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What's going on with Fo2PiX?

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Old 10-06-2007, 12:26 PM
Andy Cook Andy Cook is offline
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Re: What's going on with Fo2PiX?

Hi Greybeard,
Thanks for comments. Re vista Supposedly ( and rather crudely speaking) one can install any programme on Vista such that it runs in as if under an earlier operating system, such as windows XP. I have artmasterpro working on a laptop running XP. If I try and install on my other laptop running vista it stall's 80 odd % through install with an Error message 1722 referring to windows installer. If I then try and install and adjust settings as if I was installing under XP is has exactly the same problem. So it could either be this programme will definitely will not install under vista, or there is a problem such as a registry corruption in my vista. A Google search will reveal many installation problems for different programmes stalling with the 1722 error code. If any one replies to say they have actually managed an install on vista then I'd reinstall vista and try again. I see there are quite a few resellers of ArtmasterPro and some tried to sell it to me assuring me all was well. But if fo2pix don't answer their phone one means of registering the product is no longer available and when their web site goes down (I did ascertain it is paid for, for at least a year) the alternative method of registration will be gone. Now I have protected my self against such a possibility but if your not adventurous in your web surfing and obtained a key gen you could get stuffed up in the future if you wanted to reinstall.
Ok hope this all makes sense as I have had a couple of drinks.

Regatrds Andy

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Old 10-06-2007, 12:39 PM
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nzo nzo is offline
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Re: What's going on with Fo2PiX?

FWIW, I've chosen to stay right away from Vista, as have many others, both through choice and recommendation. XP Home or Pro does the job nicely, whether I have audio, video or graphics projects and is much less of a hog when it comes to resources. Reliable sources such as Brian Livingston's "Windows Secrets" newsletter say "Why fix it if it ain't broke".

It's quite possible that Art Master Pro succumbed to Microsoft's "ever upwards" trend in operating systems, although from the look of their inept and frustrating website, it could be one person trying to do everything themselves as much as possible to cut expenses, and progressing into old age in the process.

I think Art Master Pro is a brilliant idea, full of promise, and it's sad to hear about their demise. IMHO, and as Andy said, it far surpasses any stand-alone art software on the planet, although its interface leaves something to be desired

It's also possible that AMP could have been aquired. It would be interesting to see what a team of coders could do with it.
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Old 10-07-2007, 10:06 AM
greybeard greybeard is offline
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Re: What's going on with Fo2PiX?


"It's also possible that AMP could have been acquired. It would be interesting to see what a team of coders could do with it."

Quite a lot, I would hope. I sent a feature request to Fo2PiX by email about a year ago (10/26/2006) and here is what I said:

(beginning of quote)

Hello Fo2Pix,

I already posted a somewhat less detailed version of this feature request on the ArtMasterPro forum, but it hasn't been acknowledged there, so I will do it with this email, as suggested in my ArtMasterPro printed user guide. I have been needing this feature in ArtMasterPro from the very first.

I do a lot of pictures that involve pictures of people and I want to focus the detail on their faces and, for closeups, in particular areas of their faces, like the eyes. Also, in pictures from nature involving animals, flowers, plant life, insects, and such, I want to focus the detail on specific areas of interest. Good compositions have one or more focal points, and they are usually off-center. The central-area bias of Source 7 of Main Colors is only a very small part of what I need. I need good control over the underlying simplification process for all of the Sources.

I would like to specifically select the area for maximum detail, perhaps by drawing an enclosing curve around it (which sometimes might be clipped by the border of the picture). I might even want to draw more than one area for maximum detail (or minimum simplification.) I would like to draw a selection for a secondary area or areas of intermediate detail, with perhaps the remainder of the picture having full simplification. I might even want to specify an area for extreme simplification.

I would like to numerically specify with sliders the degree of simplification for each of these zones and I would like the resulting simplification to have a smooth gradient from the maximum detail zones to the maximum simplification zones, so that the final picture doesn't have any visible artificial boundaries in the simplification.

I currently use buZZ.Pro 3 in Photoshop to approximate this kind of control by exploiting the fact that buZZ.Pro processes only the selected portion of a layer. But that involves a lot of layers, a lot of selections, and a lot of intermediate steps.

And even in buZZ.Pro3, I am hampered by the fact that buZZ's Simplifier Three stack component doesn't give you any control over the locations of the Regions that it selects. It does give you numerical control over how much simplification occurs in each Region, it lets you view the Regions, and it does make smooth transitions between the Regions -- all good things. But Simplifier Three just doesn't let you control or edit where the Regions go. Simplifier Three determines the regions based on its own internal artistic logic, which robs the artist of control over the location of those regions. The Photoshop workarounds for regaining some of that control are laborious.

For many pictures it's great that the present version of ArtMasterPro will automatically make so many artistically valid decisions for you, but for some pictures you want AMP to let you shape the topology of the simplification gradient to emphasize areas of your choosing and de-emphasize areas of your choosing, and to do so with smooth transitions in the simplification variation.

