ProShow Gold help needed

Discussion in 'Digital Darkroom' started by mpd, Mar 6, 2011.

  1. mpd


    Let me apologize in advance for a long and detailed post. I wanted to give as much info as I have to assist everyone in answering my question.

    It seems like a fairly simple question, “How do I make a slide show of my images?”. But the answer is way too complicated for me. Every time I try to burn a DVD slide show, the result is a blurry image that has a color shift. Not exactly what I want to give out.

    I have tried doing this in:
    ProShow Gold
    Pinnacle Studio Ultimate Collection
    Windows Movie Maker
    plus a couple of others

    I realize that all these programs cannot be deficient. It has to be how I am approaching this.

    Here goes:

    I am trying to create a proof of concept DVD with just one image that is about 20 seconds long.
    Here is the full size image. Be careful this is a large file (2.2 MB) 3264x4896

    I placed this starting image into PSG. Once this image was on the timeline in PSG, I observed a color shift in the Preview window. PSG image is on the right and looks cooler to me.
    130 Kb

    To burn the image I used the settings shown in this image.
    435Kb in size. Around 1920 x 1080

    Finally we get to the output. I am not sure how to make it an apple to apple comparison.

    This image was made by opening the full res image in CS5. Scaling to 100% and cutting part of the image into a new file. Then I ran the DVD and sized Windows media player to be about the same size on my monitor as the CS5 file was at 100%. I did a screen capture and saved the result.
    206 Kb

    I see fuzzy faces, blurred text and a color shift.

    Thinking that it might have something to do with resizing the image, I used CS5 to create a 720 x 480 image from the full res file.
    108 Kb

    Interestingly enough, I think I detect a color shift in my downsizing (I used BiCubic Sharper but did it all in one step.). But the image is not soft or blurred.

    So back to the simple question:

    How do I create a DVD slide show in PSG of my images that look like my images. These slide shows are intended for both the PC and a TV.


  2. I see fuzzy faces, blurred text and a color shift.

    How do I create a DVD slide show in PSG of my images that look like my images. These slide shows are intended for both the PC and a TV.​
    There are so many problems going on here I am not sure where to begin.
    1) You are using the "preview" window in PSG to judge color. Not a good way to judge quality.
    2) Is your workflow in adobe color managed?
    3) Is your monitor calibrated?
    4) Which ISO output are you selecting for a DVD burn?
    5) Is "de-saturate" colors on or off in PSG?
    6) Which file format are you using in PSG?
    PSG is a great slide show producer but very poor in post processing, although they do have a basic editor which should never be touched if you are PP with another editor.
    Did you know PSG will output in several HD formats? Perhaps this is where most of your problems lay?
    You also may be too critical evaluating color shifts, especially when you consider the final output will be seen on a TV or PC monitor where you have ZERO control.
  3. mpd


