Introduction to ProShow Gold Slideshow Program: Part Two

Add enhancements to your slides by choosing a feature from this tool bar.

I hope you’ve read my previous article, Introduction to ProShow Gold Slideshow Program: Part One. Now that you have the preliminaries of creating a slideshow in ProShow Gold (PSG) out of the way, it is time for some enhancements. With PSG there are many ways to enhance the show.  Each of the tool bar icons opens a window full of controls that are mostly intuitive.  First click on the slide you would like to enhance and then open the appropriate icon on the tool bar.

Layers

Layers are for putting more than one image on the same slide. You can put one image on top of another or make a blank slide and place several images on it.  To create a blank slide click Slide>Insert>Blank slide (CTRL + I) from the menu bar and a blank slide will be inserted before the selected slide. You can even make each image move independently by double clicking on one of the images in the Layers window to open yet another window of options.

PSG also gives you the ability to insert videos as slides.  The controls for videos are on the Layers window.

 Editing

This window is very self explanatory and allows to you apply basic photo editing to your images. When I make a slideshow I have all of the images edited before I start by using Photoshop or other programs. The Editing window can be useful for people who can’t edit images otherwise and it might even save some time too.

Motion

Adding some motion to a slide makes it more interesting. But don’t go overboard with it. The motion you set will occur over the whole duration of the slide. Sometimes this looks good and sometimes it would be beneficial if the image was static for an instant at the beginning or end of the slide.  To make the slide stop moving before the next one begins:

  • Insert a blank slide after the current slide
  • Change the transition time to zero
  • Change the new blank slide time to 1 second
  • Select the moving slide and click on the Motion icon on the enhancements tool bar
  • At the bottom of the window, click on Copy and select Copy end to next slide

Captions

Labeling a few slides with captions is useful too. Once again this can be distracting if overused, especially if you select a lot of text effects like fly in and fade out. The text effects are OK once in a while, but I think static captions work best most of the time. There are several ways to position the text. Choose an alignment option, enter numbers in the position boxes, or simply click and drag the text onto the slide. The simplest way to re-size the caption is to utilize the transform boxes on the rectangle surrounding the text.

Background

If one of your slides doesn’t fill the frame you might like to add a background to that slide.  I usually leave my backgrounds black. Sometimes I use a different color for emphasis or when I have a slide with more than one image on it.  I think image backgrounds are distracting unless they are very plain.  To allow the default background to be altered for a slide, check the On/Off checkbox at the top. Then select the radio button for either a solid color background or a background image. Use the color-selector or browse for a background image. The Scaling drop-down menu will help you fit the background image within the slide.

Music

With this window you can add, delete and change the order of the background music. You can also do this by clicking and dragging onto the sound timeline. You can set the default volume of the background and foreground sound. I usually reduce the volume of the background music whenever there is foreground sound to less than 10%.

Sounds

The Sounds window allows you to add sounds to your slides, other than the background music. This gives you the ability to import a sound file or record a voiceover. You will be able to make the sound begin after the slide has already started by changing the offset. You can also make the slide duration equal to the sound duration, or allow the sound to continue after the slide has finished.

Note: When you have finished recording a voiceover, make sure you click the Stop button – that ends the recording – before you click the Done button – which closes the window – or else you will need to start over.  It is an easy mistake to make.

When you have finished creating your slideshow and are ready to save it, ProShow Gold allows you to select from a variety of output types.

Create Output

Once you have added all of your enhancements it is time to save your slideshow. As you can see, PSG allows you to create the output in a variety of different formats.

Create a DVD Disc

One of the more useful ways to save your slideshow is as a DVD. Let’s explore how to do that:

ProShow Gold allows you to design the menu which will be displayed when your DVD is played.

There are 5 windows of options to consider. The Menus window (located along the right side) allows you to create your menu style and it is very customizable. The menu can be displayed when the DVD is inserted so that the viewer can choose which slideshow to view. I usually put 6 to 8 slideshows on one DVD.  You can have up to 8 menu icons as well as multiple screens if there are more shows.  There is a check box to use if you would like the menu icons to be animated. If you want static menu icons, uncheck it.

The ProShow Gold Shows window displays the slideshows to be included on the DVD.

The Shows window allows you to add, delete, and change the order of the shows to be included on the DVD. On the right side, set the menu title and choose an image to be the menu icon. Notice that Show 3 in the image is titled Untitled Proshow 1.  That is because I forgot to set the menu title. Not a good idea. Also, on the lower right side, uncheck the Include Intro Show checkbox or you will get the ProShow Gold introduction at the beginning of your DVD.

There are many options on the Output Options, Disc Burning and PC Autorun windows and I have found the defaults work perfectly well for me. On the Disc Burning window you can specify the number of copies to be burned. At the top of the PC Autorun window you have the option to turn off Autorun, which I do, because I want the DVD to start with the menu first instead of starting to run the first show.

When you have completed all of the options, click Create and the computer will do its thing. It will have to render all of the images and, depending on the speed of you computer, this could take a while.  I have seen this take the better part of an hour. If you intend to make several copies it is best to have indicated that on the Disc Burning window, instead of making individual copies, because if not specified, the program will have to render the images all over again each time – rather time consuming.

ProShow Gold is a great program and there is much more to it than I can introduce you to in these articles. I have had a great deal of fun with it. Try it and I’m sure you will too.

 

Categories: Tips & Techniques.

Tags: Asset, background, Caption, create, digital, DVD, edit, enhance, Enhancement, Fade, file, Gold, icon, image, layer, menu, motion, Music, photo, project, Proshow, Slide, slideshow, Sound, Soundtrack, Thumbnail, timeline, tips, tool, Transition, and window.