Digital Dream Studio V2 is an image-editing software, which allows multiple layers and supports plug-ins.
Each layer contains a bitmap image and an opacity map, while being defined by a set of properties (position, channeled global opacity, blending modes). The user may choose predefined blending modes, but may also define new ones.
DDS V2 includes numerous methods for selection: areas (either continuous or discontinuous) with similar color characteristics, brushes, airbrushes (realistically simulated using particle systems), geometric shapes (parametric, implicit or iterated function systems), spline curves. For each of these methods there are several options for fine-tuning, many of which are not to be found in other similar programs (for example, setting a different tolerance on each channel, wither in RGB or HSL space, for a more accurate selection).
Once the selection has been completed, several effects can be applied: anything from overlaying a simple color, to textures, to various types of blurs (or other convolution kinds), applying of color effects, color retouching, gradients. Furthermore, the selected region from a layer (or the entire layer, for that matter) can be sent to a specific plug-in, imported and reintegrated in the host program (depending on the established opacities and blending modes).
Retouch methods include: color variations (Auto Levels, Auto Colors, Auto Contrast – with user-defined optimization coefficients), SUSAN (a filter which eliminates noise, without affecting edges), Edge Enhance (a filter which improves edge contrast, without adding noise), JPEG Restore (on the areas with small enough variations, a blurred version of the image).
Another interesting feature is the Non-Linear History. It stores the previous states of each layer, without necessarily keeping chronological order. It is similar to the undo feature, only that it allows the user a greater amount of freedom. Bound to “History” is “Fading”: it allows the user to overlay the new state of a layer onto its old states, using several opacity and blending mode options.
DDS V2 also includes: 10 separate, specialized clipboard areas, an image library, a text rendered (either with a constant color or with a texture).
The plug-ins included in the installation pack are:
Mapping allows distorting of images, by using either predefined or user-defined. One can use exact equations, numerically estimated differential equations or height maps. Complex motion blurs may also be drawn, in which the particles can have independent, complicated trajectories (motion blur, circular blur and zoom blur are only the beginning).
Dynamic Mapping allows the user to interactively distort an image, on different areas (similar to liquefy, only much more complex). The effects are applied using a tool similar to an airbrush (it is applied continually, on the designated area). Frozen areas can be defined, which are not affected by the distortion tool. Areas can be also brought to their initial state, either abruptly or continuously (a kind of continuous undo). Aside from the fact that Dynamic Mapping contains almost all filters included in other programs, it allows the user to define new ones. It can import the distortion maps exported by the Mapping plug-in. One of the more eccentric features is the simulation of user-defined partial differential equations, which take the distortion map as initial conditions.
Fractal. It draws Julia and Mandelbrot class fractals, using predefined or user-defined formulas. It allows rescaling of factors up to 10^15 and it optimally displays the results using a Log or a PowerLog non-linear function.
Partial Differential Equations: simulate PDE systems, which take each of the RGB channel maps as initial conditions. Very interesting, unexpected and highly non-linear results!
As a conclusion, aside from offering most of the features required in the world of image editing, Digital Dream Studio V2 includes many other new, ingenious, fine-tunable alternatives, especially designed for graphics connoisseurs.
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