Photoscape also features a "Combine" option, similar to Digital Image Pro's "Stitch" feature, which enables you to align multiple photos to create one final photo.
Just like Digital Image Pro supported projects with animations, Photoscape enables you to create your own animation from multiple images. Like Digital Image Pro, Photoscape also comes with several filter effects to apply to your images. For instance, the "antique" filter will make your photos look like old, faded antique prints.
Where Digital Image Pro had a feature with which you could create and send your own e-cards online, Photoscape has "Face Search. Photoscape is a freeware program and available for download from photoscape. GIMP GIMP is image manipulation software that allows you to retouch and creatively edit photos or other images or create your own images from scratch. GIMP's color enhancing tools are also very similar to those of Digital Image Pro, with brightness and contrast, color hue and dodge and burn options.
GIMP is available for free download online from gimp. The software includes features similar to Digital Image Pro, such as red-eye removal, emailing, resizing, color adjustments and image viewing. Digital image mavens will be shocked to discover that my most basic digital image editor is Microsoft Paint, the bare bones bitmap editor that Microsoft ships free with Windows.
The digital imaging tasks I perform can be divided into two groups, one of which will be familiar to most digital camera users, and one that will not. Second, I create a lot of graphics for this and other Web sites. These graphics start life as a static bitmap in a certain size--say, x for the "promo" graphics I create for this site's home page--and are then filled with other imagery and text, and then output in a Web-friendly format.
Both have their strengths and weaknesses. I'm not sure why I never reviewed DIS 10, which is an excellent and capable product. But when Microsoft recently contacted me about its successor, Digital Image Suite , I figured it was time to atone for this oversight. And sure enough, DIS is an excellent update to an already well-conceived product, blending the successful task-based user interface of its predecessor with a wide range of new functionality.
And unlike the latest PhotoShop Elements release, DIS hasn't changed so much that it requires a steep learning curve yet again. That's appreciated. Digital Image Suite A quick overview "We've been developing Digital Image Suite since ," AnnMarie Thomas, the marketing manager for consumer software titles at Microsoft recently told me. All the tools that are in there are powerful, but they're easy enough for my mother to use. The biggest challenge we have with the product right now is awareness.
Often people don't explore the software enough to realize how powerful it is. The photo management application is called Digital Image Library Figure. The big deal here is sorting: Photos can be organized by folders, as they are in the Windows shell, or they can be organized by date. But Digital Image Library also supports a Labels view that lets you organize photos using label meta data that you specify. I have to be honest here. I'm not a huge user of photo library applications such as Picasa or Adobe Photo Album, though I recognize that the basic editing features these applications offer are generally all that most users need.
For users with more complicated needs, a dedicated editor is called for. It provides a task-based user interface that is clearly modeled on the Windows XP Explorer shell, and I find this interface to be particularly useful.
The last two versions of Digital Image Suite have also included the latest version of Microsoft Photo Story, the software giant's incredible application for creating photo slideshow movies. DIS includes Photo Story 3. Two things set DIS apart from other similar solutions. First, DIS is much simpler to use than most digital image suites, with a pretty obvious user interface that helps even inexperienced users get up to speed quickly.
But DIS is also more full-featured and powerful than the competition. Let's take a look at a classic example. You've got an old photo you've scanned in and it has all the common problems associated with these kinds of pictures: Folds and creases, scratches, and other unwanted elements that need to be exorcised from the image.
And of course, because it's a scanned image, it will need to be straightened and cropped. In PhotoShop Elements 3. And while Adobe's cropping tools are excellent, the Elements 3. In DIS Editor, these issues are more simply fixed. First, the Straighten Picture formatting tool can automatically straighten and crop an image in a single step. If you choose to use the Crop tool explicitly, it will automatically suggest a crop area a new feature in DIS , see below , which can be handy.
And the Crop tool's proportion feature can automatically suggest cropping areas for common photo sizes such as 8 x 10 and 5 x 7, which is excellent. And the task-based approach used by DIS means it's always obvious how to undo a previous action if things don't turn out the way you like. It's just much easier to learn and use, especially for the 99 percent of the population that's never going to be a professional photographer anyway. What's new in Digital Image Suite ?
I was a bit surprised when I booted up DIS Editor for the first time and it so closely resembled the previous version of the product. This is a new version, right? Well, it turns out quite a bit has changed, actually. Microsoft has just chosen to leave the existing user interface largely intact, which is probably a good idea anyway, as DIS has a proven and successful interface.
Here are some of the important new and improved features in DIS Stacked labels and keywords DIS has always supported a variety of ways in which you can edit the underlying metadata for images in order to group them in ways that make sense to normal human beings. For example, when you take vacation photos, you may logically arrange them by date and event in Explorer, but in the context of a photo management application such as DIS Library, it might make sense to group them using ratings 1 to 5 stars , labels like "Family" or "Vacations" or keywords like "Sunsets" or "Flowers".
In the previous version, DIS Library supported ratings and user-definable keywords. Now, DIS Library adds support for hierarchical labels and keywords. So, for example, DIS provides a new Label Editor that provides you with access to the new, hierarchical, Labels functionality Figure.
There are top-level labels, such as Keywords, People, Places, Events, and Flags the latter of which is not what it sounds like: And, as with the previous version, you can make your own Labels, at any point in the hierarchy aside from the top level. So you might create a hierarchy under Events - Vacations that includes names for each trip.
Or, you could create a hierarchy under Places that includes the names of the actual places you visited. The truly detail-oriented could do both.
For the curious, it's worth noting that all of the label, keyword, flag, and rating information you create is written to the individual files as metadata information. That means that the information will persist if you copy the files to other PCs or choose to later move to a different image editing and organizing package. That, I believe, is important: You don't want to spend time managing photos and then have to re-do any of that work later on.
Hover thumbnails Though DIS Library offers a nice thumbnail view of photos which can be enlarged or shrunk on the fly with a slide control , and a preview pane at the bottom of the window, sometimes you need a slightly better view of individual photos.
With its latest digital image offering, Microsoft provides management, editing and creative tools within a single product. Buy Now These are the Editor module, Library facility and Photo Story 3. All three have their own entry on the Start Menu. You will also be able to move seamlessly between the three modules when starting from either the Editor or Library. When installing the product, which is supplied on two CDs, you will be given the option of choosing either typical or complete install. The former takes up MB of space while the latter hungrily devours MB of your hard disk.