Jul
31

Author:

Why ProShow Gold Made TopTenReviews.com

ProShow Gold slideshow software review

Today’s guest post comes from the folks at TopTenReviews.com. A site dedicated to providing objective third-party product reviews to help consumers make informed purchasing decisions.

Here at TopTenReviews.com, we reserve the Gold Award for software (and the companies that create them) that exemplifies the best of the best in every criteria used to rate featured products. Our decision to award ProShow Gold with the Gold Award was due largely in part to three major factors: the smooth functionality of its features, overall ease of use, and knowledgeable and timely customer support. Below, we delve deeper into the details that make ProShow Gold shine.

A Plethora of Features

ProShow Gold provides users with many of the essential features that define how quality, slideshow software should function. All in all, ProShow Gold has nearly 300 effects and transitions at your disposal. This allows for the most wide-reaching and comprehensive editing palette of all the applications we tested against ProShow Gold for this review.

What we loved most about this software was the fact that it doesn’t place a limit on the total number of photos or videos you can add to your slideshows. The timeline also allows you to add multiple audio tracks, including voice overs that can be recorded and then synced with your slideshow during the editing process.

Because the latest version of ProShow Gold seemingly overhauled much of its interface, most of the program has now become accessible to all types of users across several skill levels. Additionally, the inclusion of a wizard allows beginners to grab the reins on this program with the same confidence of an advanced user.

ProShow Gold also allows users to import music from multiple sources with a one-click system to streamline the editing process tremendously. And with the help of a DVD-R drive, you can also burn slideshows to hard copy sources, like DVDs and CDs. Completed files can also be exported in a collection of different file formats.

To add a little something extra to your slideshow projects, ProShow Gold has animation options, like timed zoom and tilt/rotate to take presentations to a whole new level. There are also more traditional editing options available including crop, black and white options, as well as red-eye removal.

An Unsurpassed User Experience

As mentioned before, the creators of ProShow Gold have spent a great deal of time and effort reinventing the interface of the program to a point where even the novice user can pick up the basics in a very short period of time.

Just because ProShow Gold offers, literally, hundreds of features and abilities, this doesn’t mean the learning curve is that expansive. With the addition of a wizard function, you can learn the ins and outs of the program or pick and choose specific tutorials to personalize your user experience.
Because of this, ProShow Gold earned the highest scores when it came to overall ease of use and user experience.

Excellent Customer Service and Support

ProShow Gold’s technical support and customer service offerings are absolutely second to none. Aside from a knowledgeable phone and email service that’s available seven days per week, there’s also a library of user manuals, FAQs, and video tutorials constantly at the ready to help answer any questions you may have.

Excellent user experience options, exceptional ease of use, and an expert team of technical support professionals at the helm ready to answer questions and troubleshoot any issues you may encounter are the exact reasons why ProShow Gold is the best slideshow software available in the industry today.

ProShow Gold not only exceeded the majority of TopTenReviews expectations, it completely raised the bar as to what a quality slideshow application can be, thus the Gold Award was a more-than-appropriate response to such a spotless piece of software.

You can read the full review of ProShow Gold on TopTenReviews.com here.

 

Jul
30

Author:

Webinar: Making Reunion Slideshows for Fun and Profit

Learn how to make a reunion slideshow with ProShow

Join us on August 6th and 7th for a live Google+ Hangout and webinar about making reunion slideshows with ProShow! Photo organizing expert, Jenny Larson of Forever Digital Memories, will share insider tips for making memorable reunion video slideshows with ProShow.

Whether you’re making a show for fun or profit, Jenny will teach you how to turn your memories into a beautiful video slideshow, with neat tips and tricks along the way. Learn best practices for scanning photos and other non-digital materials, working with sound and motion to tell a story, show pacing and timing and output and sharing.

Click here to rsvp for the live event >>

If you can’t make the live event, we’ll be posting an archived video here on the blog and on YouTube shortly after the broadcast.

Hope to see you on August 6th!

 

ProShow Effects Sale

 

Jul
29

Author:

Make the Best Reunion Video Ever: Free Slideshow Effects + Tips

Make a reunion slideshow with ProShow

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 everything you need to get started. Plus, download our free ‘Remember When’ effects – they’ll add the perfect touch to your shows and make it easy to make a great-looking reunion video that everyone will enjoy watching. See them in-action below!

