Software developer SegTech recently introduced SegPlayPC™, a digital version of the popular 1950s pastime, paint-by-numbers. The result is a new computing hobby that folks fifty years ago couldn't have imagined.
Users can color images with the mouse instead of a brush with SegPlayPCv, the desktop program for Windows 2000 and XP. The program includes twenty images, from complex masterworks of art to familiar landmarks and soothing nature imagery. According to SegTech, the company will expand this content with future diverse collections.
Using SegPlayPC™, "painters" follow a number key to fill sections of the picture and the photorealistic image gradually emerges in color segments. Completing the image, the user can replay the process to marvel and learn as the work of art composes itself, color by color. A relaxing diversion popular with artsy types, the program especially resonates with middle-aged women, who appreciate the application of today's computing power to the nostalgic, paint-by-numbers craze of their youth.
SegPlayPC™ offers a variety of artistic, educational, and gaming features to help users explore intriguing dimensions of both classic and modern art. Suitable for art education lesson plans for grades K-12, the software provides entertaining, instructive experience in color science and art appreciation.
In the "casual gaming" software category, SegPlayPC™ is simple to use. With a few, intuitive tools, new players can begin painting immediately, completing the simplest patterns in only four minutes. The program also offers engaging options to expand with each user, whether they seek art awareness or just an interesting gaming challenge. For example, the program offers the creative opportunity to play with intricate painting patterns and "edit" works of art. Advanced users can undertake ambitious projects and work with extremely complex and intricate patterns. With appeal to all audiences and age groups, SegPlayPC™ is continuously re-playable and addictive, and as repetitive—or infinitely varied—as each user prefers.
SegPlayPC™ uses the same cutting-edge processing power of Microsoft’s DirectX™ graphics technology used to play today's video games. Optimizing modern image-processing programming, SegTech programmers developed "Segmation™" technology, which enables designers to dissect pictures into outlined patterns with customized, computer-generated color palettes. Using this technology, programmers can isolate dozens of colors and divide images—from simple line drawings to intricate masterpieces or photography—into thousands of distinct segments.
Several thousand daily visitors and habitual users enjoy an online version of the program, available at Segmation.com for more than five years. The family-friendly site offers the largest and most diverse collection of photo-realistic paint-by-numbers patterns on the Internet. SegTech founder Mark H. Feldman developed Segmation™ technology and started the website in 2001.
Users can test a free downloadable program (with limited patterns, textures, and features) on a ten-day trial. The complete SegPlayPC™ program is also downloadable and costs $24.95(US).
SegPlayPC™ Product Features:
Painters can work in a standard, sizeable window or at full-screen resolution to maximize the canvas. Users can also magnify the painting to focus on and enlarge any section with infinite zoom-in and out tools. The program also includes panning, translation, and auto-advance gadgets to "move" the canvas around, complete color application, and speed the fill-in process.
The program operates in a range of modes:
Normal (segments of the painting are number-keyed to a palette of colors)
Hint Mode (shows only the current color to simplify the painting process)
Free Mode (any color in the available palette can fill any segment of the painting)
In addition, "Auto-Completion" offers a hypnotizing experience as users can watch the program automatically apply each color to the pattern. The hues spread throughout the pieces and the image takes form, one drop at a time.
Some patterns can be defined with more than 1000 colored segments and can employ palettes of more than 32 colors. Users can customize the appearance of lines and numbers on the canvas, adjusting the color and transparency of the lines, changing the format, font, color, and transparency of the numbers, even opting to paint with invisible outlines!
A transparency control allows the original image to “bleed” gradually into the pattern to give additional color clues, and the opportunity to explore color-averaging and matching techniques. A texturing feature includes twenty texture choices, allowing users to paint on textured paper and apply textured paint to achieve a stylized effect in their completed images. Users can also scale and align textures to improvise unlimited effects. Program content includes links to artist websites for information about the artworks, artists, and subjects.
With a dynamic user interface and fun sound effects, the program's gaming features engage users at all levels. Users can race against a timer to complete patterns in a given timeframe at levels from Easy to Experienced and Expert. Users can also employ speed-painting tools, monitor the mistake counter, and track the number of remaining pieces and colors to increase the program's challenging and addictive potential.
Printing and Saving
The program includes a versatile printing option, allowing users to print blank patterns, partial paintings, completed artwork, and, for offline coloring, corresponding palettes. The program also provides an automatic saving function so that, as a user progresses on a pattern, the program individually and automatically saves the work so the user can return to it later.
Evaluation Copy Available on Request.