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Background Image Rotator

BackgroundImageRotator from Marathia, Review By Rob Hall, CEO at rjh Web Design Rating: 4 out of 5. BackgroundImageRotator is useful new stack which adds background slideshows to RapidWeaver Stacks pages!

There are a number of Background Image stacks available. I use Background images regularly for semi parallax effects. Jeroen from Marathia's Stacks has just released a new BGI stack. BackgroundImageRotator.

BackgroundImageRotator is made interesting by three facts; not only can it, as the name implies, turn your site's background into a slideshow and display a selection of images, but it can also display a static text and a semi transparent overlay above the slideshow and multiple transition options are available.

BackgroundImageRotator can also display Play/Pause and Back/Forward buttons and navigational dots; both are active by default. They appear at the bottom of the page and overlay the page's content, There is, however an option in the stack settings to 'make room at the bottom' which will shift the page upwards by a definable number of pixels – the default is 80px – to make room for the navigation. This additional space can be filled with a background colour which may also be opaque. As this option will not work with all themes, however, there is a second option 'try harder'. This will help with some more stubborn themes, but may not help with all. Foundation is one of those themes that refuses to be impressed by this setting.

The colour of the navigation controls and the navigational dots can be set independently. The Back/Forward arrows can be either at the edge of the page, or directly next to the Pause/Play buttons. A breakpoint can be set for the control's visibility.

To add images to BackgroundImageRotator, drag the stack onto a Stacks page. An empty slide is already in the slide container; I didn't immediately recognise this fact – this may have been because the page I was working on had a white background. Click on the first slide and an image well will open. You can choose to drag in local images or set the path to external [warehoused] images. Click the slide container's + button to add further images your slideshow.

Once you have multiple images in the slide container, you can drag them around to alter their sequence. The slide container's control panel allows you to set the number of images displayed in one row of the container during the setup process.

The interesting thing about BackgroundImageRotator is the fact that you can choose between 19 [nineteen] different transitions ranging from Fade to Speed. The length of time that each image is displayed can be set with 'Speed'. Sadly, the length of the transition itself can not be set.

The rather abrupt effect of the image change can be minimised by adding a colour overlay and/or a tiled semi transparent image – perhaps a texture or raster overlay – to the slideshow. This will also aid the readability of your page contents.

As already mentioned, the slideshow may be overlaid with a text that appears centred, above the background image, but below the page content. If, for instance, you have a slideshow with a different brand of automobiles on each page, the vehicle's brand could be displayed; or the location if you have different locations.
The colour of the static text can be set in the slide's control panel. The text size can be set to responsive. The responsinsive size is set to either vw or % in browsers that don't support vw. The font itself may be set to the theme font, a web safe font, or a custom font. The final font settings define the left; right; centred orientation and include extra settings for margins.

I'm personally not a friend of animated backgrounds, but that is a matter of taste. There are some sites where they work well. If you need a static image for your background, deactivate the navigation controls and autoplay; add a single image to your page and a title text. Finished.

You will find a few set themes where BackgroundImageRotator will be obscured by coloured background elements by default. This where Jeroen's second new stack comes into play.

SetOpacity is a free stack that will allow you to target specific elements of your theme and alter their appearance either by targeting a specific colour or a specific #unique_id; .myClass; or section within your theme. To select CSS elements, you'll need to take a look at your code and identify, for instance, the background.

You may the go to SetOpacity's settings, enter the ID or class and then alter the colour and opacity to reveal your background image. You can add notes to the stack, so that you can remember which element was targeted. This is especially useful when you have multiple instances of SetOpacity on one page.The notes will, of course, not be published.

SetOpacity is a useful stack for altering the appearance of set themes without further knowledge of CSS.

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