Nov
7

Author:

Show of the Week: Austin Photo Walk

Last week the Photodex team and photographer Kevin Gourley, led a fun and challenging photo walk with 30 local photographers. We toured the Texas State Capitol building in Austin, Texas and captured some great shots. Watch the video above that showcases a selection of images captured by our photo walk attendees. We love the different points of view that can be seen from shot to shot.

Thanks to everyone that joined us for the Photo Walk! A special thanks to our photo walk leader Kevin Gourley. Visit his site for information on his upcoming photography workshops.

The video slideshow above was made using ProShow Producer. ProShow is award-winning, easy-to-use software that turns your photos, videos & music into stunning video slideshows! Try ProShow free at www.photodex.com/try

 

Nov
6

Author:

5 Questions for Matt Thompson with SongFreedom

Songfreedom

We all know that finding the perfect music track for your video slideshow is an important part of the creation process. But licensing music and finding great songs that you actually want to listen to can be a bit tricky.

That’s why we love the folks at SongFreedom. Not only do they have great licensing rates, they offer a wonderfully diverse and contemporary selection of relevant music from artists you’ve actually have heard of.

With all the questions that surround licensing music for use in video slideshow productions, we reached out to Matt Thompson (SongFreedon’s Founder and President) to put things in perspective! Check out our 5 questions for Matt below!

1. Why is it important to license a song when I’m creating a video to sell to a client or post online?

There are a lot of possible answers to this question but my favorite is artistic integrity. You’re an artist and so are the musicians creating these wonderful songs. If another company were going to use your images to sell their product or help promote their brand in some way, you’d probably want the right to give or deny permission. You may even want to get paid for another company using those images. It’s the same thing. You’re creating something for your client either as a salable item, a packaged “pull-through”, or just a marketing piece to promote your work on social media. Or maybe, you’re just creating a slideshow to showcase the images during a client viewing to evoke an emotional response, making them more likely to purchase prints, canvases, etc. Yes, these are all things you should be using slideshows and amazing music for, but of course, you should obtain proper permission by way of licensing the music.

Of course, there’s the whole legal side and copyright law but we hope that people will just want to do the right thing without fear of being sued. Artists should support other artists.

Read More

Nov
5

Author:

Resizing Photos for Use in ProShow

ResizeYourPhotosGradient

One of the more frequent questions we hear is “what size should my images be” for use in ProShow Gold, ProShow Producer, or ProShow Web.  The general answer I’ve always given is to use your originals. That’s not to say that there aren’t drawbacks to using the originals.  You may be dealing with gigabytes of image data in a single slideshow that slow down your importing and loading times in ProShow, and may even cause sluggishness while editing. ProShow Web users won’t notice any sluggishness, but the upload times can most certainly be longer than they need to be when using large images.

Ideally you’d want to resize your images to the exact size you need for your slideshow. Unfortunately, there’s no easy way to know how big your images need to be since your images may zoom in and out within your show. So the next best thing is to resize your images by a rule-of-thumb amount so that you can retain full 1080p quality in your shows and account for most zooms. Today I’ll show you how you can do this easily in Photoshop and Lightroom.

Take Stock of Your Image Sizes

Before you go introducing another step in your workflow, make sure your images are good candidates for resizing. For example, if your images are 8MP (~3456×2304) or less, then you’ll probably be fine using your original JPEGs. On the other hand, if your images are 18MP (~5184×3456), you may benefit from resizing.

Preparing Your Photos for Resizing

If you’re going to resize your images, the easiest way to do this is in one batch process. I recommend creating a new folder on your system and copying all the images you plan to use in your slideshow into that folder.

Using Photoshop

  1. Go to File > Scripts > Image Processor
  2. Use the settings below, making sure to click “Select Folder” in the top section and select the folder that contains your images.
  3. Click Run

After a few moments, your images will all be resized and placed in a “JPEG” subfolder, ready to import into ProShow or to upload to ProShow Web.

Using Adobe Lightroom

  1. Select the images in your Lightroom library that you’d like to resize
  2. Go to File > Export
  3. Change “Export To” option to Hard Drive at the top of the window. Set the rest of the settings up as follows:
    Adobe Lightroom
  4. At this point, you can optionally create a preset by clicking the Add button at the bottom left of the window. Give it a name and press OK.
    CropperCapture[738]
  5. Click the “Export” button at the bottom of the window to start the resizing process

Alternatively, you can use the ProShow Lightroom plugin to export straight to ProShow and do the resizing automatically for you. See the tutorial here.

