Practical requests

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Practical requests

Postby hakumaster » Mon Feb 28, 2011 3:18 am

Hi all on this Forum,

Relatively new on this forum and to Proshow Gold, I have suggestions for some essential requests:

- Implementation of key-framing. Photodex may argue that this is a feature of Proshow Producer, but I can't conceive why one should be obliged to pay an incredibly high premium for a feature that is now current in almost all slide-show applications. Even with the humble (and free) MS Photo Story and Movie Maker, I can arrange for proper key-framing through 3rd party software, or even do the job myself via the relatively easy xml protocol.

- Chroma key on video. Why have well-implemented layer functionality - and no hassle handling of png or psd transparent backgrounds for still pictures, and not something similar with a keyed background for moving images? Agreed, ProShow is originally not meant to handle video, but it boasts it does. So why not go all the way? And again, no "Producer-feature" mumblings here: : this is a feature that even the above-mentioned MS Video Maker can handle! Not to mention some of Proshow's direct competition

- Multiple audio tracks - I mean real ones, and not the extra track "attached to the slide" supplement. With some trickery one can in fact arrange for more tracks to run over one another with those "attached to the slide" tracks, as many have found out. But ease and transparency of use is something different in my book. Why not just have an amount of real tracks? I mean, that is not a great computing feat to achieve! I wouldn't want to sacrifice that Proshow peculiarity of track(s) attached to the slide, though: it has its advantages because it allows to change the length of the show without disturbing those parts of the sound track. But it should not be mutually exclusive with more 'real' tracks - say at least six. Some may argue that one may not need these for a slideshow. I disagree: it is far easier to lay various tracks for cross-fades, superimpose, overlaps or whatnot. The reason: this allows for changing things on one track without disturbing the others.

- Decent image control. It is unheard of that one has to go to exterior editors for simple jobs like changing the opacity of a layer, or blurring an image, or distorting it - to give but two among many examples. Again, people at Photodex will argue that the latter is a feature of 'Producer'. And again I say that it is not done to have to pay so dear a premium for such a primitive feature.

- Manipulation of picture in terms of distortion, including moving distortions (ripples, fluidity, freezing in case of video, etc.) In other words, true image effects. Something again that can be found on even the lowest of low level show software.

- Avoid systematic re-reading of thumbnails each time a folder is accessed. Instead have the software put these, as it should, into a cache to be solicited when needed. For the life of me, I can't understand the reason for this slowing down 'feature'... Same idea for loading a show: as long as no changes have been made, why not but the whole caboodle in a cache, too?

- Coherent transitions. One of the advantages of Proshow is its large array of - intelligently categorized - transitions. However, there are strange omissions. Why, f.i. does it feature a 'drop down page - dropping to the bottom, and not one dropping down from the top? Why, no spinning in/out from either side (or, for that matter, sliding, falling, or whatever), while the outgoing picture remains in place? After all, that is similar to a page change etc.

- Speaking of which: well conceived transitions. Here I allude to the recently introduced 'page curl - glosssy opaque' (all four of them) and one 'page tear - curling strip' (the latter curiously limited to that single page tear transition, its equivalent 'deckled edge wipe' remaining unaffected). Never have I seen such lavish means put into operation to achieve so simple an effect: no less than two separate video files (video!!!) are called into play. That these Cecil B. De Mille transitions have difficulty to get through on a machine with relatively limited RAM goes without saying, but even with sufficient RAM these so-called transitions have dire consequences for preview with the finicky Proshow Presenter. The people at Photodex argue that the output comes out all right. That it does, with a rendering that takes about 5 times longer than rendering the same show without said transitions!

Well, that's it for the moment...

Bye.

Harry

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Re: Practical requests

Postby BarbaraC » Mon Feb 28, 2011 4:51 am

If you look at Gold/Producer from the business point of view, you'll probably have your answer about things such as keyframes, blur, chroma key, opacity, etc. If Photodex were to implement Producer's capabilities in Gold, what they'd be doing is recreating Producer, and so Gold would cease to exist. Gold serves two purposes, one of which is to act as a stepping stone to Producer (good for business) and the other is to work for those people who have no need nor desire for Producer and who wouldn't buy the latter if that's all there were.