A number of good examples of the sort of final effects I would like to achieve are shown in the current (October/November) issue of International Artist magazine in the article "My love affair with drawing" by Burton Silverman. (I intend to order the large format version of his book, "The Intimate Eye: Drawings by Burton Silverman", described on page 135 of the magazine, from the internationalartist website.) Most of the art examples shown there have a strong, off-center simplification focus. Results like this can be approximated with the present version of ArtMasterPro in the Manual mode, using a lot of manual hand work to achieve the off-center focus. But the feature request that I am making would make it much, much easier.

To get some degree of spatial simplification control in ArtMasterPro, I am currently reduced to "preprocessing" a picture in buZZ.Pro3 in Photoshop before submitting it to ArtMasterPro. That's an unnecessarily complicated workflow, when AMP itself could get even better results, and much easier, with this requested feature.

I need good optional control over all of the simplifications in ArtMasterPro, while retaining the built-in simplification as a readily available default. This control could be global, or it could be individualized to different Source categories.


(end of quote)

And I signed my real name. Incidentally, the International Artist magazine was sold out of the Silverman book, but I got a copy from Amazon, and I enjoy referring to it from time to time.

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Old 10-09-2007, 07:25 PM
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plugsnpixels plugsnpixels is offline
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Unhappy Re: What's going on with Fo2PiX?

I was wondering recently why they wouldn't write me back ;-). But back around Fall 2002, Giles Kingsley-Pallant was my contact there and sent me for review (via international snail-mail no less). Wonderful software.

If you Google him you'll see him active elsewhere around 2006, FWIW.

Their website seems fully functional (including patch and tutorial movie downloads), until (as mentioned earlier in this thread) you try to purchase and check out.

BTW, their forum can be found here.

Software development is a tough business!
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Old 10-09-2007, 07:38 PM
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skydog skydog is offline
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Re: What's going on with Fo2PiX?

If there are out of business would it be legal to share this software with others? I have a purchased copy of ArtMasterPro but I would love to get my hands on some of the additional plugin's they offered.
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Old 11-06-2007, 05:24 PM is offline
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Re: What's going on with Fo2PiX?

Fo2pix is out of business.
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Old 11-27-2007, 07:50 PM
mdijb mdijb is offline
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Re: What's going on with Fo2PiX?

I have just found the thread about the demise of Fo2pix and am not surprised, but deeply dissappointed. When I found Buzz 7 years ago, i was amazed, stimulated, and started a small business of art creation based on it's use--please check out my have liked it also and it's use has been included in several books about photopainting. I think when they introduced Photoartmaster, they went astray and aimed at some ill-defined market that directed them away from the usefullness of their product. There has been simply nothing that has generated the kind of results that software provided, and I have tried literally every product out there that has come along over the years. If one is interested in controlling the amount of detail lost or retained is photopainting, this is the only program that allows one to do so. All the major painting software does not even come close, in my opinion.

Whoever suggested that Corel or someone else pick up the rights to the software and continue to explore it is right on the money--I strongly hope that someone besides our small community thinks so and does so. It seems to me that interest in this area has exploded in the last few years, and I hope that some other company see's this trend and grabs this resource.

It is too good a program and technology to loose.

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Old 11-28-2007, 02:17 PM
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DannyRaphael DannyRaphael is offline
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Re: What's going on with Fo2PiX?

Hello MDIJB... we discussed the Impressionist plugin awhile back. Nice to see you again.

I agree with many of your observations. Would you clarify the following:

re: When I found Buzz 7...
* Did you mean Buzz 2 or 3? I believe Buzz 3 was the final version.

re: There has been simply nothing that has generated the kind of results that software provided
* "that software" meaning Buzz, not Photoart Master

Just surfed your site again. You do some amazing work.
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Old 11-29-2007, 08:36 AM
M_Jackson M_Jackson is offline
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Re: What's going on with Fo2PiX?

I found this place while looking for ArtMasterPro. I've had buzzPro3 for a long time and like it a lot. After seeing the company is closed, I am now hoping to find some way of still getting it. The search continues.

I have a question or two, however. BuzzPro3 loaded a plug-in into Photoshop and it still works fine in CS3. Is there a similar plug-in for ArtmasterPro? I keep reading old product reviews that indicated it was a stand alone product.

If anyone has suggestions about where I might still be able to purchase ArtMasterPro, please let me know. I already did eBay searches.

Thanks in advance,
M. Jackson
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Old 11-29-2007, 10:05 AM
greybeard greybeard is offline
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Re: What's going on with Fo2PiX?


ArtMaster Pro is a standalone program. You can move a picture from Photoshop to ArtMaster Pro simply by saving the file from Photoshop and opening it in ArtMaster Pro and vice versa.

I frequently use Photoshop and the Buzz Pro 3 plugin to control how the simplification of an image goes and then open that simplified image in ArtMaster Pro to apply its effects. Sometimes I take that result back to Photoshop for some more work. And I print my finished results from inside Photoshop.

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