Watch the ‘Remember When’ Effects:


Download: ‘Remember When’ Effects


This set includes effects for ProShow Gold 6 and ProShow Producer 6. You’ll need to download and install your new effects into ProShow to use them. (Once installed, they will appear under the ‘Themed’ category in Effects). For help, see this how-to article. ProShow Web users are able to use these effects as part of the new theme, ‘Remember When’.

Download

Single Image Styles

Title Styles

Multi-Photo Montages

Family photo credits: Copyright © Beth Scupham
>www.flickr.com/photos/bethscupham

 


 

Additional Effects for Reunion Slideshows

The following options include add-on styles and transitions available for purchase, in addition to other free, downloadable effects and built-in options in ProShow.

1) Add instant polish to reunion shows with Effects Packs

Want more templates for your family reunion or class reunion slideshows? Check out the instant FX from Effects Packs. They’re fun & easy to use and will make you look like a pro! Available for $19.95.

ProShow Effects Packs

2) Text Layer Year Title (Producer Built-in Effect)


A great title option for class/ school reunions, highlighting the significance of a particular year. Available as a free, built-in effect in ProShow Producer 6.

3) Timeline Effects (Free Download)

Free timeline effects for ProShow
The free Timeline Effects are perfect for captioning photos and videos chronologically in your slideshows.

 


 

Got the right tool to build your slideshow?

Planning to make a slideshow for a family reunion or class reunion? With ProShow, it takes just minutes to create a beautiful slideshow video using the automatic wizard and instant effects. To get started on your slideshow, get ProShow 6 today. Upgrade or try it free today.
Try ProShow 6 free today!

 


 

Prep Tips for Photos, Videos and Music

Before you create a show, you’ll want to select and prep your content, scan any non-digital items and make sure everything is looking its best. We’ve rounded up some helpful articles to get you started.

How to prep photos for great slideshows. Preparing Videos for Use in Slideshows

Best Song for Reunion Slideshows Family History & Reunion Inspiration Board

 

Jul
28

Author:

Best Songs for a Reunion Slideshow

Music for reunion slideshows

Reunion slideshows are a great way to look back at old photos, bring the past to life and celebrate family gatherings. Whether you’re making a family reunion slideshow, a class reunion slideshow or a military homecoming slideshow, choosing the right music can make or break your presentation.

Be sure and pick songs that work well with the type of show you’re making. Check things like show pacing vs the energy level of your song and make sure they match up. Choose songs that were popular during the year(s) being revisited, in order to help ‘fuel the ride’ down memory lane. Or choose something contemporary that has a flow and lyrics that fit your show.

Below are a few of our top picks for reunion slideshows plus a few tools to help you along the way!

Family Reunion Slideshow Songs

  1. We Are Family by Sister Sledge
  2. Old Man by Neil Young
  3. When I was 17 by Frank Sinatra
  4. It’s a Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong
  5. I Hope You Dance by LeeAnn Womack

Class Reunion Slideshow Songs

  1. Time of Your Life by Green Day
  2. Graduate by Third Eye Blind
  3. Times Like These by the Foo Fighters
  4. School’s Out by Alice Cooper
  5. Future’s So Bright (I Gotta Wear Shades) by Timbuk3

Military Homecoming Slideshow Songs

  1. This Must Be the Place by the Talking Heads
  2. Already There by Lonestar
  3. Coming Home by Chris Daughtry
  4. Home Sweet Home by Motley Crue
  5. My Hometown by Bruce Springsteen

Royalty-Free Reunion Slideshow Songs

If you plan to sell the slideshow you’re making, be sure and choose music that you have the rights to use. Royalty-free tracks are always a good choice because they are pre-cleared and ready for you to use in your show. Below is a list of great, royalty-free tracks for reunion slideshows. Also be sure to check out some of our favorite royalty-free music sites like Songfreedom, The Music Bed, Premium Beat, Shockwave-Sound and Triple Scoop Music.

  1. Remembrance Day by Olive Musique
  2. A Sparkling Journey by Alexis Messier
  3. Bright Days by Gentle Fire Studio
  4. Throwback by Chris Hodges
  5. Rockit by Gavin Courtie & Liz Radford

Cool Tool: The Nostalgia Machine

If you’re still at a loss for the perfect song for your reunion slideshow, check out this really cool tool we found called the Nostalgia Machine. Select a year from the drop down box and the website will automatically provide you with a list of that year’s most popular tunes! It’s perfect for picking a few songs from a certain year (great for class reunion slideshows) or selecting something from your parents’ era.

