ViaGrafix Introduces ViaDraw





(October 14, 1998) ViaGrapfix Corporation has announced the release of ViaDraw, a drawing package designed for business as well as personal users. It has sophisticated 2D and 3D drawing capability, image processing, and inter-application compatibility. The program was created to be easy to use so that even the most casual user can be productive. ViaDraw is suited for professional illustrators, artists, and designers, but with a simplicity for the occasional user.

"ViaDraw is for users who donīt want to waste a lot of time installing, learning, and essentially battling a huge dinosaur of a program just to make some drawings," says Steve Ledbetter, software product manager for ViaGrafix. "ViaDraw is precision drawing for everyone. With a street price of around $60, ViaDraw delivers unsurpassed capability for the price."

ViaDraw comes with a free instructional video and a complete, clearly-written manual with a step-by-step tutorial. Wizards are provided that automate the drawing of maps, letterhead, graphs, certificates of award, greeting cards, and even tournament brackets.  In addition, ViaDraw has extensive text manipulation capability, such as text along curves, 3D text, shadowing, and stretching.

ViaDraw is compatible with Windows 95, 98, and NT. It includes a library of over 12,000 clip-art symbols and a clip-art manager for quick access of the symbols.

ViaDraw supports Twain compatible scanners and digital cameras, allowing images to be inserted directly into a drawing from a scanner or digital camera.  In addition, ViaDraw supports a variety of popular image formats, including JPG, BMP, TIF, and PNG.

Images can be displayed in their original form or can be modified through a variety of image processing functions. Color and brightness settings can be adjusted. The image can be smoothed, blurred, sharpened, embossed, edge enhanced, cropped, sized, and rotated. An image can be applied onto an object in the drawing, like a photograph being applied to any shape in the drawing.  An image can also be applied to a 3D drawing object, using true 3D texture mapping.

Although ViaDraw is easy to learn and use, it has advanced capabilities like precise location, size, distance, and angles. Several 2D and 3D shapes are selectable from the menu, each with its own set of options such as gradient, fills, image maps, and shadowing.

3D objects are drawn by selecting one of six 3D "primitives," extruding a 2D object or "sweeping" a 2D object circularly. These operations are intuitive and produce strong results with little effort.

Output of drawings include a number of file formats like HTML, making it possible to automatically convert any ViaDraw drawing into a Web page. Furthermore, drawings can be inserted into other documents, like a Word file.

ViaDraw is available through computer retailers and software dealers.

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