Feature Preview: Background Layers
SongShow Plus presently does have background layers. The first layer is "the color" layer (I say it in quotes for reasons I'll explain), followed by the image layer, followed by the motion background layer, followed by an effects layer. Each of these layers can have its own set of effects applied to it. The effects layer applies effects after the other layers have been rendered. The color layer, can actually be a gradient, or a pattern, an image or a texture or transparent for keying. While this arrangement fairly useful, it is also limited (if not confusing). It's limitations are that motion backgrounds can only be placed over an image or color, but not the reverse. It's also a bit confusing that the color layer can actually be an image or a texture. It can also be confusing if in a program you set a background image for an item, but have a global motion background also set. In this case, the motion background will still show up, obscuring the image you intended to use in the program (the solution is to also set, in the program, a motion background of "none"). This arrangement evolved over time and is what it is.
The next edition of SongShow Plus fundamentally changes this approach. Now, there will be a single Background properties group. Within that group, you can add one or more layers. Layers can be a color, a gradient, an image, a video, a visualization -- actually anything that you can now use as a fill. Layers can be in any order. There is no limit to the number of layers you can have (although there is a practical limit, of course based on the machine's hardware). Each layer can have its own set of effects and, as before, you can then apply a set of effects to the entire background. Layers can be of similar types, such as two or more images layers, and each layers can be positioned in different places.
This change will make it easier to configure backgrounds, copy background properties from one slide to another, and provides greater opportunities for creative design of backgrounds. It should also reduce the confusion that can occur when mixing global and program display properties.