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Ed Overstreet

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About Ed Overstreet

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    Advanced Member
  • Birthday 06/23/1944

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  • Location
    Ottawa, Canada
  • Interests
    landscape photography, travel photography, urban/street photography, high-dynamic-range (HDR) photograhy, digital infrared photography; Nikon and especially Lumix GF-1 gear.
  1. Hi Lin. I don't want to get into a point-by-point discussion of the above, because we're obviously coming at AV from very different perpectives, but my experience with Pro Show to date does not jive at all with yours. I'm fresh out of patience, I have some projects coming in the Fall in which I know I'm going to want video clips, and I know I'm not getting that from PTE in that time frame, at least not in a "final" release and maybe not even in an early beta (which I'm not going to want to cope with). The 3D stuff and the Mac translations and the multiple monitors are of no interest or use to me. So I guess we're going to have to agree to disagree. Pro Show Producer is meeting my needs a lot better, at least for now. I am genuinely sorry to have to say that, but I must and am.
  2. Pro Show Gold and Producer both support mixing of pictures and videosequences, and do it very well, as I am discovering. Also multiple sound sources. PTE is being left in the dust on this front, even in the "slide show" market. BTW both Photodex products have waveforms in their "Effects" windows, the equivalent of the O&A window. Something I asked for in PTE a year and half ago, others were asking for two and a half years ago (it comes up in a December 2007 post I found in a search on this forum), and something we still don't have in PTE. "I'm only saying" ...
  3. Excellent tutorial as well as some excellent photographs. Should be required viewing for anyone starting out in digital photography, as well as for some of those who have been at it for a while. I'm recommending this to my photo club, if you don't mind.
  4. I second Dave's nomination, plus I'd add Nik Sharpener Pro 3 and (as the need arises) Nik Dfine2 for noise reduction. Nik Silver Efex Pro for conversion to monochrome. Also a few other Color Efex filters, notably Midnight (with partial opacity though, at full strength it's often too much), sometimes Sunshine, and Darken/Lighten Centre can do a great job of "redirecting" the light in any photo especially when used with control points. The graduated density filters in Color Efex Pro are much better than the "real" equivalents, especially when used with control points on landscapes with horizons that aren't flat. Nik Viveza 2 is also a great way to do basic global and local edits, I prefer it to the Photoshop Levels, Curves and Hue/Saturation adjustment layers, and Viveza2 is a great addition to Photoshop Elements which doesn't have nearly as good a curves tool. I've been using Nik plug-ins for nearly ten years now, am a great fan. Go to www.niksoftware.com for more information or to download limited-time trial versions before buying. I should probably also mention that Nik makes a separate version of Color Efex Pro that will run in Nikon Capture NX2. Nikon Capture NX2 was developed by Nikon in partnership with Nik; it is IMO the best software for editing a Nikon NEF (RAW) file (it can also be used to edit a JPG or TIF from any other make of camera or software, non-destructively and better IMO than using "smart objects" or "smart filters" in Photoshop CS3), and all the features of Viveza 2 are already in the Capture NX2 software. Nik offers, or used to, a discount for purchasing both the Photoshop and Capture versions of Color Efex Pro at the same time; all their plug-ins will also run in Lightroom, Apple Aperture, Elements 6+ in 16-bit mode (though not as layers, only on the background layer).
  5. I tried essentially the same thing for a while using Pansonic's Silkypix Developer RAW converter that came with the camera, batch-converting the RAW files to 16-bit TIFs then opening them in CS3. Too much extra hassle in my workflow, I much prefer opening them in Elements 8. Also Elements 8 Editor and Organizer don't keep crashing randomly on my system the way CS3 Bridge and sometimes Photoshop have been doing since I got them. I'm fed up with Photoshop. I do all my editing of Nikon NEFs in Nikon Capture NX2, can't do that with Pano RAW files without converting them to TIF first, same issue. But for NEF editing Capture NX2 is much preferable to Adobe anything IMO.
