Welcome to the Kleper Report on Digital Publishing: Editior’s Choice

A concise review of the most interesting and innovative developments in the digital publishing field as selected and reviewed by Professor Michael Kleper, Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Rochester Institute of Technology. The Kleper Report on Digital Publishing has been in print and on-line since 1979. This blog is a continuation of the website still available at http://www.printerport.com/kdp.

Art Text 4.2

In November 2020, we covered the very capable Art Text 4 from Belight Software. (http://kleperreport.com/2020/11/28/art-text-4/). Belight is located in Odessa, Ukraine and is very worthy of any support that we can give.

New in this version, 4.2, is the capability to produce typographic animations that enable text effects and movement, using a simple keyframe technique (see https://youtu.be/jn9g1P5uCyE). As each keyframe is produced, by clicking the camera icon, it is numbered sequentially, and appears in a filmstrip format. When the last keyframe is produced it is followed by the loop icon, which closes the animation. Each of the keyframes defaults to 1 second, although the duration may be changed. In addition, the user can edit the type of transition: Ease In – Ease Out; Ease In – Linear Out; Linear In – Ease Out; Linear In – Linear Out; or Spring.

A typographic animation with its keyframes beneath.

Text animations can be produced for video productions, on-screen presentations, websites, and for all forms of social media. The user has the option of outputting QuickTime, HEVC/H.265, mp4, m4v, and GIF, with settings for resolution, framerate, and associated parameters. The user can also share video files through Mail, Messages, Photos, etc. 

There are many other features, such as masks, transformations, 3D effects, materials, textures, and more that make this program a particularly valuable digital publishing asset. See the nearly 100-page manual at https://www.belightsoft.com/resources/Art%20Tetx%203%20Users%20Manual.pdf, and the tutorials at https://text.design/tutorials/. A free trial version is available at https://text.design/art-text/. $29.99 

Contact: Belight Software, http://belightsoft.comHeadquarters:
BeLight Software, Ltd., Melnitskaya str. 26/2, of. 305, 65005, Odessa
Ukraine. US Office: BeLight Software 3D USA, 444 West Lake Street, Suite 1700,
Chicago, IL 60606.

Resources for Laser Engraving/Cutting Prep and Finishing

Measuring: Determining physical properties

Digital Vernier Caliper Measuring Tool.  https://amzn.to/3l8lKd2


Cutting: Bringing workpieces down to size

	Breman Precision Self-Healing Cutting Mat 24x36 Inches.  https://amzn.to/3ywLHuO

	Shinwa 24” Extruded Aluminum Cutting Rule Ruler Gauge.  https://amzn.to/3Me6Dus

	Ludwig Precision Heavy-Duty Aluminum T-Square.  https://amzn.to/37PZba8

	WorkPro Folding Utility Knife.  https://amzn.to/38wKCs9

	Swingline Paper Cutter, Guillotine Trimmer.  https://amzn.to/3lgVvkx

	Red Devil 1170 Plexiglass cutting tool.  https://amzn.to/39riY04

	Hobby Knife Precision Knife Set.  https://amzn.to/3L8sgeo

	Marshalltown17” Tile Cutter.  https://amzn.to/3wsMl9Z
	Rockwell RK7323 BladeRunner X2 Portable Tabletop Saw. https://amzn.to/3Lm63tC
	Pack Weeding Craft Tool. https://amzn.to/3yHYUkF


Drilling: Producing precision holes
	Dremel Lite 7760 N/10 4V Li-Ion Cordless Rotary Tool. https://amzn.to/3NwnclR

	Milescraft 1097 ToolStand - Drill Press Stand. https://amzn.to/3MmWhc0


Sanding: Removing surface imperfections

	DEWALT Random Orbit Sander.  https://amzn.to/3Pk3486

	Proxxon 28594 Pen Sander. https://amzn.to/37JrYgk
	BLACK+DECKER dustbuster Handheld Vacuum. https://amzn.to/3N9fDkC

	WEN 6502T Belt and Disc Sander https://amzn.to/3wZo6BU


Painting: Adding surface treatments

	Master Airbrush Cool Runner II Airbrushing System Kit. https://amzn.to/3FIbfXr

	Titanium Dioxide TiO2.  https://amzn.to/3wbHFq8

	TUFFIOM Airbrush Spray Booth. https://amzn.to/3NgcZK8


Safety: Eye protection

	Ortur enclosure.  https://amzn.to/3Pjo1zT

	FreeMascot Professional Laser Safety Glasses.  https://amzn.to/3waO9Wf


Fire Suppression: Extinguishing flames

	Amerex B402, Fire Extinguisher.  https://amzn.to/3wryYa6


Journaling: Recordkeeping

Laser Engraving & Decorating Job Processing Record Book.  https://amzn.to/3L8DRtW



The Vintage Font Bundle

The Vintage Font Bundle consists of six full font packages, with commercial licenses, and free lifetime updates, featuring outstanding examples of period typographic designs. The styles are reminiscent of type designs from the 19thCentury American Old West, cowboy culture, and the Wild West character, featuring impressive serif treatments and ornamentation. 

