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How To Use a Text Layer as a Mask in ProShow Producer 6

One of my favorite new creative features in ProShow Producer 6 is text layers. Any caption in your slideshow can now be converted into a text layer, thereby unlocking new abilities previously limited to photos & videos, including the use of advanced effects like 3D tilt motion, blur and masking. (Learn what Text Layers are and how to use them in this article.)

Moving beyond the basics, this how-to shows you a really powerful, practical and cool application for text layers, that you can easily create and adapt an infinite number of ways based on your personal style and type of show you’re making. Let’s begin.

Create a “Moving Word Reveal Effect”with Text Layers

Set up the basic effect

  1. Start by creating a new slide containing any photo or video clip you want. You can also work with an existing slide if you’d like.
  2. Set the slide time to 1.0 seconds. In our example, the transitions are 3.0 seconds.
  3. Double-click to open up the Slide Options dialog for the slide.
  4. Set the photo layer to Fill Frame to make the image completely fill the screen (under Layer Settings > Scaling > Fill Frame) -or- (Use KB Shortcut -> Ctrl + Alt + 1)
    Set the photo layer to Fill Frame.
  5. Click the (+) button in the left-hand column by Captions to add a new caption — type any word you’d like. It’s best for this example to choose a simple word or company name that is not super long or has a bunch of spaces in it. Some examples of suitable words: “style” / “travel” / “family”, “amazing”,”passion,” etc.
  6. Set the caption formatting to your liking (font / size / color / alignment / position). For this example, I’ve chosen the popular Mission Script font, 140pt, white, center aligned, and I just sort of eye-balled the position, using the composition lines as a guide so it looks centered (since this particular font happens to not be quite vertically centered).
    Set your caption formatting.
  7. Convert the caption to a layer > Right-click on the caption and select ‘Convert To Layer’
    Convert your caption to a layer.
  8. You will notice that your caption is no longer in the Caption section. It’s now located in the Layers section of the left-hand column of the Slide Options dialog.
  9. Now, let’s set the timing and motion. With the text layer still selected as the active layer, click on the Effects tab. In the keyframe timeline, make sure that the markers for KF1 and KF2 are moved to the farthest, opposite ends of the timeline. (This is just to ensure that the effect spans the full length of the slide plus its incoming and ending transitions. If you prefer, you can always make the effect end before the slide).
    Add timing and motion to your layer.
  10. Click on keyframe 1 and drag the text layer in the preview area to the left so it’s just outside of the visible area of the screen and you can’t see the text anymore. (Tip: If you hold down the Shift key while dragging, it will temporarily lock the vertical position while you drag, keeping the pan Y position the same as before – same as Photoshop).
    Arrange the text layer on your slide.
  11. Note: If your Pan settings currently are set to ‘Smooth’, click on the blue hyperlink and change it to Linear (this will make your left to right pan motion move at an even, consistent speed).
    Change your pan settings to Linear.
  12. Click on keyframe 2 and repeat the same drag step except this time, move to the right instead. Be sure to move the text layer slightly off-screen as before.
    Repeat the steps but move to the right instead.
  13. Review your progress so far by clicking on the Play preview button in Slide Options. You should see your text layer scroll in front of the image from left to right.
    Hit play to review your progress.
  14. This next step is where the magic of the effect happens. Right-click on the text layer and select ‘Use as Masking Layer’. Once masking is turned on, the text layer will serve as a ‘container’ for the image below it, so you will see the image, but only in the area where the text layer is. (Not sure how masking works? Get tutorials & videos here).
    Turn your text layer into a mask.
  15.  Click the Play Preview button again to see the change that masking made to the moving text effect. The result is that the text reveals new parts of the hidden photo as it moves across the screen, now creating a sense of intrigue, mystery and drama.

Creative Variations of This Effect
As you might imagine, this basic effect can be adapted in so many ways – watch the video below to see the basic effect in action, along with some variations to get your creative juices flowing.

Ways to use this effect in your slideshows:

  • Use it for your main title slide or a really bold caption (add a subheading or additional text if you want)
  • As slick divider slides in shows with distinct sections of content (e.g. ceremony / reception / etc.)
  • Word montages (chain 3-5 single-word slides together in succession) —perfect for commercials, presentations or any show intro. It’s a bold, visual way to showcase a set of values (e.g. passion, precision, craft!). Also works well for displaying a series of events, place names, or features. I guarantee, it’s much more engaging than just writing the same words in dull bullet point format.

Got the latest version of ProShow Producer?
If you haven’t had a chance to check out the other exciting new features and enhancements in ProShow Producer 6, don’t miss out! Learn more or upgrade to the new version today.


Get ProShow 6 Today!

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New Wizard Support for Text + Photo Combos in ProShow 6

Learn how to use wizard captions to automatically add text to your slideshows.

