Auto Pan/Zoom

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Auto Pan/Zoom

Postby glennoch » Thu Apr 23, 2015 7:37 am

PSP is an awesome program that enables creation of almost anything one can imagine-- but some of us also need the ability to turn out a very high-quality show with almost no effort. The key would be a professional-level automatic pan/zoom ("Ken Burns") slide effect. In conjunction with the existing simple fade in/fade out PSP slide transition, outstanding results cold be achieved. The challenge is that the auto pan/zoom needs to be first rate. The existing PSP random effect controls don't come close to providing what is needed. There are examples of feeble attempts at this in many programs. The gold standard for it is the pan/zoom option in Google's Picasa Windows screensaver. If something of that quality could be added to PSP (ideally, with additional enhancements that I won't take the time now to detail), this would be an enormous value-add to an already outstanding program.

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Re: Auto Pan/Zoom

Postby im42n8 » Thu Apr 23, 2015 9:50 am

My first impression is that you aren't all that familiar with how to use ProShow effectively yet. What do you mean by "automating?" A "ken burns" effect is not a cookie cutter effect and the actual "ken burns effect" will vary in effect depending upon your content (what the important focal point of the screen is, how much to pan, how fast to pan, zoom in or zoom out, fading to the next slide or image, and how much time to dedicate to each part of that effect: pan, zoom, fade).

The effect is easily accomplished using keyframes situated along the slide's timeline and settings associated with those keyframes. While anyone can do that quite simply, doing it effectively does require some know-how. The existing ProShow controls are most definitely up to the task.

Ken Burns did NOT automate the effect ... nor did he invent it. But, he did popularize it. The effect he achieved was adjusted according to the source material and his narrative associated with that material.

Now for the down low. If you feel strongly enough about the inclusion of an automated "Ken Burns-like" feature, you should contact Photodex directly. This site is not affiliated with Photodex. While someone on their staff may check in periodically for any variety of reasons, they do not use this site in any official capacity for problems, recommendations, or any the like.

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Re: Auto Pan/Zoom

Postby debngar » Thu Apr 23, 2015 11:09 am

glennoch wrote:PSP is an awesome program that enables creation of almost anything one can imagine-- but some of us also need the ability to turn out a very high-quality show with almost no effort. The key would be a professional-level automatic pan/zoom ("Ken Burns") slide effect. In conjunction with the existing simple fade in/fade out PSP slide transition, outstanding results cold be achieved. The challenge is that the auto pan/zoom needs to be first rate. The existing PSP random effect controls don't come close to providing what is needed. There are examples of feeble attempts at this in many programs. The gold standard for it is the pan/zoom option in Google's Picasa Windows screensaver. If something of that quality could be added to PSP (ideally, with additional enhancements that I won't take the time now to detail), this would be an enormous value-add to an already outstanding program.


Producer has tools for auto applying desired slide styles to images. An abundant number of styles are built-in. If that isn't enough, a user can create additional styles. Wizard themes (if more automation is desired) can be customized to utilize specific styles. Search and read/study the forum archives to learn how to do that.

It will take more than a cursory look at the program to discover the numerous flexible tools available in ProShow.

I'm not familiar with Google Picasa screensaver, so I could be wrong, but of what I could see, it isn't much to write home about, though it might serve those that wish to create simple displays. If looking for more simple than Producer, try ProShow Gold. It's an easier version of ProShow that has less tools than Producer, but still can produce pan/zoom effects and includes the Wizard tool.

ProShow Web is another option for creating a quick show with no effort. But I personally feel most slides need some adjustment to look their best in playback anyways. So I use Producer to tweak and finesse the final product.


Good luck.
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Re: Auto Pan/Zoom

Postby EJAB » Fri Apr 24, 2015 12:29 am

Ouch ! Dale. Last paragraph. But with a few of these. :D :) :lol: :P :P

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Re: Auto Pan/Zoom

Postby Luke_Miller » Fri Apr 24, 2015 5:11 am

The newly released Lightroom 6 has that feature in the slideshow module. I played with it and while the pans and zooms were very nicely done - they would often work against the image. By that I mean they would pan away from the subject or zoom into the least interesting part of the shot. For some images it was fine. If Photodex were to implement such a feature I would hope it could be applied to individual slides rather than to the entire show.

