Reviews related to : Graphic software

A few years when I wrote a Shareware column, graphics editor products were a popular subject. This next title is a late addition to this genre.
I suppose the event I am about to relate could well qualify as an example of Sod’s Law.  When examining four different titles from the same company I was not expecting the fourth offering to prove the most stressful when it came to the task of installing it.  But that is what happened with Smart Photo Editor from Anthropics Technology.  To clear up one point from the start, all four titles were installed and checked out on the same computer.
Maybe your face might not launch a thousand ships, as the face of Helen of Troy is claimed to have done, but this next software might help when using your digital image prior to setting sail.
It does seem somewhat incongruous that Anthropics Technology, a company best known for its face enhancement software, should be based in a location known as Ugli Campus in West London but maybe it is a case of opposites attract.  The company has recently released the latest version 17 of its PortraitPro offering which is available in Standard, Studio and Studio Max editions.  I have been looking at the top-of-the-range PortraitPro Studio Max version.
Both these award winning products are now available in a single box. So if you normally take videos but want to get a photo from a video or if it’s the other way round then the solution lies in having both items to get the best possible results.
Two top of the range photo and video manipulation products supplied in a single box by Cyberlink, you not only get a good discount by buying both together but you also get a digital copy and 50GB of cloud storage for 12 months. It comes on two DVD’s, the basic programs are on DVD 1 and took ten minutes to install on my Windows 7 notebook, the installation took 2.69GB of hard disk space. DVD 2 has extra content for both packages. There is a six side 18x12.
MAGIX offers to help put your photos and videos into a format to entertain others.
No doubt, like many others, you have a large, if not vast, collection of photos and videos taking up valuable storage space on your computer.  While these images are a great aid to your memory, they can also be put to more productive use by being amalgamated into a visual and audio experience that could be enjoyed by friends and family.  This task could be carried out with a software product such as PHOTOSTORY Deluxe from MAGIX.
Like an old friend, I welcome the latest version of Corel’s Paint Shop Pro on to my computer.
I can not state that I was totally surprised but it was a minor shock to realise that the subject matter of this next review, made its first appearance 27 years ago.  That was in August 1990 when Robert Veil released his graphics conversion utility.  The product was released as Shareware where you try before you buy, or as in some cases try and continue to use without buying as the Shareware offering was sometimes based on an honour system.
Adding to its portfolio of make-over software for either portrait or landscape images, Anthropics Technology has released the follow up title to its LandscapePro offering. Not surprisingly, this software is entitled LandscapePro 2.
Anthropics LandscapePro 2 comes in a choice of three flavours designed to suit the needs of different users.  The product is available in Standard, Studio and Studio Max versions.  This review is based on the new Studio Max product which includes Photoshop plug-in capability, support for RAW files and different colour spaces plus a Histogram pane, batch mode processing and more streamline editing amongst its feature set.
874074 CorelDRAW Graphics Suite 201

CorelDRAW 2017

This was launched via a Webinar and while there are new features the main difference was that anyone with a full licenced version (not academic or NFR) can upgrade to this latest version from any earlier versions not as normal the last two or three.
It is now normal for almost every company to bring out an upgrade every year and even to offer a yearly licence for products the most well-known of these is Microsoft with Office 365. I heard that Corel now do such an offer which may suit some. However those who have an earlier version this might even be more than ten years old can now upgrade – with the proviso mentioned – at half price.
While no longer the market leader in the field of computer graphics software, CorelDRAW still has a lot to offer the digital designer.
While some products appear briefly, with their 15 minutes in the limelight, others have a long and distinguished existence with numerous versions showing their popular appeal.  The arrival of the latest version of one such product with long lasting appeal, CorelDRAW 2017, got me thinking about when the first version of this graphics product first made an appearance.  Believe it or not, CorelDRAW first arrived as a vector-based illustration package in 1989.
The paperless office is an urban myth as 80% of document-based processes are depended upon paper with employees spending 25% of their time on the labour-intensive and time-consuming process of handling paper documents
It has been a while since I last took a look at ABBYY’s FineReader product.  In fact it was over 30 months ago when I checked out the company’s FineReader 12 Professional edition of this OCR and PDF software that can scan a paper document and turn it into editable text.  In the intervening period, ABBYY has been busy developing its product line-up in various areas such as its Transformer PDF software.
871228 cyberlink powerdirector 15 ultr

