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

Part 6: Other aspects such as reprints, captioning, running a slideshow and customization

Next article: Greenscreen Shooting
Previous article: Getting the best results out of the camera

Reprints

Normally only one print is printed out for each sequence of shots. If you require more prints for a complete session you can do this by changing the number of prints specified in the printer driver. Or, if you know before taking the photos that you want more copies (e.g. more copies for a larger group) you can specify the number of copies by typing Ctrl+<n> where <n> is the number of copies from 1 to 9. A confirmation message is displayed in the bottom right corner of the screen for a couple of seconds when changing the number of prints.
Often, you only decide to reprint images after they have been taken. The best way to handle this is to select the output option to "Print and save JPEG copy" in the photo booth settings dialog before entering full screen photo booth mode. This will create a JPEG copy of the printed layout which can be sent to the printer for reprints using another application such as our BreezeBrowser Pro software.

Captioning

Fixed captions can be added to all the prints in the session by adding them to the footer, header, background or overlay images as described in the section on "Printers and print layout". Captions can also be added using the captions option in the photobooth settings dialog. This allows you to specify the size, color, font of up to two captions which can be placed anywhere on the printed output. The text can contain tokens for values such as the time, date and filename which are replaced with their actual values when the images are printed. This is useful if, for example, you only print one copy of each sequence but want people to be able to order reprints after the event. To do this simply select the output option to "Print and save JPEG copy" in the photo booth settings dialog before entering full screen photo booth mode so that you have a copy of the print layout for printing later and add a caption to the image with text something like "Please quote the following reference when ordering reprints: {filename}". When the image is printed the {filename} token is expanded to the filename of the JPEG copy of the printed layout and can be used to identify the print.

Slideshow

Running a slideshow of pictures from the photo booth on a second monitor (see "Dual screen operation" below) is a good way to generate more interest in the photo booth. One way to do this is to run our Breeze Viewer software to display the photo booth images as they are taken.
At the start of the event there won't be any photos to display and so you could start off by displaying some pre-prepared banners e.g. saying things like "Free Photo Booth: Create a unique memento of John and Janet's wedding!". The photo booth saves each individual photo in the main image download folder (as specified in the app's main preferences) and can also optionally save the printed layout in a subfolder named "prints" (by setting the output option in the photo booth settings dialog to "Print and save JPEG copy"). For the first half of the event the slideshow software could display the individual shots in the main image download folder and then when there are a reasonable number of sets of prints you could switch to displaying the printed layouts in the "prints" subfolder.

The screenshot below shows suggested settings for using our Breeze Viewer software to display a slideshow of print layouts:

Breeze Viewer is available with our BreezeBrowser Pro or Hotfolder Prints software

Dual Screen Operation

Most laptops have a VGA connector for connecting an external monitor and many desktops PCs have two external monitor outputs so that they can use two monitors. Laptops usually have the option to either display the same output on the main laptop LCD display and the external monitor or to extend the Windows desktop to span both monitors. The first option, to display the same on the laptop screen and the external monitor, is useful if you wish to monitor what the users can see. The second option, to expand the Windows desktop to span both monitors, allows you to display different things on each monitor. One monitor will provide the fullscreen photo booth display for the users and the other can be used for a slideshow display or for selecting images for reprints etc. The fullscreen photo booth display occupies the same window as the main PSRemote/DSLR Remote Pro for Windows/NKRemote window and so it may be necessary to drag the main window over to the other monitor before entering fullscreen photo booth mode.

Customization

The free Windows scripting tool AutoHotKey can be used to customize the way the photobooth works including adding extra screens, remapping keyboard shortcuts and setting the photobooth back to a default state after taking each set of images etc. The following scripts are available for download:

photobooth_reset_settings.ahk - this script monitors the title of the photobooth screen and when it switches from processing.jpg to ready.jpg it sends Ctrl+1 and Ctrl+C to reset the photobooth to one copy of prints and color mode. Also switches back to stills photo booth mode after a video booth clip has been captured (DSLR Remote Pro for Windows only).

photobooth_remap_keys.ahk - this script shows how the keyboard shortcuts can be remapped. By disabling some keys the choices available to the user can be limited e.g. only allowing the user to select one or two sets of prints. Different keyboard shortcuts can be used to operate the photobooth e.g. spacebar to start the sequence, 1 and 2 to select one or two sets of prints, Win+Tab to reset the photobooth settings.

photobooth_keys.ahk - this script automatically forwards an F4 key press or StealthSwitch button press to the photobooth window to start the photobooth shooting sequence. The key presses will always be sent to the right window even if the photobooth window does not have input focus. This allows the photobooth to be run on a dual monitor system with the photobooth screens displayed on one monitor while other applications are accessed on the other monitor.

photobooth_clicker_autostart.ahk - this script automatically is designed to work with "Clicker mode" in DSLR Remote Pro for Windows. Normally when clicker mode is selected you have to start the photobooth shooting sequence by pressing F4 before being able to take each photo by pressing the camera's shutter release (or by using a remote release or "clicker"). This script looks for the ready.jpg screen and when this is displayed it automatically sends F4 to start the shooting sequence.
Please note: This script is only designed for use with clicker mode. If clicker mode isn't selected it will cause the photobooth to shoot continuously.

