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All About Keyframes in Photodex ProShow

Keyframes allow you to create all of the spectacular effects you see in advanced shows. This chapter explains what keyframes are and how you create them.
This chapter is from the book

In Chapter 3, we covered how to create motion and control layers on your slides to produce a show that really comes to life. Now that you understand how to bring shows together with multiple layers, music, and motion, you can learn about keyframes.

Keyframes, available only in ProShow Producer, are the real magic behind Producer; they allow you to create all of the spectacular effects you see in advanced shows. The great thing about keyframes is that they work in just the same way as your other motion effects—with a starting position and an ending position. The difference is that you can have as many starting and ending positions on one slide as you want.

Let's begin by learning what keyframes are and how you create them.

Creating Keyframes

As you read a moment ago, a keyframe is basically a starting position and an ending position. Think about it this way: When you create motion using the method discussed in Chapter 3, you are telling ProShow to move the slide from one point to another. You are essentially traveling from point A to point B.

With keyframes, you can add more destinations to your slide. Rather than just going from point A to point B, you can now add a C, a D, or as many other points as you want.

Each one is controlled in the same way. You set up the way you want a layer to look in the starting position and the ending position, and then move on.

Exploring the Keyframe Options

Keyframes exist in three places in Producer—in Motion Effects, Adjustment Effects, and Caption Motion. We'll start with motion effects, since that's something you've already learned how to work with in Chapter 3.

To open the keyframe options:

  1. Create a new slide by dragging an image into your Slide List.
  2. Once you have the new slide created, double-click the new slide to open the Slide Options dialog.
  3. Click the Effects tab and then the Motion Effects tab.

Now you're looking at the Motion Effects options in Producer (Figure 4.1). Notice that there are a few new tools available here compared with the Motion Effects options you saw in Chapter 3. The Keyframe Timeline is the main addition, and this is what you will use to control all of your keyframe activity on a slide (Figure 4.2, below).

Figure 4.1

Figure 4.1 The Motion Effects dialog in Producer has a few additional tools compared with the options available in Gold—most important, the Keyframe Timeline. Also notice that you have a few more options for how you move your layers.

Figure 4.2

Figure 4.2 Here you see the Keyframe Timeline. Notice that it displays the time at the top of the timeline and the time segments at the bottom. The Transition In time shows when your slide will begin transitioning into display. The shaded Slide Time area indicates when the slide is displayed in full, and the Transition Out time indicates when your slide will begin transitioning out for the next slide.

Now let's focus on the keyframes themselves. At the top-left and top-right corners of the Keyframe Timeline, you'll see shield icons labeled 1 and 2; these are your keyframes. Every slide you create will start at 1 and end at 2. One will be at the start of the transition in, and the other will be at the end of the transition out (Figure 4.3).

Figure 4.3

Figure 4.3 Keyframe markers are found at the top of the Keyframe Timeline, and every slide has one at the start and end by default.

In short, these are your starting and ending positions. These are called keyframe markers or, simply, keyframes.

Now that you're familiar with the Keyframe Timeline, let's get started by adding a new keyframe. To begin, click the Add Keyframe addlayer.jpg button on the left side of the Keyframes panel.

When you add a new keyframe, take notice of a few things. The new keyframe appears right in the middle of your Keyframe Timeline and has been assigned the number 2. The keyframe at the end is now labeled 3 (Figure 4.4).

Figure 4.4

Figure 4.4 Keyframes must appear in order, so each new keyframe takes the next number, while changing all of those after it. The keyframes originally marked 1 and 2 become 1 and 3, respectively, while 2 now appears in the middle.

Motion Effects with Keyframes

You have three keyframes to work with at this point, so let's create some motion and get a feel for how they function.

This should be a refresher of Chapter 3. You can set up your motion one keyframe at a time. Start by clicking in the space between keyframes 1 and 2 on your Keyframe Timeline. You will see those two markers highlighted in blue, with a blue shaded region between them (Figure 4.5). This means they are selected.

Figure 4.5

Figure 4.5 Editing the movement for each keyframe is done by selecting pairs of markers. Here, keyframe pair 1 and 2 is selected, as shown by the blue shading.

There's one last thing to look at before you set up motion. Immediately underneath the Keyframe Timeline, you will see that each of the preview panes has been labeled. The left pane is Keyframe 1 (Starting Position), and the right pane is Keyframe 2. This just reinforces that you have selected the pair (Figure 4.6).

Figure 4.6

Figure 4.6 The label at the top of each settings panel (underneath the Keyframe Timeline) indicates which pair you have selected. This helps ensure that you're working with the correct pair.

To create motion with keyframes:

  1. In the left pane for keyframe 1, zoom in on the layer to about 130 percent (Figure 4.7).
    Figure 4.7

    Figure 4.7 Start by setting the Zoom values for keyframe 1 to 130 percent.

  2. Move the layer to the right so that the right marker is at the right edge of the slide (Figure 4.8).
    Figure 4.8

    Figure 4.8 Move the layer to the right, lining up the right marker to the right edge of the slide.

    Keyframe 1, our starting position, is set up. Let's get keyframe 2 arranged.
  3. Drag the layer to around the center of the slide in the right preview pane. This will center it on the slide again. Change the Zoom values to 115 percent (Figure 4.9).
    Figure 4.9

    Figure 4.9 Here you can see the first two keyframes configured and ready to go.

The last piece to setting the motion for this slide is configuring keyframe 3, and this process is just as simple as the previous two.

To configure keyframe 3:

  1. Click the space between keyframes 2 and 3 on the Keyframe Timeline. Keyframes 2 and 3 will now be selected with the blue shading between them. Notice that keyframe 2 is already set up, but it appears in the left pane. All you need to focus on is keyframe 3 (Figure 4.10).
    Figure 4.10

    Figure 4.10 Select keyframe 3 by clicking the area between the keyframe 2 and 3 markers in the Keyframe Timeline.

  2. In the right pane, keyframe 3, start by changing the Pan values to -20 x 0. This moves the keyframe to the left. Change the Zoom values to 0 percent (Figure 4.11), to make the layer as small as possible. In Figure 4.12, you can see the adjustments made so far.
    Figure 4.11

    Figure 4.11 Keyframes 2 and 3 are all set up, and you can see the values that were changed here.

    Figure 4.12

    Figure 4.12 After you set the values for keyframe 3, the dialog should look similar to this.

Now that the motion has been prepared for all three keyframes, click the Play button playbutton.jpg to preview what you have made.

You will see the layer pan to the left and zoom out slightly, and then zoom dramatically away from you once it reaches keyframe 2. As you can see, the process involves a simple step to what you already know. Instead of moving from A to B, you move from A to B to C.

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