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Igor

Changes in Slide Duration

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We plan a significant change on slide duration in the following Beta 11.

What is wrong with current state of things?

As you know a real duration of a slide in PicturesToExe = pure time of slide + duration of a transition effect of next slide.

The Objects & Animation editor always displayed a full slide duration on the status bar.

But PicturesToExe displays only pure slide duration in the Slide list (and in the Customize slide window) instead of full slide duration.

It causes four serious problems in all current versions:

1. Version 7.0. When you add a video clip to the end of the Slide list it sets slide duration according video clip duration. Everything is OK at this point? So far as no other slides after this slide, there is no transition effect after. And in this case pure duration of a slide is equal to total slide duration. But when you add one more slide, it adds a transition effect between them and the full duration of a slide (last but one) with the video clip becomes longer. This causes wrong playback of this video clip - video clip freezes during transition effect because now the slide longer than this video clip.

2. All versions since 5.0. A similar problem with a slide which has a rich animation with many keypoints. If we set a complex animation to a 10 second's slide. This animation may look wrong when this slide becomes 11.5 after adding of a transition effect due to new following slide.

3. Another case for a slide with rich animation or video clip. We need to change places of two slides or move one slide to another position in the slide list. It will cause changing of full slide duration, because moved slide will have another neighbor on the right (possibly with different transition effect duration).

4. One more case with video clips. If you need to crop video clips using start time and duration parameters. You need also set a new appropriate slide duration. Say if your video clip is 10 seconds, you can not simply set 10 seconds for slide duration, because the following slide has 1.5 seconds of transition effect. And you have to calculate necessary time value in the mind (subtract

duration of transition effect). In this example it should be 8.5 seconds (8.5 s of pure slide duration + 1.5 s of next transition effect = 10 seconds of full slide duration).

So we're suggesting two changes in Beta 11:

1) Slide list displays full slide duration on a pictures of slides. Customize slide window also shows full slide duration and accepts these values. There is a global option of the program to revert old style of duration.

2) The second change is intended to keep a full slide duration after sorting of slides in the Slide list or after adding of a new slide to the end of the Slide list . The program can reduce/enlarge pure slide duration to keep total slide duration unchanged. This allows move complex slides with animation or slides with video clips keeping their correct playback. It is also an optional behaviour of the program which you can turn off.

This second change mainly intended for the slide list mode. In the timline it will affect only when you add a new slide to end (double-click on a picture/video in the file list above).

Of course, it can be difficult rightly understand these changes. You will see it in Beta 11 which will be published in 3-4 days.

post-1-0-44796900-1307774002_thumb.jpg

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Hello Igor,

Thanks for the detailed explanation of this problem.

I can agree that your proposed changes will be an advantage to us all so hope that beta 11 will soon be with us so we can test the value of the changes.

Keep up the good work! PTE is now an excellent program.

Ron West

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A problem with the new concept may be, that the new durations of the slides do not sum up to the overall time of the show. Furthermore, it seems to me that a change of the transition time (effect duration time) of a particular slide will change its start time, and it will change the overall time of the show. In my shows, the start times of all slides are strictly synchronized to the rhythm of the music. So a change of some transition times should not spoil this arrangement. So it is good to read that the old concept will be maintained.

Regards,

Xaver

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<...> Furthermore, it seems to me that a change of the transition time (effect duration time) of a particular slide will change its start time, and it will change the overall time of the show. In my shows, the start times of all slides are strictly synchronized to the rhythm of the music. So a change of some transition times should not spoil this arrangement. So it is good to read that the old concept will be maintained.

Regards,

Xaver

The suggested automatic time correction of full slide duration works only when you change an order of slides or add new slides to end of the slide list.

If you manually adjust duration of transition effect the correction will not be performed.

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I don't think I understood a word of that :rolleyes:

I think your right Igor, I need to see and use the changes before I can fully understand what you are talking about.

I will look out for beta 11

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I have to agree with Barry in that this thread is a little confusing.

However I think it may go towards answering a query /situation I've experienced with a recent AV I put together.

