|PhotoStudio Mac 4.0,
|Review Platform: iMac,
350Mhz, 64MB, OS 9.1
PhotoStudio is a good bargain, providing many of the same functions that Photoshop does and a few that are different. With PhotoStudio we were able to easily merge two different photographic images from our own files and create an attractive illustration with a Maxfield Parrish feel in a matter of hours.
However, we had one primary complaint. The menu icons are very difficult to read if you have an average size monitor (e.g. our iMac). They lack the clarity and crispness of Photoshop's menu icons. As a result, you could end up with a headache from eyestrain after hours of squinting at the menu every time you make a selection.
Other than that, PhotoStudio is pretty easy to grasp intuitively, especially if you are already familiar with Photoshop. The layout is sensible and it's pretty easy to find your way around. (We couldn't find a circular or oval lasso, just a rectangular lasso.)
Our test began with two pictures from a Fuji digital camera, one of our pet rabbit and one of a barn in Mesa, Arizona.
We wanted to change the barn picture so it would look like dusk instead of midday. This was easily accomplished by changing hue and saturation in PhotoStudio's Enhance menu.
We then went through a number of steps to make bunny compatible with the barn backdrop. We added a gradient tone that used the magenta and turquoise tones of the barn image and then heightened the Contrast on bunny, again under the Enhance menu. Then we used Composite to get the tones just right, blending in a Gradient silhouette of bunny to the Heightened Contrast bunny.
We were pleased with the easily-read Before and After display in PhotoStudio. This is a very nice feature, as it gives you instant feedback as to exactly where you're at with your image. Under Select, we added a border around bunny and then used the airbrush (Or is it a spraycan? We just can't make that icon out!) to soften the border and give a nice glow to bunny's fur. PhotoStudio has a very nice Border function.
Adding a subtle drop shadow behind the text, we were happy with the final image.
While we checked out
some of the other Effects, they didn't do much for us. Too much spinning and swirling
for our taste. We'd rather see more Effects that would give other tonal effects or
the look of a line engraving. Those would be really cool.