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Archive for the 'Animation' Category

Image Compressor 2008 Pro Edition

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2008

IMC2008 is a digital photography software. It contains image viewer, screen capture, comparer, retouch, photo album and compression tools.

Pros: Image compressor comes with a comprehensive set of tools that include import, capture, scan, retouch, compare, create photo album, share and compress facilities in one.

The basic facility of compression does not require the user to make a trade off between file size and quality. The application compresses the image as best as possible for optimum quality and a reasonable size. Viewing of images has a wide range of formats that include RAW formats of many popular camera makers; Canon’s CR2 CRW, Nikon’s NEF, Kodak’s DCR and Olympus’s ORF. Photo formats supported include image file types JPEG, JPEG2000, TIFF, GIF, PNG besides the RAW formats supported.

The additional but really useful functions include professional viewer, image comparison tools, retouching tool, screen capture, image grab from the net, EXIF data editor, photoshop filter plug-ins, web photo album creation and conversion/export to multi-page PDF, animated GIF, multi-page TIFF, PowerPoint and Word.

The comprehensive user interface with a large set of features that include such functions as screen capture or image capture from the net makes for a comprehensive tool for the graphics artist. The interface is simple enough to be useful for the learner yet has enough power to be useful for a professional.

The functionality of all the extra features offered are well integrated into the application. For example capturing images from the net or creating web photo albums do not require the user to come out of the application. Application settings, screen layouts, file associations, photoshop filters or web album are parameters that can be changed for setting up a configuration suitable for you.

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Morpheus Photo Morpher

Friday, March 21st, 2008

Morpheus Photo Morpher lets you change the image of a person or thing into another by slowly transitioning or “morphing” the images, giving the appearance of something slowly transforming into something else.

How it works is, you load your chosen pictures into the program. Now you can add markers to key points in the images, these key points are areas that have similarities such as eyes and facial shape. The more key points you add, the more accurate and smooth your finished morph animation will be. You can then preview the end results and render it in the file format of your choice such as FLV (Flash), AVI video, Animated GIF file, and more.

Morphing is a pretty neat effect when done with the right images and technique, its also a cool way to liven up boring slide shows!

Check out the homepage for some good examples and to download the trial.

Antechinus Animator Professional 8.6

Wednesday, February 27th, 2008

The application helps create & edit animations, videos, images, and sounds in 40+ formats, music slideshows 35+ effects and web-optimize by 60+%.

Pros: Animator Pro helps create and edit animations, videos, images, and sound files, in over 40 formats that are supported. Animations can be created quickly, effect of changes in options can be viewed in real time in the preview area. Creating musical slide shows of digital photo collections is an additional feature. There’s a range of 30 odd effects or filters and effects to make the show effective and interesting. Image visual appeal can be increased by adding drop shadows, embossing and blending.

Animator Pro helps save time by doing things automatically by doing multiple operations together or in a batch process. It’s possible to do these operations from a different program or through the command line prompt. Common animation or imaging tasks can be undertaken easily. Merging sound files with animations, extracting images and sounds from videos or for merging videos or sound files and so on.

One of the major issues with web related animations is that these naturally fat files need to be reduced in size to make webpage loading fast enough. This package helps make the load times significantly fast and compress files by 40 to 65% with a set of tools available. The preview shows if there’s any change in the overall quality and also let the user calculate download speeds depending on his connection speed.

And finally capturing of text, images and anything else is very flexible via precision polygon and freehand capture. Scanner/camera inputs are also available.

Cons: User interactions could have been a little simpler possibly.

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Picture Collage Maker 1.7.4

Monday, December 10th, 2007

Published by Pearl Mountain Software Picture Collage Maker allows creation of photo collages from digital images. A variety of template layouts or own designs can be used. Image frames, masks, drop shadows and other effects are possible. The images can be cropped and resized to fit, and freely arranged within the collage. The program supports drag and drop image placements, resizing and multiple layers of images and clipart decorations. The result can be saved as new JPG image and/or set as desktop wallpaper.

Pros: Very well designed package allows creation of a collage almost intuitively. Menu system is well designed too helping easy of use. Large number of templates for the collage; effects, masks and frames on individual pictures are very useful. The range of effects and masks are wide enough. It includes a wizard for creating collages quickly. Clip-arts can be used too and the range is good. Tools for adding text is available and is well supported.

Cons: Nested levels of undo and redo are a definite requirement on such packages where one would like to change direction or start over quite often. Saving of the collage is possible only in JPG format. There being a large community of free source tools users support for PNG is a need. In general, the range of formats should be wider and include gif, tiff and even bmp.

Overall, it is a very nice package. It is definitely very close to what is needed in any such package except for the issue mentioned above, a definite 4 star package.

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TwistedBrush – Painting without painting

Thursday, November 22nd, 2007

Are you an artist who has so far avoided computer art due to feeling more comfortable with traditional artist medium such as pencil, paints, etc?