When it comes to multiple audio tracks, we're all right there with you, and it's a request that Photodex definitely has on the books. Another one is image distortion. In Producer, we can unlock the x/y axis to make things taller or wider, but we don't have skew--and we want it. That's another request the company has on the books, but you can be sure it's unlikely to ever show up anywhere but in Producer.

It looks to me has if you'd be happier with Producer. Mind you, not overjoyed, but certainly happier. :D

Barbara
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Re: Practical requests

Postby hakumaster » Mon Feb 28, 2011 7:49 am

Hello Barbara,

Thanks for your prompt reply.

But, as said, and whatever business model notwithstanding, it is simply "not done" to have to pay a huge premium in order to see features that are present - at the price of ProShow Gold and less - in similar software.

Of course, I am looking forward to see multiple tracks appear.

Thanks again,

Harry

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Re: Practical requests

Postby BarbaraC » Mon Feb 28, 2011 8:02 am

So, what you actually want is for Producer's price to come down at least a hundred. :D

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Re: Practical requests

Postby im42n8 » Mon Feb 28, 2011 8:45 am

Well, some folk want something for nothing. The business model is what it is. Gold is limited for a reason. Too, for its price range, it's touted as one of the best slideshow programs out there. It provides features others don't have while others have features it doesn't have. Instead of complaining about it here, make the request directly to Photodex. You may get your request(s) answered and you may not. Until you do make the request where it'll do the most good, your requests are just shouts into the wind . . . and going nowhere.

Producer and Gold serve different markets. In particular, Gold is for those who have a limited need to do slideshows, have limited requirements, and have a limited budget too. It's your basic slideshow program. Most often, after awhile you want more and so invest in Producer (there's a price reduction if you move up.... see the Photodex website about it). Too, if you want the greater amount of control, you'll decide the investment in Producer is worth the cost. It has most of the features you seek. Multiple audio tracks has been requested but don't expect it soon. Manipulation of images might be something to be implemented in the future in Producer but don't expect it soon. For transitions, if you have Producer, you can create your own transitions to address the effect you want that Producer doesn't provide. It wasn't long ago that you could only build a transition effect as a slide effect. The number of transitions provided was rather minimal and had remained unchanged for many years. That you can now create a transition for between slides is new. WRT the page curl effect, the only way to create that previously required a considerable knowledge of how Producer worked and a good handle on keyframes and masks (I created the first in-slide all in PSP page curl effect here for both full size and portrait images ... Dave Fitzpatrick created the first between slides effect). Video is the only way to make the effect work as a transition smoothly because of timing effects. So, making a page curl slide effect into a between slides transition wasn't an option (for a number of technical reasons including timing).

Most computers these days have a considerable amount of horsepower and RAM. Photodex is not designing for the least common denominator. If they did, they'd lose out quickly in market share as they tried to add features. If your computer doesn't have the required horsepower, RAM, or hard disk space, then you'll probably be needing to upgrade your system in the relatively near future when parts start failing on you. But, we all aspire to a heftier machine than we have. Unfortunately, finances often stand in our way and we have to plan and budget for the desired upgrades. If you don't have the horsepower to run the program then you'll have to upgrade or not use the program. Producer is the premiere Slideshow Creation software out there at the moment and it requires quite a bit of horsepower. If you were going to go for the premiere video editing software you'd be going for, probably, Adobe's Premiere Pro. It requires lots of horsepower. So does Photoshop CS5, After Effects, Corel Paint, etc.

So, I'd say it will take you getting used to what you have. And, when you're fed up with the limitations imposed by Gold, you'll upgrade to Producer . . . or find another slideshow program to work with (and complain about)!

Dale
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Re: Practical requests

Postby debngar » Mon Feb 28, 2011 10:11 am

hakumaster wrote:-snip-

But, as said, and whatever business model notwithstanding, it is simply "not done" to have to pay a huge premium in order to see features that are present - at the price of ProShow Gold and less - in similar software.
Harry


Um.... says who? Just look at Adobe Photoshop CS5 and Adobe Photoshop Elements.

