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===========================================================================
                         REVIEW: PHOTOGENICS 1.25
  John Paden                                 dangermo@falcon.cc.ukans.edu
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Product

    Photogenics 1.25

Author

    Almathera
    Southerton House
    Boundary Business Court
    92-94 Church Road
    Mitcham. Surrey. CR4 3TD. England

    Bought from Safe Harbor for $129 + shipping

Overview

Photogenics is the best 24 bit image manipulator for the Amiga.  It takes a
completely new approach to how effects are applied, that gives it more
power then Adobe Photoshop 3.0, Image FX 2.1, or Opal Paint 2.3.  However
because of the lack of an arexx port Photogenics can not hope to snare very
many of the video/toaster users.  There has been talk of them including an
arexx port(I sent them a letter and am waiting for a responce).

Machine used for testing

A3000
68030@16mhz
2 Meg Chip RAM
8 Meg Fast RAM
Cybervision 64 w/ 4 Meg RAM(2 don't work)
SCSI v. 8A
50 Meg Quantum
100 Meg Seagate
Old version of Buster/DMAC (1992)
High Density Floppy Drive
1960 Monitor (64khz setting-80 mhz)

Requirements

Hardware

030@16mhz is quite nice
GVP 040@40mhz is real time
4 Meg RAM will do well and 8 Meg RAM is perfect

[As with most applications, more is always better. -Jason]

Software

OS 3.0 or later

Copy Protection

Hard drive installable(Serial Number Required)
Can use floppy, but I would not recommend

Review

I'm going to start out basically by listing off all the paint modes,
brushes, and features.  Then I'll go over interface and special features.

Paint Modes

Add Noise
    Noise Types-5
    Noise Amount-Percentage
AlterHue
    Based on chosen color
Antique
Balance
    Red Change
    Green Change
    Blue Change
Bas Relief
    Amount-1 to 10
Blur
    Simple 3X3
    Cross 3X3, 5X5
    Small Gaussian 3X3
    Large Gaussian 5X5
    Star 5X5
    Heavy 3X3, 5X5
    Anti-Alias (to dark background)
    Anti-Alias (to light back ground)
Bright Map
Brightness
    Brightness Change- -250 to +250
Cloner
    Offset
Colourise
    (Colour is the chosen colour)
    Black >> Colour >> White
    Colour >> White
    Colour >> Black
    White >> Colour >> Black
    White >> Colour
    Black >> Colour
Contrast
    Contrast Change- -255 to +255
Cross Hatch
    X and Y Crosshatch- -100 to +100 each
Defocus
    Amount- 2 to 30
Deinterlace
    Keep Odd/Even numbered lines
Displace Map
    X and Y Factor- 1 to 250 each
Dither
Emboss
    Light Source-8
    Grey/Colour Background
    Grey/Colour Edges
False Colour
    Maps the colors to an 256 color IFF palette
Flip
    X or Y axis
Gamma
    Gamma Correction- -256 to +256
Gradient Tint
    Position(Top  0, Bottom  100)
    Smoothness(percent)
    Normal, Top to Bottom, Bottom to Top, Left to Right
    Right to Left, Rectangle, Inverse Rectangle
Grey Scale
    Video Weighted, Simple Average, Brightest, Darkest
    Median, Red Filter, Green Filter, Blue Filter, Cyan
    Filter, Magenta Filter, Yellow Filter
High Lights
HueMap
Jitter
    Max X and Y jitter- 0 to 50 each
Limit
    Current Colour is Minimum/Maximum
Line Art
    Colour, Greyscale, Inverse Colour, Inverse Grey Scale
Low Lights
Masking Paint
Matrix
    A 3X3 matrix, Load and Save
Maximum
Median
Minimum
Mirage
    Position (Top  0, Bottom  100)
    Smoothness(Percentage)
Mix
    Difference, And, Or, Xor, Add, Subtract
Monochrome
Motion Blur
    Length of Motion Blur- 2 to 50
    Angle(degrees)
Negative
    Normal Inverse (RGB Space)
    Invert Luma (HLS Space)
    Invert Brightness (HSB Space)
    Invert Saturation & Brightness (HSB Space)
Paint
Pixelise
    Block X and Y size- 1 to 64
Posterise
    Colour Levels- 1 to 8
Randomise
    Max Displacement- 1 to 100
Refract
    Distance- 1 to 250
Roll
    X and Y offset- -500 to +500 each
Rub Emboss
    Light Source-8
Rub Mix
    Difference, And, Or, Xor, Add, Subtract
Rub Texture
Rub Through
    X and Y offset- -500 to +500 each
Rub Tint
Saturation
    Saturation change- -256 to +256
Sharpen
    Intensity- 1 to 9
Shift Hue
    Hue change (degrees)-0 to 359
Shift RGB
    RGB >> GBR, BRG, RBG, GRB, BGR
Solarize
    Normal and Inverse
Split
    X and Y Split- -100 to +100 each
Stellate
    Size- 0 to 15
Tile
    Bricks X and Y size- 1 to 250
Tile Brick
    Bricks X and Y size- 1 to 250
Tint
    Normal, Lowlights, Mid Tones, High Lights

