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Creating a Spotlight Effect with Text in ProShow Producer

Learn how to make a spotlight effect in ProShow

In a recent training video, we showed a really neat effect of a spotlight highlighting an individual in a group photo and then a caption appearing under the photo. We had a ton of requests on how to re-create this effect in ProShow Producer, so the steps are below!

Note: Please keep in mind this example is for instructional purposes only. Feel free to use your own values and layer positions while following along.

Adding Layers + Layer Setup

  1. Drag and drop your photo onto your slide.
  2. Double-click the slide to open the Slide Options window.
  3. Under the Layers column, right-click the photo you added and select Duplicate layer to make a second layer on your slide. (note: we will use this duplicate layer to create the spotlight effect layer)
  4. Click the (+) button under the layers column on your left and select Add Solid Color from the right-click menu and set the color to Black, and set the resolution to 800×800 (square). (note: this layer will be used to create the spotlight effect)
  5. Now you need to place your layers in the following order using the up and down arrows located at the top of the layers column in the Slide Options window.
    1. First layer – Solid Color Layer
    2. Second Layer – Duplicate photo Layer
    3. Third Layer – Original photo layer
  6. Now that we have your layers in the correct order we need to set the solid color layer as a mask +vignette.

To enable as mask:

  1. Right-click the solid color layer (layer 1) in the layers list and select Use as Masking Layer from the right-click menu.
  2. Now click on the Layer Settings tab and make sure the Mask type is set to Transparency.

Learn how to create a spotlight effect in ProShow Producer

To setup a vignette:

  1. Select the solid color layer (layer 1) from the layers list and select the Adjustments tab located at the top of the Slide Options window
  2. Under Editing Tools, locate Vignette, check the box and click on the Vignette button to setup the vignette
  3. Under Vignette Type, set the Shape to Ellipse and Type to Solid Color (black).
  4. Under Vignette Options, set the Vignette Size to 100% and check the Solid borders checkbox.
  5. Click Ok and you’re done.

Learn how to create a spotlight effect in ProShow Producer

Now we need to set the opacity for our mask so the spotlight appears on top of your photo.

  1. Under the same Adjustments tab locate the Opacity slider and adjust this to 100%
  2. Setting the Opacity to 100% allows your photo (layer 2) nested inside your mask to show through the area of the mask.

The last and most important step for this effect is adjusting the white point for our third layer. This step allows the nested image (layer 2) to appear slightly brighter than our third layer which creates the illusion of a spotlight.

  1. Select the bottom image layer (layer 3) from the layers list and select the Effects tab located at the top.
  2. Under the Effects tab, click on Keyframe2 and set the White Point to (-51).
  3. Click Ok and you’re done.


  • At this point you should now see a spotlight appearing on top of your photo when previewing the slide in your show. Do you see the spotlight?
  • After you test playback of this slide, position your mask layer (layer 1) on top of the photo so the spotlight appears where you’d like and add any motion to both layer 2 and layer 3 so the effect is synced during playback. As a rule of thumb you want to make sure the values for layer 2 and layer 3 matches up exactly for this effect to work.


Adding Caption + position

Now that you have the foundation setup for this effect the last thing you need to do is add your caption to your slide and position it in the appropriate location on your photo.

  1. In the Slide Options, click the (+) button under the Captions column on your left to create your caption.
  2. Now enter your text into the Selected Caption Text input box on the top-right of this window.
  3. Finally, position the caption on your photo by dragging the caption inside our preview window so it is positioned under your spotlight on your photo and you’re done.

After all that work, be sure and save this custom spotlight effect as a slide style and you’ll be able to re-use the spotlight effect in just a few clicks.

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As head of the technical support team at Photodex, Brandon makes sure customers are 100% happy and helped in a timely matter. He loves mountain biking, sports, and enjoys the Austin music culture!