[ Go to July 1997 Table of Contents ]|
-- by Rick Broida
Desktop publishers no longer need to convert graphics one tedious file at a time. Jasc's Image Robot lets you modify and convert multiple graphics files in one fell swoop.
HiJaak Pro (see WinLab Reviews, February), Image Robot's strongest rival, requires you to write a DOS batch file to do what Image Robot performs automatically. Using Image Robot, you select as many files as you wish (provided they're all in the same directory) and convert them to any of 30 supported formats. You can also apply filters, deformations and palette adjustments. So, while you transform a collection of GIFs into TIFFs, you can also sharpen, swirl and gamma-correct them.
Twenty filters provide effects, such as emboss, blur, mosaic and dilate; even better are the 11 available deformations, including motion blur, cylinder, wind and skew. With Image Robot you can also apply an optimized color palette to your images or convert them to virtually any color depth (including gray scale)
As you select various options, you're actually creating a script that you can save and use again. Once you've completed the processing, Image Robot generates a log detailing the changes.
At first, Image Robot appears to be a breeze to use. The preview window, however, is an oddity; it allows you to see the effects of individual commands or an entire script, but it only supports BMP files.
More important, the user interface lacks clear-cut direction. There's nothing to suggest what your first-or second, or third-step should be. Fortunately, the instruction manual saves the day.
It's unlikely that you'd want to apply image-warping filters and deformations to more than one graphic at a time. But if you find yourself converting images to different formats and color depths, Image Robot's batch processing is a godsend.