By Neil Bennett | on October 05, 2006
Price When Reviewed: 85 . 35
Pros: New browsing and preview tools make it even faster to use.
Cons: Results can look cheesy. Flaws with searching system.
PhotoFrame is named using the Ronseal method – it enables you to put frames on your photos. Version 3 is the first commercial upgrade since OnOne acquired the software from Extensis.
The interface has been given an overhaul, adding the Frame Browser palette and Frame Preview window. The former replaces version 2.5’s rather arcane method of selecting frames, which involved navigating your computer’s file structure using a standard Open dialog.
The Frame Browser provides access to PhotoFrame’s 4,294 frame files – over 2,000 of which are new in this release – with graphical previews and a search function. This is a great improvement, though it’s hampered somewhat by the division of the standard frames into five unnamed volumes and a slightly cryptic approach to the naming of the sections within each volume. You also can’t search by shape, which is odd.
The Frame Preview window shows a grid of how up to 25 different frames will look on top of your image at once. It’s a quick way to try out the multiple variations of each frame type, and it’s helpful if you’re not sure what type of frame you want. However, it’s difficult to compare frames from different sections, as you have to get your frames in the same search results or pick them from the full list of over 4,000.
Included in the new frames are some ‘photorealistic’ borders recreating the likes of negative film and coloured Emulsion frames. Unfortunately, calling many of PhotoFrame’s real-world borders ‘photorealistic’ is pushing it, especially with the wooden frames.
There are a number of other very useful new editions in this release. The Layer Mask Mode applies each mask as a Layer Mask in Photoshop – so you can still edit the image underneath – while the Frame Randomizer does what it says.
As before, PhotoFrame Pro 3’s main flaw is that its results have a tendency to look cheesy. For work where this isn’t an issue and producing multiple frames quickly is a major boon, such as catalog publishing, it’s a great low-cost tool.