[Review] ArtStudio (v1.3.2)

{rw_text}Software reviewed in this article:

ArtStudio

Version reviewed:

v1.3.2

System Requirements:

Windows XP/Vista; Video accelerator card with ‘Pixel Shader 2.0′ support; Microsoft .NET framework 2.0; Microsoft DirectX 9

Price:

$35.00 (USD) but you can get it for free for a limited time at Giveawayoftheday.com!

Software description:

Corner-A ArtStudio is powerful animation software that can bring to life boring static images. ArtStudio has a lot of build-in filters, it has hardware acceleration support, various export possibilites and simple interface – you don’t need to be an artist or designer to use ArtStudio. Download free trial version right now and see ArtStudio possibilities.

NOTE: This software requires video accelerator with “Pixel Shaders 2.0? support!

Features:

  • All effect are hardware processed with video accelerator card.
  • Light and easy interface: all filters are simply drawn with mouse.
  • More than 20 built-in filters will help you to animate water, clouds, smoke and create other natural and abstract effects.
  • Result can be saved as screensaver (scr), standalone executable file (exe), flash animation (swf), gif animation (gif) or images sequence (bmp, jpg, or png).
  • No professional designer or artists skills required, almost everyone can animate favourite picture with ArtStudio.

————————-{/rw_text} –>

{rw_good}

  • Very easy to use.
  • Literally point and click animations.
  • Has many effects to chose from.
  • You can animate all four popular image formats: PNG, BMP, JPG or GIF images.
  • Fairly light on resources for being an animation program.
  • You can export into .exe, .avi, .scr (screensaver), .swf, .gif, and even static images (png, bmp, jpg).
  • You can add multiple effects to one image.
  • Eraser/undo tool allow you to remove any mistakes.
  • “Layer” system allows you to add/remove effects at will.
  • You can add custom background sound (MP3, WAV, WMA) for screensavers.

{/rw_good} –>

{rw_bad}

  • You are limited to the effects that are built in with the program.
  • The click + drag method to change settings (such as brush size + other settings) can be improved upon.
  • You can’t export as other popular video formats such as .WMV, .FLV, .MPEG, or .MOV.

{/rw_bad} –>

{rw_score}
{for=”Ease of Use” value=”10″}Point and click.
{/for}
{for=”Performance” value=”10″}Creates very nice animations.
{/for}
{for=”Usefulness” value=”7″}Effects are limited; some people may want different effects than the ones offered. Nonetheless, the easiness to make animations will attract many people. However people who’s graphic cards can’t support Pixel Shaders 2.0 will not find ArtStudio useful at all.
{/for}
{for=”Price” value=”6″}While ArtStudio is a fairly uncommon type of software, I do believe $35 is a bit high for it. Somewhere around $25 is a better price in my opinion. I would only pay $35 if there was an ability to create your own effects or the ability to download more effects.
{/for}
{for=”Arbitrary Equalizer” value=”10″}This category reflects an arbitrary number that does not specifically stand for anything. Rather this number is used to reflect my overall rating/verdict of the program in which I considered all the features and free alternatives.
{/for}
{/rw_score} –>

{rw_verdict}[tupr]
{/rw_verdict} –>

ArtStudio is a terrific program that allows users to easily animate images (JPG, PNG, BMP, and GIF). Although ArtStudio does have a limited amount of effects it can add, the attraction of ArtStudio is how easy it to use – literally point and click.

That being said, ArtStudio has been given out on GOTD in the past. I reviewed it twice when it was given out; once as v1.1.2 and once as v1.2.1. Today’s version is v1.3.2. There is no official changelog so I can’t specify the changes in this new version. However, looking at the updates posted on the developer’s website, it looks like the only things changed in v1.3.2 (since v1.2.x) are bugs were fixed and the interface has been given an overhaul; the features are still the same. Here is what the new interface looks like:

2009-12-01_010722

Therefore, if you want to learn more about ArtStudio and see what it can do, read my earlier two reviews: review on v1.1.2 and review on v1.2.1. The interface will look different in the reviews but the features are the same.

