MASKING: A Comprehensive Basic Tutorial (for v3.x to 4.x)

Please post your tutorials here for ProShow Producer only. Provide a lnk if you have a file that can be downloaded by others. This is not a discussion section, but rather a source for sharing tutorials.
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Postby im42n8 » Thu Mar 27, 2008 6:08 pm

Barbara,

I tried to read the darned intro and have it not fade away before a slow reader finished it. It's very possible that Photodex is bogged down too. I'm not at home so can't test.

There are few screen shots of layers except for Alpha 1 and Alpha 2 (shows 1 and 2). The rest assumes a working knowledge of masks to figure out exactly how to do the effects. That's why I only described how the masking was accomplished (in Alpha 3). And the Example gave no info at all ... because it's a exercise (in case one were interested) to figure out how to do something one would normally assume was done with a graphics editor.

You have FAR more knowledge about masks than you let on! BTW, even tho I used Alpha (Transparency) masks, I believe you (the Grayscale mask queen!) could do the same things I did using a WHITE grayscale mask instead! Beginner huh! Ha! :-o

If the time lag is inordinate for the intro I WILL definitely revisit it. Maybe I read it toooooo slow and compensated tooooooo much for the end result!

Dale

PS OK. I got home (finally) and looked at it .... W A A A A YYYYY TOOO L O N G an intro! Fixed that. It's in final draft mode ... and am checking stuff on it.

http://www.photodex.com/sharing/viewsho ... alb=135843
(Updated)

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Postby imabeatlelover » Fri Mar 28, 2008 6:00 am

Hi Dale....I went there and all I got was "Playback Complete." and there was no playback to be completed :?

Pat

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Postby im42n8 » Fri Mar 28, 2008 8:23 am

Yeah ... me too. It worked earlier ... now I don't know what the problem is now. Everything worked earlier. Also, I can't get the thumbnails to show either. I tried several uploads this morning to see if I could get a copy that would work again ... to no avail. If it's not working when I get home tonight I guess a call into Photodex is in order


I wish I knew what was going on!

Dale

don't know if this'll work or not... I can't get the URL but can't run it. If this one doesn't work either then I'll hafta call Photodex!

http://www.photodex.com/sharing/viewsho ... alb=135843

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Postby BarbaraC » Fri Mar 28, 2008 8:32 am

I suspect Photodex is fiddling with the server because someone else reported a problem in another thread and with a separate show.

I just tried watching the second tutorial (top right), but when I got to the screenshot of the layers setup, I couldn't see it small (too small) and I couldn't see it at full screen (too blurred). This is certainly not your fault, Dale, but I'm wondering if there isn't some way of getting really clear screenshots. I've noticed that the tutorials on the Photodex site suffer from the exact same eye-straining problem. I paused your screen, but it didn't help. Granted, when I go to full screen, it's at high resolution, which spreads out all those pixels. Screenshots are done at 72ppi, and now I'm wondering if a program like Genuine Fractals could do a decent job of interpolation. I'll give it a try if I don't get distracted and then distracted from my distraction. Actually, I'm currently distracting myself from paying the bills.

Barbara

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Postby imabeatlelover » Fri Mar 28, 2008 9:03 am

I got it and saved it for later when my brain isn't as mushy as it is right now....too much thinking always hurts! I am going to try and take it slow and easy to let it sink into my brain (hopefully) but the grandkids are here today so there won't be any concentrating on anything today except spending time with them while they're still small and think I'm the greatest!

Thanks!!!!!
Pat

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Postby im42n8 » Fri Mar 28, 2008 3:11 pm

Barbara,

I've been toying with the idea of taking the text out of that image (the stuff between and against some of the lines is a graphic) and converting it to text within Producer ... the color is off and it's a bit more blurry than I'd like. With this extra problem you've reported ... I think my mind has been made up. It's not worth the aggravation it's probably gonna cause (probably due to anti-aliasing and the compression that Producer does to fit it to the screen).

Oh, another problem I noted with the Photodex site is that sometimes the show thumbnails will show up as REALLY blurry blobs ... and no text. I have to refresh the screen before it comes back. But, this has happened to me several times now .... I'm wondering if anyone else has noticed this somewhat odd problem?

Dale

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Postby im42n8 » Fri Mar 28, 2008 3:21 pm

Pat,

The best way is to take the small steps like Barbara noted. Once you've done that, and got a good handle on the simple stuff, it won't be such a big step to the next, more complicated stuff .... and before you know it you'll know masks really well. .. . . . . and be just as positive that you know nothing at all about them except the simple stuff. You won't realize just how much you DO know until you try to explain something simple to someone ... and realize you know more than you thought you did!

