Bring those memories to life! Make a gorgeous video slideshow to celebrate a family reunion, class reunion, military homecoming or other special gathering. ProShow slideshow tools give you…
Summer is a popular time for vacations and travel holidays. Whether you have a trip coming up or you just returned from one, don’t let your beautiful travel…
Get your cameras ready! We’re in search of the ultimate adventure story, told through the creative use of photos ,videos and audio. Enter your best travel, nature and…
In a recent training video, we showed a really neat effect of a spotlight highlighting an individual in a group photo and then a caption appearing under the photo. We had a ton of requests on how to re-create this effect in ProShow Producer, so the steps are below!
Note: Please keep in mind this example is for instructional purposes only. Feel free to use your own values and layer positions while following along.
Adding Layers + Layer Setup
To enable as mask:
To setup a vignette:
Now we need to set the opacity for our mask so the spotlight appears on top of your photo.
Adding Caption + position
Now that you have the foundation setup for this effect the last thing you need to do is add your caption to your slide and position it in the appropriate location on your photo.
After all that work, be sure and save this custom spotlight effect as a slide style and you’ll be able to re-use the spotlight effect in just a few clicks.
The ProShow Web app connects to our online service, letting you build and play HD slideshows right from your device. It connects to your existing ProShow Web account, or lets you create a free account for making quick shows. The ProShow Web app is free with your ProShow Web account.
Our ProShow Remote app connects to ProShow Gold and Producer on your desktop. It lets you easily publish slideshows to your iPhone or iPad right from ProShow. You can even control playback on your computer. The ProShow Remote app is completely free.
Both apps support Apple’s AirPlay for streaming HD slideshows to your Apple TV. Its the easiest way to play an HD slideshow on your TV.
Photodex makes a powerful line of award-winning photo and video slideshow software called ProShow. It comes in several versions and each has its advantages depending on how you plan to use the product. One of the most frequently asked questions we get is:
ProShow Producer is a professional video slideshow tool. It has advanced features like keyframing, masking, templates and copy protection that go beyond basic slideshow functionality and give you all the tools you need to make a polished and professional show. While there are many options in the software, it’s still very easy to use and very user-friendly.
Watch the video above to see quick run-through of the main differences in these two products. You can also check out this handy product comparison chart on the Photodex website here. Remember, you can always download a free trial of ProShow Gold and ProShow Producer to try the software before purchasing. Photodex offers free 15-day trials of all its slideshow products.
If you’re on the fence as to which product to buy or are thinking about upgrading from ProShow Gold to Producer, give this video a quick watch. We’re also standing by to answer your calls or emails 7-days a week at: 1-800-377-4686 or www.photodex.com/contact
In the Austin area? Join photographer Kevin Gourley and the Photodex team for a fun and inspiring photo walk capturing images of the beautiful State Capitol building in Austin, Texas, November 1, 2014. Kevin will be our guide as we wind our way through this historic and extremely photogenic building. Then join us as we venture outside for shots of the grounds and surrounding areas.
We’ll be creating a collaborative video slideshow from everyone’s images and videos after the walk. Be sure you reserve your spot today, limited to 30 participants!
Austin-based photographer and educator, Kevin Gourley, teaches destination and local photography workshops year-round. Watch the video slideshow below to see Kevin in-action during several of his recent photography workshops and visit his site for more information.
“My favorite software for creating photographic slideshows is ProShow Producer. It is a very powerful, well designed program and I recommend it to all of my students,” – Kevin Gourley.
If you’re looking for a great way to store, archive or share your photos or videos in the cloud, Dropbox may be a great solution for you. They recently added some pretty handy new features to their Pro service ($10/month), including more storage space (1TB), view-only shared folders and new security features. Check out some of the ways ProShow and Dropbox work together below.
With ProShow Web, you can import content directly from your Dropbox account. No need to upload twice! Just click Add Content and select Dropbox.
With the Dropbox application loaded on your local computer, you can easily import your content into a ProShow Gold or ProShow Producer slideshow. The Dropbox folder shows up just like any other folder on your hard drive. From there you can select content and drag and drop directly into a new slideshow.
When you’re building a show, Dropbox makes it easy to get images from clients, friends or family.
When you’re ready to share a final video, you don’t need to worry about burning a disc or mailing a flash drive. You can simply upload to Dropbox and invite your guests to download the video. This is really handy when you have shows that are too large for YouTube, need to remain super high quality (YouTube isn’t always the best), or when a video needs to remain private or offline.
If you’re like me, you take tons of pictures! Sometimes I process them on my desktop, sometimes on my laptop and once in a while I get a great shot or two on my phone. With the Dropbox desktop and mobile apps, you can store your images and video in one central location in the cloud. This allows you to easily access and transfer all of your photos and videos across all of your devices and your content is readily available when you’re ready to make a video slideshow.
Do you use Dropbox to share photos or videos with friends, family or clients? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below.
Burning a DVD of the finished product is commonplace for many slideshow creators. But along with burning DVDs comes the risk of burn failures. These often fall into two camps – either a burn that fails at some point during the writing process, or one that finishes successfully but does not play all the way through on a standalone DVD player. There are multiple factors at play here, and it’s often hard to identify the true culprit. Today we’ll be looking at four possible factors for disc burning failures and how to avoid them.