The last slide contained a lot of animation with quite a number of objects. The AV finishes as expected but then the black fade out stays on the screen for a considerable time before the computer desktop reappears. I have double checked all the usual parameters and settings in the Project Options and compared this AV to previous AVs and have found no reason why this particular sequence doesn't finish as soon as it should.

This is not a major problem in itself but a little annoying that I do not understand why it happens.

But I think what Igor has said and his intentions for the next beta or so may well iron out this hiccup.

Anthony

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Anthony

Yes, that is an annoying problem. The way I work I often end a show and find the last slide now has 300 seconds of time on the screen and I have to adjust that in the options. Perhaps that will be something that gets put right because it could really confuse a newer user of PTE

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...The way I work I often end a show and find the last slide now has 300 seconds of time on the screen and I have to adjust that in the options...

Barry,

There is an option under the Timed Points button of the Timeline display that allows you to set the end of the last slide synchronous with the end of the sound track.

regards,

Peter

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Peter

Well, what can I say.

1. Its obviously not working very well if an experienced user hasn't found it.

2. Why on earth should we need to select an option like that, it should be default.

3. All these comments are not an issue for us geeks, think of the new user who can't even get the slide show to end right.

4. While I am foing to that selection, I may as well do what I have been doing.

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Anthony

Yes, that is an annoying problem. The way I work I often end a show and find the last slide now has 300 seconds of time on the screen and I have to adjust that in the options. Perhaps that will be something that gets put right because it could really confuse a newer user of PTE

Bary,

Did you really mean 300 seconds ?

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Yes.

I put all my slide shows together manually using the time line and to do that you have to highlight all the images and cut the transition, which shunts them way down the time line. However, as you work through the show, you catch up to them again and have to cut them again and again and what I described is the result.

Its just an annoyance thats all and very confusing for new user.

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Barry,

You have raised a good point, but I don't see a simple solution for adjusting of last slide to the end of background music. PicturesToExe optimized for manual settings of slides and it conflicts with automatic options like this.

For example:

1. What should happen if you move last slide to another place in the slide list? What slide duration will be for new last slide and for old last slide?

2. What happens if you add a new slide to the end slide list in the Slide list mode? Should it reduce duration of current last slide to fit a new slide within background music?

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Igor,

But would it not be reasonable to force "Set end of last slide at end of music" as part of any "Create" action? If the user is "Create"-ing a final form it implies that they think they are close to a finished article, doesn't it?

regards,

Peter

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Hi Peter,

What then to do if the user doesn't want the last slide and music to end together? For example, perhaps the user wants to roll scripts at the end of the slideshow in silence?

Best regards,

Lin

Igor,

But would it not be reasonable to force "Set end of last slide at end of music" as part of any "Create" action? If the user is "Create"-ing a final form it implies that they think they are close to a finished article, doesn't it?

regards,

Peter

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... I put all my slide shows together manually using the time line and to do that you have to highlight all the images and cut the transition, which shunts them way down the time line. However, as you work through the show, you catch up to them again and have to cut them again and again and what I described is the result ...

A user who does this job should be in the position to make the necessary (and indeed trivial) correction manually! We should not ask for for too much automatism!

Regards,

Xaver

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Of course that would be a viable work-around, but then the question becomes whether we need to create a situation where a work-around becomes necessary. Right now, it's simply a matter of understanding the features which already exist.

The solution, to me, seems to be better user guides and this is something we can address once 7.0 is finalized. As I suggested a while ago, I believe the next definitive user guide should be made in a "modular" fashion so that it's not necessary to completely re-write when a new feature is added.

For example, we could have user guides divided into categories such as sound, video, animation, 3D transforms, etc., without trying to make an overarching index which would need updating each time a new feature is added or a change occurs. I would be willing to write the guide in English, but would need help updating and maintaining it and also it would require cooperation to translate it to multiple languages.

The difficulty of a user guide written by the PTE team is that it becomes difficult, I think, to work the intricacies in a foreign languages. Better for a native English speaker to do the English guide, a native French speaker to do the French guide, a native Russian speaker to do the Russian guide, etc....

