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Apr

01

Create Unique, Realistic 3D images with Quick 3D Cover

 Graphic Design

It matters how things look.  Whether you're trying to sell products, giving a gift, or creating a DVD collection, it's important to you how the package looks.  You can find lots of software packages on FindApp that help create CD labels or box covers.  Quick 3D Cover handles a different job: it directly creates images of the packaging, without your having to make and then photograph the package.  For instance, Figure 1 is a box image, making this 3D illustration took about 10 minutes. Figure 1: My Personal DVD Editor

The program is designed to be easy for anyone to use.  There is a simple text tutorial available from the opening screen, which explains the four-step process:

  1. Choose a template.  In Quick 3D Cover, a template can be a box, a label, a card, and other types of object.
  2. Select graphics to display on each side.
  3. Decide what size image to create.
  4. Save your image.

Despite the name, Quick 3D Cover is not limited to producing covers and box images.  If you do presentations, you'll find its ability to simulate screens, portable devices, and even clipboards very useful.  Here's another example: 

Figure 2: PDA

 

 

I really like this program, but I can't call it perfect.  It's very powerful, but the user interface is not as straightforward as I would like.  For one example, the Gallery of templates should be divided into categories, and the templates should have meaningful names.  This would make it much easier to find the one you're looking for.  As a "power user" type, I would love to see a template editor, so I could create my own images to fit any object I happen to want to stick graphics on.  

It would also be very convenient if Quick 3D Cover worked with software that produces actual cards and/or labels, like Label Designer Plus DELUXE, so I could create both actual labels and the 3D image of them easily. 

 

Overall, I recommend Quick 3D Cover to anyone who needs to create product images or presentation graphics.

Do you have an opinion of this software?  Please review it yourself.

Feb

15

Image Makeover: Bitmap File Converters

 Graphic Design

As I write this, it's February.  Lots of people took hundreds of digital pictures in December, and millions of others got new digital cameras for the holiday and now they have even more pictures on their memory cards and hard drives.

To use image files, you often have to convert them into the proper format.  Most image editors will let you open a picture, then save it in a different format.  However, if you have many files to convert, you should consider using a dedicated conversion program to save yourself hours of boring work.

Probably the single most commonly used image file format is JPEG, the standard defined by the Joint Photographic Experts Group.  Both most cameras and most web pages use JPEG images.  AnyToJpeg from PhotoActions converts dozens of photos in a single operation.  While converting, you can also rotate, stretch, crop, and perform other operations.  Process all your photos with only a few minutes of effort!

If you are comfortable typing commands, or if you would like to include image conversion and manipulation in a script, you should download and evaluate Neomesh Image Console.  Image Console can convert between many different image formats including GIF, JPEG, TIFF, and TGA, and also adjust brightness, create thumbnail images, and much more, all from the command line.  If you need to automate image processing it can be a lifesaver.

If you use CAD or drawing software, you know that photos and other bitmap graphics must be converted into vector format or traced before you can use them.  Vextractor can trace image files in almost any possible format, including BMP, GIF, JPEG, and TIF, and turn them into easily resized vector graphics in an amazing variety of different file formats, including Adobe Illustrator, EPS, AutoCAD DXF, EMF, WMF, and many others. Anyone who has ever struggled to hand-trace a face, building, or flower understands what a huge advantage it is to have excellent software like this do the work for you.

There are dozens of programs in the Converters and Optimizers section of FindApp.  If you work with images at all, take a moment to look around, and you'll probably find something that will save you time and effort while making your work more fun.

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