Brushes

Each brush has three settings:
Size-1 to 256
Pressure-Percentage
Transparency-Percentage

Air Brush
Ball Pen
Calligraphy
Chalk Pastel
Cloth
Crayon
Felt Tip Pen
Marker Pen
Neon
Pencil
Sponge
Water Colour

Drawing Tools

Colour-Clicking on it opens the palette window
Dotted line
Free Hand
Straight line
Fill Free Hand
Three Point Curve
Fill-Tolerance/Smoothness setting
Square-Fill/Line
Rectangle-Fill/Line
Circle-Fill/Line
Ellipse-Fill/Line
Magnify-Choose a point on the image and then as you move
    the mouse pointer the area which you will be
    magnifying to is shown.  This can be used to
    demagnify and magnify(VERY NICE)
Demagnify completely
Cut/Carve
Pick Colour
Smear
Warper-Twist(=B1360 Degrees), Warp-=B1256
Paint Mode
Paint Mode Options
Brush
Brush Options
Apply Full Screen
Remove Paint layer
Fix

Loaders

ACBM
Amiga Screen
Back Drop
BMP
CDXL
Framestore File
Framestore Grab
GIF
IFFDeep
ILBM
Img
Impulse
JPEG
Noise-effect
Pattern-effect
PBM
PCD
PCX
Plasma-effect
ProGrab24RT
QRT
QuadAnim
Raw
Ripples-effect
Streaks-effect
Targa
Text-effect
TIFF
VLab

Savers

AmigaScreen
BMP
CyberGraphics-Video Card
EGS-Video Card
Framestore Display
Framestore File
Ham6
Ham8
Harlequin
IFF-24
IFFDeep
ILBM
JPEG
OpalVision-Video Card
PBM
PCX
Picasso-II-Video Card
PrefsPrinter
QRT
Raw
Retina-Video Card
Sculpt
ShowHam6-ECS/OCS
ShowHam8-AGA
StudioII-Print
Targe
TIFF

Display Modes

Fast Ham 8-AGA
256 Colour-AGA, Cybergraphics
16 Colour-Any
256 Greyscale-AGA, Cybergraphics
16 Greyscale-Any
Cybergraphics-Cybergraphics

Features

Printing in 12 bit using WB prefs or 24 bit using Studio II
Clone
Undo/Redo 1 Level + Paint layer
Resize
    Smoothness on/off
Resize Tiled
Crop Image
    X Offset, Y Offset, Width, Height
    Mouse and Keyboard interface
Rotate
    0-359 degrees
Shear
    X Shear Value
    Y Shear Value
Clear To
    Black, White, Soft White, Choose
Select Similar
    To chosen colour/Pick Colour- This is a fill with no
    boundaries(meaning all the "yellows"(whatever colour) on the image
    would be filled in).  It has tolerance and smoothness settings.

Blur
    Simple/Gaussian
Channels
    Red/Green/Blue with a test option
    Paint Layer(VERY NICE)
Auto Adjust Levels
Compose with Secondary Channel
    Allows you to resize secondary image however you would like.  Has X
    and Y offsets.  Mouse and Keyboard interface.  Blend in and out
    option allows the right mouse button to bring more of the back
    image in and the left mouse button brings the fore ground image to
    the front.  You can use any of the paint tools or brushes.  You can
    use any of the paint modes to combine the images.  Brightness Key
    and Transparent black enable you to blend in better as well as use
    the alpha channel for complex combines.(VERY NICE!!!)

