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                   REVIEW: PERSONAL PAINT 6.1 BY CLOANTO
                             Jason Compton 

Personal Paint V6.1 is Cloanto's latest entry into the suddenly cluttered
field of paint programs and image processors.

But that's really not very important.  What's important is that PPaint 6.1
has the most detailed disk labels I have ever seen.  The dpi and color
clarity is astounding-they put a screen-capture montage on there.  Great

Well, that's secondary to the performance of the product itself.  But it's
worth mentioning.

Personal Paint is a bit difficult to explain.  As it stands now, it is a
strange beast, a hybrid between a paint program and a flexible image
processor, that neither establishes itself as an irreplaceable paint tool
nor will make you junk ImageFX.  In some cases, though, you can complete a
project, painting and manipulating to your heart's content, without ever
leaving the program.

In the arena of painting, PPaint offers 256 color display out of a 24-bit
palette, and allows graphics cards to be used through the display database.
This gives you the flexibility of using high resolutions, but means that
you lose a bit in the translation, so to speak, by not using a true 24-bit
paint program.  It is all a bit strange, actually, as you can view in HAM
while working in the 256 colors.

As far as straight painting goes, PPaint is a close cousin to DPaint,
offering animation and storyboarding support, an easy-to-use sidebar of
tools, an ever-present palette, and speedy, stable operation.  In addition,
you get built-in virtual memory and encryption, several built-in languages,
and a slightly wider variety of export formats (IFF, PCX, GIF, the
encrypted mode, and directly as C source code).  JPEG loading is supported
with the JPEG datatype (3.x alert!).  Optimization also seems more logical
and spelled-out.

Then there is the image processing element.  As you work, you can apply one
of several dozen included manipulations to the image at hand, or add your
own in the standard 5x5 matrix format.  Of course, stereogram generation is
one of the included process types...

I really like the inclusion of image processing to a paint program-it seems
quite natural.  It provides an alternative to the "standard" way of doing
things, using a pure paint program but turning to a high-end processing
package for manipulation.  It also runs parallel in a sense to Photogenics,
combining painting and manipulation, but in a much more "orthodox" fashion
than the Almathera package.

PPaint does an awful lot of things pretty well.  What it lacks is a shining
element of greatness, something that makes it leap out at you and say "I'M
the package you want!"  That, I suppose, is what those pretty disks do.

Personal Paint 6.1
Cloanto Italia
PO Box 118
33100 Udine