Frequently Asked Questions|
So what's this orthogonal interface thing?
That sounds rather standard, other paint apps let you apply filters to the selection.
Why can I draw outside of a selected area?
Can Becasso replace Photoshop?
But I am used to Photoshop.
Can Becasso at least read Photoshop documents?
What's the deal with this free PPC version?
And what's the small print?
I already have Becasso 1.4, but I can't update using SoftwareValet.
But it asks me for a CD-ROM.
Why doesn't Becasso have feature X?
But it doesn't even have a magic wand tool?
Ah, so the lasso tool...
What about scriptability?
Can I use Becasso as an image editor from within my own application?
Does Becasso handle pressure-sensitive input devices?
I've got this really cool idea for a feature, now what?
Q So what's this orthogonal interface thing?
A It's the most misunderstood feature of Becasso, and yet its most revolutionary one.
It basically means you can use any tool to "paint" a selection. Not only rectangles, but the text tool, etc. That means you
can very easily create "soft" selections using the brush. It also means you can apply filters to the selection map.
Q That sounds rather standard, other paint apps let you apply filters to the selection.
A No no, not to the selection, but to the selection map.
Here, let me show it in a couple of images:
The original image.
In selection mode, we draw a selection using the circle tool.
Now, while remaining in selection mode, we invoke the
Gradient tool. See how it affects the selection map,
and not the selected pixels?
Here we've copied the selection and
pasted it into a new canvas.
Q Why can I draw outside of a selected area?
A Because a selection in Becasso is something else than a "mask" in other
paint programs. It's been requested quite often, and I can see how it's useful, so a future version of
Becasso may offer a "mask" mode as well.
Q Can Becasso replace Photoshop?
A Becasso costs USD 29. Check to see what Photoshop costs. Do the math :-)
In short: No, Becasso cannot stand in Photoshop's shadow. Especially when it comes to handling large (scanned) images.
Let us put it this way: Not many people will reboot into BeOS just to use Becasso.
Becasso was in fact created for the opposite reason: To not have to reboot into
"that other OS" just to do some simple graphics work.
Q But I am used to Photoshop.
A Of course, Photoshop didn't become the de facto standard in the image processing
world for nothing. But we are not trying to create a Photoshop clone. Obviously, Photoshop is a very powerful tool,
and we will probably borrow some ideas from them. We are working on more keyboard shortcuts, for example. And if
there's anything particular that makes your workflow smoother, let us know and we'll see whether it's in Becasso's scope
to be implemented. Now, can we please stop about Photoshop?
Q Can Becasso at least read Photoshop documents?
A Yes it can. Becasso comes with a .psd Translator. It will currently
not read the layering information in the Photoshop file, though (it will read the "flattened"
representation only). We're working on that, and a future version may. It also writes valid
Photoshop documents, by the way.
Q What's the deal with this free PPC version?
A We've decided to release the PPC version of Becasso 1.5 for free. That means users
of compatible PowerMacs and BeBoxen can download it and register the app without buying a keyfile at BeBits.
Q And what's the small print?
A The thing is that we do our development work on x86 nowadays. We still have a BeBox,
but it's not in the same country. That means we can do less testing on PPC, and while we'll strive to make PPC versions
until that BeBox falls apart, we won't go to the same lengths adding, for instance, optimized assembler routines for PPC.
Q I already have Becasso 1.4, but I can't update using SoftwareValet.
A True. SoftwareValet can only update products at BeDepot.com, and since
that no longer is in operation, you can't use the automatic update feature of SoftwareValet. However,
Becasso 1.5 is still a free upgrade for existing Becasso 1.4 owners. Just download
the package and install it; when Becasso 1.5 is first launched, it will detect a previously installed Becasso 1.4 and
generate a Keyfile for you which will unlock the full version.
Q But it asks me for a CD-ROM.
A This happens when Becasso 1.5 can't find any reference to a previously installed
version. If you did already have 1.4, something has probably gone wrong with your SoftwareValet database files.
Becasso 1.5 uses those to determine whether Becasso 1.4 was installed on your system. If you still have the original
Becasso 1.4 SoftwareValet package, you could try reinstalling that first, and then installing 1.5 on top of that. Otherwise,
send us an email explaining the situation and we'll generate a Keyfile
Q Why doesn't Becasso have feature X?
A Because it either
- hasn't occurred to us yet
- is on the to-do list somewhere
- is too difficult or time-consuming to implement or is outside of Becasso's scope, or
- would make Becasso way more expensive due to licensing issues.
Q But it doesn't even have a magic wand tool?
A Yes it does. It's just the Fill tool, in selection mode.
Q Ah, so the lasso tool...
A ...is the Free Shapes tool, in selection mode. See? Once you get the hang
of it, that "orthogonal" interface gets more interesting, doesn't it? Try painting a selection with a pattern
Q What about scriptability?
A The current tool, mode, all tool parameters, the foreground and background colors,
can all be set and retreived using standard BeOS scripting calls. You can also set the export format, crop images, etc.,
so you could use Becasso for simple batch image processing. However, brush strokes and the likes aren't scriptable,
nor is it planned to add that level of scriptability to the application until some more important features have been
Q Can I use Becasso as an image editor from within my own application?
A Yes. For an excellent example of this, see Gobe Productive. In their preferences (in Image Processing/General),
you can select "Use External Editor"; Becasso's signature ("application/x-sum-Becasso") is already pre-filled-in.
When you then right-click on an image in your document, it will pop up a menu with "Edit Externally", and this will
open the image in Becasso. Once you're done with it there, simply save it (Becasso will remember it was sent by
another application and send the modified image back) and it will be instantaneously updated in your Gobe document.
The API to this is open.
Q Does Becasso handle pressure-sensitive input devices?
A Yes. It comes with a Wacom driver for serial PenPartner and UltraPad tablets,
and serial and USB Graphire tablets. It uses standard Be-definied messages for the pressure data, so third-party
drivers adhering to those standards will also work. More pressure-sensitivity will be added to various tools in
a future version (as well as tilt sensitivity).
Q I've got this really cool idea for a feature, now what?
A Let us know. We're very interested in hearing what features people want. Especially from
a usability point of view. Tips on what would make the app more easy to use are very welcome. We don't promise to
implement everything, but we do listen. Oh and by the way, if your idea involves a cool filter or generator add-on, note that
the API for writing add-ons is public, so if you like twiddling with pixels, you can write your own!