On May 30, 2002, ArcSoft Inc., a leading provider of digital imaging software
technologies, announced the availability of ArcSoft Funhouse. Formerly
named PhotoFantasy, Funhouse is an intuitive, easy-to-use digital imaging
software program that enables consumers of almost any skill level to insert
their personal photos and text into a variety of fantasy images.
Enhanced with a brand new interface and loaded with over 150 unique
fantasy templates, Funhouse provides powerful editing tools that enable
the seamless combination of two or more photos to create funny or realistic
scenes. Funhouse users can easily insert the images of friends and family
onto a quarterback's body, a rock star, $100 bills or any of the other
ready-to-use templates. Or, they can create their own customized template
in a matter of minutes.
The new Funhouse interface consists of a simplified, five-step automated
process that captures, manipulates and edits digital images and text almost
effortlessly. First, users select a stock Funhouse image or create a customized
template, and choose a personal photo from a hard drive, digital camera
or other source. The Funhouse program features a new editing tool which
allows users to "mask out" areas of the template, often a face, so that
their photos can be placed inside. The program directs them to fine-tune
the new template for color, size, orientation and position. Users can then
add text boxes to create a personalized message, and print for mailing,
or E-Mail, the final product to friends or family.
Those who previously used PhotoFantasy were generally strong advocates.
With Funhouse's compelling interface and numerous new templates, it appears
they are now hoping to entice the digital imaging community into manipulating
their photos. Funhouse will allow people to enjoy their digital photographs
in whole new and exciting way, without having a professional design background.
At $29.99, the program might be a good "stocking stuffer" for the younger
set. It could also be a new approach to showing photos, for the photo enthusiast.
The program is pretty user friendly and the learning curve is fairly "smooth
For those who think the program may not warrant consideration, keep
in mind some things about the company. ArcSoft, founded in 1994, is a global
leader in digital imaging software for the desktop, server, mobile and
wireless industries. Its customers include leading global digital device
manufacturers in a wide variety of markets with a digital imaging and visual
communication focus and millions of end users. Also, the company, headquartered
in Silicon Valley, has additional offices in Asia, Europe and the Americas.