Adobe art package lets users tap library of images for Web design





A new kind of art, not quite clip art or homegrown illustration, is emerging to
fill the demand for fast, professional-looking Web graphics.


Adobe Systems Inc.’s ImageStyler is the first serious art tool in this category.
Microsoft Corp.’s PhotoDraw 2000 package, now in beta form, will come out late this
year.


ImageStyler’s collection of predefined shapes and designs ranges from buttons to
logos. It will seem familiar to Adobe Photoshop users, but ImageStyler does need a
wizardly interface for others.


When nonartists open an art application, they are thinking not of the creative steps
but of the end result—say, a series of buttons for an agency Web page. Figuring out
how to make ImageStyler cough up the buttons can be a bit tough.


ImageStyler applies filters and effects far more rapidly than Photoshop and would make
an excellent addition for users of Photoshop or ImageReady, Adobe’s other Web
graphics program.


The trio form a powerful team that Adobe ought to bundle.


ImageStyler’s library of arrows, fruits, and geometric and household shapes seems
too limited, and I want to see it expand. After you place a shape, ImageStyler supplies
various effects, filters, distortions and patterns to jazz it up.


Simple embossing gives a 3-D look to elaborate gradients, for example. Image-Styler can
also perform the same manipulations on text. It automatically creates new layers for its
effects.


There is an engine for making basic JavaScript images for the Web, such as a button
that lights up when the cursor passes over it. But the resulting file is hard to insert
into an existing Web document without programming skills.  


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