Take your time. That said, there's no reason why you can't stretch yourself in experiments. Many won't work ... for a variety of reasons (but they're learning experiences too). But there's a lot that can be said for persistence! In your shows that you use masking with tho, don't expect too much too soon! As you gain experience with PSP you'll eventually want to try new stuff ... and before long what was complicated is simple ... and you're into the stuff that was once impossible (or real difficult at the very least!)!

And most of all .............. have fun!!! :)

Dale

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Postby BarbaraC » Fri Mar 28, 2008 3:23 pm

Dale, I haven't had the blur-plus-no-text problem, but I'm wondering how recently you experienced this in light of Photodex being bad and then down yesterday.

Are you using high-resolution pictures? I should think that if you kept them at 300 ppi and made sure their dimensions were enough to handle full-screen mode that they wouldn't blur quite so much. One thing I think--only think--I've noticed is that a PSD translates better than a PNG. I haven't actually tested it thoroughly, so it might just be a personal prejudice coming through.

Barbara

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Postby im42n8 » Fri Mar 28, 2008 3:38 pm

Barbara,

I use hi-res fotos for all my work ... I only cut the resolution down on a case by case basis (and then I use JPG Compressor to keep from losing too much apparent info and keep the artifacts down). The thumbnails, however, were derived from the slide within the show itself. I may want to use thumbnails I generate myself for the menuing rather than the show thumbnails. But basically the photos I use are ones that I have processed to TIFF or JPG from RAW. I don't change their dimensions and do try to save them at 300dpi minimum (while keeping the overall pixel content unchanged).

This is a problem (the blurring) I've noticed within the past coupla weeks and this morning! Frustrating...

PSD should work just as well as PNG. Adobe knows the PNG format very well since it's the native format used in Fireworks (which they got from Macromedia). And Fireworks treats PSD much the same as it does PNG. Both are lossless formats. I've not noticed a difference in them "res"-wise. But then, I've not really been concerned with it yet! Whatever works for me! I use Fireworks and Photopaint more than I do Photoshop.

Dale

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Postby BarbaraC » Fri Mar 28, 2008 4:00 pm

I'd love to know how a 5 meg PSD can be reduced to 1/4 of that when turned into a PNG and not be lossless.

Barbara

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Postby imabeatlelover » Fri Mar 28, 2008 4:02 pm

Dale and Barbara...

It's nice to know they're blurred and I'm not going blind! I will experiment this weekend and see what I can come up with. As for right this minute....every time I think I'm getting a grasp of it, something else happens and I lose it again. I know I'll get it with persistence. I don't usually give up on anything until I have it mastered or it will drive me crazy and I'll be thinking about it and in the middle of the night when I'm supposed to be asleep I'll think of something else to try and sneak off into the room with the computer and the first thing I know, it's morning. I just now found out for the first time that you could put a solid layer in Producer USING Producer and that you can create a mask with the gradient thingy (but I'm still not clear on that yet). It's a good thing there are Einsteins out there to save the world because if it all depended on me.......well.....you know. I'm determined to master this though and I want to thank you both because I still don't completely understand the simple things like how to create my own masks yet...but I'm slowly learning!

Thanks and have a GREAT weekend!
Pat

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Postby im42n8 » Fri Mar 28, 2008 5:47 pm

Not everything in a PSD file is strictly graphical ... it's probably a modified version of a TIFF file, similar to what a CDR (Coreldraw) file is. If it is saved as PNG or TIFF, the non-graphical portion is removed ... hence a reduction in file size but still a lossless format file.

Dale

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Postby imabeatlelover » Fri Mar 28, 2008 7:15 pm

I just made my first slide using movement and a mask making one photo grow larger and disapper into another!!!!!! WHEW!!!! I was getting scared......I thought I was totally BRAIN DEAD!!! Now only 12,000 more experiments until something else sinks in! It's not much but it's a start and at least I got a dim little flicker in that light bulb over my head, It really helped me start to understand why things do what they do. Thanks you guys.......I think I felt my IQ slip up a notch!!!!

Thanks!
Pat

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Postby im42n8 » Fri Mar 28, 2008 7:22 pm

Exciting when an experiment comes together isn't it!

Congrats! Yep, now only 12,000 minus 1 more experiment to go (m a y b e ) !!!! :)

Dale

http://www.photodex.com/sharing/viewsho ... alb=135843
(new incremental update)

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Re: MASKING: A Comprehensive Basic Tutorial

Postby bulajap » Wed Sep 23, 2009 1:48 pm

Dale,

Thank you!!!!

I have been going crazy trying to understand masks.

Your tutorials have been the most helpful that I have seen thus far!

Joe

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