Caption Background

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Caption Background

Postby ezwriter » Thu Mar 03, 2011 5:33 pm

Hope this hasn't been discussed before, but I often put captions on the slides in my shows. I think I've tried every font color, outlining, and shadowing, but on many slide images the captions just cannot be seen very well. I would like the ability to put a background box behind the caption with its color being selectable. That way, there would be no problem with being able to clearly see the caption.

[another] Dale

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Re: Caption Background

Postby AMD » Thu Mar 03, 2011 5:47 pm


Can't you use a solid color layer sized just a bit larger than your caption. You can have the layer and the caption slide out, down, etc., at the same time.


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Re: Caption Background

Postby debngar » Thu Mar 03, 2011 6:32 pm

Hello [another] Dale,

I use white - nearly always accompanied with a darker drop shadow. If that's not enough, apply an outline too. But do it throughout your show for consistency. This usually works pretty well, even on those not offering much contrast between the image and caption. In those instances, do what Ann suggests. Insert a solid contrasting colored layer (black if the font is white) but turn the opacity down on the solid color layer to about 20%. To do that, in the slide edit screen, hit the + to add a layer and select to add a solid color - black if you need a contrast under a light/white caption.

Examples of that method can be seen in the slides at 5:09, 5:56 and 6:15 in my Seattle show. They turned out ok, not necessarily great but ok.

"Seattle Road Trip"

That method doesn't always make it look that good if the image is very very busy. In that case, you could just put a caption on a blank slide before or after that busy slide.

Sometimes it's helps to choose another font. Thin-lined fonts are harder to see than ones with a little more substance to them.

Another way you can separate the font from the image underneath is to duplicate the image, blur it and mask the area the caption will cover so that just that area is blurred shows through. But if you're a newbie to Producer, you may find masks a bit daunting and it may take you a while to figure that one out.

An example of that blurred effect can be seen in the very first slide in this show "A Chance For Bliss". The landscape scene is really busy and a normal caption just plopped on top would have not been a good choice. Blurring that area gives it just enough visibility so it's legible and the viewer still gets the feel of being able to see the entire scene without too much interruption. The caption and blurred layers are then faded out so as to finally enjoy the whole picture. I didn't use the method on the title right after that because it was large and thick enough to be legible.

"A Chance For Bliss"

Probably more than you wanted to know. But multiple options are always a nice to have in case you need them. :D

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Re: Caption Background

Postby Rosemary » Thu Mar 03, 2011 7:20 pm

Hello Dale,
I had the same problem as you are having and Mike, our modurator, solved my problem in this thread.


Hope it helps,


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Re: Caption Background

Postby im42n8 » Thu Mar 03, 2011 8:20 pm

Producer lets you create a layer (solid or gradient) that you can then resize, change the opacity of, and even give a vignette to or to blur (to take the hard edge off the layer). You then move this layer to beneath your caption. The whole purpose is to change the contrast between the image and the caption so the caption becomes easier to read.

Also, you can add an adjustment layer (make it all white), make it the correct size to fit to the caption (a combination of the pixel dimensions and then changed zoom settings. Either just bigger than the caption or a "ribbon" running across the screen, as in a lower 3rd - for instance). Now, between changing its opacity (changing the opacity of the AL adjusts the opacity of the AL itself, not the image. To soften the hard edges of the AL, you'll need to add a vignette, located in layers | Editing | Vignette. The other settings impact all images below and directly under the confines of the AL itself.). With the blur setting you can blur the image below the adjustment layer but only for the area underneath the adjustment layer itself (gives the effect that Debbie noted with the masked blurred image idea). The thing too is that the color of the adjustment layer can be changed using the colorize feature . . . and that will affect the color of the image immediately below the adjustment layer. This is an all Producer option without the need to rely on outside programs to create these simple effects.

Like Debbie said, adding an outline and a shadow to the caption can also help the viewability of the caption against its background. Typically, this border and shadow are not the same color as the caption. You'll want high contrast. So, a white caption with a black border and a black, 50% opacity shadow. Or, a black caption with white border and 50@ opacity white shadow, for instance.

Black or white captions are the most common because they represent the extremes for contrast to the background (watch TV commercials). Any other color should compatible with the color scheme of your show theme. Have fun!

Dale (the other one!) :D
Last edited by im42n8 on Fri Mar 04, 2011 5:50 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Caption Background

Postby dsprincis » Fri Mar 04, 2011 1:34 am

Thank you Dale (ezwriter) for the question and thank you Ann, Debbie, Rosemary and Dale (im42n8) for your answers. This has been a helpful thread.

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Re: Caption Background

Postby ezwriter » Sat Mar 05, 2011 8:55 am

I appreciate all the responses and suggestions. I'd thought about some of them and will give them a try, I guess. I was looking for a "lazy solution" rather than having to create an additional layer, size it to fit, move it, etc. That's why I put it in this category rather than one of the others. I was hoping for the ability to just click on "Add Background" in the Caption section, choose a color and opacity, and bingo it would be created automatically as I typed the caption and would move with it as the caption moved.
Once again, thanks for the ideas.
[another] Dale

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