Ottawa PC Users' Group, Inc.
 Product Review 
 


VCW VicMan's Photo Editor
by
Jocelyn Doire

When VCW VicMan's Photo Editor starts for the first time, you have the option to watch 3 different animated tutorials written in Java. One of them is on the photo editor basics, one on retouching images and the last one on the power of cloning. The speed of the video is a bit troublesome, so I soon stopped it and used the step button instead to adjust the speed to my liking, but it meant that I lost some animation such as the red blinking circle around the object of the demonstration.

The program has a panel of buttons to the left, including a pencil and a brush (same as the pencil but with anti-aliasing) to draw lines, an eraser, and an eyedropper to select a colour from a colour chart or from the picture itself. The next 4 buttons are used to replace one colour with another in various ways, for example one can replace the colour of an object with the selected foreground colour, and adjust the colour tolerance in real time (click on "live") until you get the full contour of the object.

The next 4 buttons let you select an area, either rectangular, free hand shaped or based on a colour range and make the editing to only that area, which is very convenient when objects that you want to protect are close.

You can add text but the options are limited and cannot adjust the look while viewing the text with the picture. Included are also gamma correction, contrast, automatic colour correction, and more, but no red eye correction. The package also has a number of filters like noise reduction, blur, emboss, and some more artistic ones called the Sapphire collection, with some interesting results but often hard to predict.

One of the best features available in the Pro version is the clone tool; it allows you to do a surprising number of things on a picture including removing defects, duplicating objects, moving edges, etc. The way it works is quite simple. You first select a source area and a destination area, you then move the cursor where you want to copy the source area. The area can be a square, a circle or a line, each with a size of 1 to 51 pixels and with an opacity of 0 to 100%.

For example, in the first picture I extended the label by selecting an area near the edge of the label and "painted" the area where I wanted the new edge to appear. To make the white area blend nicely I selected an opacity of 30% and gradually melded the two areas, for the pins I selected 100% opacity and a small area. The same technique can also be used to delete unwanted objects like the shoes or add a chair as shown in the edited beach picture.

There are a few things I would like to see in Vicman's Photo Editor. For example, it does not support the mouse wheel nor can it maximize the edit window, which makes the modification of large pictures more arduous than needed. It has a very convenient 5 levels undo, but it's missing the redo in case you went too far. When selecting the "save as" for the first time, you have the option to select the quality factor, but as far as I can tell there is no way to change it afterward. Finally it has multiple floating option windows that change depending on the context and can be moved wherever you want, but their sizes are all different, so they use up a lot of real estate on your screen.

Overall, VCW Vicman's Photo Editor is fairly easy to use with some powerful features, but it still lacks some maturity to be a serious competitor to other well known programs, though for it's price, free for the regular version and $42.87 for the pro version, it is an interesting option.

To install the latest version of VCW Vicman's Photo Editor, go to http://www.vicman.net/soft/phedinst.exe and accept to install it.

For more info check  http://www.vicman.net/vcwphoto/index.htm.


Bottom Line:

VCW Vicman's Photo Editor
Free for regular version - $42.87 for the pro version from Vicman

Web site:  http://www.vicman.net/vcwphoto/index.htm


Copyright and Usage
Ottawa Personal Computer Users Group (OPCUG), Inc.
3 Thatcher Street, Ottawa, ON  K2G 1S6

The opinions expressed in these reviews may not necessarily
represent the views of the OPCUG or its members