Composition Lines and Previews

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Composition Lines and Previews

Postby RalphTomaccio » Fri Oct 14, 2011 6:44 am

Just discovered "Composition Lines" when in a Preview and find they really aren't as useful as they could be. The lines as they are now break up the whole window well beyond the actual image preview area and well beyond the even safe area. The middle third is substantially larger than either the right or left thirds, which should not be the case.

To be effective, the Rule of Thirds lines really should cover just the image area alone to be worth using.

Please consider changing them to limit the composition lines to the image area to be truly effective.

Thank you.

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Re: Composition Lines and Previews

Postby im42n8 » Fri Oct 14, 2011 3:56 pm

I don't understand your request. The slide frame IS the composition area ... or, if you will, the image area. The slide frame is the window to which the rule of thirds (composition lines) has been applied. If you're talking about the "safe zone" as being the "image area," you should be aware that the safe zone markings do not limit the frame viewing area of a played slideshow to just the safe zone unless the TV/monitor has a safe zone. When the same show is played on a TV/monitor that doesn't have a safe zone, the full slide frame is shown. Further, the safe zone is user definable to whatever you think is appropriate to your target video device.

The rule of thirds is a guide only. I don't see it as meant to be something strictly adhered to (that is, where your area(s) of interest appear within the thirds regions is relative and not hard coded). It's something you can use to guide your composition(s).

If you must, you can always use the grid lines as your image area-relative rule of 3rds (just specify the number of gridlines that would work for you). That means, you can specify a "composition" set of lines that fit your needs or specific situation.

Dale
What's New: Tools for ProShow: v11.42a Access ProShow capabilities Photodex doesn't provide (For PSG & PSP).
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Re: Composition Lines and Previews

Postby RalphTomaccio » Fri Oct 14, 2011 5:02 pm

Hi Dale,

Just a little bit of background as to where I'm coming from. I'm a retired photographer. I graduated from Brooks Institute of Photography in 1974, worked as an Industrial photographer for Motorola, and ran & owned a photography studio for more than 30 years. Although you had no way of knowing this, I mention it to establish the fact that I know the Rule of Thirds quite well. I don't need to see lines on a screen to know where the main object should be placed.

As a new user to PSG, I have been reading the manual (one of a handful who actually reads manuals) and ran across the Rule of Thirds feature, which I originally did not know was there. After seeing how it is displayed, I realized that for many people who don't know about the rule, they would be mislead as to an image's placement when that rule is used. I wasn't requesting the feature for me, but more for all those unfamiliar with its use. Again, you had no way of knowing that either. I just feel that if a feature like that is going to be implemented, it should be done so correctly, which it isn't if you look at the URL for the screen shot. You'll see what I mean when I said it includes the whole preview area instead of just the active image area, whether you include the safe area or not. It currently does not show the thirds rule for the image, but for the whole window, making it incorrect.

http://kordaystudio.com/previewwindow.tiff

I do appreciate your responses!

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Re: Composition Lines and Previews

Postby im42n8 » Sun Oct 16, 2011 7:29 pm

Hi Ralph,

Most people haven't a clue what the rule of 3rds is much less how to use it.

After looking at your image I totally understand where you're coming from. I use Producer most of the time but have Gold too, which I work with off and on. I develop my shows using the main slide options preview and the main preview. I'll make side trips in the multi-keyframe editor (which is in Producer but not Gold). But the precision preview just doesn't help me much usually for what I need to do, so I rarely use it.

One of the things you need to be aware of with the Precision Preview is that it shows layers that are positioned beyond the confines of the screen frame. In this preview, the "display" or canvas (for lack of a better term right now) is broken up into the rule of 3rds correctly. So, if you set the precision preview to 20%, that entire resulting display is your canvas. The main preview (or slide options preview) is the slide frame (which is only 20% of the canvas, in this case). So, the rule of 3rds is being applied to the canvas instead of the screen frame. That's why both the grid (something Gold doesn't have) and the composition lines extend beyond the screen frame. When you're in the slide options preview, the composition lines are correctly sized for the rule of 3rds.