Interface

The interface in Photogenics is wonderfully intuitive.  The manual is
excpetional in that it covers everything and gives many tutorials as you go
along.  Photogenics uses a powerful drag and drop interface between the
image, secondary image, and alpha channel(which uses the fingernails of
every picture open-you can hide or show any picture to make sure your work
space doesn't get cluttered.

[The Photogenics 1.2 manual was a SIGNIFICANT improvement over previous
versions.  -Jason]

Photogenics took a completely different approach to the way the paint layer
is added.  You can use of ANY of the drawing tools and ANY of the brushes.
The interface is extremely easy to use, like Deluxe Paint only the images
are in windows, making working with several images easier.  Each effect has
a transperency setting and brushes have a size and pressure setting when
being applied.  What the key factor to Photogenics power is that you end up
with a paint layer with varying transparency which you can change on the
fly until you decide its the way you want it to be.  You can also move the
paint layer to the alpha channel to make it so that you can apply lots of
effects with in a boundary or use fix and paint layer to apply different
effects to the same whole area.  The paint layer therefore allows an
unlimited amount of undos.  In Photoshop you can undo to the last paint
layer, but the problem is once an effect is down it can only use the undo
so you have to undo and reapply the effect each time you screw up.
Photoshop is VERY limited on how you can apply many of its effects and none
of them have the same flexibility that Photogenics offers.  Since any brush
or drawing tool can be used to apply effects and using the alpha channel is
as simple as one menu option.  Using the left mouse button applies the
effect and the right mouse button unapplies the effect.

EXAMPLE:
You want to solarize the sky on a picture of stonehenge.  You start by
using the menu option select similar on the bottom clouds.  Then use the
rectangle to fill in the upper region since there is nothing but clouds in
the upper part.  Then you take the air brush and trim the edges where the
solarization filter does not blend in well with the ground and stone henge.
This whole process in simple, can be done in a minute and produces an
awesome effect.

The secondary channel and compose are quite possibly the second most
powerful feature in Photogenics, because any compose can use any brush,
paint mode, drawing tool, and several powerful compose options.  This tool
is quite possibly my favorite, but it wouldn't be possible with out the
above feature of a modifiable paint layer.

The last thing is the warper tool added in 1.2.  This tool allows you to
select in ellipse on the the screen and set two points to warp to.  You can
also set the amount of warping and the amount of twist you would like.  One
problem is that it does not anti alias after this effect and sometimes if
something is stretched out enough you need to apply a simple 3X3 blur or
antialias.  None the less a very powerful feature when used in the right
situations.

Comarison to other products:

    Here is a list of the programs I've seen.

    Brilliance 2.0
    Deluxe Paint 4.5(latest 5-only in reviews)
    Personal Paint 6.1(latest 6.3-only in reviews)
    Macro Paint

These programs don't compare to photogenics.  It is far superior in many
things, but these offer animation and quick effects.  Photogenics blows
them away when it comes to 24 bit image manipulation and professional
painting.

    Image FX 2.0(latest 2.1-only advertisement)
    Adpro 2.5

The interface in all of these is barbaric compared to Photogenics. 
Photogenics has far superior painting ability.  Their major advantage is an
Arexx port..  which is something Photogenics REALLY needs.  Beyond this I
would never use the other programs.

    Opal Paint 2.3

Great Paint program with some nice effects only it requires a specific
graphics card.  The program is a little faster, but it's not really a photo
manipulation program and lacks many of the features Photogenics has in
painting.  However it does have several cool effects which make it a very
viable tool in painting still.

    Photoshop 3.0 w/ KPT2 Plug ins

The only direct competitor and a very good one.  Photoshop is much harder
to use and the features aren't quite as nice some times but the options are
more complete.  Photogenics is definetly a better paint program...  and in
fact Photoshop sucks as a paint program, but that isn't its purpose.  I
would have to say that I like Photogenics easy to use interface and I like
the fact that the really powerful features are far more accessible.  See
below for ratings.  Another thing is speed and the prohibitive price tag
that doesn't even include any of the extensive plug ins.

Suggestions:

(1) Arexx Port
(2) The ability to warp an image to the paint layer(if possible)
    or a rectangle or circle.

(3) Fix bugs(may be cybergraphics)

(4) Use the right mouse button with the fill effect.  So it would
    undo every part of the paint layer like that color.

(5) Multiple paint layers with a composite window.