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OFFTOPIC: Microsoft made free Acrylic Beta available for public download
Posted by Arne Hess - on Friday, 10.06.05 - 19:49:49 CET under 01 - General News - Viewed 9007x
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Okay, this goes completely off-topic since it isn't mobile nor wireless related in any way but maybe you want to know about it anyway?
Today Microsoft made "Acrylic" Beta available for public download. Acrylic is the codename for an innovative illustration, painting and graphics tool that provides exciting creative capabilities for designers working in print, web, video, and interactive media.

Key Features

  • Vector and Pixel Tools: Paint on pixel layers, create objects and insert images on vector layers, convert between vector and pixel layer types, create selection masks by dragging vector objects to pixel layers, and more.
  • Expressive Pixel Painting Engine: Create realistic pixel paintings using the pixel brush engine.  Create your own multi-component brushes for expressive power; use them to paint with gradients, textures, smudging, and paint thickness.
  • Pixel Selection Tool: Automatically create tight and accurate pixel selections on complex shaped image features with just a few simple in/out region markings.
  • Live Effects: Apply image effects and color correction filters on a per object or per layer basis to either vector or pixel based elements.
  • Variations Palette: Paint with variations in hue, saturation, lightness, strokes, stroke width, and transparency.
  • Image Stitching: Stitch together individual photographic or scanned images into high quality panoramic images.
  • HTML Workflow: Create rollover and popup buttons, preview your artwork in Pixel Preview mode, and export to HTML format with auto-slicing capabilities.
  • Hint Palette: Quickly access contextual information regarding the currently moused-over tools and palettes.

Based on Hong Kong based Creature House's "Expression 3" (which is still available as free download), which Microsoft acquired back in 2003, Acrylic is another an vector-based illustration and graphics tool that provides exciting creative capabilities for designers working in print, web, video and interactive mediums.

The current Beta is available for free (the download is around 78 MB) but requires a valid Passport account.

Cheers ~ Arne