Unfortunately my old version 4 of Photodex ProShow Producer stopped working with one of the latest updates of Windows 8. I couldn’t get it back working, and didn’t want to waste more time, so I decided to buy the upgrade to ProShow Producer version 6. While I was at it, I bought their 2 additional transition packs and a vintage style pack.
I wrote about ProShow Producer a couple of years back, and my opinion hasn’t changed. For those of us that want a lot more than what can be done in Movie Maker, and don’t want to use the rest of our life learning how to use Adobe Premiere, ProShow Producer is an excellent choice. Really, really easy to use and yet most things can be customized and adjusted just the way you want it to be, if you’re not satisfied with the result that you can get from the creation wizard.
Tons of slide styles and transitions organized into themes (also very simple and elegent themes) and the ability to combine them into your own themes if you want. And if you can’t get enough you can buy even more of both or create your own. It handles both photos and videos, has all necessary tools for video editing, can do all sorts of captions and animated titles, and works smoothly in editing mode, so you can actually see a full size preview of what you’re doing right away. And – just as important – you can render it to many different video formats, either ready for different devices or web services, or as high quality files suitable for additional processing elsewhere.
Over the years I’ve been using ProShow Producer for both presentations at my customer conferences, for small commercials and for private projects like videos from scout camps, small movies and of course photo slideshows for my own pleasure.
Let me say it right away: All professional slideshow tools can be abused. Using the full spectrum of transitions is a common mistake that easily ruins any presentation. Personally I really hate any kind of geometrical transitions (you know, spinning cubes, rolling images etc). When I usually use ProShow Producer I only use discrete transitions like disolve and dip to black, and almost no slide styles at all – only full size photos and videos with a gentle zooming and panning. But I have to admit that their 2 transition packs contain some really amazing transitions, and combined with their vintage style pack, I think it actually does a pretty neat job.
I’ve been wanting to make a slideshow with photos of my son for a long time, so this time I thought: Bring it on! Give me the whole package – well, at least a decent selection from the vintage style pack and the 2 additional transition packs. So I picked 197 photos of my son (most of them unedited snapshots from over the years) and 4 small movie clips, picked 2 sound tracks to go along, and let the creation wizard do it’s job. It takes only a few minutes for it to finish. I only added the 2 credit title slides at the end and removed the sound from the 4 movie clips. I even let a couple of minor flaws go unfixed, so you can see, what the program can do right out of the box. A few photos got either a little blown out in the highlights or too grey by their built-in photo filters, but I’ve seen worse than that elsewhere. It would only have taken a few minutes to fix the minor flaws I found. Here’s the result, so you can judge for yourself.