  6. Personally I've never seen the point of Lightroom, for what I do. In fact I recently bought Photoshop Elements 8, because my aging Photoshop CS3 won't read the RAW files from any of my recent Panasonic Lumix cameras and I simply refuse to spend another roughly $300 upgrading to CS4 or 5 only so I can read RAW files from my cameras (Elements 8 has no trouble with any of those files BTW, and with the rebate certificate I got a new, fully-functional Elements 8 from Amazon.ca for all of $60). After getting familiar with Elements 8, and after installing my favourite Nik plugins in it (perfectly OK on the same computer without a new license, I checked with Nik tech support on that), I find myself using Elements 8 a lot and Photoshop almost never. If I were you, Peter, I'd stick with Elements 7 or upgrade to 8 if you ever get a more recent camera that isn't supported in 7. I've attended a few presentations on Lightroom and have never seen the need for it, never mind the expense .... But different strokes for different folks, as they say
  7. Ditto all the above, looking forward to the beta. Great news and great work!
  8. I am coming around to your viewpoint on this. I used to scan my system weekly, but the scans never picked up anything, until about a year ago Norton started clobbering innocent PTE productions that clearly can't have been infected by anything, since I'd always had NAV active in memory, the productions were all created while NAV was in memory, and presumably anything that a scan would pick up (that is a legitimate threat) would have been caught earlier by my memory-resident NAV when it arrived, presumably by email or through a website (I almost never download files from others onto my system using removable media, only via email or the internet). Norton gives a nasty "alert" warning now that it's been about four months since I last scanned the system, and I'm still looking for a way to turn off that alert. And I've never had any virus or other malware problems affecting any PC I've owned since 1988 ... I think the anti-virus software companies have crossed a dangerous line between protecting us from legitimate threats and hyping non-existent threats to sell upgrades to their software. It's a bit of crying "wolf" too often -- if they keep doing this, they're going to annoy users so much that people may start ignoring legit threats. I haven't upgraded my Norton since I got 2005 in October 2004, and I won't upgrade until I have to (likely whenever I get my next computer). They've lost sales from me because of this nonsense, and I hope they continue to lose sales. Virus definition updates, yes I'll renew that subscription, but more expensive software upgrades, no way
  9. I agree with others that it is outrageous for an anti-virus program to delete files on your system without first asking you. However, first check the options on your anti-virus program. Many of them let you set the software to alert you of a potential problem and to ASK you what you want done about it, rather than automatically deleting the "threat." That isn't usually the installation-default setting, but you should be able to over-ride the default. Also, some anti-virus software lets you exclude certain folders on your system from being scanned for viruses. If you store all your PTE creations in a folder (or a folder hierarchy), ideally on an external hard drive, and then list that folder/hierarchy as an exclusion, you should be OK. Just don't put other folks' AV shows in that structure, only your own that you know were created on your system while your anti-virus and firewall programs were functioning. And, of course, back up your work, off-line either to a detachable hard drive or to CDs/DVDs. Ideally anti-virus software shouldn't be creating these problems, but the problem with any security features (not just on computers) is they sometimes create more disturbance, complications and problems than arguably they're worth. The trick is to be sensible in using security features. If you keep your anti-virus software current and your firewall up whenever you're connected to the internet, and don't open dodgy emails or load anything on your system from someone else's portable media without first scanning it, arguably there is no need to scan your hard drive, certainly not an external drive. I only scan my C drive two or three times a year; I have my anti-virus software defintions updated automatically, I keep my firewall up at all times that my computer is connected to the internet, I'm very careful about emails and email attachments from people I don't personally know or from whom I haven't asked for emails and attachments, and I've never had a virus infection or anything else bad happen to my system. I have had Norton Anti-virus kill some of my PTE-created EXE and SCR files when running a system scan, but I keep backups, I've since excluded my AV archive folders from scanning, and I don't scan the system very often ...
