diskMAGazine (Aug 1991) : DPaintIV.txt

 -- NOTE: The following is a compilation of DeluxePaint 4.0's (Copyright
    1991 by Electronic Arts) new or enhanced features. They were taken from 
    a "prerelease" version demonstration of the program. No further 
    assistance can be given by the author as he observed the use of the 
    "prerelease" and is not in his posession. No responsibility whatsoever 
    will be taken by the author concerning accuracy and/or changes to the 
    final version. --
Dpaint IV follows in the footsteps of its earlier versions in ease of use
and productivity while adding a wide palette of new or enhanced features.
 A New DPaint!
 After clicking the icon (which, by the way, takes a professionally-
looking approach after the more playful DPIII icon), a familiar screen
appears. You once again are asked to choose the display mode, Overscan
off, regular Overscan or maximum Overscan, NTSC or PAL standards, whether 
to swap-load or load the whole program at once, and the number of colors.
 Of course, the main change to this screen is the little button labeled
"HAM." HAM ? Yes, HAM. Dan Silva, the chief programmer, once said he'd
never include HAM mode in any version of DPaint. I guess he lied...
 After clicking "OK," the main DPaint screen is opened. "Oooohhhh..." you
say when you see the new buttons in the tool-bar.. Actually, they're the 
same icons; but they have that clean 3D-punch that has become the new 
fashion among all sorts of computers nowadays. Even the title bar was 
given the 3D-look.
 At first glance, nothing but the "new" icons has changed, except that
Dpaint now has it's own, very attractive, font. When you look at the
menus, however, you'll notice that you're not in Kansas anymore ....
 Pull-Downs and More
 The "Picture" menu became a little shorter, and that's because the
"Color" sub-menu got a menu of its own (that will be discussed later on).
Besides that, it was not changed.

 The "Brush" menu also is very similar to the DPIII menu -- but by far not
the same. You now can even have a spare brush (in addition to the spare
screen) with which you can perform an incredible function that could sell
DPIV by itself: it's called "Metamorph" and allows you to literally
"morph" one brush into another. This is accomplished by creating an anim
brush with the "Spare" brush being the first frame and the current brush
the last frame. The number of frames between those two are variable. 
 "Metamorph" lets you pseudo-fade two digitized pictures or two words. The
possibilities seem endless and it's a lot of fun to play with.
 The "Mode" menu didn't change at all, and it probably didn't need to,
 The "Anim" menu wasn't changed either, except that the "Animbrush"
sub-menu was moved to the top of the menu.
 The "Color" menu is totally new and split up the original Palette-
requester into "Ranges" and "Mixer," the functions of which are pretty
obvious. The "Ranges"-requester allows you to modify a Range of colors
greatly -- you can even define the distance between the colors used in
the Range.
 The "Mixer" is the "Palette"-requester totally re-defined. It will multi-
task internally, meaning that the requester can be kept open so you can 
draw and change colors at the same time. It displays 32 colors of your
palette horizontally at the top of the requester, and two buttons can be
clicked to scroll up and down your total palette (if you are using HAM
mode). There are no more seperate RGB and HSV controllers; they use the
same three gadgets, and you can switch between RGB and HSV editing at the
click of a button. The most remarkable new feature is the actual mixer --
by selecting colors and painting into a small rectangular area you can
literally mix these colors to produce new colors, very similar to the 
"real" palette used by oil-paint artists.
 Most of the remaining selections are found in the DPIII "Colors"

 The "Effects" menu was broadened quite a bit. Now you can select
"Lightbox" (known as "Onion-skin" as well) and see the last and next frames
of an animation in a single frame. Also, you can set the "Transperancy"
of a brush -- this is often only useful in HAM mode and allows you, to
a variable degree, see through the brush onto the underlying surface.
 Automatic anti-alias was added as well -- meaning that any brush you
paste or any stroke you draw will be automatically anti-aliased. Again,
often this is only useful in HAM mode.
 "Perspective" seemed to have been sped up a little, but it is still,
understandably, very slow on a 68000 with maximum anti-alias selected.

 Finally, the "Opts" menu has a couple of new additions as well: 
"FastAdjust" speeds up brush handling in HAM mode significantly, and the
"Koords" selection was (finally) given a key-combination shortcut.

 To HAM or not to HAM
 When you select "HAM" when the program is first started (or when you
select "Screen format" from the "Picture" menu) there is a noteable 
difference in the palette display on the lower right. There is a little
button beneath the color selection with a letter and two arrows -- this
lets you scroll among the 256 selectable colors (there are still 4096
colors displayed, as when using anti-aliasing etc.).
 Of course, drawing is somewhat slower than in 2-64 color modes. When
drawing free-hand, this doesn't affect your work much, but unfortunately
picking up brushes and filling closed areas is painfully slow even with
"FastAdjust" selected (please be reminded that this was observed from
a "prerelease" of the program -- the above features will hopefully be
 The results, however, are very clear and exceed the image quality of
DigiPaint 3 and other competing HAM paint programs.

 First Impressions
 DeluxePaint IV will (like its previous versions have in the past) set 
new standards for Amiga paint programs. It has all the right components to 
be able to dominate the Amiga paint program market for all current Amiga 
 The DeluxePaint series is a symbol of clever combination of productive
tools, extreme ease of use and very hard work. It deserves to be attained
legally instead of pirate copies that will probably soon circulate. Please
support the programmers of DeluxePaint and your local Amiga dealer by
purchasing the program.
 -- If any minor or major new features were not included in this
    publication, it is due to the demonstration of the program and its
    lack of coverage of all aspects of the program, and/or due to the
    fact that a "prerelease" was used. --

 Deluxe Paint and all its prereleases are a trademark of Electronic Arts. 
 They are (C) Copyright 1991 by Electronic Arts. 

 This preview is (C) Copyright 1991 by Peter Baer.