    Thanks for your reply. I have to agree with you, this is a mess. For now let me try to refocus this discussion on the fuzzy faces and blurred text. I added the bit about color shift at the last minute. I thought if someone else noticed a shift they would comment about it. I was just trying to be thorough.
    Let me focus on your suggestions 4, 5 and 6 which seem to go the image distortion issue.
    4.) Which ISO output are you selecting for a DVD burn? I am not 100% sure of the answer but I think it can be found on the Burning tab of the DVD Output wizard (see psg_output_settings.jpg from above). I placed a check mark after ISO creation and before Generate disc image on the fly. I noticed the note suggesting lowering the Speed. Mine was set to MAX. I have lowered it to 4X. I burned another disc and the image was still fuzzy.
    5) Is "de-saturate" colors on or off in PSG? Desaturation on the Options tab is not checked as can be seen in the psg_output_settings.jpg image.
    6) Which file format are you using in PSG? I imported a .jpg in the size mentioned above. I do not know what file format PSG used for the burning of the DVD. I looked at the Executable tab and I have “Include PC autorun on the disc” unchecked. By unchecking this box all the other resolution options are disabled.
    I really thought the fuzzy image issue was going to be a function of image scaling. Me using too large or too small an image for the slideshow. And/or perhaps needing different size images for TV than for the PC. And even different settings for different PC monitor settings.
    What settings would you suggest producing a TV Slideshow? What size should the starting image be if it is vertical? What size should it be if it is horizontal? What output setting should I use in PSG?
    By the way, I am not trying to discount your suggestions, 1 thru 3. I would like to focus on the fuzzy image issue first.
  4. let me try to refocus this discussion on the fuzzy faces and blurred text.​
    I see you are using a newer version of PSG than myself. I'm not sure if anything has changed that much.
    Here is what I do prior to a burn:
    1) All images are saved in the sRGB color space.
    2) I use my camera's native resolution.
    3) My slide titles are "True Type" (TT) fonts only.
    Here is where I believe you are losing quality:
    I convert my slideshow to a HD Video first. Then I convert to a MPEG 2 or MPEG 4.
    Attached is the video screen image.
    Be aware, HD Video is a very large file, but I find the quality stunning when played on a LCD television which most people have these days.
    BTW, I did see you have De-Saturate turned off in your attached screen shot; good.
    PSG supports quite a long list of input/output formats.
    You may want to try some other input formats.
  5. mpd


    I am encouraged that you get stunning shows. Your comments confirm my belief that my problems are self imposed. I am going to keep at this until I am satisfied.
    The text was part of the image. I will change that and figure out how to do it with PSG Titles.
    I had started to get good results with HD but only when I made the intermediate file. I couldn't get the same results when I burned the DVD. How do you first make an intermediate file, mpeg2 or mpeg4 and then burn it to a DVD? Do you use another program for the burning?
    I looked a couple of DVD burning programs but they all errored out when the burn began because I didn't have audio. Or so the error message stated.
  6. mpd


    Finally, I have it. It looks pretty good on TV and the PC show is just fine. I worked with ProShow Gold tech support. They were great.
    I will try to describe the changes they suggested as best I can.
    All of these were things suggested by support.
    From the main menu Edit>Preferences>Playback then Maximum internal rendering resolution. I set this to the resolution of my monitor, 1920 x 1080.
    After selecting Create Output:
    1. On the Options tab, place a check mark in the Desaturate checkbox (this is done by default but I had removed it).
    2. On the Executable Tab (This is necessary to create a DVD or standalone slide show that will play using the ProShowGold player on a PC). Place a checkmark in Include PC Autorun checkbox. Note: even with this checked, I still needed to launch the slideshow manually on my PC. And there is a trick to it.
    In Windows 7, if I right click on the DVD Drive in Windows Explorer there is an option to PLAY. Do not use this option. This launches Windows Media player and the slide show will look fuzzy and out of focus. Instead, OPEN the DVD drive and browse to the Show.exe. Double click this exe to run the slide show. Using this .exe to show the slide show on the PC solved 90% of my issues.
    3. By selecting the PC Autorun Checkbox, all the sizing options become available. My input image size is either 693x1024 or 1024x683 (I have no idea how I arrived at those sizes. It should have been a 4 x 3 ratio. That is an investigation for another day).
    The rest of the settings are:
    a) I placed a check mark next to Start Maximized. This overrides the settings in Window Size above.
    b) I placed a check mark next to Image Size and set it to 1080 x 810
    c) I place a check mark next to Resizing and set it to 1440 x 1080
    d) Increased Image quality to 100%
    e) Set Video Quality to High Quality
    f) Set Video Clip Resolution to High Resolution
    With these setting I could either burn a DVD or create a PC Executable. For testing purpose I created lots of PC Executables. When I had a pleasing result I burned the DVD.
    This whole process started 10 days ago and has consumed quite a few hours. I hope my notes will help someone else avoid my mistakes.

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