This is not a problem unique to PTE. In recent years major software developers such as Microsoft, Adobe, Apple, etc., have encountered grave difficulties with user guides and owner manuals. It's become an online nightmare for new users to learn to use complex software and the developers have relied on third party "training" to augment their paltry offerings of support. Of course that's a viable means for huge companies, but not for small developers like Wnsoft.

Jeff Evans and I created an early more comprehensive user guide, but changes occurred so quickly that we couldn't (or didn't) update it. In retrospect, I believe that had we done it in a modular fashion, it would have been a much easier task. Actually, if some of the more advanced users could coordinate with one another, we could probably knock out a really "good" base for Igor's team to build on. I know that resource limitations are primarily the difficulty at present.

Fortunately, many of we "older" users have plenty of free time on our hands and should be able to help contribute toward making this product the very best it can be.

How about it? Anyone game for volunteering once version 7 is released? If we divide the work load among several of us, we could probably have a good working copy in a few days of work....

Best regards,

Lin

Add the necessary "silent" MP3 to cover the "roll scripts"?

DG

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Hi,

I think I've followed the arguments and understood what's being said!

For my own purposes I'm happy to set my own timing and transitions manually, as they are rarely all of the same duration. As for forcing the synchronicity of the end of the last slide and the end of the soundtrack, I wouldn't welcome that. I know there is a workaround but I prefer to have the initial control.

New users will do what we've all done .......... start simple and basic and build skills gradually. You can't expect to be an expert in 5 minutes.

Regards,

Sheila G

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Igor

Yes, I can understand the issues and can't offer any simple ideas that you would not have already thought of. Xaver makes a good point and if it's something that is not possible to achieve, then we must accept things as they are. I am reacting to questions that have been put to me on emails and demos and my memory of how it used to work back with PTE4.

_________________________

I raised an issue recently about your moving the Timeline and Slide List buttons to the extreme bottom right of the screen and you suggested I would get used to it and introduced the F6 key to toggle between the two, but I feel the need to raise this again.

1. Maybe its me just getting old and my eyes dimming, but I keep hitting F5 by mistake and then have to abort a full screen preview of the show, its annoying.

2. When you start a new project and add sound, the wave form opens up automatically on the timeline, which I think that is the correct thing to do, but you have placed the button for the waveform right where I was asking for the slide list and time line buttons. I see little point in placing something hardly used in such a convenient place while other more useful buttons (that I use all the time) are placed at the far right of the screen. We also have the duration of the slide shown, but when we select the time line we can see that anyway.

3. I find PTE just slightly less convenient to use than previous is all I want to say. Perhaps it is a combination of the fact I use a large screen and a Wacom graphics tablet. I just find the logic of bringing the wave form button to such a convenient place while relegating more usable buttons elsewhere, difficult to understand.

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Of course that would be a viable work-around, but then the question becomes whether we need to create a situation where a work-around becomes necessary. Right now, it's simply a matter of understanding the features which already exist.

Hi Lin,

I'm not sure that I agree that what I said was a "workaround".

Surely, that's the way that we have always worked?

Pte allows us to put in as many MP3s as desired and one of those (the last one) could just as easily be a "silent" MP3 or a regular MP3 of the correct length which has been silenced?

The other approach is to create the music track in Audition or Soundbooth or the other one and incorporate the silence at the end.

Either way, the show would end in the right place.

Workaround? I certainly don't think so.

You seem to be having people queueing up at your door to volunteer to write sections of the "new User's Manual"B)

Maybe it needs someone to jump in before the others will consider it so I'll help out if I can.

DG

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Hi Dave,

The reason I considered it a work-around is that right now, all the user needs to do is to put in all slides except the last one, click on Timed Points then from the drop-down on Set End of Last Slide to End of Music and then add the last slide. The penultimate slide will then end with the music and the last slide will be silent.

If the situation were automated so that when one actually "creates" the show that the music and last slide were coordinated, to get the "desired result" would require the user to have and use a third-party software such as audacity or other audio editor to create the "silent mp3."

Thanks for the help offer - I noticed that the offers to help were conspicuous by their absence - LOL. Perhaps when its a bit closer to the final 7.0 release, we can get a few more volunteers.

Best regards,

Lin

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