Notes on using the photo booth mode in DSLR Remote Pro, PSRemote, Webcam Photobooth and NKRemote

Part 2: What the user sees (and hears)

Next article: Input options
Previous article: Overview

Overview of screen layout

The screens displayed to the user are defined by a series of JPEG images stored in the photo booth images folder ("C:\Users\Chris\PhotoboothImages" in our example). The JPEGs should be the same size as the screen resolution - if they are smaller than the screen resolution the extra area will be displayed as a black border and a warning message will be shown in the bottom left hand corner. If the images are larger than the screen resolution the extra area won't be visible. You can check the screen resolution by right clicking on the Windows desktop and selecting "Personalize" then "Display Settings".

The available screen images are:

  1. ready.jpg - this is displayed when the photo booth is ready for the next user and normally has simple instructions telling the users what to do
  2. 1.jpg, 2.jpg, 3.jpg, 4.jpg - these images are displayed during the countdown before each picture is taken once the photo booth sequence has started. 1.jpg is displayed during the countdown before taking the first picture, 2.jpg is displayed before taking the second picture etc. The countdown message defined in the photo booth settings is displayed centered on the screen during the countdown. If the camera live view is displayed the countdown text will be displayed centered on the screen in the area below the live view. There needs to be one of these images for each photo in the sequence e.g. if there are 5 images in the sequence you will need the following images: 1.jpg, 2.jpg, 3.jpg, 4.jpg and 5.jpg.
  3. taking.jpg - this is displayed a couple of seconds before taking each picture and is usually used to display a message to tell the users to look at the camera or simply a blank screen so that the users aren't distracted.
  4. release.jpg - optional image displayed when the instruction to take the picture is sent to the camera approximately 1 second before the picture is actually taken. The live view on most cameras will freeze just before the camera takes the picture and this can confuse some users. To avoid this, the software will automatically hide the live view display if a release.jpg image is defined.
  5. processing.jpg - this is displayed after the last picture has been taken while the images are being prepared for printing. This screen could display a message like "All finished! Please collect your prints outside".
    When the prints have been formatted and sent to the printer the ready.jpg image is displayed again.
  6. camera_not_connected.jpg - this is displayed if the camera is turned off or unplugged from the USB cable. If the "Auto Reconnect" option has been selected from the Camera menu in the main window you can turn the camera off when not in use and the camera_not_connected.jpg image will be displayed. When the camera is turned back on again the software will automatically reconnect after a few seconds and the camera_not_connected.jpg image will be replaced with the ready.jpg image. The camera_not_connected.jpg could display a message like "Please turn the camera on to use the photobooth" or "Sorry not in use. Please ask the attendant for help".
  7. welcome.jpg - this is displayed when standby mode has been selected by pressing F6
  8. confirm_printing.jpg - optional background image used when displaying print confirmation screen
  9. printing_confirmed.jpg - optional image displayed if user selects printing from the print confirmation screen
  10. keyboard_input_ok.jpg - optional image displayed if user selects 'ok' from the optional touchscreen keyboard after the photos have been taken
  11. keyboard_input_cancel.jpg - optional image displayed if user selects 'cancel' from the optional touchscreen keyboard after the photos have been taken

If the live view display option is selected the default setting is to display the live view images centered at the top of the screen with the countdown text displayed below. Any messages or graphics in the screen images should leave space for this otherwise they will be covered up by the live view images. The size and vertical positioning of the live view can be changed using the height and offset values in the photobooth settings dialog. Here is an example "ready" screen display with live view:


Playing sounds

Windows wav sound files can be played at the same time as each of the screen images are displayed to the user. To do this simply copy the wav file into the photo booth images folder and give it the same name as the screen e.g. to play a sound when the ready.jpg image is displayed the sound file should be named ready.wav. The sound file will be played until either it reaches the end or another sound file is placed in which case the new sound file is played instead. This means you can have a long ready.wav sound file that repeatedly plays a welcome message and instructions and then have a 1.wav sound file that is played when the sequence starts. The 1.wav file will stop the playing of the welcome message in the ready.wav file and either be a silent file or say something like "Look at the camera!".

Screens showing color/B&W/toned and number of print copies

It is also possible to display different screens depending on whether color, black and white or monochrome toned mode is selected and the number of print copies. This provides a way of giving feedback to the user when different settings have been selected and could be used as part of a touchscreen menu system (please see the article on "Input Options" for details).

The way it works is to check for a suffix after the filename for the appropriate screen image in the form <screen>_<b|c|t><1..9>.jpg where <screen> is the name of the screen image e.g. "ready", <b|c|t> is the color mode: "b" for black and white, "c" for color or "t" for monochrome toned and <1..9> is the number of print copies e.g. "1" is one copy is selected.

For example when the ready.jpg image is to be displayed, the color mode is set to black and white and the number of print copies is set to 2 the software will look for a suitable screen image in the following order:
ready_b2.jpg - i.e. "ready" + black and white + 2 copies selected or if this isn't found it looks for:
ready_b.jpg - i.e. "ready" + black and white or if this isn't found it looks for:
ready_2.jpg - i.e. "ready" + 2 copies selected or if this isn't found it looks for:
ready.jpg

So to have screens to indicate the color mode and the number of print copies from 1 to 3 you need the following "ready" screens: ready_c1.jpg, ready_c2.jpg, ready_c3.jpg, ready_b1.jpg, ready_b2.jpg, ready_b3.jpg.

When a setting is changed, e.g. the color mode is set to black and white, the screen image is updated automatically to show the user the current status.

Cropping of live view images

The live view images can be cropped in fullscreen photo booth mode. This is useful when the "Crop image if required to fit printable area" is selected because it allows you to adjust the cropping of the live view images to match the printed output and avoid problems where the users see more in the live view than is actually printed.

To adjust the live view cropping first select fullscreen photo booth mode and then hold the Shift key down and either use the mouse wheel or the left and right cursor keys to crop the image. The settings are saved when the software exits and are reloaded next time it runs.

Next article: Input options
Previous article: Overview


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Using photo booth mode in DSLR Remote Pro for Windows, DSLR Remote Pro for Mac, PSRemote, Webcam Photobooth and NKRemote