What are some of your favorite songs for reunion slideshows? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below!

 


 

Got the right tool to build your slideshow?

Planning to make a slideshow for a family reunion or class reunion? With ProShow, it takes just minutes to create a beautiful slideshow video using the automatic wizard and instant effects. To get started on your slideshow, get ProShow today. Upgrade or try it free today.
Try ProShow free today!

 

Jul
22

Author:

Video Showcases Beautiful Array of Images for NECCC Photo Contest


Video slideshow made with ProShow ProducerDownload a free trial.

We recently teamed up with Sigma and the New England Camera Club Council to put together this video showcasing forty semi-finalists in the Sigma Showcase Photo Contest held during the 69th annual NECCC conference.

The final two winning images were selected by Sigma professional photographer and ProShow user, David FitzSimmons (see his latest ProShow slideshow here). Congratulations to the winners and all the semi-finalists!

Rhoads~Georgeanne~A_Splitting_Headache
The Grand Prize Winner is Georgeann Rhodes for “A Splitting Headache” and won a Sigma DG 150-500mm f/5-6.3 APO OS HSM lens.

Prestash~Gary~Prothonotary_Warbler_With_Insect
The Runner Up winner is Gary Prestash for “Prothonotary Warbler with Insect” and won a Sigma DG 105mm f/2.8 Macro OS HSM lens.

 

Jul
21

Author:

Tips for Capturing Great Shots on your Summer Vacation

Tips for capturing great photos on your summer vacation.

Going somewhere fun this summer? With a little pre-planning and the right gear, you’ll be prepared to capture great shots on your next vacation. Check out these helpful tips below.

Plan What You’re Going to Shoot

On my latest trip, I visited Hawaii. It’s a magnificently photogenic place, so I knew that finding good subject matter would be easy. Regardless, when I travel, I like to come up with a list of things and places to shoot.

Searching Google images, social media, and even tourism websites is a great way to identify locations and find some creative inspiration. This helps me address which of my photographic skills I’d like to work on, as well as help me figure out what I need to pack in my camera bag.

Gear Up

When preparing for my trip, I looked back at images from previous vacations and identified that most of my shots fell into one of two categories: 1) wide angle landscapes, or 2) zoomed in on subjects (70mm or more). With that in mind, I headed over to Borrowlenses.com and rented my go-to choice for landscape photos, the Canon 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 Ultra-Wide Zoom. I also splurged a little and rented the absolutely amazing Canon EF 70-200mm f2.8L IS II.

Now here’s where creating a list of things comes in handy. While coming up with my list, two common elements kept popping up…water and sun.

I knew I would be doing some snorkeling, and I wanted to get some photos underwater, so I headed over to Amazon and found a deal on a great waterproof point and shoot, the Nikon Coolpix AW100. (Tip: I paid half price by getting a refurbished unit).

For my DSLR, the water and sun issues became an opportunity to practice working with some filters. So I made sure to add a Circular Polarizer and a couple of Neutral Density filters to my bag.

Getting Great Shots

If you’ve packed the right gear and planned ahead, getting great shots is a breeze! Here are some of my favorites from a recent trip to Hawaii.

Tips for capturing great vacation photos
With the Canon 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 Ultra-Wide Zoom, I was able to get all of the Byodo-In temple in frame without having to be 100′s of feet away. Shooting in the middle of the day is always a challenge. By adding a Circular Polarizing Filter, I was able to reduce the glare coming off the pond and bring out more color in the sky.

Tips for capturing great photos on your summer vacation.
The super-wide angle lens also allowed me to capture a really nice view of Waimānalo Bay.

Getting great shots on your summer vacation.
By bringing along the extremely high-quality Canon EF 70-200mm f2.8L IS II lens, I was also able to get some really amazing flora shots.

Tips for getting great shots on your summer vacation.
While there’s nothing technically interesting going on in this shot, it’s a great example of something totally unique and amazing you can capture when you have a “I want to shoot this” list, and you pack the right gear. Special thanks to the Nikon Coolpix AW100 underwater point and shoot.

Getting great shots on your summer vacation.
Despite all of my planning, some of my favorite shots from my trip were of moments that I just stumbled upon. Thankfully, most smart phones these days feature very capable cameras!

