Floppyshop - Vector Art '97

Floppyshop in association with Words & Images are pleased to announce the immediate availability of VECTOR ART '97, a unique collection of almost 450 individual pieces of high quality vectorised clip art. All were created by John Weller a talented DTP enthusiast who goes under the moniker of Words & Images. He has been responsible for countless megabytes of high quality clip art over the years and, more recently, the prestigious Bournemouth Collection of Calamus fonts. He is probably better known in Atari circles as the man behind Enthusiasts PDL and co-editor (along with Dave Mooney) of the ST Enthusiats Newsletter (STEN).

John is a perfectionist by nature and believes that if a job's worth doing, it's worth doing well, regardless of how long it takes! That's why we asked him to compile this collection of quality vector graphics. You just need to look at the Bournemouth CFN collection to see what we mean. Over 300 fonts with every character in every font individually kerned by hand! The fact that the job takes several hundred hours to complete is entirely irrelevant, the end result must be 100% perfect or John bins it and starts again! That's the sort of quality we are used to in John's work and this latest collection is no exception.


For those of you who don't know the difference between bitmap images and their vector based counterparts here's a brief rundown. Bitmap images are pixel based, each image being made up from thousands (or hundreds of thousands) of dots. Typical bitmap formats are IMG, GIF, TIFF, Degas, NEO etc. These images are usually designed for on- screen display and serve the purpose well. Those which are intended to be printed out (these are usually but not always in IMG format) must be created at resolutions of 300 dots per inch or higher in order to reproduce well when printed. The result is massive files which occupy huge amounts of memory and disk space. Bitmap graphics also have the disadvantage of not being very versatile when it comes to scaling. Scaling an image to a resolution higher than was intended results in the image size reducing, scaling to a lower resolution gives a larger image. It is therefore imperative to scan the image at the resolution of your output device to obtain best results.

Vector graphics (like vector fonts) are a whole new ball game. They are not made up of individual pixels. Instead, they are constructed from lines and bezier curves and the length, angle and relative positioning of these elements in relation to each other, is stored as mathematical data rather than storing the actual lines and curves. The advantages of this method are much smaller file sizes and resolution independence. Scale a well drawn vector graphic as small or as large as you like and you retain the quality. This degree of flexibility is not possible with bitmap images. Atari owners may already be familiar with vector graphics in GEM Metafile or Calamus CVG formats.

How The Images Were Converted

The files started life as large IMG scans, from various PD sources, and were then vectorised with the truly excellent Convector 2. This can be set at various levels of accuracy, giving a range of effects from extremely accurate auto-tracing to a crude, almost 'woodcut' effect in which triangles and rhomboids replace shapes and lines. The majority of the images on these discs have been vectorised at the highest level of accuracy.

Invision was used to thicken and smooth any bitmap image whose fine lines would have been lost during vectorisation. Each one of these 445 images had to be edited to some degree or other. Convector 2 has a 'filter/smooth' routine which can be used to remove any stray dots or irregularities from a scan, but it's a rare image that will vectorise well without a certain amount of tweaking at the bitmap stage. Megapaint II was used to sharpen the images to ensure the best possible results.

What They've Been Tested On

Each file has been checked with Calamus v1.09n, running on a 4 Mb STe with a mono monitor. The majority of them have also been run through O-Line Art, and some through Calamus SL so there's no reason to believe that they'll misbehave in any other program.

About VECTOR ART '97

Vector Art '97 is a collection of CVG vector graphics. These can be used with any version of Calamus or with Kandinsky 2 (registered version), Outline Art, DA's Vector or Arabesque. There are probably a few other packages which also support the CVG format. If your Desktop Publishing program does not support CVG, just load the graphics into Kandinsky and re-save them in GEM format. Every DTP package handles GEM files. Vector Art '97 consists of 445 images grouped into 30 logical categories (including scrolls, borders, animals, business, food, occasions, humour and symbols). Vector Art '97 is available now for only 10 + P&P (one pound UK, two pounds Europe, three pounds rest of world). Payment can be made by credit card (Visa, Access, Mastercard, Eurocard accepted) or UK cheque/PO. Overseas customers not paying by credit card should make payment in UK pounds sterling using a cheque drawn on a UK bank, International Money Order, Post Giro, American Express Money Order or Canadian Postal Order.

Floppyshop, PO Box 273, Aberdeen, Scotland, UK. AB15 8GJ.
Tel: 01224 312756 (Intl +44 1224 312756)
email: sdelaney@steil.wintermute.co.uk

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