ColorDesign : Quilter's solution?
Author: Rocky Waters
Date: June, 1994
Keywords: Quilt quilting Momentum Software program review application crafts craft
ColorDesign: Quilter's solution? by Rocky Waters, SMUG Member Rick Sutton, ColorDesign's author, is formally trained in Mathematics (Bachelor's Degree) and Architecture (Masters Degree). He has developed this program to assist in the creation of color designs. It is not a paint program, in fact it is different from any other graphics program you are apt to use. Its main power lies in being able to layout symmetrical patterns. This is especially useful in applications such as quilt and tile design. It can be used educationally in experimentation with color and design. This program may also be of some use assisting in the generation of backgrounds for multimedia presentations. The application can run in 8-bit or 24-bit color with RAM requirements of 3.4-6MB. That is a very reasonable amount considering the manipulations done by this program. The program performed well on my Mac IIsi running with 8-bit color (24-bit is not yet available on my machine). This is a very simple application to install, just drag it to your hard disk or run it from floppy; it is distributed uncompressed on an 800K floppy with plenty of room to spare. The manual is written as a command reference. For the most part it goes through a listing of the program's controls and menu items and lists what each one does. There are many controls available and one must really play with the program to understand how to manipulate the controls to receive your desired output. This isn't too bad, as it is a fairly fun program to play with. The program is pretty impressive in the options it gives the user. You may choose to let the computer generate a pattern for you or retain total control for yourself. The program is flexible enough that you may give only partial control to the computer, giving it such commands as to only select from a range of colors or particular shapes and sizes that are acceptable. Colors can be opaque or can be given a level of transparency. Blending of colors can be done in more than a dozen different ways, including Or, Xor, Bic, SubOver, and AddPin. You may select the color used, give the program a range to select from, or let it choose random colors for you. ColorDesign also has the ability to apply a texture to a pattern, so that the colors do not have to look quite as flat. I found textures by themselves or applied to a pattern to be useful for the generation of background designs. Colors may also be patterned giving them a different look. There are 16 standard shapes you may choose from as well as a free form polygon tool. The shapes can be sized and manipulated in a variety of fashions. All shapes may be rotated and tiled. Shapes may generated as outlines from 1 to 5 pixels in width or as solids. When placed, symmetry may be selected to whatever configuration you want. You may keep the symmetry the same during the creation of a work or you may change symmetry for placements as you wish. A special type of symmetry is given its own menu item, Tesslation, a term coined by M.C. Escher. Tesslation, as implemented by ColorDesign, allows you to create interlocking tiles of two colors that will cover the work area. You may choose which colors you wish to be used, the default is black and white. If you select blend mode, the tiling will blend with any existing design. Kaleidoscope mode lets the computer do all the work. Colors and shapes are selected and placed at random on the work area. Some control over the design can be had by selecting parameters from this item's dialog box, such as what shapes are to be used, color specification, and size limits. The design may be used as is or manipulated after generation and/or placed over an existing design. Besides just dealing with shapes generated from within the program, PICT files generated by other programs can be imported and placed. The only limitations are that the picture must be less than 50 by 50 pixels in size and that white color on the PICT will be treated as the background color (transparent). Designs may be saved in a compressed format only readable by ColorDesign or as a PICT which can then be imported to many other programs for further manipulation or use. For an initial release, this program was very robust and I only had one problem (when my system locked up while using the free form polygon tool with a large number of points). ColorDesign is an exciting design program and is available for $79.95 from: Momentum Software 209 Wilson Avenue Blacksburg, VA 24060 703/953-1973
Copyright © june, 1994 by Rocky Waters