photobooth_inactivity_timeout.ahk - this script switches the booth to standby mode after it has been idle (displaying the ready.jpg screen) for 5 minutes. The timeout can be changed by editing the script using a text editor such as Windows Notepad and changing the line "timeoutInSecs := 300". The booth can be switched back to ready mode by typing F6 or by using the "Switch from standby to ready" touchscreen action.

photobooth_coin_acceptor.ahk - this script shows how a coin acceptor can be used with the photobooth mode in DSLR Remote Pro for Windows. Please see this page for details on how to use this script with a StealthSwitch II and an inexpensive coin acceptor.

photobooth_log.ahk - this script reads information from the XML summary file and adds it to a CSV log file which can be read into a spreadsheet or database. The script can also move the XML file to the logs subfolder if required. Note: If you are using our Hotfolder Prints software to email the images it also has an option to log the email addresses to a CSV file.

photobooth_video_stills.ahk - this script is designed for use with DSLR Remote Pro for Windows when running a photobooth that uses external flash for stills and dimmer continuous lighting for video. The script monitors the booth's status and adjusts the camera's shutter speed, aperture and ISO when switching between video and stills modes. This means that in stills mode you can set the shutter speed to bulb to give auto exposure for live view and a lower ISO setting so that the ambient light has little effect when taking photos using external flash. In video mode the exposure can be set to 1/30 sec with a wide aperture and the ISO can be set to Auto to give auto exposure when shooting video.

photobooth_video_switch.ahk - this script allows you to run a video booth using a webcam and Webcam Photobooth and a stills photo booth using a Canon or Nikon digital camera and DSLR Remote Pro for Windows, PSRemote and NKRemote. Pressing Ctrl+v puts the photo booth into standby mode and activates the video booth window. Pressing Ctrl+p puts the video booth into standby mode and activates the photo booth window.
Please note: This script was written before video booth mode was added to DSLR Remote Pro for WIndows. You don't need to use this script if you're using a Canon DSLR to capture both stills and video as you can switch to video mode by typing Ctrl+V and back to stills mode by typing Ctrl+S or use Ctrl+P to toggle between stills and video modes..

photobooth_processing_overlay.ahk - this script monitors the title of the photobooth screen and when it switches to processing.jpg it displays an "always on top" window with the message "Thank You! Your photos are being printed outside. Please leave the booth now". The window fills the screen and hides the live view display so that users don't linger in the booth after the shots are taken.

photobooth_options_screen.ahk - this script monitors the title of the photobooth screen and when it switches from processing.jpg to ready.jpg it displays an "always on top" window with the following options: "Use current settings", "Select profile 1" and "Select profile 2". When the user clicks on one of these options (or presses them on a touchscreen) the approriate key presses are sent to the photobooth window and the options screen is hidden so that the standard ready.jpg screen can be seen.

webcam_photobooth_kill_activemovie_window.ahk - some webcams can cause unwanted ActivieMovie windows to appear on the screen e.g. the Logitech c920 webcam can cause this on some systems when switching from stills photobooth mode to video. If this happens on your system please try installing the latest drivers for your graphics card and the latest Logitech software. If updating the drivers and software does not fix the problem you can use this script to automatically close the ActiveMovie Window when it is displayed.

Please note: These scripts come with no warranty or support whatsoever and may be freely copied or modified as required. We can provide help in modifying the scripts or developing new ones to your requirements but would have to charge a commercial rate for our time.

The above scripts can be downloaded from: Photobooth_AutoHotKey_Scripts.zip
AutoHotKey is a free and can be downloaded from www.autohotkey.com. The latest AutoHotKey installer gives a choice of installing 32-bit or 64-bit versions and support unicode or ANSI characters. All versions will work with the scripts on this page, but it is probably best to install the 32-bit unicode version as this is the one the AutoHotKey site recommends for new scripts.

Creating compressed MP4 video files from Webcam Photobooth AVI files

Webcam Photobooth saves videos as uncompressed AVI files which can result in large file sizes. This script automatically monitors the video output folder for new AVI files and creates a compressed MP4 copy of the video in the subfolder named video_MP4.
The script can be downloaded from Webcam_Photobooth_video_convert.zip

Animated GIFs

An AutoHotKey script can be used to automatically create an animated GIF of the photobooth photos together with an optional title page like the example blelow:

This is great for displaying on websites and emailing to customers. All you need to do to autopmatically create animated GIFs is to install AutoHotKey (a free download) and then download the scripts in this ZIP file: photobooth_animated_GIF.zip
Please read the readme.txt file for instructions on how to use the scripts.

Next article: Greenscreen Shooting
Previous article: Getting the best results out of the camera


Home | Products | Purchase | Download | Support | Reviews | About | News | Links

© Copyright Breeze Systems 2013

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