendering down to DVD quality, so I just render to MPEGs (which always works fine) and then use Nero to build the DVD menus and burn em from there.

 

 

I searched and searched for something like Proshow, and when I found PSG, I stopped looking.

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Eric,

 

I didn't mean to blow you off. When you posted your message I was already asking Photodex for an answer because I was not happy with the quality I was getting. So, I finally got this response from them...not what I was hoping.

 

 

Joe,

This hi-resolution issue is something we've been fighting with for a while. The problem is that if we set the rendering-engine to allow higher resolutions, (which you can do by going to

Edit->Preferences->Miscellaneous...->"Maximum Internal Rendering

Resolution" (This is the settings for the previewing)), is that the sheer volume of pixels that need to be processed in these enormous high-resolution images are causing even today's best computers to jitter. If you import a bunch of these, it will eventually cause the PC to become completely unresponsive, and will make it look like ProShow just gave up the ghost. It's interesting to know, that when you create a DVD, the movie-files that play on a TV only contain about 768x587 pixels, and playing the auto-run off of the DVD/CD using high-rez images will cause jittering as well, because the bandwidth between the CD/DVD-player and computer is a bottle-neck compared to playing an Executable file off of the harddrive. The second bottleneck that must be passed through is the memory. Even if you have 2gb's of memory, if a computer has many things running in the background that perform checks on everything that passes through the memory, this will slow things down. Many people don't realize that when you look at an image in Photoshop, the software has all the time in the world to display as much quality as possible, but ProShow is expected to display 30 of these per second, after applying motion effects and image adjustments, captions, etc... Theoretically, it's possible to do this with high-resolution images. But even with today's computers it's hard to find the optimal quality vs. performance balance.

 

If you go into Show->Show Options->General Show Options, and choose a Custom aspect ratio, then set the numbers to the pixel dimensions of your photos, you'll receive better quality shows.

 

Please let us know if you have further questions.

Best regards,

 

 

Doesn't sound like anything is going to happen anytime soon.

 

Joe

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I don't know why people who write these programs continue to be mired in one dimensional thought. For years I have wished for a slideshow utility that has a TRUE storyboard model (think video and audio editing). I would like to have complete, independant control of each image and it's transitions.

 

Proshow Producers' Layers concept is a poor attempt at accomodating independant control over mutiple images. I wanted to pull my hair out in frustration trying to use it. Combine that with it's hardware key copy protection and it's a no sale for me.

 

It's truly sad to say that Proshow Producer is the best on the market at this time. The only way I have found to create the type of slideshows I want is with video editing tools, but then you are restricted to video resolutions.

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