The various fonts, each with its own distinctive look, can be combined to produce a wide variety of typographic expression, enhanced with a variety of alternative characters. 

The bundle also includes 36 ornamental frames, 200 ornamental elements, 25 logo and layout templates, and more, each of which is normally sold separately. 

The creator of these typographic resources, The Heritage Type Company has released a superb on-line design resource called Kittl (https://www.kittl.com), formerly Heritage Designer. Kittl enables users to create impressive designs, with the option of starting with a template, or creating a totally original design. Kittl uses fonts from the Vintage Font Bundle as well as many others. New users can sign up for free.

The Vintage Font Bundle is $49.

Contact: Heritage Type Co., http://heritagetype.com., HTC Heritage Type GmbH, Dolziger Str. 46, 10247 Berlin, Germany.

Folder Colorizer for Mac

There is no easier way to make a significant appearance change to your Mac than with Folder Colorizer for Mac. Folders that differ from the plain standard default blue are more conspicuous, and make identification quicker and easier.

The Folder Colorizer for Mac user interface is clean and uncluttered, and particularly easy to use.


Users can easily customize their folders to make visual identification easier. Colorized folders not only pop out, but their visual customization can suggest what they contain. Experimentation is easy, and without any risk since folders can be restored to their original state, and each step in the colorization process can be undone.


A library of icons, referred to as “decals,” are immediately suggestive of the contents that they hold. For example, the decal of a page may be used to identify a folder of documents; a filmstrip decal for movies; an envelope decal for email; and on and on.

The user interface is very simple. Just drag a folder onto the app and select the elements to dress it. Softorino provides 30 colors, or the user can use the Mac color selector to apply any color they wish. A variety of backgrounds, shapes, emojis, decals and images can similarly be applied. A user can also batch-process a number of folders with the same parameters by dragging-and-dropping multiple folders onto the app.


Users can also let the program select the best combinations of folder ID swag by using the Magic Wand option. Through the use of AI, the program attempts to select a combination of colors, emojis, and images based on the name of the folder. In addition, the search function reveals decals that may be appropriate for a particular folder.


There is considerable intelligence built into the program since it can maintain the appearance of colorized folders when transferred to another Mac, an external drive, or iCloud. All of the stylized information is carried with the folder.

Download a free trial version at https://softorino.com/folder-colorizer-mac/download/. Pricing information is available at https://softorino.com/store/folder-colorizer-mac/. A version for Windows is also available under the name of Folder Colorizer 2.

Contact: Softorino.com. For business inquiries: 1-805-253-2610.
E-mail address: josh@softorino.com.

Trickster 3.8.1

Trickster 3.8.1 is a Mac app that resides in the menu bar (although it can be anchored to any place on the desktop), providing immediate access to a list of recently viewed files, folders, and applications. 

The contents can be viewed in a number of formats, including images, music, applications, items designated as favorites, or all logged contents. Window contents can be displayed by Active Apps, Basic Row Style, Extended Row Style, or sorted by time or alphabetically.

During initial set-up the user is prompted for the list of folders that will be tracked. The user can opt out any particular files using the exclusion options. After the first-time set-up additional folders can be added or removed using the Configure File Tracking dialog accessible from Preferences or the Filters menu.

Trickster is not only a time-saver, but can easily become an essential part of a production workflow that depends on the immediate availability of critical components of a job. Having all of the elements close at hand, all of the time, makes Trickster not only invaluable, but a shadow assistant always ready and prepared. 

Trickster provides an ever-present window into current and past mission-critical resources, saving time and effort.

Trickster eliminates second-guessing, ensuring that even forgotten file names, and file locations, can be accessed quickly and accurately, replacing Spotlight’s scattergun searching technique.

In addition to keeping recent and favorite files and folders immediately accessible, the user can view their contents with QuickLook, easily email them to a colleague or co-worker, move contents between folders, and much more. 

A 14-day full-featured trial is available at https://www.apparentsoft.com/trickster/download. $29.99

Contact: Apparent Software, support@apparentsoft.com.