CyberLink 2017

In the autumn after a round of press/trade shows all the software companies rush to get their 2017 versions of software releases and updates on the market. Here I am looking at two such items from CyberLink who like Nero now reside in Germany.
Unlike a lot of other software companies CyberLink do not try to make all their versions have the same numeral at the end of the product name. So the two getting the once over here are and Anyone into making videos will love the obvious new feature 360 degree video maker. It allows you to make 360 degree videos and even to use 360 degree video footage in standard video output.
I love manuals, and of course with most software been sold as downloads the best you get today is a PDF file which also needs to be downloaded. Serif software have been around for 29 years and they have recently produced Affinity Designer firstly for MAC and now for the PC, this is their workbook a heavy hard backed tome.
The front cover puts it well ‘learn digital design and illustration with Affinity Designer’. The book is 20.5x23.5x2.7cm and it weighs 1.47kilos. Unusual perhaps to give the dimensions and weight of a book but then it does give me a chance to get over this is a textbook written by the team at Serif who will be thirty years young next year.
Adding to its portfolio of graphics software, Serif has developed an application that can run on the Mac and Windows platforms.
Developed by Serif, Affinity Designer first saw the light of day as a Mac product.  More recent development has seen the product make the journey over to the Windows platform.  Affinity Designer describes itself as a personal vector design application that contains pixel-based textures and retouching capabilities.
Turning your digital images into a slideshow has never been easier with this next product from MAGIX.
Our love affair with all things digital has resulted in many terabytes of storage space, whether of the local variety or that situated in the virtual expanse referred to as the Cloud, being taken up by our personal collections of digital photographs.  While readily available via various approaches, it does seem rather wasteful if these representatives of our personal memories are left to gather a form of digital dust, caused by faded memories, through the lack of use.
It is that time of year when the latest version of a piece of software, which seems to have a permanent residence on my various computer systems, makes its annual appearance.
The software in question is Paint Shop Pro.  This product has developed, over the years, from a file conversion utility into a photo editing and graphics designer package.  As with the previous version, Paint Shop Pro X9 is available in either a Standard or Ultimate offering. When installing this product I was given the choice of either working with the 32 or 64-bit version or, as I finally opted for, going for both varieties.
Adding to its portfolio of graphics products, Xara has released its Designer Pro X365 offering. This product brings together elements of vector illustrations, photo editing, page layout and web design within a single WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) package.
To clear up any confusion, I should explain that the “365” part of the product’s title does not imply that Designer Pro X is a subscription type product, although there are certain online services available to which you could subscribe.  The “365” is more to do with the Xara Update Services which allows the user to access updates regarding new features and additional content immediately without waiting for the appearance of a new version.
868480 reallusion crazytalk 8 pr

Crazy Talk 8

In the right hands this product can give you amazing results, it can create 3D images from photographs add cartoonish features and much more however it can also create lip sync to audio or voice so you can be there even when you are not.
In my hands it created a reasonable 3D image of me from a forward facing head and shoulders shot and a selfie side on. You just click a number of points around your head to match eyes and mouth end of nose etc. and it does the rest. In total around five minutes from importing the images. This was only rough but the image was quite good.
Following on from its popular industry leading portrait make-over software, entitled Portrait Pro, Anthropics Technology has moved its focus from the foreground to the background with its new LandscapePro software.
Described as being the industry’s first intelligent landscape photo editing package, LandscapePro from Anthropics Technology is available in either Standard or Studio edition mode.  With the latter edition, the software comes as a standalone offering or as a plug-in for Adobe Photoshop, Lightroom and Photoshop Elements.  This review is based on the Studio standalone version of the software.
As its version number of X8 indicates, CorelDRAW has been around for a good number of years. In fact this software’s first appearance was back in 1989 as it offered users full colour vector illustration and layout functionality on the Windows platform. Over the years this software product has undergone numerous changes including a metamorphosis into a suite rather than a single offering.
This latest X8 version of this package consists of CorelDRAW X8, Corel PHOTO PAINT X8, Corel Font Manager X8, Corel CONNECT X8, Corel CAPTURE X8, Corel Power Trace X8 and Corel Website Creator.  You also get bucket-loads of content with 10000 items of clipart and digital images, 2000 professional digital photos, 10000 OpenType® fonts, 350 professionally designed templates, 2000 vehicle templates and over 1000 fills, frames and patterns to use with your projects.
867758 corel draw graphic suite x

CorelDRAW X8

The main problem with a product 18 versions old is when you remember the first one. Corel were one of the main reasons you got a CD drive. It was all the extra content they provided in images and fonts. Now the download needs a fast connection as its 1.8GB.
Having done the download you then need to burn a DVD so it’s not a trivial process. Once installed I had 2.3GB less hard disc space and my Desktop had five extra icons – yes Corel still give extra – apart from the CorelDRAW X8, there is also Corel PHOTO-PAINT, Corel CONNECT, Corel CAPTURE and Corel FONT MANAGER. They still do 32bit versions if that’s what you need but 64bit is what I am reviewing it on and to be frank with anything complex you need memory as well.
From its German base, MAGIX has developed the latest version of its slideshow creating software.
Now available in its 2016 Deluxe version, MAGIX Photostory offers a solution that enables you to meld your still images, video clips and music into slideshows and other types of media viewing styles.  As usual with MAGIX products, the software will require to be activated by the entry of a 31-character serial number and the registration of the product via an online link.