Today’s guest post comes from writer and software reviewer, Fred J. Eckert. In this article, Fred gives his review of ProShow Producer software.
If you are, as I am, someone who seriously enjoys photography you will absolutely love knowing how to use ProShow to create slide shows — great fun and such a pleasant and powerful way to share your images with family and friends or use in business.
No longer do you need to be a pro to create terrific slide shows that inform, persuade, entertain, inspire. Nor do you need to be some tech wizard. Half of knowledge is knowing where to find it – and sometimes it’s right there waiting for you if you just pick the right products to use.
Evaluating possible choices I concluded that my best choice would be either ProShow Producer or ProShow Gold. I settled on ProShow Producer – but, yes, ProShow Gold would also have been a very good choice.
Any commentary about software for creating slide shows should mention the Wizard feature that Gold and Producer and most other such programs contain. Using it makes creating a slide show a no-brainer. Simply pick the images and/or videos you want to include in your show; create and add title pages if you wish; pick the music you want to accompany the show; choose from among available Wizard themes, which will determine which styles and transitions are then applied; and then click. Voila. You’ve just created a slide show with music timed to proper length. And it looks really, really good. To a novice. And probably to most viewers as well.
Having grown up in the VHS era, there was a certain comfort in knowing that there was only one major consumer video format. Betamax had already lost the format war. DVD wasn’t yet on the horizon. If you taped or filmed something on VHS, you could safely assume that it would play on anyone else’s VCR. But once consumer video went digital, the idea of a single video standard seemed to go out the window. And with all the new video formats created by our cameras, camcorders, and phones, compatibility becomes an increasing concern.
Many of us are familiar with AVI, MOV, MPG, and MP4 video files, but those file extensions tell us a very small part of what the files are. Take an AVI file, for example. The video and audio streams inside the file can be made using almost any compression type, and that list is much too long to mention here. Because of this, a video player or video editor that supports “AVI files” will never support all AVI files. The same holds true for most other video formats, and for this reason, when you try to import a supported video type into ProShow Gold, ProShow Producer, or ProShow Web, you may occasionally find that the video is blank, the audio can’t be heard, or an “Unrecognized File Selected” message is given.
Fortunately, there are programs out there that you can use to convert your video from its current format to a more standardized one with little or no perceptible loss in quality. Today I’m going to show you how to transcode your problematic videos with one of my favorite free tools, Handbrake.
So there you are, sipping your morning coffee and surfing the web, when all of the sudden, you freeze. The innocent list of ’10 things you didn’t know’ is suddenly not so innocent. The image for item number 6 looks eerily familiar. “Wait a minute! That’s MINE! I took that! They’re using my photo without my permission!”
In the digital age of photography, this scenario affects both pro-photographers and hobbyists alike. But what can you do to protect or defend your work?
There’s never really been an easy answer to this question, but a new service we came across recently says that they can help you find and protect your images.
Pixsy.com is a new online service platform that automatically scans the web, looking for unlicensed image usage for its members. If found, Pixy notifies you, helps you determine a proper licensing fee and with your permission, will contact the user and work toward collecting a fee for the use of your images.
Pixsy is still in “beta” as a service, and is not a substitute for legal representation, but what they offer does look very promising for all of us looking to protect, defend and profit from our photography.
If you’re unfamiliar with subject, check out their blog. It’s is full of great articles discussing copyright and image protection.
As a slideshow creator, your primary focus is creating the best-looking final product for clients, family, or friends. An equally important job is preserving those slideshows so that you can view, edit, or make copies of these shows at any point in the future. You can opt for a redundant storage solution that creates automatic backups, or you can invest in cloud storage which provides an extra level of protection by virtue of being offsite. But neither solution takes into account the fact that your hard drives are continually filling up with important data that you aren’t actively using. In fact, the slideshows you’ve created may be taking up many gigabytes of space. For this reason, you should consider archiving your shows and moving them off your hard drive. In this article, I’ll outline my recommended methods for archiving your shows and creating worry-free backups.
