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Software Review of:
Funhouse
ArcSoft

 

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Bill Klutz does consulting work, primarily in the areas of Management and ComputerApplications/Hardware/Software.

From the November, 2002 issue of PC Alamode Magazine

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 and easy."

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.


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