Join Tim Grey for an in-depth discussion in this video Basic slideshow presentation options, part of Lightroom 5: 4 Creating Slideshows.
Generally speaking, when it comes to defining the overall appearance of a slideshow, you'll get started by selecting a template from the Template browser on the left panel. But once you've done that you'll also likely want to fine-tune the overall settings for your slideshow. At least initially, until you come up with a particular template that you've saved for your own personal use. In other words, based on your preferences for a slideshow. The key options that you'll want to take a look in terms of changing the overall presentation of your slideshow, are found on the right panel under the Options and Layout sections.
Let's take a look at how we can use these settings in order to change the overall appearance of our slideshow. We'll start with the Options section. The first check box there is Zoom to Fill Frame. And what that means is that the image should completely fill the available space for your slideshow. That probably sounds like a very good thing initially, because after all, we want to present our images, in most cases, in the largest way possible. However, this Zoom to Fill option creates a bit of a challenge when it comes to vertical images.
I'll go ahead and select a vertical image from the film strip, and you can see in the slideshow preview, it no longer appears as a vertical image. And that's because it's been zoomed to fill the frame. In other words, zoomed to the point that it effectively has been cropped so that it fills the available space. It fills the entire frame for the slideshow. I'll go ahead and turn off that Zoom to Fill Frame check box. And you can see that now I'm able to see the entire vertical image. Of course, this leaves you with a decision that you'll have to make.
Is it more important to be able to see the entire image, or do you want to fill the available space? And this is one of the challenges that we face when it comes to presenting slideshows, is that a horizontal image is going to get a much larger percentage of the overall screen real estate than a vertical image. So, you may want to zoom to fill the frame if you really want to present the images, filling the available space, and just keep in mind that that does mean the images will be cropped. We also have the option to add a stroke border.
I'll go ahead and turn on the Stroke Border check box, and you can see that a faint line has been added around the image. Of course, in this case it's a very small border. But I can change the size of that border by adjusting the width setting. I can specify the number of pixels wide that I want that border to be. And I can also change the color for that border. At the moment that border is set to a white color. But I can choose any hue that I'd like. And I can also choose from a variety of pre-sets.
A number of shades of grey, or black, or white. Any color I'd like is possible. Its just a matter of choosing which particular color I'd like from the pop-up. Again, either using the swatches up at the top right, or using the two sets of gradients in order to find just the right color to put a border around the image. In most cases, I'll use a fairly modest stroke. Generally speaking, what I'm trying to accomplish here, is just to make sure that the boundary of the photo is very clear to see.
So perhaps I'll use a shade of gray, for example, and then close that color pop-up, and then I'll reduce the size. Usually just a one- or two-pixel stroke will work pretty well for most situations. But of course you can fine-tune as you see fit. We also have the option to include a drop shadow for our images. I'll go ahead and turn on the Cast Shadow check box, and you can see that a series of options are now available. However, I am not actually able to see that shadow, and that's because the template I have selected includes a black background, and of course, that shadow will not appear on a black background.
I could switch to a different template. For example, I'll choose the Caption and Rating option here. And then, making sure that the Cast Shadow check box is turned on, I can adjust the settings for that shadow. I'll go ahead and increase the opacity, just so that we can see the shadow effect a little bit better. And then we can explore the other options here. The Offset option is essentially a distance option. In other words, how far away from the image do we want that shadow cast? The Radius setting is a size setting, as it were.
It allows us to make a very crisp shadow that will be a little bit smaller, or we can make a blurry shadow that will be essentially larger. And we can finally adjust the angle for that shadow as well. In other words, in which direction do we want the shadow to be cast? Which essentially, determines where that virtual light, that's causing the shadow, is coming from. In most cases, if you're going to include a drop shadow, I recommend using a relatively subtle effect, and so I would tend to bring that opacity down to a relatively low value.
Generally speaking, I think the effect should be that you don't really notice that it's there. It simply adds a little bit of depth to the image. Next, we can move on the Layout section, and initially you might assume that this is purely a convenience option. We're able to display guides in the preview area for our slideshow. These guides will not appear in the final slideshow presentation. They're just there for reference, but they're not there purely for visual purposes, they also will impact where the image is on the screen, and how large that image appears.
So with the Show Guides check box turned on, so that I can actually see those lines, I could go ahead and make changes to the various settings for the left, right, top, and bottom guides. I can also work directly on the image, adjusting the right guide for example, by simply clicking and dragging on it. When I adjust the right guide you'll notice that all of the guides are moving at the same time, and that's because I have all of those guides linked. I could turn off the Link All check box and then adjust, for example, only the right guide, so that I can present my images always over on the left side of the screen, for example.
This could be helpful in a variety of situations. For example, you might want to use two projectors in more complex slideshow presentations, or you might want to present a logo on part of the screen with the images over on the other side of the screen. But in most cases, I would tend to link all of those guides so that the image will appear in the center of the frame. I could also link only the left and right guides, for example, or only the top and bottom by selecting those options, and so for example giving me the ability to adjust the position of the left and the right guides.
Or just the top and the bottom guides, if I prefer, in order to fine tune where and at what size the images will appear in my slideshow. Of course, in most cases, I want the image to either fill the screen, or very nearly fill the screen. And so I would tend to leave those guides out pretty close to the edge of the display area, so that my image can be presented as large as possible. But as you can see, the Options and Layout sections of the right panel in the slideshow module, allow us to adjust the overall appearance of our images, within the confines of our slideshow.
This course was created by Tim Grey. We're honored to host this training in our library. Watch more courses in this series here.