 

TIPS:

  • In my examples, I used 3456 for the pixel dimensions, which will result in ~8MP images. If you’d like to go even smaller, you can use 2880 instead to yield ~6MP images. This should still be enough to accommodate most zooming and retain full HD quality.
  • If you have Adobe Photoshop Elements, see the this tutorial for step-by-step instructions on batch resizing.
  • Most full-featured image editors have a batch resizing function, so if yours is not covered in this article, do a quick web search for a tutorial and use the image sizes recommended above.
Nov
3

Author:

Family Photos Come to Life with ProShow Effects Pack Portraits

Watch photographer, Beth Scupham’s family portrait images come to life in this wonderful slideshow using the popular “Wall Frame” styles from Effects Pack Portraits. Clean, stylish and modern – these instant slideshow effects have a classic look with a professional polish. You can keep the movement minimal with simple dissolves, or for more energy, mix in some push transitions, as shown in the video.

With 25 unique sets of effects, Effects Pack Portraits works with a wide array of subject matter. From weddings and holidays to everyday celebrations, there’s something for everyone.

Get Effects Pack Portraits today for $19.95.

Have you made a cool show with this new pack? We’d love to see it! Share a link in the comments below!

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

 

Oct
31

Author:

How to Make a Memorable Halloween Video Slideshow

How to make a memorable Halloween photo slideshow

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays and such a fun time of year. With all the effort that goes into costumes and decorations, making sure you capture great photos of all the festivities is key! Below are some helpful tips for taking great Halloween photos and how to put them together in a fun and memorable video slideshow that you can share with friends and family. Happy Halloween!

1. Taking Great Halloween Photos

How to take great Halloween photos in low light
Since most Halloween activities happen at night, you’re faced with a lot of low-light situations. With a few tweaks to your set up, you can get great photos in any low light setting. Check out the links below for some really helpful tips for capturing great Halloween photos. And don’t forget the video button! A few short videos of the kids trick-or-treating will be a perfect addition to your Halloween slideshows.

2. Halloween Slideshow Music

Halloween slideshow music and songs
As a slideshow creator, you know your soundtrack can make or break your entire production! Make sure you pick a song that’s perfect for the mood you’re trying to create. Check out our round-up of Halloween songs for slideshows. There’s something for everyone including our top picks and great royalty-free options.

3. Halloween Slideshow Effects

Halloween effects for ProShow

Halloween is one of those times where I think it’s OK to go a little over board on special effects. A few flying bats and spider web transitions add a ton of fun to your slideshows. Be sure and download all of our free Halloween and Fall slideshow effects for ProShow.

4. Outputting Your Halloween Slideshow

Output your Halloween slideshow to DVD, Facebook, YouTube or your iPhone or iPad
Once you’re done creating your show, you’ll need to decide how you want to share it with your friends, family and co-workers ProShow slideshow software outputs to pretty much any format you can think of, so burning a DVD, posting on Facebook or Youtube, uploading to your iPad or iPhone is all easy and totally do-able.

Got the right tool to build your slideshow?

Planning to make your Halloween slideshow? With ProShow, it literally takes just minutes to make a beautiful video slideshow using the automated wizard and instant effects. Upgrade or download a free trial of ProShow 6 today!

Ready to make a memorable Halloween slideshow? Download a free trial of ProShow today.

 

Oct
30

Author:

Make an Animated GIF with ProShow and Photoshop

When the Flash output feature was introduced in ProShow several years ago, our Tech Support team started noticing that more and more people were using the feature to create banner ads for their websites. The type of Flash output that ProShow creates is based on video rather than programmatic Flash code, which makes it less than ideal from a size perspective, but for many it was good enough to get the job done. The fact is, most people would rather continue to use a tool they’re familiar with – ProShow Gold or ProShow Producer – than learn a new program like Adobe Flash where there can be a steep learning curve.

If you’re in need of a simple animated web banner, one of the most basic and most widely supported formats is the animated GIF. And if you have either ProShow Gold and ProShow Producer as well as Photoshop, you already have the tools to make one on your own without having to re-learn anything.

Creating your slideshow in ProShow

In ProShow, when you create your show you’ll want to create a new blank show with the appropriate aspect ratio, which you can specify either in the New Slide Show window or in the Show > Show Settings menu. For my show, I’m going to be using the default 16×9 aspect ratio. Note that if you need to create a GIF at a particular custom size (e.g. 640×240), you can input those resolution values in as the aspect ratio.