If you’re creating a video slideshow for a wedding, engagement or anniversary, having a strong opening sequence is important to your overall presentation. It sets the tone, introduces the people in your show and pulls your audience into the story.
So what are some of the best ways you can start your shows with a meaningful opening statement? We’ve rounded up some great tips and some of our favorite intro FX that will give your ProShow video slideshows instant polish! Check them out below.
This round up of instant intro FX are perfect whether you’re making a wedding slideshow, anniversary slideshow or engagement slideshow.
The Badge Title effect is reminiscent of a classic wax seal but with an updated, contemporary vibe. It’s a great way to display a couple’s initials (use a large script font for best results) or for displaying their names “Anna & Peter”, for example. Works with any background photo. Available in Effects Pack 6.
If you’re wanting to highlight a series of images in your intro sequence, the Block Collage effect works great. Each image fades into place while the caption is displayed on the screen. Works with up to 8 images and comes in a variety of background colors. Available in Style Pack 5.
This Chevron Banner effect makes a great opening slide. Add a little motion to the background image for even more impact. There are several variations that feature the banner centered or to the right or left. Available in Effects Pack 6.
This makes the perfect title slide, especially if you’re looking to include a date along with a couple’s name. The flourish design offers up a classic look and the blurred image background gives your audience just a tiny glimpse of what’s to come in your slideshow. Available in Effects Pack 6.
If you’ve photographed a formal affair or are looking for a dressed-up intro slide, Damask Elegance is a great choice. Add whatever text you’d like (perfect for adding a quote!) and choose your own font to match with the rest of your show. Available as a free download for ProShow.
Each Friday we share the top 5 most buzzed about topics and questions about making video slideshows with ProShow. These come directly from ProShow users just like you and are collected by our customer service team each week! Read the round-up below to see what people are curious about this week.
Want to submit a question about making video slideshows with ProShow? Please ask a question in the comments below and we’ll get back with you right away!
Photographer Paul Armstrong won Grand Prize in our Ultimate Story contest last month. His winning video ‘ISLANDIA – A Photographer’s Heaven‘ features stunning images of frozen landscapes and a gorgeous portrayal of the Northern Lights. Capturing the scenery didn’t come easy. Paul and his team battled some harsh conditions and of course, were at the mercy of mother nature. Read below to learn about his journey photographing Iceland.
“The purpose of the trip was to photograph the Northern Lights ( Auroras ) as well as the ice on the beach at Jökulsárlón Glacier lagoon. We selected January as the nights were long giving us the best possibility to photograph the auroras and the days were cool so the ice would stay a long time at the lagoon. Temperature range along the southern coast was surprising +3C to -3C or 27F – 37F letting us spend lots of time outdoors and not have to be bundled up in parkas.
We heard Iceland would be windy, but we had no idea of the strength of the wind. But with wind you get wave action and this made for some great shooting while waiting for the auroras. Mother nature plays a big role in photographing auroras and she granted us 3 nights where we had cloudless to partly cloudy skies. Mother nature did not allow us any sunrises or sunsets while we were at the lagoon, preventing us from photographing icebergs in the magic light.
Iceland is a fantastic place to photograph landscapes. The land changes every 10 minutes, around every bend in the road giving you options to photograph lava of all shapes and sizes, waterfalls, mosses, ice caves, icebergs, wildlife, Icelandic horses as well as hills and valleys.
I will be going back for a third time.”
– Paul Armstrong
Enter your own video into our Ultimate Story contest, a new theme was just announced!
Having grown up in the VHS era, there was a certain comfort in knowing that there was only one major consumer video format. Betamax had already lost the format…
As a slideshow creator, your primary focus is creating the best-looking final product for clients, family, or friends. An equally important job is preserving those slideshows so that you can…
If you’re creating a video slideshow for a wedding, engagement or anniversary, having a strong opening sequence is important to your overall presentation. It sets the tone, introduces…
Each Friday we share the top 5 most buzzed about topics and questions about making video slideshows with ProShow. These come directly from ProShow users just like you and are collected…