Here are examples of what this program can do (created by the developer):

[These examples are hotlinked with permission.]

[flashvideo file="http://corner-a.com/e107_files/ArtStudio/Samples/Flash/42_480x360.swf" /]

[flashvideo file="http://corner-a.com/e107_files/ArtStudio/Samples/Flash/Bird_480x360.swf" /]

[flashvideo file="http://corner-a.com/e107_files/ArtStudio/Samples/Flash/Serenity_480x360.swf" /]

[flashvideo file="http://corner-a.com/e107_files/ArtStudio/Samples/Flash/Boat_480x360.swf" /]

[flashvideo file="http://corner-a.com/e107_files/ArtStudio/Samples/Flash/helicopter_480x360.swf" /]

This review was conducted on a laptop running Windows 7 Professional 32-bit. The specs of the laptop are as follows: 3GB of RAM, a Radeon HD 2600 512MB graphics card, and an Intel T8300 2.4GHz Core 2 Duo processor.

{rw_freea}I don’t know of any free alternatives. If you know of free alternatives, please post in the comments below.
{/rw_freea} –>

{rw_verdict2}This. Program. Is. Amazing. I have never used a program before that allows you to do such easy point and click animations. Plus you can export into many different formats, including screensaver (you can make screensavers) or SWF flash video. Sure the effects are limited, but there are many effects that you can chose from. I like this program so much it got number 1 on my top ten giveaways list. Two thumbs up for this program – highly recommended.  Even if you don’t think you need this program, download it anyway because it will probably come in handy later on! Lastly, in terms of videos, since you can only export to .AVI, .SWF and .EXE with ArtStudio, use FormatFactory to convert to other video types (such as WMV or FLV) after you export as AVI with ArtStudio if you need to.
{/rw_verdict2} –>

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8 comments

  1. magician cape

    We are a group of volunteers and opening a new scheme in our community.

    Your site provided us with valuable information to work on.
    You’ve done a formidable activity and our whole neighborhood will be grateful to you.

  2. Derry Canfield

    Ah, a chance to make a tiny repayment to the debt we all owe to Ashraf.

    Trying not to be staggered that I actually missed a day of checking in to GOTD, and of course it’s the one day in twenty it would have been wise. Ach! Worse, no free alternatives.

    At the same time, I’ve long used BannerMaker for surprisingly sophisticated animated gifs, with enormous customization, fair range of features albeit never tried to insert sound. Having tested thousands of programs over a couple of decades, BannerMaker is among the mere three of every hundred that finds it way onto most of my flash drives, a top 25 keeper.

  3. RD

    @Patrick

    When you ran the ‘activate.exe’, it should have popped up a window, that said (and was titled) “Successfully activated”. You have to have done that -during- the giveaway.

    Giveawayoftheday often repeats their give-aways… you can ‘subscribe’ to their service, with ‘Software Informer’, which notifies you of the giveaway each day, and tracks your software versions to let you know of updates.

  4. Patrick

    Hello Ashraf,

    Nice program… You’re really so enthousiastic ;-)
    “Even if you don’t think you need this program, download it anyway because it will probably come in handy later on!”

    All is fine but one thing isn’t clear to me. I’ve downloaded and installed the program. I did not have it start up automatically at the end of installation. Registered via the Activate-module included. Started the program itself and… learned that my videocard does not support it (manufactured 2001). OK, no problem. I’ll get a new card one of these days, one that does have Pixel Shader 2.0 on board.

    QUESTION: It’s impossible to check wether the program is registered correctly or not. After closing the error-message following startup the program just shuts itself down. No way to check regustration :(
    Any ideas? Or can I blindly trust that, once I’ve installed a new videocard, the program will run as expected?
    Plse advize.

    Thanks8
    Pat.