Review: ScreenSaver Studio Deluxe 6.0
Dave Cook turns creative, as he generates his very own screen savers.
|Product||ScreenSaver Studio Deluxe 6.0|
|We like||Good tutorial, fairly easy to use, and fun|
|We don't like||Selling screen savers commercially requires additional license|
Once upon a time, creating a half-decent screen saver took the patience of a saint and the know-how of a rocket scientist. Okay, perhaps it wasn't quite that difficult. But you did have to be something of a computer whiz kid to bring the whole thing together.
Nowadays, thanks to the introduction of special "creator-type" applications, virtually anyone can generate their own personalised screen savers. One such application is ScreenSaver Studio Deluxe 6.0, from Softdisk Publishing.
From design to production, ScreenSaver Studio provides all the tools you're likely to need when creating your very own masterpiece. It's compatible with all recent Microsoft operating systems such as Windows 95/98/ME/NT/2000, and XP, although a fairly up to date version of Windows Media Player is required to take advantage of the program's multimedia features.
All This And More
With ScreenSaver Studio, you can accomplish the following and more:
- Create screen savers from over 40 graphic formats
- Add slide show screen savers
- Make use of animated GIFs
- Wrap your own graphics around three-dimensional objects
- Use a variety of multimedia formats including MPEG1 and MP3
- Add text
- Set transition effects (zoom in and out, for example) for both text and graphics
- Reduce screen saver file sizes using using JPG ion effects (zoomingocompression
- Add an install routine to run your screen saver on other computers
- Makes electronic greetings cards
Once launched, the slightly over-detailed opening screen may leave some novices feeling a tad overwhelmed. That said, in addition to a clear and comprehensive user guide, an excellent online tutorial is also available at the click of a button. The online tutorial acquaints you with all the main features of the program as it guides you, step-by-step, through the process of creating your first screen saver.
In fact, once you find your way around the various buttons, tabs, and so forth, creating screen savers is remarkably easy. Moreover, the various combinations of text, graphics, sound, movements, and other special effects offer almost unlimited scope.
When you're happy with the creation, you decide whether to install it as a normal screen saver, or as a presentation (a type of electronic greeting card). Note that presentations differ from screen savers in that they must be launched manually.
Screen savers can also be exported to other PCs. No additional software is required, since the installer packs all the required files into a single .EXE file. It can be saved to disk and then installed on another machine. With the aid of other applications, the screen saver can also be sent as part of an e-mail. Alternatively, you could place it on a Web site for downloading.
Installing the screen saver (or presentation) to another machine is also easy. Users simply click on the .EXE file for the files to be transferred to their proper places. In the case of screen saver installations, the installer will even make it the default option.
The downside to ScreenSaver Studio Deluxe 6.0 is that if you want sell your creations commercially, be aware that a professional distribution license will set you back a further £249.
Easy to use - once you get over the initial learning process - and great fun!