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Product: Webtricity 2
Company: Micrografx, Inc.
Website: http://www.micrografx.com
Estimated Street Price: $199.95
Review By: Alan Scher

Webtricity 2 Introduction

Webtricity 2 is a suite of four  stand alone graphics applications combined into one package. Both professional web designers and amateurs alike will be able to create top quality graphics and animations with relative ease.  All the programs use the familiar Microsoft Office toolbar interface. The main application and the one most often used is Picture Publisher 8. It provides easy to use professional image editing. There are tons of effects that you can apply to an image. You can make truly top quality GIF and JPEG graphics. You can even control the compression to get the smallest file size for faster image loading on web pages. All features in each application are organized in functional groups for easy location. All the applications are loaded with wizards and templates so even a non - professional can get started right away. It's a good idea to keep the 340 page manual handy, though. You also get 30 days of free tech support. I called them several times at different times of the day and always got right through to a helpful, patient "customer advocate" within 3 minutes.

Simply3D 3

The easiest way to create stunning, dramatic visual effects, ready for the web is with      Simply3D 3. You can create objects in GIF format or the newer VRML2. You can create 3D animated text, objects or fantastic scenes. You can choose from pre-built 3D worlds, drag and drop 3D objects from the catalog or use the project wizard to build your own scene from start to finish.

FrontPage Web Wizard

Windows Draw 6

Windows Draw 6 is an easy to use drawing application for the creation of line-based (vector) graphics and animation for the Web. Users are provided with a comprehensive set of drawing tools, wizards and templates. There is also a feature that lets you "save as HTML", which makes DRAW a great platform for designing Web pages independently or with another Web site creation tool like Front Page, Homesite, Fusion or others. In addition there are many ready to use templates to create ready to print greeting cards, business cards, stationery, newsletters, brochures and much more.

FrontPage Page Wizard

Media Manager 8

Media Manager gives the user easy access to the over 80,000 ready to use graphics. You have easy control with drag and drop ease, of cataloging and managing to the E. all your logos, clip art, and photos. You can print thumbnail catalogs. Searching for just the right graphic is also very simple. The clip art collection includes over 10,000 photos, over 1,000 objects, over 1,000 backgrounds, over 1,000 GIF and AVI animations, over 3,000 old time vintage illustrations and an additional CD containing over 33,000 pieces of vector clip art that is not affected by screen resolution or size. All items are royalty free and can be used as is, edited or used in whole in part.

FrontPage Editor & Explorer

Main Highlights and Features

Picture Publisher 8

 Light Studio

 Lighting types include Directional, Spot, Flood, and Omni. Light Settings include Normal, Embossed Lighting, Special Effect Lighting, Distance, Intensity, Aperture, Ambient Lighting, Bump Maps, Gloss Finish Lighting, Height, Adding and Deleting lights and several Presets. All Lighting Effects changes are visible through the preview window as you make them. 

 Lens Flare

 Lens Flare settings include General Property settings, Aspect Ratio, Flare Properties, Halo, Reflection Tails, Ray Properties, Anamorphic Light and several Presets. All Lens Flare Settings are visible through the preview window as you set them. 

 Bevel Factory

Bevel Factory settings include Preview vs. Auto preview, Bevel Width, Edge Shape, Light Direction, and Colored Light. Advanced settings include Light Settings using Light Studio to generate light.

Image Maps

Ability to Create Image Maps in Copy HTML without having to go to a different program. Settings include Default URL, Default Image Map Name and Polygon Tolerance. 

GIF Animator

GIF Animator allows you to open an Existing Animation, Create New Animations, and Edit Animations  either globally or Frame by Frame.

Simply 3D 3

 Animated Textures

 Adding an animated texture to an object's material is just a matter of "drag-and-drop"...great for creating animated water or explosions to an animation.

 Animated Lights

 Simply 3D 3 now has easily applied animated lighting to add character and drama to an animation.

 Morphing

User can deform an object in the view port with the standard deform tools and morph the object through each of the changes they make. The user can create twisting text, swaying palm trees, and other special effects by morphing between deformations.

 2D to 3D Wizard

 2D vector art can be imported/pasted in to be extruded into a 3D beveled shape. The user can turn 2D logos and artwork they already have into useful, animated 3D art.

Project Wizard 

Creates an entire project from start to output in one continuous Wizard. Any user can use this tool out of the box to create their first 3D project.

Windows Draw 6

Web Publishing Wizard

 Automatically converts your text into HTML format and graphics to GIF and JPEG. Plus it copies pages to the host server you choose, so in no time your creation will be on the Web.

 Animated GIF Wizard

 The GIF Wizard lets you create and place cool animations on your pages. Now you can make your web site jump, hop, and sing in a matter of minutes.

 Ready to Use Templates

Ready to use templates for everything from greeting cards and invitations to newsletters and brochures.

Final Comments

Webtricity is fairly easy to use. The included 340 page manual as well as the applications is filled with instructions, wizards, and handy hints and tips, so that even a novice can turn out decent results fairly quickly. Simply 3D is a high-quality VRML 1.0 and 2.0-compatible program for creating or modifying 3D object files, but its main uses for the Web are for creating 3D scenes (in VRML) or animations (as GIFs). Used without the wizard, this can be a pretty scary program, since it has the kinds of features found in professional 3D programs. 

Media Manager is a graphics manager, essentially a thumbnail browser. It is very fast and allows searching Micrografx libraries.

Picture Publisher is the centerpiece of Webtricity.

You can easily add drop shadows, convert images to buttons, create about a dozen "cool text" basic effects, and generate backgrounds and textures automatically. There are so many choices that there's a built in browser just for the abundance of effects, wizards, and macros. There's an unlimited undo, not just the last few changes.

How It Grades
Installation: A
Interface: B
Ease Of Use: B-
Image Quality: A+
Cost: B
Overall: B+

Windows Draw is a simple vector (line) based drawing program that is similar to Print Shop and Print Artist. Like Picture Publisher it has a wizard to convert your creation for publication to the Web.

Webtricity's wizards and on line tutorials make it easy to get started. More experienced users will find enough features to do professional work

 

Overall Score
90%

In The Box?
8 CD's, User's Guide

System Requirements

  • Windows 95, 98 or NT 4.0:
  • 486 or faster processor (Pentium recommended)
  • 8 MB of RAM (16 MB recommended)...or 16 and 24 for 98 and NT (per application)
  • 207 MB available hard-disk space for installation (300 MB free recommended)
  • SVGA display (16 bit color and Direct 3D acceleration recommended)
  • CD-ROM drive

PC Setup

  • Pentium II 333
  • Windows 98 Second Edition
  • 256 Mb SD Ram
  • Turtle Beach Montego Sound Card
  • Kenwood 52x TrueX CD Rom Drive
  • Sony 19" GDM F-400 Monitor
  • ATI Rage Pro AGP Graphics Card

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