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PD PRO (PROJECT DOGWAFFLE 3)
The Dog is new again!!
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Project Dogwaffle has done it again. A major new release full of amazing functions and features. Dan Ritchie has taken Project Dogwaffle to new heights with his latest release of Project Dogwaffle Pro, version 3.0. Just when you thought they had hit the plateau, "The Dog" sprang forward with some new functions that are really terrific. Not only does the latest version contain all of the painting functions that I had come to love, it now adds some new panels and capabilities that really make me happy! This program which began as a simple paint program has really become a full fledged application that includes painting, animation, (including some really neat animation brush features) and much much more. The tools are deep and wide in capabilities. If you just look on the surface there is a multitude of options, but delve a little deeper and you will be astounded as I was at what you can do.

There are some new fill tools in Version 3.0 that greatly expand your capabilities. You can now center the hotspot on the circular gradient fill plus there are several new fill modes…warp vert, warp both, etc.

You will also find fill modes for the gradient tools under the linear tool.

But the real fun comes in when you layer gradients on your background. An endless variety of effects then become available. :-)

Dogwaffle Pro also comes with some new filters that I really enjoyed and also found to be as good or better in some instances that filters for other programs. The photographic filters are one example. Filters are not interchangeable with other imaging software but are written expressly for Dogwaffle. This makes them faster and tailored to the work environment of Dogwaffle itself. I really liked the way that I could sharpen and get more clarity in my photos. It seemed to work much better than other programs with that function.

You also have fog, light diffusion, sunset, fisheye, day for night, etc. There is also a setting in the buffer menu titled "expand dynamic range" which really gives you some awesome control. The use of alpha masks enable you to apply the filters just where you need or want them also. A new auto adjust filter allows you to easily adjust contrast and white balance. These filters can also be applied over an animation. All in all a great toolset!

Real-time feed back on creating seamless textures is a boon to those of us who create tiling textures for our 3D work.

The new starfield feature is terrific! First it will draw a subtle cloud on a background, and then adds stars of various sizes, colors and distribution. This is a terrific tool for that space background that is so popular in scenes now. Easy, quick and wonderful. If you would like lightening in your scene it handles that effortlessly also. With the new lightening function in the linear tool you can create wonderful lightening bolts in any scene. The image above shows some that I created over a starfield.

Of course we still have our particle optipustics and bristle brushes. But in version 3.0 they have been improved even more with faster particles, a better bristle brush tool and even tablet support including tilt. This is a great feature for those of us who use a Wacom or other tablets.

Dogwaffle also has a separate drawing plug-in called "Penny". In the Penny layout you will find all sorts of great features such as advanced spline interpolation which now renders smooth curved lines no matter how quickly you draw them. You can add this function in the prefs under the display settings. I particularly enjoyed working with the gel function in painting. I can see that this will be a fun way to add transparent liquids to my scenes as well as see-through materials on clothing, etc.

The animation features in Dogwaffle Pro have been expanded to include a new filmstrip mode, time stretch with blending (render twice or half the frames), as well as reverse time sequence. Now if you animate a bucket of paint spilling all over your clean floor, you can reverse the sequence and clean that floor right back up. :-)

Not being an animator, I did find that one function is going to be invaluable to me. It is the scan frame function. Dogwaffle can now scan multiple images to create an animation. This means that I can now take my work sketches for my digital artwork and modeling and scan them into an animation for presentation. I love this feature!!

I have just touched on some of the new features that I found in Dogwaffle Pro 3.0 but as you can see there is a lot to like in this application. I can truly see it replacing other painting and imaging software in most artists' toolbox. The price is fantastic for the features that you get. Graphic artists will love the ease of use and functions for creating their work as will cartoonists also. For traditional painting it is right up there with other high end apps with some added features that I think you will find indispensable.

Pros:

A deep toolset that fits my workflow with functions at my fingertips.

Capabilities that will enable me to use this program to enhance and streamline my 3D work.

A fully customizable interface which allows me to set things up for the way I work.

Animators will find functions and capabilities that make the creation of animations easy while giving them a toolset that can produce animations that are outstanding.

Custom and animated brushes and the ability to create your own and save them gives you tools that fit your painting methods always at your fingertips.

Cons:

The only thing that I would like to possibly see is a more in depth user manual. In saying that however, I want to point out that Dan has created a wonderful mailing list for Dogwaffle users on Yahoo groups (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/dogwaffle/) which he frequents himself to aid users and share files, tips and tutorials. It's an invaluable resource. He also shares free "Doggy Bags" full of new brushes and files at intervals to add to your tools. There are also tutorials and much more on the Dogwaffle site which will be invaluable. (http://www.thebest3d.com/dogwaffle/)

Final Thoughts:

I found the new Dogwaffle Pro 3.0 to be a fantastic upgrade. New filters, functions and animation capabilities really take it over the top. One thing that is also terrific is that new users will find they can be producing artwork in the program quickly and effortlessly. The Optipustics features are fun and allow new users to add pre-setup brushes and imaging to their art as quickly as drawing a simple line. Anyone who is looking for an affordable paint program that goes that extra mile and compares favorably with other paint programs as well as imaging programs will be thrilled with the new Dogwaffle. I highly recommend it as a must have application if you are a digital artist.

There is a fully functional, save-enabled (!) and free lite edition that allows you to get a feel for the basics in the program and you can find it here. (http://www.thebest3d.com/dogwaffle/free/index.html)

A final word? Take it to the DOG! (http://www.thebest3d.com/dogwaffle/sales/index.html)

Review System

Intel® Pentium® 4 processor 530 with HT Technology (3.0GHz)
I GB DDR PC3200 RAM
RADEON X300 SE PCI-E graphics card
Windows XP Media Center 2005

Kathie Berry a.k.a. Damsel
©2005 for PlanIT3D.com

 

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