LumaPix FotoFusion 3

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A fast, fun and creative approach to photo printing – and, crucially, one that produces high quality results.

Digital photography has numerous advantages over traditional film but there’s one area where it tends to fall down: print. Most photo editing apps can only print one image at a time or need to resort to awkward workarounds (such as Photoshop’s Picture Package command) to print multiple images. The end result is that most digital camera users rarely, if ever, print their images. That’s where LumaPix FotoFusion 3 comes in.

To be honest I wasn’t expecting that much from the program – basically I expected it to provide a range of predefined grids into which you drop your images before hitting Print. The program can work that way but, with just four templates provided, it’s clearly not the preferred route. Instead you are encouraged to create your own layouts by interactively subdividing frames using the Grid Collage option, or by simply dropping images anywhere on the page using the Freeform Collage option (these can then be saved as templates for future use).

By far the easiest and most effective option is to let FotoFusion design a layout for you with its patent-pending AutoCollage command. Based on the number of photos you select and their aspect ratio, this works out a layout to fill the page with the minimum of cropping. Click the command again and you have another layout to choose from. Click AutoJumble and the images are instantly given a creative slant. The end results are invariably attractive and look as if you’ve spent hours producing them but, because FotoFusion works by linking to the original images rather than importing all that bitmap data, it’s all done in seconds.

Creating eye-catching collages takes seconds with FotoFusion.

Of course you’ll still want to fine-tune the layout but again this is simplicity itself. In particular FotoFusion makes editing your collage as interactive as possible: you can drag to resize individual frames and whole sections of the layout; to swap images; and to scale, crop, pan and rotate your photos. A convenient floating toolbox provides further interactive control over image parameters such as brightness, gamma, contrast and so on (essential for quickly ensuring all your photos look consistent) and background, border and shadow settings. And you can also add simple text banners.

When you’re happy with your layout (and you will be), you’re ready to output. FotoFusion lets you email your collages or post them as eye-catching web galleries, but its biggest strength is print. And this is where the FotoFusion approach of linking to the original files really pays off as you can print your collages at any size up to 16” x 20” - or export images at any size up to 5000 x 5000 pixels - all at maximum quality. And if you need larger output, the Pro version lifts these limits entirely and adds other high-end features such as watermarking, bleed and crop lines and the ability to add text to individual frames including extracted EXIF data.

FotoFusion is simple, creative and fun and successfully turns the major weakness of digital photography into another major strength.

Ease of Use
Value for Money

ratings out of 6

System Requirements : Pentium II, 64MB of RAM , 3MB of hard disk space, Windows 98, SE, ME, 2000 or XP, 800x600 display.

Tom Arah

September 2004

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