MakeUp for Windows. (computer graphics software) (Software Review) (Evaluation)
by Steve Hudson
A buddy of mine dropped by today to show me a promo flier for his wife's gift shop. He'd created it on his PC, using standard dry-as-dust type fonts, and he made the mistake of asking my opinion.
"It's boring as day-old toast," I said.
Uh-oh. Mr. Subtlety strikes again.
"I guess it does need work," my friend said. Then he asked The Big Question.
"Can you help?"
"Sure," I said. "All it really needs is a little MakeUp!"
MakeUp is a typographic special-effects program from Bitstream. Remember what word processors did for writing? That's what MakeUp does for type. It lets your creativity run free, and all you need to make it sing is Windows and a 286-compatible PC.
MakeUp gives you complete control over basic type characteristics. No surprise there. But that's just the beginning. Imagine letters that seem to float above the page or appear embossed into it. Envision characters shaded so they appear to be made of polished metal. Picture words that stretch and twist and curve around complex shapes. The possibilities are endless, and MakeUp makes them happen.
Text entry--the first step--is easy. Simply draw a box and type in your characters. They're automatically fitted into the space you've outlined.
Then the fun begins. Want an embossed look? Click on the Emboss tool. Three-dimensional letters are equally easy. So is bending type around arches or circles or forming text blocks into complex shapes. You can even customize individual letters, perhaps to create a one-of-a-kind logo or a typeface of your own design. MakeUp gives you all the tools you need.
You can further enhance your creations by adding geometric shapes (circles, ovals, rectangles, polygons, and stars). There's even a Blend tool that transforms one word or shape into another, opening the door to some very unusual effects.
MakeUp also lets you "wash" type (individual letters or entire words) and objects with color or gray-scale washes. Colors can be specified using red-green-blue (RGB), cyan-magenta-yellow (CMY), and hue-saturation-value (HSV) values. Pantone process colors can also be specified. You can't print color separations, but you'll have no trouble exporting files to separation-capable programs. In addition, MakeUp supports more than 20 different graphics formats.
Also very useful is MakeUp's support of Object Linking and Embedding (OLE), a Windows 3.1 feature that lets you edit and update objects directly from the application in which you placed the object.
MakeUp is supplied with an extensive clip art library and with five typefaces (Americana Bold, Bitstream Oz Handicraft, Poster Bodoni, Revue, and VAG Rounded) in three formats (Speedo, PostScript Type 1, and True-Type). Program setup automatically loads the Speedo fonts; you can load the PostScript Type 1 fonts with a font-scaling program such as Adobe Type Manager or load the TrueType fonts directly in Windows 3.1. Additional type-faces are available.
MakeUp's documentation is outstanding. The 276-page manual is highly readable, carefully organized, and lavishly illustrated. Also included is MakeUp Techniques, a separate guide which illustrates several effects and explains step by step how each was done.
If you've ever felt there's a type designer inside you, give MakeUp a try. Once it's installed, you can be doing real work in less time than it takes to read this review. Who knows? It might be just what you need to unleash your typographic talents on the world!