RealWorld Icon Editor 2006.2 beta-1 available

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RealWorld Icon Editor 2006.2 beta-1 available

Published by on December 3rd 2006.

It has been more than seven moths since the release of version 2006.1 of RealWorld Icon Editor and today the beta build of the upcoming version is finally available to beta testers…

How to get your hands on the beta?

The beta version is not released to public, but is available on request. If you are willing to spend your time examining the application and reporting the results, you are welcome to join the beta testers. Both newbie and veteran icon designers are welcome, the only condition is your willingness to help us make the application better by providing feedback.

The beta version works on Windows XP, 2003, and Vista.

To gain access to the installer, please leave a comment below or send an email to info [at] rw-designer.com with a basic information about you.

RealWorld Icon Editor 2006.2 Beta

Major new features

When working with the beta, you should look more closely on the new features described in this section and let us know if you liked them or not and propose further improvements.
Polygon drawing tool

Users may draw filled polygons, polygon outlines (or combination thereof) with defined joins style. Polygon (and also Curve tool) removes the last point when you click the Undo button.

Filters with preview

Many filters can be configured to display preview.

Mac OS icon format support

The application can read and write (not tested) icons in Mac OS .icns and .bin formats and convert icons between Mac and Windows formats.

When editing Mac icons, users must manually ensure the correctness of 8-bit, 4-bit, and 1-bit formats. These images share a single transparency mask and editing only one of them may yield unexpected results after saving and reloading. It is recommended to copy the 8-bit images to 4-bit and 1-bit before saving.

Improved image to icon conversion

The effect-during-conversion configuration was simplified and it is now possible to quickly select which formats are generated. It is also possible to have one format configured multiple times with different effects and always pick one of these formats using check-boxes.

Customizing icons in any application

The application is able to replace (or add) any icon in any 32-bit or 64-bit Windows executable file (dll, exe, …) by the currently open icon.

Use this feature with caution and backup the customized file, because the operation cannot be undone and the replaced icon is simply deleted.

This function can be used to customize for example Explorer icons or put a Vista-compatible icon into your executable file (just like this command line tool).

Post icons to online library

Users will be able to upload icons to online library directly from the application and share their work with others.

The online library is not currently functional and will be opened in a couple of days.

More image filters

Yeah, there are some new filters. Nothing spectacular. Just let us know what filters would you like to have in an icon editor and they may just make it into the final release.

Using Photoshop image filters

This feature allows you to run Photoshop-compatible filters directly from the build-in image editor.

Before using a filter, you must first install it (and sometimes also a couple of prerequisites - let us know if you run into trouble) and then locate the installed filter on disk, click Photoshop->Manage Filters and drag and drop the filter onto the dialog. If everything goes all right, the filters from the dropped file should appear in the dialog and after you click OK also in the main menu.

While this function has great potential, because there are numerous filters available on the internet, the compatibility is rather low at this point. Please report any successes or failures.

Improved 3D control points user interface

There are now two improvements when dragging control points in 3D window. First, you may define custom grid or pick one of the predefined ones. Second, when rotating an object you may pick the rotation axis or use the “old mode”.

New material and texture panel for 3D objects

Material colors and textures can be assigned from a user friendly panel. Just click on a part of an object and its material properties will be displayed in the panel.

Improved camera controls

Setting camera in Rendered Image document was not easy. But it should be now. Objects can be moved by dragging with left mouse button, rotated with right mouse button, zoomed with the middle one (or mouse wheel). The window also indicates the area that will be visible after the image is rendered.

Multiple snapshots in one Rendered Image document

Rendered image document can contain multiple snapshots. The snapshots share the same dimensions and rendering device, but they may have different lights, camera, and 3D models or its parameters.

This feature allows you to have multiple topically similar icons in one file.

There is also a second usage scenario. The snapshots can be considered layers and rendered individually into icons and then combined. This allows you to use overlay symbols (imagine a + sign that you put onto another symbol). The edge-enhancing shadow effects are applied on each layer.

Parameterized 3D models

Creating parameterized Unicorn3D models was already possible in previous versions. The new version allows making the parameters more user friendly to the outside world. Each parameter can have a localized name and description and 3D vector variables can represent a color.

The real gain is of course visible only in conjunction with the new Rendered Image document, because the parameters can be set differently for each snapshot.

Application management panel

RealWorld Icon Editor supports plug-ins since it first version, but the application management panel finally allows a user friendly plug-in installation. We certainly hope to deliver more specialized plug-ins later.

If you are a software developer and you are interested in creating plug-in for RealWorld apps, by all means, let us know.

Beta version limitations

The beta version is not complete and contains both known and unknown errors. If you are a beta tester, you should not use it for critical tasks and you should save your work often and in different files.

Known errors and limitations:

  • Application help is outdated.
  • Many icons in toolbars and menus are missing or subject of change.
  • Saving to Mac .icns and .bin is most likely not working.
  • Photoshop filters compatibility is very low as of now. But go ahead and test your favorite filters and report the results.
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user icon Anonymous
Vista & Win 7 icons
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What about ICL files?
I wish there were...