|★ APPLICATIONS ★ CREATION GRAPHIQUE ★ MASTER PAINT|8000PLUS) ★|
|Master Paint||Applications Creation Graphique|
When you load Master Paint you feel as if you are leaving the world of word-processing behind you. You are entering a WIMP environment where there are no words - only windows, icons, menus and pointers - and you only use the keyboard in a dire emergency.
To use the draw facility you don't type DRAW or even D -you move a little arrow about the screen until it points to the pen icon (a little symbol with a picture of a pen), and click a button to tell the program the pen is the thing you want.
When you want to paint you move to the little paint brush icon.
The manual is well produced and quite clear although the essence of a WIMP program is that you shouldn't need to read it. The screen display icons should be self-explanatory although in this case you may have to check what, for instance, the little tap symbol means (it is. logically enough, the ‘fill' facility to flood an area with a paint texture.)
Along the top of the screen there are words like ‘Disc' and ‘Font' which if you click on them (move the cursor there and press the button) you get a menu of options on that subject. It is worthwhile just running through these just to see what it can do and find where everything is.
Even if you are not the artistic free-hand type you can get plenty of use out of Master Paint. The Icon chart has circles, ellipses and squares (filled and unfilled) which allow you to knock up a circle, square etc without too much trouble. For instance the circle involves clicking the mouse at the place where you want the centre and moving the mouse about until the circle is the size you want. The circle grows and shrinks as you move the cursor until it looks right and you freeze it.
Full of Fills
You have a choice of 32 ‘fill' patterns. This means that you can fill any shape on the screen with any of these patterns. If you choose a filled shape from the icon menu the shape on screen will automatically fill with the relevant pattern. These are reasonably varied although whether anyone would want a shape filled with tiny cherries is debatable.
One thing to watch is that when you choose the option Clear Screen it doesn't actually empty the screen but it fills it with whatever the current fill is. Turn it to the white box unless you want to draw your next picture against the background of a brick-wall or whatever.
The fill pattern is also used when you use the paint brush. This turns the cursor into one of eight different paint brushes - either square or round and of varying thicknesses. The white fill pattern allows you to paint in white against a black background.
There is also a spray paint option (chosen by the the spray can icon suitably enough). This uses a small ‘spray' pattern rather than a real random spray effect which works quite well if 'sprayed' quite heavily but can look incongruous if you are wanting a light spray' effect.
All those people who can't draw straight lines are catered for. Lines (of varying thicknesses) can be drawn between chosen points and irregularly shaped polygons (shapes with lots of edges) can be mapped out by clicking on the right places for the corners.
Of course even with all this technology you can still make mistakes and Master Paint does a fair bit to help you put things right. The simplest thing to do is to choose the ‘Undo' option which wipes off what you have done since the last time you changed options. This can obviously be quite a lot of work so you might prefer to use the little eraser icon which allows you to *rub out' parts of the screen.
Should you want to just touch up small parts of the screen the zoom facility is best. This blows up a section of the screen so that you can see individual pixels clearly. Then you can do minute changes to the picture and move the window to another spot. This is actually blown up so much that you cannot easily tell what effect your changes are having but the advantage with Master Paint is that it shows you the blown up part of the screen as an inset and you can still see what is happening in the proper size as it happens.
There is a slight bug where the zoom frame seems occasionally to get imprinted on your picture but this is a time consuming nuisance rather than a major fault.
You can copy and shift parts of the picture around the screen (although there seems a limit on how much) and you can do a number of fancy tricks like getting a mirror image (both vertically and horizontally)
Of course you have not left words totally behind as you have the ability to put text anywhere you want on the picture. There is a choice of four fonts and four different sizes although it has to be admitted that there is nothing very exciting in the fonts. They are all sensible looking 'business' type fonts, something of a surprise in a graphics package.