As Dale pointed out, a better option might be to send those thoughts to the company. This forum is not run by Photodex or it's employees.
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Re: Practical requests

Postby gpsmikey » Mon Feb 28, 2011 10:21 am

In addition to what Dale has noted, there are a number of other issues. Chroma keying for example - this is not a trivial task. Even the Pro levels of Sony Vegas etc have issues with it - you can spend hundreds or thousands of $$ on add on programs to work with the chromakey (and Chromakey is NOT trivial - the lighting etc can be a real pain to set up). Also, the compressed color format that most of the video uses these days from consumer video cameras is NOT that good for Chroma key - not enough data bits to get a good "key" (go read the video forums for Sony, Adobe etc - getting a good "key" without "ratty edges" is not quite as easy as it sounds. As far as keyframes goes, the majority of people using Gold don't know what keyframes are (and are not interested in spending the time to learn either). Many will say they want the feature, but when it comes down to learning how they work and how to effectively use them, the lose interest and wander off to do something else.

You can't put all features everybody wants in a program and have it really work for anybody. You keep quoting features that are in video editors but not in Proshow - go over to the video forums and see what they want over there - they would love to have additions to the video editing programs that allowed them to make slideshows with the features we have here. A simple slide show with captions and things is a pain in the video editor compared to what we have here. I have Producer. Audition 3 and Vegas Pro - they are different tools but work fairly well together to generate the whole package. When I'm working on the engine in my car, I don't complain that my Swiss Army Knife doesn't have to tools to set the torque on the main bearings ... I don't expect it to do everything (on the other hand, I don't usually take my torque wrench in my back pack :twisted: )

mikey
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Re: Practical requests

Postby hakumaster » Tue Mar 01, 2011 6:08 am

My, my! What slings, arrows and thunderbolts just because one makes some 'Feature Requests' - which I thought was the whole purpose of this Forum. Not in my wildest dreams did I expect such a torrent of near-abuse coupled with an incensed hue and cry threateningly implying 'take it or leave it' among the lesser charges. But we shall let this pass like water on a duck's back, as we say in Dutch.

To reply to the less sanguine among you:

- Requests for all these features - and more - were forwarded to Photodex Support before I submitted them to this Forum.
- My main argument was that many of these requested features lacking in Proshow Gold can be found in many other similar, often cheaper and/or lowlier software. Nothing more, but nothing less. A glaring reality - to take or to leave.
- And, Mikey, chroma-key is not such a great feat as you seem to think. Please look into the 'Troubleshooting' thread to see how and why - with a telling example (I do not think this Forum is the place to get, ah, technical).
- Finally, I was under the impression that ProShow Enthusiasts had nothing to do directly with Photodex. This seems not exactly the case, since one of its collaborators did me the honor of trying to explain in your Forum why page curls transition are such a difficult feat on ProShow. This gentleman is entitled to write in any Forum he pleases, of course - but it certainly undermines all the protestations of independence shimmering through most of the posts. Or I don't know what the word 'independence' means any more. However, I'll put this whole storm in a paper cup on the account of the etymological meaning of 'enthusiasts'.

Naturally, I will refrain from returning to this particular Forum since I find it most disturbing - to put it mildly - to witness all those people getting on their high horses about such a trifle.

Goodbye.

H

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Re: Practical requests

Postby cherub » Tue Mar 01, 2011 6:24 am

@ Harry,

Finally, I was under the impression that ProShow Enthusiasts had nothing to do directly with Photodex. This seems not exactly the case, since one of its collaborators did me the honor of trying to explain in your Forum why page curls transition are such a difficult feat on ProShow. This gentleman is entitled to write in any Forum he pleases, of course - but it certainly undermines all the protestations of independence shimmering through most of the posts. Or I don't know what the word 'independence' means any more. However, I'll put this whole storm in a paper cup on the account of the etymological meaning of 'enthusiasts'.


Without going into any of the discussion above, I just wonder who is the so called "collaborator"?
Is it because of his cowboy hat that you think this about him ? :D :D

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Re: Practical requests

Postby BarbaraC » Tue Mar 01, 2011 7:17 am

Harry, your initial post seemed so filled with anger. Perhaps that's not how you meant it to sound, but no one can hear nor see you, and so therein lies the explanation for the reactions you got.

Dale isn't in any way employed by nor does he collaborate with Photodex. He's an independent vendor of products that can be used with ProShow. The page curl he was describing is one of his own products, not sold by or through Photodex. Clicking on the link in his signature will take you to his web site.

Barbara
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