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Software Review of:
Image Tint


Susan Ives is a past president of Alamo PC.

From the November, 2002 issue of PC Alamode Magazine

You know youíre old when your baby pictures are in black and white. An archeological dig of my old family photos revealed that we didnít get color film until I was about nine. And most of the ancestral record either black and white or hand-tinted.

Hand tinted. Now thatís a thought. Whatís to keep me from coloring in my old photos? As it turns out, nothing.

Image Tint is a kit containing 10 sheets of art paper, 8 conté pastel pencils, a kneaded eraser and an instructional CD. Itís almost everything you need to print and hand-color your old family photos, turning them into works of art.

I got my kit at Hobby Lobby in Crossroads Mall, just a short trip up the escalator from the Alamo PC Learning Center. It cost $19.95. If theyíve run out, write to the Hunt Corporation, Statesville, NC 28677. 

The CD was an art lesson on a disk. Artist Theresa Airey shows you step-by step how to use the included pencils to create an original masterpiece out of an old photo. Just scan it into your computer, print it on the included art paper and color away. Mistakes can easily be rubbed away using the included eraser and the final product can be set with fixative (not included) to preserve it for all eternity.

If you already have conté pastels and know how to use them there is no need to buy the kit. The 10 sheets of included paper are not specially formulated for inkjet printing; they are regular watercolor and charcoal papers.

I recommend practicing first. The colors require a light touch and if you need particular colors ó skin tones, for example ó you might have to experiment quite a bit. The eight included colors are really not sufficient. There was no black or white, and although they explain that you can make purple by combining blue and red, Iíd rather have purple. Other colors are available for purchase separately.

I scanned a photo of me and my brother when we were about six and three. If I do say so myself, it turned out quite well. I think I got the flesh tones just right, combining salmon, yellow brown and a little red blush. The hair was a problem: during the summer, we were very blonde, but brown and yellow made our hair look gingery. I really could have used a white pencil. Black would also have come in handy for some of the shading. I found the entire process forgiving: what I ended up with looks like an original pencil drawing. All in all, it took me about 45 minutes. Now that I have the technique down, future masterpieces will emerge faster.
Before After

The tutorials on the accompanying CD were complete and easy to follow. There is a sound narration and plenty of illustrations. You can zoom in on the sample image to see how the artist accomplished the different effects. 

The narration seemed to peter out before the end of some of the lessons. I donít know whether this was caused by running the program on Windows XP. The disk doesnít install a program: you run the tutorial right off of the disk. You need at least Win 95, a 486 machine with 24MB of RAM, a CD-ROM Drive and sound to run the tutorial. You will also need a way of digitizing your old photos and an inkjet printer. The instructions say it will not work with a laser printer.

Image Tint was a lot of fun and doesnít require any special skills. I would recommend it for anyone with old family photos (or even new ones!) that would look good transformed into a pastel drawing.

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