Putting it all together


The best part of having great shots from a vacation is sharing them with friends and family. A slideshow video is the perfect way to showcase a collection of your travel and vacation photos all at once, in a fun and dynamic way. Here’s my video made with ProShow. Make your own travel slideshow today.

Travel Slideshow Contest
Don’t forget to enter your best travel, landscape and nature slideshows into our ‘Ultimate Story‘ contest! Click here to learn more and watch recent entries.

 

Jul
16

Author:

Create a Moving Clouds Effect in ProShow Producer

Today’s guest post comes from multimedia producer, Paul Sparrow. His recent video ‘The Rockies‘ spurred a ton of questions from readers about how the ‘moving clouds’ trick was created. Paul shares the step-by-step instructions on how to re-create this effect in your own slideshows below.

When producing an AV show I always consider how the first minute of the production will effect the audience. No matter what kind of show you’re doing it should have a strong opening…something that will “grab” the audience.

In my recent production “The Rockies” which highlights the awesome power of the Canadian mountain range, I wanted to start the show with some striking black & white imagery of the mountain peaks with low lying cloud banks to draw the viewer into the show.

The shots themselves were dramatic on their own but I decided to add some movement in the clouds that were drifting over the hills in the distance, to add that sense of dynamics to the otherwise static imagery. This necessitated using a number of techniques in ProShow Producer as well as Photoshop to accomplish the believable but subtle movement. Here’s how it was done.

Start with a Base Layer

Figure 1

In ProShow Producer, I started out with my “base layer” which was an image that had trees in the foreground behind which had low lying clouds rolling over the mountains in the distance. For my “animated” layer I added a second image on top that had similar clouds that would act as the “moving” bank of clouds.

The trick was to make the cloud layer appear as if it were moving in the distance “behind” the foreground trees to make the effect convincing.

Create a Mask in Photoshop

Figure 2

First I had to create a mask in Photoshop of the base layer tree line image.

I used a variety of “feathering” and “painting” techniques to create a blending of the masked area so it would transition nicely to the unmasked area, which in turn would reveal the moving cloud bank.

Add a Masking Layer in Producer

figure6_sm
This file was saved as a jpeg and now in Producer was added on top of the cloud layer as a “Mask Layer”. The resulting effect was to “hold back” the foreground and trees so the moving clouds would not show over this area.

Pan the Layer to Create Movement

Figure 4
Using Producer’s motion keyframing feature, I added a left to right pan on the cloud layer to give the appearance of moving clouds drifting behind the foreground trees.

But even though this layer was “masked”, to prevent it showing overtop of the trees on the layer below, the effect was still not as convincing as I’d like. Because this layer was opaque by default the moving clouds completely covered those that were in the layer below.

One way to alter this would be to change the “opacity” of the moving cloud layer so that the layer below would partially show through. But that would have created the effect of “transparent” clouds that were not at all realistic.

What I was after was a blending of some of the clouds in this moving layer with the static clouds in the layer below so you would see some moving clouds and some static clouds that would create the appearance of clouds at various distances moving at different rates.

Use Chroma Key to Finish Off the Effect

Figure 5
To accomplish this I altered how the densities of the moving cloud layer blended with the static layer below. This was done through the use of the “Chroma Key” option in Producer which allowed me to alter which tones would register and which would not. I could keep the moving cloud layer at 100% opacity but “knock out” the darker tones, allowing only the lighter tones of the moving layer to reveal themselves.

This ultimately gave the appearance of one bank of clouds moving over the mountains in front of the another bank of clouds to create the subtle effect of various clouds moving past each other as you might see when they roll over the mountains.

Watch The Rockies video in its entirety here.

Copyright Paul Sparrow 2014

 

How-To + Tutorials

Webinar: Making Reunion Slideshows for Fun and Profit

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Join us on August 6th and 7th for a live Google+ Hangout and webinar about making reunion slideshows with ProShow! Photo organizing expert, Jenny Larson of Forever Digital…

Make a reunion slideshow with ProShow

Make the Best Reunion Video Ever: Free Slideshow Effects + Tips

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

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…

Best Songs for a Reunion Slideshow

Monday, July 28, 2014

Reunion slideshows are a great way to look back at old photos, bring the past to life and celebrate family gatherings. Whether you’re making a family reunion slideshow,…

Tips for Capturing Great Shots on your Summer Vacation

Monday, July 21, 2014

Going somewhere fun this summer? With a little pre-planning and the right gear, you’ll be prepared to capture great shots on your next vacation. Check out these helpful…