New Software Creates Instant Caricatures From Photos for Marketing, Publishing, Sales

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Caricature Studio 3.0 is a new software product that allows anyone to quickly and easily create caricatures from photos. With a variety of fun effects and clipart, sales professionals and publishers will find many creative uses for the product.

How many of us have watched with fascination as caricature artists at theme parks and fairs create hilarious likenesses of delighted subjects in a matter of minutes? This artistic talent has always been limited to those gifted with pen and paper, a sharp wit and a keen artistic eye. A California company aims to change that with a unique new software product released in early October. Caricature Studio 3.0 by Carnival Software allows anyone to create caricatures from photos with relative ease.

Caricatures have been popular since the dawn of printed media. Satirists and cartoonists used them early on to lampoon political figures in newspapers and magazines. Advertising professionals soon caught on that caricatures were a valuable promotional tool. A glance through your local phone directory reveals that caricatures are very popular in display advertising for all types of businesses, from real estate professionals to dog sitters. Caricature art is a staple of pop culture. Street fairs, carnivals and theme parks are popular spots for caricature artists to set up shop, often to a line of eager customers. It's almost a guaranteed giggle to see an exaggerated likeness of yourself or someone you know immortalized on paper. A trip to Disneyland is often remembered with a caricature portrait hanging in the hallway. It is certainly a beloved art medium.

Caricature Studio 3.0 uses a variety of image manipulation tools and filters to turn ordinary photographs into caricature art. The results are surprisingly good. Even for the artistically challenged, it is quite easy to produce very nice results. A wildly exaggerated Julia Roberts smile or Jay Leno chin is easily achievable by pulling, tugging, twisting, shrinking or expanding facial areas in endless combinations using the Putty, Warp and Twirl tools. But the fun is not limited to our species. You can also create caricatures of your pets, just like those found in the greeting card isle. According to the developer, this is the first software product designed specifically to create caricatures. There are several high-end graphic applications, for instance Adobe Photoshop, that can produce a similar effect with the right combination of filters applied. Unfortunately, these applications can be restrictively expensive and require advanced knowledge to get comparable results.

Caricature Studio 3.0 was designed for ease of use with a familiar Windows interface. Many of the tools such as resize, zoom, paint brush and others will be familiar to Windows users. In addition to the great caricature effects, there is a library of clip art and templates included for creating projects. Old-west style "wanted" posters and parody magazine covers can be conjured up in a matter of minutes, ready to print. The filters packaged with CS3 include comic style rendering and colorization effects to give caricatures a "hand drawn" look. The software also supports the popular Photoshop plugin format which provides endless possibilities for image manipulation.

Another interesting feature is the ability to insert talk bubbles and text boxes anywhere on the image to produce comic-style panels. The transparency tool allows one to simply "erase" areas of an image to appear invisible, useful for things like cropping and superimposing your manager's head on a Russian weight lifter's body.

Adults and kids alike will find Caricature Studio entertaining and useful. It can be used to create a variety of personalized art for greeting cards, wedding announcements, birthday invitations and sales fliers. The included help file details how to embellish T-shirts, coffee mugs, posters and mouse pads with your caricatures for truly personalized gifts. Webmasters will enjoy creating custom avatars and web graphics. The original version released in 2006 received wide acclaim from shareware site editors. Returning users will find version 3.0 far surpasses its predecessor in terms of features, functionality and image quality.

All in all the software is pleasantly entertaining, easy to use, and a bargain at $19.95. Available via instant download from the Carnival Software website. A trial version is also available sans saving and printing functionality. Customers receive free lifetime updates. Highly recommended! For more information about Caricature Studio 3.0, as well as some examples and tutorials, visit http://www.carnisoft.com

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Gary Weldon
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