Before you turn your back on digital art methods, you might wanna check out TwistedBrush. It has one of the most realistic brush engines you are likely to find in any art program. It lets you choose from a wide selection of brush and paint types with very realistic results that come as close to real life paint and canvas as possible. It comes with lots of brushes (12 in the free version and a huge 3000 in the paid version). It also has drawing tablet support.

This will definitely be of interest to any traditional artists thinking about moving into the digital world, all with less mess and lots of features you can only get with technology! Check it out here for the full list of features and some examples

DAZ Studio – 3D modelling software

Monday, October 29th, 2007

DAZ Studio is a free 3D modeling program that gives users a virtual studio that claims to let even inexperienced users and wannabe artists create exciting animations and images. It mainly deals with 3D models of characters. You can either animate them or create still shots.

The reason its free is because they hope you’ll pay for additional models, backgrounds, props etc. The program allows the creation of some pretty detailed animation, as a quick search on YouTube will show some impressive animations are possible.

Like most of these kinds of programs, it does have a learning curve, so patience is required and I recommend you read the documentation and tutorials before you rush into using it. Read more info and download it.

Maya Personal Learning Edition – Learn high-end 3D software

Thursday, October 4th, 2007

Maya Personal Learning Edition is a cut down version of Autodesk’s Maya. For anyone who doesn’t know, Maya is a very well respected (and very expensive!) high end 3D graphics and animation program.

Chances are that whenever you see any of the latest 3D blockbuster cartoon (or special effects intensive) movies for example, Maya is probably one of the programs involved along the way, as it can do some very impressive stuff.

The problem is it takes a long time to master, if thats ever even possible! Also it’s very costly to purchase. So thats why they offer Maya Personal learning edition, which is basically free for non-commercial use!

For detailed info check it out here.

SWiSH Max – Flash Animation Made Easy

Monday, September 10th, 2007

1087380508-1.gifFlash animation is really going to be a big part of the internet for a time to come, simply because so many people are able to derive so much pleasure out of both the creation and the viewing of flash animations. Everything from political songs to humorous skits to hilarious games have been created in flash format and that is why the ability to create flash animations is such an important one for people to have. Of course, the Macromedia Flash software is horrendously expensive and that is why software like the SWiSH Max 1.0 Build 2006.06.29 is so important.

This piece of software literally has everything you could possibly need in order to make beautiful flash animations. These animations can be made to be completely interactive because you can use the software to make shapes and motion paths, amongst all of the other typical flash features.  One of the interesting aspects of the program is the fact that it has 230 built-in animated effects for you to use and it also has scripting language functionality for people that would like to use it to create exceptionally detailed and complicated flash animations.

More information can be found on the product’s homepage.

IconLab – a powerful free icon editor

Wednesday, September 5th, 2007

1118615094-1.gifIcons are one of the staple items of today’s world.  It has even gotten to the point where to the left of the URL in most modern browsers, you can actually see an icon that represents the website you are visiting. It is really quite remarkable if you think about it, since icons were nowhere to be found just a few years ago.  However, web design of any serious nature requires the need for icon creation and that of course requires the need of specialized software specifically designed to handle the editing difficulties of smaller icons.

Enter the IconLab 1.0. Often described as being one of the most powerful free icon editors out there, it is actually a small program when all is said and done. The size belies the strength in this case however as it allows you to change icons in many different ways and supports formats up to 32-bit.  You can even change the file types of different icons and of course in addition to that you can edit them in any way that you deem necessary. All of the typical drawing effects are available.

More info available right here.

Gentledraw 1.93

Monday, July 23rd, 2007

screenshot1.gifGentledraw is software that will make the creation of 3D model fun for the user. The functions are quite easy to use even by a person who only basic knowledge about computers. It enables the user to create simple drawing images, animations and 3D images. The software starts with a ‘Quick Start’ dialog box that gives an idea about how to use the software and what does it do. Essentially the Quick Start as a good learning guide when it comes to creating 3D images.

Easy in downloading this software also gets installed in fewer seconds. Images can be formed with the toolbar shown on the left side having pencil, eraser, brush, etc. The images can be transformed to 3D images instantaneously. The controls allows for easy navigation ease of selecting stored images. The best part involves the ease with which the 3D images can be turned to animations. Simple image diagrams have just two colours black and white. When they are converted into 3D or animation the colour can be readily adjusted according to the choice. The options like ‘Canvas color’ along with ‘Model surface color’ and ‘Border color’ options on the toolbar effectively serve the purpose. The Border dialog’s ‘enable border’ and ‘border editor’ features help to bring changes in the structure of the image. The texture can be adjusted and the canvas image can be set. X Y Z level are available for neatly adjusting size, scalability, and to turn the image as desired.

For creating animations, the color of canvas and background can be changed as per the animation scheme. The place and size can be changed and the image can be rotated as well through the Route dialog options on the toolbar. The timing and size of the animation can also be set. The software does a very decent job of what set itself for doing and has practical utility.

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