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Re: Auto Pan/Zoom

Postby debngar » Fri Apr 24, 2015 6:27 am

Luke_Miller wrote:.... SNIP... while the pans and zooms were very nicely done - they would often work against the image. By that I mean they would pan away from the subject or zoom into the least interesting part of the shot. For some images it was fine. ... SNIP


Yes, the human touch is required to finesse a show, to make sense of the movement, to make it purposeful. :D
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Re: Auto Pan/Zoom

Postby BarbaraC » Fri Apr 24, 2015 9:23 am

Just as others have indicated, what you're looking for can be achieved with work. It may seem that such a thing can be automated, and I suppose it can using a slide style, but a cookie-cutter approach ends up looking like just that: cookie-cutter. Also, if you do too much zooming in and out, you'll slowly lose every last one of your friends. :shock: :D

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Re: Auto Pan/Zoom

Postby trulytango » Sun Apr 26, 2015 2:12 am

Ken Burns style effects pay particular attention to the subject matter, and the speed/duration of the effects are often done in tandem with narration or even poignant silence.

Both of the above are more than doable in Producer with very little effort. Even before I switched to ProShow, I cut my slideshow teeth on a simple little program from Microsoft - Photo Story 3 - and even that allowed you to choose the start and end positions of both zoom and pan. Left to its own devices though, the program would apply horrendous and totally inappropriate motion. Never a good result if the eye is drawn away from the subject, I'm sure you will agree.

As the others have said, the tools (key frames) are there. They're simple enough to learn. And well worth the effort:wink:
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Re: Auto Pan/Zoom

Postby glennoch » Sun Sep 13, 2015 9:07 am

Thanks to all for your replies to my original posting. I am very familiar with PSP and recognize the validity of what is coming through in the responses-- a good "Ken Burns" effect requires application at the individual photo level. What I seek is a usable automated version because sometimes I need to turn out fast slideshows with hundreds of photos, because as good as the tools in PSP are, applying the effect one at a time takes a very long time. As I mentioned originally, the best I have seen is the Picasa screen server auto zoom/pan-- it applies relatively contrained pan/zoom in random configurations-- the minimal motion it adds to the photos is a major enhancement compared to static photos. In combination with a simple fade in/out transition the results are remarkably satisfying. By definition it is not configured per photo but would work well for my needs if something similar could be applied within PSP.

The suggestion to take the idea/request to Photodex is a good on eand I will pursue that.

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Re: Auto Pan/Zoom

Postby im42n8 » Sun Sep 13, 2015 7:22 pm

Your best bet is to create your own style. You will probably have to create an effect for slides containing 1, 2, 3, 4, etc different images (for a variety of reasons ... especially concerning the content of such a slide and how that content is displayed).

Your default effect, for 1 image, is going to zoom to a specific location, for a specific zoom (in or out), over a specified period of time.

Your default effect, for multiple images, is going to zoom to a specific location on each image layer, in a specific order, for a specific zoom (in or out), over a specified period of time for each image. There are many different approaches available for an example of how to do this. You would adapt accordingly.

After you apply your effect, you will tweak the effect as necessary to the content. Do this and you won't have as much work to do compared to starting from scratch for each slide. Note that all previous statements concerning the application of the KenBurnEffect also still apply. You still do NOT want a cookie-cutter KenBurns-like effect ... your viewers will quickly become "bored" ... and may have to "force" themselves to continue to watch the show.

That is exactly what you would get from Photodex (that is, one or more slide style effects that you would apply to a slide and then tweak as necessary).

NOTE: Using the FX button (effects) can allow you to apply a particular effect to multiple slides at the same time. Select those slides and then hit the FX button. If you have a problem applying a style to a single slide at a time, this is one way around that...

(Of course, this is all a very GENERAL approach to the technique of these things ... it's hard to get specific.)

Dale
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Re: Auto Pan/Zoom

Postby glennoch » Fri Sep 25, 2015 4:07 am

Thanks, Dale, what you describe I think is my best bet and I will move forward with it.

I'll also just note that the random effect provided by the Picasa screensaver is mesmerizing for the audience if the photos and music are right. The only control available is the amount of time for each slide but if that syncs well with the music-- magic. The photos also come up at random which sounds like a big negative but in fact randomness has its own power, part of which is that the show is different every time. This is not to undermine the great value provided by the control in ProShow, but it is remarkably effective (and simple) in its own right.

All the respondents in this thread understandably take it for granted that a random "canned" screensaver must basically suck, but that is not so in this case. I wish I could provide a link but of course that is not possible-- that's why I wish the equivalent was available in ProShow.

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