  10. Thanks very much for taking action on this, Igor. I hope they respond promptly and appropriately
  11. Further to my earlier post, I have verified that Norton Antivirus 2005 does allow one to Exclude from virus scanning an entire folder and its subfolders. Presumably later versions of NAV will also allow this. I have accordingly instructed NAV to exclude the folder structures which contain my AV shows and screen-saver backups (these folders are all on external hard drives). I am a bit reluctant to exclude the screen savers my system is using, because they are all stored in c:/Windows/System32 root, which also contains a lot of other OS files that likely get targetted by viruses. It's probably safest not to exclude anything in that folder, but to keep backups of your PTE-created SCR files in a separate folder, maybe even (as I do) on a drive other than C. Since most of us probably use unique folder names for our AV collection, and since there are so many folders and files on most of our computers, I think it's probably safe to exclude the entire contents of an AV folder structure from virus scanning. I suspect that most viruses are going to be trolling through c:/Windows and assorted subfolders, and not roaming around the entire computer and its peripherals. (Maybe I'm wrong, but it seems to me that if I were a virus programmer I'd concentrate my energies on clobbering the operating system, which is going to do the most damage ...) The other choice of course is not to exclude anything, wait until you notice your slide shows and screen savers disappearing, and then go to the NAV Quarantine, hope they are still in Quarantine, and restore them. And as Peter rightly points out, be certain your files weren't in fact infected before restoring them. I wouldn't restore an EXE file that came to me from another user, for example. But anything I've created on my system should be safe from infection, given I never take down my firewall or disable NAV temporarily without first physically disconnecting my computer entirely from the internet. Every software I've installed on my system has first been scanned by NAV before I install it, everything I download is downloaded while NAV is active in memory, and I leave NAV active whenever I'm working in PTE or any other software, so it's highly unlikely that an EXE or an SCR that I created on my own computer is going to be infected. Especially, as was the case with all the files that NAV 2005 killed on my computer, when those files had previously survived several years of monthly system-wide virus scans and never were modified after they were created
  12. Maybe one of the moderators can move this post, perhaps to an FAQ since so many of us recently have found various anti-virus programs running afoul of our PTE EXE and SCR files. What I'm about to say applies to Norton Anti-virus, also applies to AVG (see http://www.picturestoexe.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=8165&pid=51457&st=0entry51457) and probably applies to other anti-virus software. NAV 2005 (on my system) has periodically attacked and removed screensavers and some EXE shows that I created in PTE. My wife's NAV 2010 is very aggressive in going after both SCRs and EXE files. Today I did a little exploring in both versions of NAV, triggered by a related question from Peter Appleton to me in a private email regarding my experience with NAV 2010. I discovered that, if you're lucky and were sensible in the way you configured your NAV options, your precious SCR and EXE files are NOT dead and gone -- they're backed up in Norton's Quarantine folder somewhere. The question is, how to get at them and restore them. It's possible in both 2005 and 2010 (and probably other versions), though it's by no means obvious at first, and of course it's different in 2005 and 2010. I'll tell you how to do it in 2005, which I know a lot better than 2010, but I'm sure with some exploration you can find a way in 2010 to work around the problem. The key to prevent the problem (one hopes, but one is never 100% certain with these things ) is to find where your current version of Norton lets you set "exclusions" from scans. In Norton Systemworks 2005 (which is where I have NAV 2005) do the following: go to Options>Norton Antivirus Options, then drill down to Other>Threat Categories>Exclusions. There you will find a browser icon where you can select individual files (maybe even a folder, I haven't tried that yet) to be excluded from virus scans. Use this to identify all those AV shows you want to protect from the paranoid fantasies of Norton when it scans. Then, to be extra safe, go to Options>Norton Antivirus Options>Other>Threat Categories>Advanced there is a tick box labelled "what to do when deleting threats>create backup file in Quarantine." If that isn't ticked on by default during installation, it's a really good idea to tick it on, IMO. NOW. If you did that, or (I hope) if Norton does that by default, then whenever NAV attacks one of your EXE shows or