So, if for some reason you're designing something that will use more than just the screen frame (with this out of the view stuff coming in later, perhaps in another slide - in the case of Gold or another set of keyframes - as in the case for Producer). this type of setup (the composition and grid lines extending into the full "canvas" vs just the screen frame), perhaps this makes sense.

I hope you followed that .... it's getting late and I've been on this computer WAYYYY too long! :) :)

Dale
What's New: Tools for ProShow: v11.42a Access ProShow capabilities Photodex doesn't provide (For PSG & PSP).
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Re: Composition Lines and Previews

Postby RalphTomaccio » Sun Oct 16, 2011 8:55 pm

Hi Dale,

I went back and took another look at both the Slide Options Preview as well as the Precision Preview. You're right in that in the Slide Options Preview does reflect the proper application of the Rule of Thirds. It stays within the safe area.

To be honest, I'm not quite understanding your reasoning behind it not appearing the same way in the Precision view. When an image is cropped, you would only consider the area that will appear on screen. The area outside the safe area marking isn't important once cropped. Not sure what I'm missing.

Also, I don't understand setting "the precision preview to 20%". Are you saying the safe area and the area just outside it can be adjusted? If so, where is that setting? Don't see anything like that in Preferences. Or is that a feature of Producer? I tried adjusting the overall size of the Precision Preview window, but the overall proportions remained the same regarding the "canvas" vs. the safe area slide area.

If you get a chance, I would really appreciate you taking a look at my first show in the Sample Shows & Feedback forum. Any constructive comments would be appreciated. The post is labeled "Italy Slideshow". Or you can use this link to view it:

http://kordaystudio.com/Show/Italy.html

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Re: Composition Lines and Previews

Postby im42n8 » Sat Oct 22, 2011 6:01 am

To be sure, the composition lines should probably also have lines at each side to better signify where the frame frame is. It would make it easier to see. Had Gold also have grid lines, you could set those up instead. But, Gold only has the composition lines. However, the composition lines were meant to break the "working" area up into segments.

If you enter the Precision Preview, take a look at the upper left corner of the dialog. There, you'll see a box called "Zoom." If you change this value your composition area changes. The working area (i.e., "canvas" or composition region) is the entire precision preview region, not just the area representing the slide frame. So, the light gray is NOT part of the canvas/composition region, the dark gray is the composition region/canvas, and the black region represents the screen frame (and is part of the composition/canvas region). So, the composition area is the entire dark gray region and includes the slide frame at its center. Changing this zoom area will let you see as much of the region outside the screen frame as desired. Changing the zoom, therefore, lets you define the region you want to use for composing your slide. You'll also note that the the composition lines are static... and keep the region segmented into rows and columns of 3rds. If you make the zoom 100%, it'll represent only the slide frame and nothing else.

To adjust the safe zone, hit F2 (Show Settings). In the bottom right corner you'll not a section called "Safe Zone for Television Display." Right below it is where you can make adjustment to the size of the safe zone. The default is 10% on each side and 5% at the top and bottom (20% total on sides and 10% total for the top/bottom). Different TV screens (generally tube-based devices) have different amounts of safe zone. This is the region where the gun may not display the video lines well (fuzzy, chopped off, odd/distorted color, distorted image, etc). It has to do with manufacturing tolerances. The safe zone just "hid" this region to just show the area known to be good visually.

Hope that made it clearer (at least clearer than mud! :) ).

I'll take a look at your show shortly and get back to you on it.

Cheers!

Dale
What's New: Tools for ProShow: v11.42a Access ProShow capabilities Photodex doesn't provide (For PSG & PSP).
FPVP Blog "Making the Difficult Easier," FPVP News

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Re: Composition Lines and Previews

Postby RalphTomaccio » Sat Oct 22, 2011 6:24 am

Dale,

Thanks for your explanation. I went back into PSG while reading your post and now have a better understanding of what's going on, especially with relation to the Precision Preview and Composition lines.

Thanks for taking the time to help!

Ralph

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