PaintMaker

PaintMaker is an on-line service that bridges the gap between the real and digital color worlds. It enables the user to produce accurate oil or acrylic paint mixtures that match colors selected from a digital image. A very useful introductory video can be viewed at http://sensuallogicarchive.dk/paintmaker/video%20tutorials.html.

As an amateur painter who only began his art “career” after retirement, I have found it challenging to match colors found in the physical world, or in a digital image, with the right combination of the paint colors that I have at hand. Determining proportions, shades, and color subtleties requires much patience, persistence, and ultimately a trained eye. It is difficult, even for experienced painters, and very subjective, at least until now.

What I had been using was a very handy book entitled 1500 Color Mixing Recipes for oil, acrylic & watercolor by William F. Powell (https://walterfoster.com/walter-foster-book/1500-color-mixing-recipes-for-oil-acrylic-watercolor-2/). The book does an excellent job of showing how to mix colors using proportionate amounts of paint found in standard commercial paint sets. The book includes reusable mixing grids for measuring and mixing the paints. Very good approximations can be produced. 

The book includes very useful instructions mixing colors, as well as creating colors for skin tones and landscapes.

While PaintMaker is much more accurate, it is designed to use the exact paint colors from a particular set of a manufacturers’ paint lines, such as Artists Oil from Winsor & Newton, or Heavy Body Acrylic from Liquitex, although it can be used as a mixing guide for any paint line as long as it is a similar paint quality. About two dozen paint lines have been profiled so far, with more to come.

Although PaintMaker has been formulated based on industry standard paint color sets, it provides broad support for paint sets from all sources.

The PaintMaker process can begin by opening an image or by entering an RGB or HEX value. This may be an image that is to be used as a guide for painting, an image found on the Internet for inspiration, or an image captured specifically for grabbing a color sample for paint mixing. Once opened the user simply places the cursor on the target color, clicks, and then selects the “plus” button to add it to the palette. By selecting a color in the palette and clicking on “Calculate Recipes”, the formulations can be displayed using the chosen measurement system (Percent, Parts, or Weight). 

The image shows four color swatches in the upper right that have been selected from the photograph. The paint formulas that can be used to create the cool lime color are shown below.
The cool lime color captured from the digital image can be created using any of the three derived formulas.

Even more amazingly, PaintMaker can calculate a variety of recipes using paint colors that the user may have at hand (http://colormixer.dk). Here is an example of producing virtually the same color formulated from different color ingredients, with only titanium white in common. 

From the ColorMixer site the user can select a color and generate several formulas to create it using standard paint color sets.
Each of these formulae can produce a close approximation of the chosen color.

The PaintMaster website has an area devoted to Master’s Palettes (http://sensuallogicarchive.dk/paintmaker/the%20master’s%20palettes/page%205.html), showing the paint formulations for many famous painters, and the recipes for duplicating their sets of colors. Many other useful tools can be found on the site which is quite worthy of exploration.

PaintMaker has selected color palettes from famous artists and displayed them on their website. Any user can similarly generate a palette from any chosen digital source.

Each paint recipe calculation costs one credit. There is no time limit on when the credits must be used. Credits are very inexpensive, as can be seen by the chart below.

The PaintMaker Recipe Credit system is quite inexpensive.

The user may not have the entire complement of colors in a particular set, and can therefore narrow the formulation of a recipe by selecting only the colors that they do own. This, of course, can reduce the precision of the calculation, and may result in producing no acceptable formulation at all. When five or fewer colors are selected for the set, PaintMaker will produce a recipe regardless. In that way one can get a monochrome paint palette from a color image

If the user does not have the full complement of colors of a given manufacturer line, they can indicate those colors that they do have.

The idea for PaintMaker began in 2006, when Christain Skeel, a Danish painter became frustrated with mixing lighter colors during dark and overcast days of winter in Denmark. He contacted a number of paint manufacturers seeking a solution, but was told that developing such a system was impossible. He persisted on his own with no success until he contacted Anders Holm of the Niels Bohr Institute. Holm, working with algorithms developed by physicists Kubelka and Monk, found a way to calculate color mixing recipes. Producing an easy-to-use program that incorporated the algorithms moved forward with the help of Zsolt Miklós Kovács-Vajna at the University of Brescia in Italy. Each color in a base set is mixed with nine variations of white to create the initial image samples. The process of creating color samples for the system takes several months since they must be completely dry before scanning their surface. This drying process can take up to a year for oil paints, and several months for acrylics. The developers of PaintMaker should be applauded for their contribution to artists and everyone else working with colors around the world!