Top positive review
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One word describes this book: awesome!
on June 19, 2008
It's rare in the technical "how-to" genre to find a book as well done as this one. It truly is awesome.
Photodex ProShow has long been one of the staples for those who produce or wanted to produce high-class slide shows. Over the years, the product, along with everything else it seems, tended more and more toward becoming a multimedia platform. A few years back, this trend reached fruition in the immensely powerful ProShow Producer.
The problem was that both programs had more power than was adequately explained in the supplied help files. Don't get me wrong: Photodex provided great help files (as well as great support). It's just that programs, particularly ProShow Producer are capable of so much.
At last to the rescue comes James Karney with this masterpiece of a "how-to" book.
Every aspect of using ProShow Gold and ProShow Producer is explained through text and examples on the supplied CD. Karney explains his goal on the first page of the introduction: ProShow is "easy to use", but hard to master. "The novice can create a slide show in a minutes, but crafting a real multimedia production requires learning how to use special effects, keyframes, and output formats." Karney covers all these subjects and far more in 13 chapters and 340 pages.
As someone in the industry who must read dozens of technical books of the "how-to" variety, I know that most of the titles are just adequate and many are awful. It is truly refreshing to encounter someone like Karney who not only truly mastered his subject instead of just recycling the help file, but can also write. This is his 24th book.
Karney begins with the basics and then builds step-by-step into more elaborate productions using more and more of ProShow's features. One of the features, keyframing, is extremely versatile and Karney cleverly comes back to it repeatedly as he shows how increasingly sophisticated use of keyframing enables you to create more sophisticated productions.
If you own PhoShow Gold or Producer, you need this book to get the most out of either program. If you don't own them, but need a dependable, incredibly powerful multimedia creation engine, then you need to check ProShow out - trial copies are included on the book's CD and are, of course, downloadable from the publisher's site. Either way, you definitely need this book to learn how to get everything you can out of ProShow.
Simply put, this book is a gem and beautifully complements a powerful program.