When designs are due tomorrow, few designers have time to search the Internet and graphic arts directories to find out about the latest design software releases and upgrades. But to make the job easier, the editors of PrintMedia InBox compiled a short list of seven new graphic design software programs and plug-ins:
ImagePort 1.1 has just been released and includes support for Adjustment Layers so that designers do not have to flatten Photoshop files within QuarkXPress. Multiple versions of the same image can now be placed in one picture box wherein layers can be turned on or off. According to ALAP, Len Williams of Design Strategies says, "We aren't limited to importing flattened TIFF and EPS files."
Adobe Live Motion helps produce individual Web graphics and entire pages requiring interaction, animation and sound. LiveMotion features a tool set designed to create professional Web animation using an object-based timeline that was modeled after Adobe After Effects.
The solution allows designers to edit position, opacity, rotation, scale, skew and color for live effects. Designers can reposition individual keyframes to fine-tune compositions within the workflow.
Eye Candy 4000/Xenofex plug-ins have been bundled recently. Eye Candy 4000 features 23 filters that combine effects like shadows, bevels and glows with Chrome, Fire, Smoke and Wood. The Xenofex collection also features 16 additional effects. The interface includes fully resizable and zoomable preview windows that allows designers to view images automatically. The plug-in also includes more than 160 presets for more complicated projects.
ThumbsPlus is a software application designed to view, edit, print and organize images, metafiles, fonts and movies, as well as Web pages. ThumbsPlus version 4.50 is currently available to test or buy for Windows 95, 98, ME, XP, NT and 2000. New tools allow designers to build slide shows, upload, combine and compress images, add or subtract color and save raw files, as well as automatically extract EXIF information.