If you love making quick slideshows with ProShow’s wizard, then you’ll love the addition of new wizard support for text and photo combos in ProShow Gold 6 + ProShow Producer 6. The wizard will automatically stylize any text you add to a photo or video and add it to your show. Here’s how it’s done!Continue reading

Automatically Fade Music at the End of a Show in ProShow 6

ProShow 6 lets you automatically fade your soundtracks with handy new audio tools. Watch the video above to see how this new feature works.

You’ll learn how to set your soundtrack to fade at the end of your show using the following automated options:

  • Duration of last Transition
  • Duration of last Slide
  • Custom Duration (enter a time in seconds)

Download a free trial of ProShow Gold or Producer 6 to follow along.


Using the New ProShow Remote App with ProShow 6

ProShow Remote App

The all-new ProShow Remote app allows you to easily publish your ProShow 6 slideshows directly to your iOS device from your desktop. You can also remotely control live show playback on your computer and import photos and videos from your camera roll to a new slideshow on your computer!

How to connect the ProShow Remote app to your ProShow desktop software:

You’ll need ProShow Gold or Producer version 6 to use the ProShow Remote app. Once you have version 6 installed and the app downloaded, follow the instructions below to get set up!

  1. Open the ProShow Remote app on your device, then open your ProShow 6 desktop software on your computer.
  2. In ProShow, go to Tools > ProShow Remote App > Connect to Device and click on this option.
  3. Now, on your device, tap the blue Connect button in the app to view the list of available computers running ProShow on your network.
  4. On your device, tap the computer that you would like to connect to from the list.
  5. Now locate the 6 digit code found inside the ‘Connect to Remote App’ screen in your ProShow desktop software and enter this into the app and tap the green Connect button.

That’s it! You should now see your show thumbnail listed at the top of the ProShow Remote app and your desktop software should now say ‘Connected!’

You’ll be able to send shows wirelessly to your iDevice, control live playback of slideshows on your desktop and import photos and videos from your camera roll, directly into a new slideshow.

Need help with setup? Click here for installation help and check out our FAQ page.


See What’s New in ProShow 6

ProShow 6 is packed full of some really awesome new features like volume control points, new third-party photo and video importing, text layers, caption motion and more. Watch this video for a quick overview of what’s new and download a free trial of ProShow 6 on our site >>


How To Use Text Layers in ProShow Producer 6

Text Layers in ProShow Producer 6

One of the cool new features introduced in ProShow Producer 6 is the ability to convert your caption to a Text Layer. This new creative feature unlocks a whole new realm of options for captions and titles. Use them to apply slick effects like 3D tilt motion, blur and masking to text, without needing to create a rasterized text image in a photo editor to hack together the same results.

How does it work? By converting a caption into a Text Layer, your caption inherits new ‘special powers’ as a slide layer (basically anything you can do with a photo layer), while still preserving original editable details such as font, point size, color, fly-in / fly-out effects and more. You’ll find Text Layers located in your slide’s Layers List, now in the same group as any photo or video layers you may also have in the slide.

What is a Text Layer?

Watch the video below to learn how to use Text Layers in ProShow Producer 6.

5 Creative Tips for Using Text Layers in your Shows:

  1. Use a Text Layer as a Transparency Mask. Nest an image or video inside your Text Layer mask to contain the image inside the shape of the word(s) in your Text Layer.
  2. Use a Text Layer as an Adjustment Layer. Similar to the masking approach, you can change the look of all underlying images by applying White Point / Black Point / Colorize / Blur and other adjustments that are visible only within the shape of the words used in your Text Layer. This option is a creative time-saver, great for applying a Text Layer-based Adjustment Effect (e.g. brighten / burn-in / turn black & white) to a bunch of layers at once. No need to apply the same change to each and every nested layer.
  3. Need to change wording or font choice? Edit anytime. Text Layers preserve all the original dynamic properties of a caption, so changes to content or formatting are always easy and flexible. I like this new option so much better than my original method of opening up Photoshop, changing up my rasterized text graphic, re-saving it, then re-importing it into ProShow. Text Layers are much more efficient!
  4. Experiment with rearranging the order of Text Layers in the Layers List. Because Text Layers are on the same level of the slide hierarchy as photos + video layers, you can move them below / behind image layers to create clever ‘reveal’ effects (e.g. imagine text on a card, as it slowly emerges from an envelope).
  5. Those of you who make slide styles will love this next detail — ProShow Producer 6 introduced layer linking for Text Layers used in slide styles. This means that just like how duplicate image layers are linked in slide styles, any duplicate Text Layers used to create a style, will be linked with the same word content once the style is applied. (Note: Duplicate layers can exhibit unique effects settings and behaviors but they must have identical caption content for ProShow to link them). To see this linking in action, try applying any of the ‘Text Layer Title…’ styles in Producer. If you edit the wording in one Text Layer, the other linked layers will auto-update! No need to manually change them all.
  6. Want more ideas? The new Producer 6 demo video uses Text Layers throughout the presentation. Watch the video here to get your creative juices flowing on different ways to use this awesome new feature!

    Get ProShow 6 Today!

    Buy NowDownload
    See if you qualify for a free upgrade >>