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What's going on with Fo2PiX?

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  • What's going on with Fo2PiX?

    Hi all,

    I have both ArtMaster Pro and buZZpro 3 and I really like both programs. However, I would like to think that fo2PiX is supporting them and that enhanced new versions will come out.

    But I don't see any signs of life at the fo2PiX website and I am almost the only participant in their forums. Their forum moderators seem to have vanished and they never had any significant forum traffic.

    And there seems to be no new activity in producing updates to their software. I have come to wonder if they even have any programmers on their staff now. They seem to have lost interest in their software and they have focused on their "White Paper" and a patent relating to graphic editing that I don't see how will make any money for them. Does anybody have any information on what is going on at Fo2PiX?


  • #2
    Re: What's going on with Fo2PiX?

    Hi GB... welcome aboard.

    I've not heard anything one way or the other. Have you tried sending an e-mail to their support address?


    • #3
      Re: What's going on with Fo2PiX?


      I did email their support late last year. I suggested that they "seed" Google with keywords in forum messages, so that Google searches would lead directly to their forum message threads. I also suggested that they place links to the forums on essentially all of their webpages, and provided a list of many specific pages that did not mention or link to the forums. I also said,

      "We need to try to "seed" the forums with some messages to get some debate started. You have forum administrators who can do some of that. Forum announcements about the deadlines on these current sales [referring to some December 2006 sales promotions] should already have appeared. Street speakers just start making a speech to an empty street and let the crowd grow as the speech continues."

      They responded 4 days later, which was reasonably prompt. Their response, dated December 12, 2006, was as follows:

      "Thank you for your feedback all your points have been taken into consideration. We are currently redesigning our website so these matters have already been taken into account.
      Kind regards,
      Fo2PiX Support"

      I haven't heard anything since or seen any big redesign of their website. Their forums remain relatively inaccessible, inactive, and unsupported by Fo2PiX.



      • #4
        Re: What's going on with Fo2PiX?

        Hmmm... very odd. When I purchased BuzzPro 2 a few years back support was great and e-mail turnaround was fast. Buzz is among my favorite plugins...

        I'll do a little checking among some of my internet chums and see what, if anything, I can find out.


        • #5
          Re: What's going on with Fo2PiX?

          No replies to my e-mails to the company owner. I've heard similar reports to yours ("Nobody home") from other folks in the past couple weeks.

          It would be a real shame if Fo2Pix goes belly-up...


          • #6
            Re: What's going on with Fo2PiX?


            "It would be a real shame if Fo2PiX goes belly-up..."

            I agree. I wish they hadn't got all caught up in that "White Paper" project, and stuck to doing what they were doing. I'm wondering if their programmers didn't find other jobs while the White Paper stuff was going on. They sure do act like nobody is home, and I have tried to spark some interest on their forums a couple of times.

            Oh well, my ArtMaster Pro still works on Win XP, but I would be a little afraid to switch to Windows Vista right now.



            • #7
              Re: What's going on with Fo2PiX?

              Great idea but confusing website and cumbersome implementation of software that has great potential. But hey, I cant talk - I couldn't write a single line of code if I tried

              I finally moved ArtMasterPro over to my audio/video dual pentium PC - much much better rendering speeds.


              • #8
                Re: What's going on with Fo2PiX?

                Hi nzo,

                I recently purchased PhotoArtist 2 from BenVista. It's not nearly as elaborate as ArtMasterPro, but it does do a pretty good job for the money, and it is currently supported.



                • #9
                  Re: What's going on with Fo2PiX?

                  FO2PIX have gone bust. Having sent dozens of emails to every contact I could find and repeatedly trying to get some one to answer the phone I received this message.
                  "I am afraid to say that Fo2PiX has ceased trading and sadly, for the
                  foreseeable future, you will not be able to buy a copy of ArtMasterPro."

                  Ive tried their trial software on Windows XP works great. It won't install on my laptop running vista. I just get I get a 1722 installer error code.
                  I am wondering if reinstalling windows vista would help the install. anyone got it running on Vista. Anyone had the 1722 error when installing and found a solution.
                  It's such a shame I only recently came across ArtmasterPro and tried to purchase it. There now seems no "official" way to obtain this software. I for one will keep an eye on the web site as it would be a shame to see this soft ware disappear.
                  I have the Ben vista Photo Artist2 alternative it's very good but not in the same league at all.



                  • #10
                    Re: What's going on with Fo2PiX?

                    Hi Andy,

                    That's really sad news about Fo2PiX going out of business. I guess that White Paper project had a hand in killing them. Their image simplification technology was unique, and they should have been able to leverage it into a whole line of successful graphics software products. They were on the way toward doing that and then someone got a "wild hair" about world dominance with the White Paper and they totally misdirected their efforts.

                    Since their software was developed well before Windows Vista, it is quite possible that it won't work in Vista, or if it works, that there will be incompatibility problems with the Vista Operating System. I plan to keep Windows XP Pro SP2 on at least one computer system indefinitely, so I can continue to use some of my "old" software, like ArtMaster Pro and buZZ.Pro.

                    Someone should suggest to Corel that they tender an offer to acquire the Fo2PiX software products and continue their sales and development. That would include the rights, relevant patents (their image simplification scheme has patent coverage, but the White Paper patents are probably "blue sky"), and source code, and include job offers to any remaining software engineers. Does anyone have any contacts at Corel?

                    Andy, I agree that BenVista's PhotoArtist is not an equivalent substitute for ArtMaster Pro or buZZ.Pro 3. The disappearance of Fo2PiX has left a vacuum and, as they say, "nature abhors a vacuum."



                    • #11
                      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



                      • #12
                        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.


                        • #13
                          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.



                          • #14
                            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!


                            • #15
                              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.