Hemera PhotoObjects

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Hemera Photo-Objects 50,000 Volume II


Maureen Shannon, NJPCUG


Photo-Objects 50,000 Volume II is the most recent collection of all new images from Hemera. In the past, I have reviewed, worked with, and highly recommended their other collections.  This is another great collection that has been added to an already terrific series.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Photo-Objects, it is a collection of images that are real objects instead of vector drawings/clip art that can be used to enhance all creative projects and give them a more professional look. Every time I need a specific image or one that's not easy to find, I reach for these CD's because of the huge selection of categories that they cover.  No matter how difficult the item I need, I almost always find it one of these collections. These images are royalty-free, 32 bit true color, with transparent backgrounds (24 bit RGB images with built-in 8 bit alpha channels).  Because these objects are independent of backgrounds, you can use them against any background you choose. They are as easy as clip art to work with but are high-quality photographic objects. Examples of a photo, a photo objects selection, a project, and clip art:

You can see by the examples above how effective the use of a real photographic object can be when used in place of a piece of clip art. Once you have selected an object from the collection it can be placed on any type of background.  The example above is a greeting card but the objects can be used to create a complete scene in which you select what you want to be placed in it. I often use the Photo-Objects to create "tubes" for my Paint Shop Pro tubes collection. Although it's basically doing the same thing, I now have the image stored in the tubes list so that it is available to me at all times.  Usually I have it saved in a much smaller size that the original Photo-Objects image. This gives me access to objects that I use frequently and by applying them to a separate layer, I can edit them as needed giving me complete control over the object.

The Photo-Objects interface is extremely easy to work with and understand.  The search engine is in plain English.  Just type in a description of what you are looking for and all the related image thumbnails will appear.  It will tell you what CD to find them on and a larger version of the thumbnail selected will show on the right side of the workspace. The menu bar consists of the File, Edit, View, and Help.  File options: Export, Save As, and Exit.  Under Edit choices include Copy, Clear a search, and Preferences. The preferences tab lets the user select the options that they prefer for the application-such as how the image saves when dragged and dropped into an application - Drag & Drop Tab, preferred image format when adding to an application, the background color it displays against - Clipboard Tab, and where the folders with the images can be found - CD ROM drive - Photo Objects folder tab. The View Tab selections are Tool Bar, Result List, Preview Status Bar, CD Number, Collection Name, and Full Size Image.  The final menu item is the Help section. The Help contents are found here along with the Hemera web site URL, registration, Online Technical Support, and product information.

When an item has been selected, clicking the Export button on the menu bar or double clicking it will open it in the export window.  In the Export window, the application or format the image is being exported to is chosen.  It can be exported to a Wordprocessor, Spreadsheet or any other application that images can be pasted into; Slide presentation; a Web Authoring tool; Graphics application; or saved in an image format such as TIFF, GIF, JPEG, TARGA, etc.  (This last selection brings up another window because more features become available. After the Resize and Crop window, another window appears where the background color is chosen.  Then the Save window where the image format is selected.) 


After the Export Window is the Resize and Crop window, the image size can be altered here.  The image can be resized with drag handles or by entering the specific dimensions in the "width, height, and units" boxes (under the Resize Tab).  There are selection boxes for keeping the original aspect ratio and using the image as full size, and horizontal and vertical flip options too. The dpi selection is also available in a range from 96dpi to 300dpi (this range is from on-screen display to high-quality printing).  The Crop tab has the same window with drag handles to resize or the editable selection area. Here the portions of the picture you want to remain are selected – this differs from the first tab with resized the image but keeps the entire selection.  The size of the image is also shown in this area.


The final window is the Save window. In this window the image is save in one of several 32 bit formats (TIFF, TARGA, SunRaster, or TIFF with PackBits Compressed – all with transparency). It can be saved by dragging it to the file or folder or by clicking the Save or Save As options.  Save will save it to an already selected folder and Save As will allow you to choose a new location to save it to..



In this collection of 50,000 images are many categories, among them are: agriculture, animals, anniversary, appliances, archeology, art, baskets, birds, birthday, bottles, boxes & bags, children, Christmas, communications, fantasy, fish, flags, flowers, games, gardening, insects, numbers, machinery, nautical, office supplies, people, pets, religion, rocks & minerals, signs, sports equipment, technology, tools, toys, transportation, weapons, and weddings.  From acrocanthosarus to zyerinthia polyzena, it can be found in Photo-Objects 50,000 Volume II!


 Also included in this application is PhotoFont Maker.  With this application, any type of background image becomes the filling for the type.  Simply select a texture/background  form the list or add one (from your own creations or any image you like), select the font type and size, and type the words in the text area (above the Font settings). The finished text will appear in the open area below the texture selections. To export the text, double click the application window and the follow the same steps that are used to export and save a Photo-Objects image.  This is a really great tool.  In the past when I wanted this effect, I had to use and image editor and go through the steps of masking and creating text that is made from and image. How the textures fill the text varies greatly according to the font style and the size. It's fun to play with and makes some interesting and very pretty text features.

If you are working with graphics and haven't tried the Hemera Photo-Objects collections, you should give them a try. They are an excellent source of images, ready to use with transparent backgrounds, and they have so many items to choose from that you are nearly guaranteed finding any item you need no matter how unusual or difficult it is to find in other image collections.  I use it all the time and could not get along without them. Hemera Photo-Objects 50,000 Volume II retails for $99.99.

System requirements: Pentium Processor (120 MHZ), 32 Megs of Ram, Windows 95.98/Me/NT 4.0/2000, 115 MB hard disk space, and a CD ROM drive.


PhotoFont Examples



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WebMaster  Maureen Shannon Last Modified : 04/04/02 04:20 PM