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Kid’s Coloring Book Creator

Posted By Ashraf On November 2, 2008 @ 12:09 AM In Giveaway of the Day Reviews | No Comments

{rw_text}Giveaway of the day for November 2, 2008 is Kid’s Coloring Book Creator [1]

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{rw_good}

  • Has built in instructions on how to work the program.
  • Very user friendly GUI.
  • You can transform multiple images at once.
  • You can control how much black/white you want in your image.
  • Program is quick and light on resources.

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{rw_bad}

  • The quality of resulting image is questionable (but enough if you just want to color it in).
  • Only supports .jpg .gif and .bmp formats (for the input image).
  • Amount of Black/White/Clarity settings are reset back to default everytime you close the software.
  • You cannot choose the file name that you want to save it as.
  • You are forced to enter First/Last Name and E-mail.
  • Really annoying “Vista Users run as Admin” popup everytime.

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{rw_score}
{for=”Features as Described” value=”10″}Simple program that does what it claimed.
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{for=”Ease of Use” value=”10″}The GUI is very user friendly and the program has built in instructions on what to do.
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{for=”Usefulness” value=”6″}While parents might have use for this,  besides maybe graphic and web designers, others probably will not.
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Installed, and runs fine on Vista Home Premium 32-bit. Registration was successful too: when you first run the program you will be prompted to enter a Name and Serial Key. You can get those from the readme.txt that came with this download from GOTD. Some GOTD poster said she could not copy+paste in the key but I copy+pasted it in fine from the readme.txt.

Kid’s Coloring Book Creator does exactly what it sounds like: it creates pages/images that kids will be able to color in. What this program does is that it takes any image you have and transforms in into a black/white coloring book page. You get to chose what images (only .jpg .gif or .bmp supported) you want transformed. You can transform multiple images at once. You get to control how much black/white you want in the page. You also get to control the clarity of the resulting page. Once you have converted your image to a coloring book page, you can either 1) Preview the pages 2) Print the pages or 3) Save the pages. The pages are saved into any location of your choosing as a .jpg image. This is a simple and efficient program that is very light on resources.

One great thing HotHotSoftware.com did with this program is that they embedded instructions on how to work the program (Steps 1-4) so if you somehow did not figure out how to work the program by your self (and the GUI is very self explanatory) you can read the instructions, which are written right onto the program window.

But I question the quality of the end product. It could be that the test images I used were bad test subjects for this specific task, but my resulting end product was not of ‘great’ quality (missing lines, minorly pixel-ated). But, the quality is good enough to serve as a color booking – which is the intention of the program. To me, the end product is more “comic book” like as opposed to “coloring book” like (but it could be passed off as both). You be the judge:

[2] [3]

 

 

 

 

 

Potentially, this program could be used by graphic and/or web designers since it transforms any given image into a unique look. Obviously it will help parents and anyone else who takes care of young children.

There are five ‘real’ problems I have with this software:

  1. The first time you exit the program, a window comes up where you have to enter your First/Last Name and E-mail. You cannot exit the program without entering this information – it will not let you ‘x’ out. The only way would have to be alt+ctrl+del style. And then you just would be promoted again next time you close the program.
  2. Every time you hit the button “Create Coloring Book Pictures” there is a really annoying popup that says if you are a Vista user, you might have to run as Administrator. I do not see how to turn this off.
  3. If you changed the Amount of Black, White, or Clarity you will have to do that every time you open the program. Each time you exit the program, these settings are set back to default. So far, I have no found a way to save these settings.
  4. When saving a transformed image/page (the end product), you do not get to chose the name you want to save it as. The first picture, I am talking about the pictures listed in the box that is under “Step 3″, will always be saved as book0000.jpg, the second as book0001.jpg and so on. So if you like saving your files into the same location, you will overwrite previous files by accident if you use this program multiple times.
  5. It only support .jpg .gif and .bmp formats for the image you input (the image that is transformed). If you have a .png image you would like to transform, you will need to convert it to any of those three formats first before being able to use it. For a light weight, easy to use converter, try FastStone [4].

To convert images in FastStone, go to Tools -> Open Batch Convert/Rename Dialog. Browse and find the images you want to convert, add them to the right by clicking “Add –>”. Chose your output format (keep it .jpg if you want to use it for KCBC), and output folder. Click convert.

Free Alternatives:

There are no ‘free alternative’ software that do what this program does as simply and as efficiently per say, but there are a few alternative ways of getting this done:

virtualPhotographer plugin [5] (thx caulbox)

vP is a Photoshop plugin that lets you “instantly apply high quality, professional photographic styles to your digital images, with just one click. It  includes over 50 presets that automatically apply combinations of film grain, color modification, B/W, soft focus, high contrast and many artistic effects to achieve the same professional-looking images that used to take hours of photo editing”.

-vP Developer

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Unfortunately, I have no way of verifying what the developer claims because I do not have photoshop.

Paint.Net [6]

Paint.net is an excellent free program that was intended to replace the default Paint program that comes with windows. It is very light on resources and it can do basic photo editing in a breeze. Some people compare it to GIMP and Photoshop. I have been using Paint.net for quite a while and I can swear by it – really great program. Paint.net can do the same thing this program does, and personally I think it does it better.

[7]

[8]

 

 

 

 

 

To do this, go to Effects -> Artistic -> Ink or Pencil Sketch (the above was pencil). Thank you to Pandora for pointing out the directions on how to do this.

Befunky.com [9]

With befunky.com all you have to do is upload your image and follow the instructions on screen – it will do all the work for you. Best part? You do not have to download or install any software. Only bad part about this is that befunky.com leaves a watermark on your picture. Thanks to G for pointing this out.

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PMnet Verdict: If you need to make coloring book/comic book like pages (parents, babysitters, maybe graphic and/or web designers) or just want to add a unique black/white look to multiple images, quickly, and efficiently check this program out. If you are looking to do this to only a couple of pictures, or are willing to do it one by one, Paint.net is also an excellent alternative, and is always free. It just takes more steps to do what this program does. If you do not want to download any software, try befunky.com
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URL to article: http://dottech.org/351/kid%e2%80%99s-coloring-book-creator/

URLs in this post:

[1] Kid’s Coloring Book Creator: http://www.giveawayoftheday.com/kids-coloring-book-creator/

[2] Image: http://dottech.org/wp-content/uploads/2008/11/whitehouse2.jpg

[3] Image: http://dottech.org/wp-content/uploads/2008/11/book0000.jpg

[4] FastStone: http://www.download.com/FastStone-Image-Viewer/3000-2192_4-10324485.html?cdlPid=10885987

[5] virtualPhotographer plugin: http://www.optikvervelabs.com/

[6] Paint.Net: http://www.getpaint.net/

[7] Image: http://dottech.org/wp-content/uploads/2008/11/whitehouse21.jpg

[8] Image: http://dottech.org/wp-content/uploads/2008/11/whitehouse22.jpg

[9] Befunky.com: http://www.befunky.com/cartoonizer/index.php

[10] Image: http://dottech.org/wp-content/uploads/2008/11/1225613833-1225613833.jpg

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