Slideshow DOs and DON’Ts:

If you plan on creating an animated GIF, you need to be mindful of a few things when setting up your slideshow in ProShow:

  1. Do not use much – if any – motion. This includes panning, rotating, tilting, etc.  Using motion can cause the final size of the animated GIF to be too large.
  2. Avoid A/B Crossfade transitions and instead use Cut or zero-second transitions whenever possible. Transitions with lots of gradual changes will also cause your GIF sizes to be inflated.
  3. Use imagery and graphics with simple colors. The more complex your images are, the worse they will look in an animated GIF due to the limited color palette of the format.
  4. Use short slide times. Generally with an animated GIF you’re trying to capture someone’s attention quickly and give them a succinct looping message. My example uses slide times of between 0.1 and 1.5 seconds, and the entire show lasts for around 6 seconds.

Once you’ve created your show and saved it, the next step is to create the video file that we’ll be importing into Photoshop. Since my show is a standard 16×9 aspect ratio, I could use one of the many widescreen video file presets in Publish > Video for Web, Devices, and Computers window, but if your show is a different aspect ratio, you’ll need to create a custom profile. When setting up a profile, if you’re unsure of the aspect ratio, just input the same numbers you used for the resolution.

custom-profile

Now that you’ve set up your custom profile, click the Save button, then click the Create button to start rendering the video file. Make sure and choose a file name and save location that you’ll remember.

Converting the video file to an animated GIF in Photoshop

I’m going to be using the 2014 release of Adobe Photoshop CC to convert the MOV file we created in ProShow into an animated GIF file. The options may be slightly different in your version, but the basic instructions should be the same.

  1. Open Photoshop, then go to File > Import > Video Frames to Layers.  Choose the MOV video we created above.
  2. On the “Import Video to Layers” window that appears next, you can leave the settings as they are and just click OK.
    psimport
  3. Next, we’re going to go to File > Save for Web. The most important thing you’ll need to do here is change the format from JPEG to GIF. You shouldn’t have to touch the other settings in this window, but you can use the following screenshot if you need a reference for the settings that I’m using.
    saveforweb
  4. Click Save in the Save for Web video and choose the file name and save location for your animated GIF.

After that, you’ll have an animated GIF that you can use however you’d like, though presumably you’ll be putting it on one or more pages of your website. If you have any questions about the process outlined above, feel free to post in the comments below.

 

TIPS: 

  • If you plan on hosting the file on your website, make sure the final file size of your animated GIF is not too large (ideally less than 250KB) so that there are no problems with slow page loads for your viewers. If it’s 1MB or larger, this may indicate that your show is too visually complex for an animated GIF, but there are a few settings you change in Photoshop to make it smaller.  You can change the number of colors from 256 to 128 in the Save for Web window. Additionally, you can change your Image Size setting to something smaller in that same window.
  • When creating your video in ProShow, make sure that the resolution of your video preset has numbers divisible by 8 if possible. Failure to do so may mean that the resultant video is a slightly different resolution than the one you specified.
Oct
29

Author:

Free Halloween and Fall Transition Effects for ProShow

Free Halloween and Fall Effects for ProShow

With Halloween right around the corner, we put together this set of fun Halloween-themed transition effects you can use to spruce-up your ProShow slideshows. These transition effects are perfect for your trick-or-treating photos, pumpkin patch photos and other Fall images. Watch the demo below to seem them in action and scroll down to see even more great slideshow effects for your Fall and Halloween slideshows!

Watch the Free Halloween Effects In Action

Read More

How-To + Tutorials

ResizeYourPhotosGradient

Resizing Photos for Use in ProShow

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

One of the more frequent questions we hear is “what size should my images be” for use in ProShow Gold, ProShow Producer, or ProShow Web.  The general answer I’ve always given is…

How to Make a Memorable Halloween Video Slideshow

Friday, October 31, 2014

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays and such a fun time of year. With all the effort that goes into costumes and decorations, making sure you capture…

Make an Animated GIF with ProShow and Photoshop

Thursday, October 30, 2014

When the Flash output feature was introduced in ProShow several years ago, our Tech Support team started noticing that more and more people were using the feature to create…

Leveling Out Your Audio Track Volumes

Thursday, October 23, 2014

When you’re using multiple music tracks in your slideshows, especially ones from different sources, chances are that certain tracks are noticeably louder than others. There are two things at play…