New to version 2.0 are enhanced animation capabilities that allow designers to create more realistic animations than were possible with Version 1.0 by controlling both the path of an object and its velocity. Users can also now create, import, and animate 3D text and objects within 2D Web graphics.
Also new to e-Picture 2.0 is the ability to export graphics and animations to Flash, SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics), and animated GIF formats, as well as to video file formats including QuickTime, RealNetworks' G2, and AVI. In addition, the software now integrates with popular Web-page layout applications such as Adobe Systems' GoLive, Mac romedia's Dreamweaver, and Microsoft's FrontPage.
"This version is a big improvement over 1.0," says Jamie Peloquin, a Web and new media designer for Chermayeff & Geismar Inc. in New York City. Peloquin, who has been using the beta version of e-Picture 2.0 for several test projects, thinks that the program's improved file format support is probably its most significant enhancement. In particular, "The ability to now export to QuickTime from e-Picture is a huge advantage over other Web animation packages." A further improvement to the product he would like to see, though, is the inclusion of contextual menus, which are "now a MacOS (as well as Windows and BeOS) standard."
e-Picture 2.0 is available for the Windows 95/98/NT, Mac OS, and BeOS environments. It was scheduled for release by the end of March, at a price of $179. (BeatWare; Redwood City, CA; 650-556-7906; www.beatware.com)