Ulead PhotoImpact 11
Posted by: Vman on: 31.12.2005 01:00:00 [ Print | 0 comment(s) ]
The installation is like any other software install, insert the disk follow the onscreen instructions and simple as that install complete, very simple.
I did have one problem with the installation, the use of thoughts cheesy models again and lots of them it is not such a big issue really but my sides where aching by laughter at the end of the installation so maybe it is a good thing in a bad way.
The physical layout of anything is very important take your keyboard for instance it has been designed so that the keys you use most are closer to the centre of the keyboard making it easier to find and press the keys.Just imagine the designers of the keyboard decided to align the keys in an ABC formation it would be extremely annoying and I am sure they learnt that in the past.
Back to the review, I will give you a small overview of what it is like to used PhotoImpact 11 and compare it with PhotoShop Elements, as this seems to be Uleads closest rival. After installing PhotoImpact 11 (which I will get into later) the first screen that pops up is the layout selection screen, With PhotoImpact you have the choice between to different layouts these are Basic and Advanced.
Basic as you may have guessed is just a simplified version of advanced, which it is but Ulead have taken things a step further and given you a completely new skin that I must say makes the interface easy to understand and use which in turn makes using PhotoImpact a lot less daunting for the novice user.The actual layout is a nice shade of blue and the buttons have been completely overhauled and enlarged to make them easier to identify, the workspace is actually larger than advanced mode but this is only due to the lack of functions.
If I had a complaint with basic mode it is not surprisingly the lack of functions in the end, basic mode is ok for editing photos and has a lot of tools for doing just that such as dodge, burn, blur, sharpen, lasso, crop est. but that is where it ends.
As for the advanced layout, it is quite impressive there are many options and the layout is highly customisable, the toolbars merge nicely into one another which is a nice touch plus the working space it quite large which is also customisable in size if wanted.
The colour scheme however is sadly a dull Gray and I struggle to understand why Ulead did not use the pastel blue colour scheme used in Basic mode if anything it is a change from dull Gray.
As for the functions, Ulead have done a fine job and I am impressed by the amount of image enhancements that Ulead have implemented, not only that but also the quality of the enhancements.
I have used many image editors that have many enhancements that you never use so I am glad to see someone has taken their time on this subject and thought about what people need before implementing them. I think Adobe could learn something from Ulead in this department as Elements is very limited in enhancement that are pre-configured for the user to browse through not counting the filters of course.Mentioning filters brings me back to PhotoImpact and again there is a wide range 91 that I could find and again they are all of high quality and customisable.
One feature I especially like is the split view function, which allows you to see half of your image with your applied filter while the other half is default. Photoshop Elements does best PhotoImpact in this department though having a mighty 109 filters and filter gallery to boot just makes elements the that much better in my mind if you donít know what filter gallery is, well It just allows you flick through your filters without applying them.
Another problem I had with PhotoImpact was the lack of layer styles & effects, which is a big part of PhotoShop CS and not so much with Elements, but it still has a limited variation of this system. † Let me stress that PhotoImpact does have all the styles and effects in there enhancement option but I believe that Adobes method is easier to use allows you to access these options via your layers panel.
As I mentioned earlier PhotoImpact comes bundled with COOL 360, which I am to believe, allows you to create a 360-degree environment by stitching together a series of pictures.
This Photo Panorama Stitching as Ulead like to call it is very handy in certain circumstances such as for an estate agent web site.Using this technique, you can say make a complete 360 of a room in the house/s you are looking to sell allowing your online customers to take a good look at the property before contacting you about a viewing very handy saving both you and your customerís time and money.
This is just one example where photo stitching can be used there are many other ways it could be implemented but that would take a whole page of this review alone so I will let you use your imagination.
There is one flaws with COOL 360, why is it a separate programme.I am sure Ulead could have merged it into PhotoImpact quite easily which Adobe did with PhotoShop Elements or at least give you the ability to export or open COOL 360 from PhotoImpact, but this is not a catastrophe more a small oversight.
PhotoImpact also come bundled with Photo Explorer 8.6, which is similar to Adobes memory hungry Adobe Bridge, which PhotoShop CS come Bundled. I am pleased to say that Photo Explorer is not memory hungry and loads in a few seconds rather than minutes where Adobe Bridge is concerned. Photo Explorer is quite impressive allowing you to view all of your photos if you had not already guessed. † What you might not have known is it also allows you to link up and download images from your digital video/camera or card reader, import pictures from your scanner and capture images via a web cam if available, it also allows you to rotate, crop, remove red-eye from images and trim and convert videos.
Photo Explorer does not stop there it also allows you to print images, compile and send e-mails, burn disks and manage an external storage device such as a flash or smart card.
Adding all this together makes this very useful, although most people have the ability to do all these things having them in one place is helpful for a novice user and maybe with a little reconfiguring could be redirected to load you favourite programs to do your editing and such.
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