SCR screensavers, you should be able to open the Norton interface, find the Quarantine, look at History to see what was a "risk" and was removed, and you should on that page find a link that will let you restore the file to your system (after telling Norton "yes I bloody-well DO want it restored, now go away please"). NAV 2010 cleverly hides this option under a tiny, innocuous little blue link labelled "Options" on the quarantine history page; when you ask to restore the quarantined backup file, it gives you an option (use it!) to tick on a box saying "exclude this file from virus scans." The key to getting your files back, if you didn't already have them backed up off-line on a CD, DVD, or external hard drive (and if you didn't, why didn't you ) is to make very sure that neither you, nor Norton automatically, ever clean out the Quarantine holding-area until you're certain what's there isn't something you want to keep. Another work-around I've adopted is that all my EXE AV-show files are now stored on a USB external hard drive. In fact, I create all my AV shows and screensavers on that external hard drive, not on my C drive, just to be safe. I NEVER let Norton scan that drive, just my C drive. No one except me can access that external drive, and with NAV resident in memory all the time, plus an active firewall, I seriously doubt any nasties are going to get into that drive, so why bother scanning it? I also keep backups of my screensavers on that drive, in case Norton some fine day takes it into its head to go hunting screensavers for fun. The best solution would be for Norton to stop being so hyper-aggressive with our Wnsoft-created files, but I'm not holding my breath for that to happen. I know some people who visit this forum don't know the above stuff; for the others, please indulge me for pointing out what might be obvious to you but wasn't to me until I figured it out earlier today ...
  13. I haven't (yet) had Norton clobber one of my EXE shows, but both NIS 2005 (my system) and NIS 2010 (my wife's sytem) have clobbered some of my PTE-created screen savers, intermittently. As suggested above, I've learned to back up all my PTE projects (including screen savers) to an external hard drive, and to limit NIS's scanning solely to my C drive. I've repeatedly found that if a screen saver is deleted by Norton, if I wait about a week and then re-install the screen saver from my external drive, Norton leaves it alone. The problem clearly has something to do with Norton; some of these screen savers were created several years ago and survived multiple virus scans before raising a false-positive red flag. They've never been opened or revised since being created, so it's impossible that they were somehow infected by a virus after being created. Especially since Norton has always been active on both computer systems and wouldn't have let a virus through anyway ... or so one would hope.
  14. Hi Dave, sorry if I came across as slapping your wrist, that certainly wasn't my intention. I guess I should refrain for posting things on forums until after I've had my morning coffee Mea culpa. Having now had my morning coffee I actually find myself agreeing with you on the importance of making the resolution of the show visible to the user, and in fact even to the producer. I now remember that I have several PTE shows from a few years ago that I created at 800x600 and some others at 1024x768. It can be a jolt to run one of these on a 1920x1080 display, when one didn't remember ... which I often don't. I now wish I'd put that information in my file names, maybe I'll go back into my archive folder(s) and rename the EXEs accordingly. To my mind the safest way of keeping that info with the show is to incorporate it into the file name itself, which is always going to be visible in Windows Explorer or any other file browser. Keeping in mind of course the need to keep file names manageable in size ... I guess there are no easy answers that will please everyone. I have a personal preference against "cluttering" (to my mind, of course) the title or credit slides with technical information inside the show, which is why I'd opt for doing it in the file name. But that's me and not everyone. The ideal might be to convince Microsoft to work with Igor and company to work on having a pop-up display in Windows Explorer that gives you some file properties on the show, ideally at least the resolution and the run time, the way you usually get pixel dimensions when you mouse over a JPG or sound-clip length when you mouse over a WAV or MP3 file in Windows Explorer. Or maybe that information could somehow be incorporated into the Properties display you can get when you right-click on the EXE file, if Microsoft agreed. But I somehow don't think it would be worth Igor's time to try to convince Microsoft to do something like that, given my impression of their "responsiveness" to developers, from what I've heard through the grapevine
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