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===========================================================================
                           Review: ImageStudio 2
                            By:  William Near 
===========================================================================

SOFTWARE:  ImageStudio 2  v2.3.0

AUTHORS:  Andy & Graham Dean
          14 Fielding Ave.
          Poynton,
          Stockport,
          Cheshire,
          SK12 1YX
          England

Email:  adean@eleceng.ucl.ac.uk (Andy)
        ELA95GND@sheffield.ac.uk (Graham)

ORDERS:  LH Publishing
         13 Gairlock Ave.
         Bletchley
         MK2 3DH
         England

DESCRIPTION: File conversion and image processing program

PRICE: Shareware fee of 15 pounds sterling or US$30 overseas

SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS: Amiga running Workbench 2.04+, a hard drive and at
                     least 1 MB of RAM

SYSTEM TESTED ON: Amiga 2000 (Rev 4.4), ECS chip set, G-Force '030
                  accelerator @ 50 MHz., 2 MB CHIP + 8 MB FAST memory,
                  Quantum LPS270S hard drive with Trumpcard Professional
                  controller, Picasso II RTG (2 MB) graphics board,
                  Workbench 3.1, multisync monitor

PACKAGING: The program, when retrieved from the Aminet, consists of two
compressed files that must be written out to two floppy disks and upon
registration you will be sent the latest registered version of ImageStudio
on two floppy disks and a very nice 72 page manual.

INSTALLATION: ImageStudio uses the Commodore Installer program to create
the necessary files on your hard drive.  During the installation process
you are given the choice of installing either a 68000 or 68020+ version of
ImageStudio depending on your machine's configuration. 

FEATURES: ImageStudio is a midrange image processing and conversion
program.  It lacks some of the high-end features found on some Amiga
graphics programs, but what it lacks in professional features it easily
makes up for in ease of use and simplicity.

ImageStudio uses virtual memory to manipulate color-mapped or 24-bit
images.  The user sets up a destination directory on his hard drive to be
used by ImageStudio as virtual memory, which does a nice job of allowing
multiple buffers to be used without the necessity of having several
megabytes of RAM. 

A full-featured ARexx port is included that allows the user to write, edit,
and run ARexx scripts from within ImageStudio itself.  The authors have
even included a blank template to help get you started on the path to ARexx
bliss. 

Six separate tutorials are included to walk the user through several of the
basic processes that ImageStudio is capable of performing on an image.
Each tutorial is illustrated in the manual making each step easy to follow.

The Prefs requestor contains 27 separate user settings in three categories
(Text, Numeric, and Boolean.) Everything from what external viewers to use
and whether or not you would like the Amigaguide on-line help enabled to
saving the positions of the windows in ImageStudio can be controlled from
this requestor.

Some of the other major features of ImageStudio are:

* 100 level Undo/Redo
* CyberGraphX compatibility (graphics board support)
* Internal and external image viewer support
* Loading, saving and manipulation of AGA image formats on non-AGA machines
* Maximum image size of 32,000 x 32,000
* Clipboard support
* On-line help function by way of Amigaguide
* Ability to import: IFF-ILBM, BMP, IFF-DEEP, JPEG, PCX, PNM, QRT, SGI,
  Targa, TIFF, and VMEM file formats
* Ability to export: IFF-ILBM, BMP, EPS, GIF, IFF-DEEP, JPEG, PCX, PNM,
  QRT, SGI, Targa, TIFF, and VMEM file formats
* Datatype support with Workbench 3.x
* Color Balance applicable in separate RGB components or Brightness, Gamma,
  and Contrast settings
* 17 Convolution filters are supplied (such as: Blur, Chisel, Emboss,
  Shake, Slash, Texture, etc.) along with the capability to create custom
  filters
* 12 Effects are supplied (such as: Dynamic Range, Flip X & Y, Roll X & Y,
  Negative, Pixelize, etc.)
* Scaling of image
* Color Reduction
* Zoom (in/out)

IMPRESSIONS: ImageStudio is one of the easiest to learn image processing
programs I have ever run across.  The menus and requestors are very
intuitive and easy to use.   Sample images are supplied that coincide with
the tutorials in the manual.  By running through each tutorial I was able
to quickly master the basics of image manipulation with ImageStudio.  The
floating palettes for: Balance, Convolves, Effects, Scripts, InfoBar and
Coordinates are easily arranged anywhere on the screen, as well as being
able to resize the image window. 

Among the supplied ARexx scripts is a Demo that runs through several of the
features of ImageStudio.  This is well worth running through to help
familiarize yourself with the abilities of ImageStudio.  Another set of
scripts allow you to do various batch processes on selected files.

Applying an Effect or Convolve is as easy as outlining a portion, or the
entire image, with your mouse and then selecting the appropriate function
from one of the palettes on the screen and applying it.  The possibilities
are virtually endless as to image manipulation. 

An ARexx Command Shell option is included.  An ARexx command my be executed
from here or help on the syntax of any command can be obtained by typing
help <command name> from within the Shell.  The effect of any ARexx command
is immediately visible upon executing it from the Command Shell.  This
allows experimentation with various ARexx commands before they are added to
an actual script.  The manual also includes ARexx common problems and tip
sections.

Converting an image to another file format couldn't be easier.  Just load
in the image to be converted and then select Save from the menu.  A
requestor will pop up with the options to specify a new filename, the
format to convert to (from a scrolling window) and any options associated
with that particular file format.  Click on the Save button and the rest is
performed by ImageStudio.

Finally, an Uncrash utility is included.  In the event of a system crash
this program should be run immediately after rebooting the computer.  An
attempt to recover the swap files from the hard drive will be made.  This
utility should be run before executing the ImageStudio program to ensure
that the swap files will not be overwritten. 

SUMMARY: ImageStudio is a very nice piece of Shareware.  It allows the
casual user to manipulate and convert images with ease and excellent
results can be expected.  The program was very easy to install ala the
Commodore Installer program and the printed manual and Amigaguide
documentation is top notch.  The authors are easily contacted via Email and
they respond quickly with helpful replies.  Their commitment to this
program is outstanding and continued development is virtually guaranteed
with added Shareware registrations from its users.

[Or additional commercial purchases, now that LH Publishing is in the
game...-Jason]