If you buy a new DVD burner today and a pack of blank discs, odds are that both are rated for at least a 16x burn speed. Without going into the technical details, this means that a DVD can be burned 16 times faster than the time it takes to watch the DVD from start to finish. This relationship varies greatly depending on the DVD quality setting you’ve chosen, which makes it a less-than-ideal rule of thumb, but you can safely assume that the higher the x value, the quicker the discs can be burned.
The truth is, the stars have to align for you to have a good burning success rate at 16x. Not only does your burner have to be top-notch, but your system has to be able to consistently feed the burner data at that rate. More importantly, the manufacturing quality of the discs may not be up to par to allow for burning at 16x, despite what’s written on the label.
The easiest way to ensure successful writes is to lower the burn speed. Assuming you’ve already inserted your blank DVD in ProShow Gold or ProShow Producer, the Burning tab of the Create DVD window will allow you to change the speed from “Max” to a lower value. I generally recommend no faster than 4x, but if this isn’t available for the disc you’re using, try the lowest speed listed.
While a lower burn speed can increase the reliability of most blank discs, you’ll want to hedge your bets with discs that are manufactured at a higher quality. The problem is that the vast majority of brands outsource their production to a number of factories with varying processes and quality standards. A ubiquitous brand like Memorex, for example, may be decent quality in one batch and low quality in another (they’re usually never *great* quality though).
The two brands that get mentioned the most when talking about good quality blank discs are Taiyo Yuden and Verbatim. You’re not likely to see the brand Taiyo Yuden in any of your local stores, so your best bet is ordering them online under one of their various brand names (JVC being the most common). Just do a search on Amazon for Taiyo Yuden discs. Verbatim is comparatively much more common to find in stores, but make sure to look for those that have the “AZO” label on the packaging (Link), which indicates that a superior recording dye is used in their manufacturing process.
One question that comes up a lot is whether to use DVD-R or DVD+R media. Though technically two competing technologies, in the modern era they’re almost equally supported by the vast majority of burners and DVD players. Just make sure that your burner explicitly supports the type of media you’re buying.
If you find that you have a higher failure rate – perhaps even a 100% failure rate – with a certain pack of discs, it’s time to buy a different pack, right? Not necessarily. DVD burners have what’s known as “firmware”, which is a low-level set of instructions that tells the writer how to respond to the commands sent by the burning software. Over time, a drive manufacturer may release an updated firmware that not only improves the reliability of the burner, but also improves the compatibility with certain discs.
Assuming your drive is burning your discs with no problem, you don’t need to worry about the firmware. But if you’re getting a number of coasters – or discs that failed to burn correctly - you’ll want to check your drive manufacturer’s site for an updated firmware to download. Drives that come with pre-installed in name brand systems (e.g. Dell, HP, etc) will often have firmware updates in the drivers/downloads section of the brand’s website for your computer model.
If your computer is not made by a name brand or has an aftermarket drive, you may need to look up firmware for the exact model number of the drive. To do this, you can open the Device Manager in Windows’ Control Panel to see the model number of the optical drive(s) is installed. After you’ve found this, do a Google search for [model number] firmware. With any luck, the first few results should lead you to what you’re looking for. Just make sure and follow the instructions listed on the website to ensure a pain-free update.
There are a handful of brands that are synonymous with making good DVD burners – Pioneer, Sony Optiarc, Samsung – but not every drive model out there is a winner. Likewise, the less-revered brands like LG or Matsushita will have their share of great models. Your best defense is to read reviews (on Amazon, Newegg, etc) for a general consensus on quality. Remember: a drive with 1000 reviews and an average rating of 4.5-out-of-5 stars is often a better bet than a drive with 50 reviews and a 5-out-of-5 rating.
As I mentioned earlier in the article, burning a DVD requires that your system be able to feed a steady stream of data to the burner. Potential bottlenecks include slow hard drives, a slow CPU, or the type of data connection between your system and the drives, just to name a few. The bottom line is that you’re regularly burning discs on an older machine, it may be time to look into purchasing a new computer.
The same principles above apply to burning Blu-ray discs as well. You should burn at a lower speed than what’s advertised (2x or 4x for BD-R discs) and you’ll want to make sure your burner’s firmware is up to date. When buying Blu-ray BD-R discs, you should avoid discs that say “LTH” or “Low-to-High” on the packaging. These discs are manufactured using cheaper organic dyes that degrade over time. I personally recommend using Verbatim BD-R discs.
If you’d like to get more in depth in the concepts mentioned above, the website The Digital FAQ is an invaluable resource. Here are a few recommended articles:
11 year old Hayden Russell recently sent us this video explaining his journey as a photographer and cinematographer. He’s been capturing images and shooting videos since he was 5 years old and enjoys producing videos and slideshows with his brother Grady that they post on his YouTube channel. Hayden allowed us to share some of his recent images with you below (thanks Hayden!) and we were really impressed with his work!
Do you remember the first time you were inspired to pick up a camera? Was there a certain mentor, instructor or speaker that inspired you to get started? We’d love to hear your stories in the comments below.
In a recent training video, we showed a really neat effect of a spotlight highlighting an individual in a group photo and then a caption appearing under the…
Photodex makes a powerful line of award-winning photo and video slideshow software called ProShow. It comes in several versions and each has its advantages depending on how you…
If you’re looking for a great way to store, archive or share your photos or videos in the cloud, Dropbox may be a great solution for you. They…
Burning a DVD of the finished product is commonplace for many slideshow creators. But along with burning DVDs comes the risk of burn failures. These often fall into two camps…