The ProShow Blog

Tips, tutorials & inspiration for making slideshows

3 Golden Rules When Picking Effects for Your Video Slideshows

If you’ve ever used ProShow built-in effects or the StylePack add-ons in your slideshows, you’re already aware that they’re incredibly easy to use and make your shows look gratifyingly ‘pro’. However, you may also be familiar with the deer-in-headlights feeling that threatens to take over while scrolling through the volume of exciting options. On the flip-side, ‘choice-paralysis’ isn‘t always the challenge. Rather, it’s a lack of restraint!

Not to worry — picking effects that complement your slideshow becomes a simple task when you apply a few tips to guide your selections:

1) Maintain a Consistent Background (Dark / Light)
Most shows will look better if the background color of the slide style (if visible) is consistently either dark or light. There are a few exceptions to justify mixing it up, but generally, you’ll improve the flow from one slide to the next by keeping the dark/light look the same throughout.

2) Pump Up a Flat Show With 3D Effects
One of the great things about the modern video slideshow is how it transcends the limitations of the flat, one-perspective printed photo album. Inside ProShow, your story has the freedom to dance and move in a 3D space. Often, the best shows utilize a tasteful mix of both conventional ‘flat’ styles and 3D effects. The more 3D you use, the more dynamic and energetic your show will feel. ProShow 5 offers many built-in 3D effects, with additional options in StylePack 5.

3) Context Dictates the Range & Types of Effects Used
As for many style-related things (manner of dress, etiquette, etc.), different occasions call for different ways to present & conduct oneself. The question of the range and type of effects that is best-suited for your show is similarly related to how formal or casual you want your show to be.

Formal — Simple & understated is the name of the game. Let the images do the heavy lifting. Recommend using 8 or less slide styles in rotation. Simple fades & dissolves work best, with minimal use of non-basic transitions. Keep the compositions varied in order to avoid monotony, but maintain a low degree of motion / energy level.

Casual — Loosen up and have fun. Your options are virtually unlimited. Feel free to add plenty of variety and motion to keep things feeling energized and dynamic. However, for particularly important or strong images, use styles that are less motion-intensive to allow the image to really shine through. The overall range of effects can be quite broad, but the selection should not be so large that there is not an even distribution of repeated effects. The only exception to this rule would be to not repeat any effects at all.

If your show falls somewhere in between formal and casual, like an outdoor wedding, it’s probably best to maintain a little more restraint than you would for a casual show, but still enjoy some freedom to mix it up. Keep the # of slide styles in rotation at 12 or less. About 3/4 of the transitions should be simple fades & dissolves. The rest can be whatever you think works best. For tips on styling a summer wedding show, check out our Summer Wedding Style Guide:


PS — If you haven’t gotten the latest summer freebie effects, check them out. Here’s a list of StylePack effects that pair especially well with that light, summery look:


StylePack: Volume 5
(Suggested Slide Styles)

▪ Alternating Squares
▪ Floating Depth Montage
▪ Paired Lineup (Light)
▪ Procession (Light)
▪ Random Collage
▪ Transversal (Light)

StylePack: Weddings
(Suggested Slide Styles)

▪ Wedding 02
▪ Wedding 08
▪ Wedding 14
▪ Wedding 17
▪ Wedding 19
▪ Wedding 25


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As the head of the Creative team at Photodex, Leslie is involved in the design & production of ProShow demos, slideshows & special effects. She is a self-professed Crazy Cat Lady who is into horror movies, music, good food, and riding her bike around Austin.