Digital Workshop – Opus Pro 04 review

multimedia creation tool
Photo of Digital Workshop – Opus Pro 04
£299.95

The original Illuminatus Opus was welcomed for its easy-to-use interface, its comparatively low cost compared to its rivals and a broad range of features that included ‘triggers’ for pre-loaded files and mouse moves, collision detection, rollover frames and multiple object drawings.

In response to comments and suggestions made by users, the new version of this multimedia creation tool – which can be used for creating presentations, interactive greetings cards, training materials and even simple games – has had a considerable tweaking of existing features, plus the introduction of a plethora of new ones.

The improvements include the expansion of colours and luminance ranges in the palette bar, and now animation can be paused, large text documents can be copied and pasted faster and entire text objects can be converted to vector format with one click.

The graphics engine has been given a major overhaul to provide high-quality display of rotated objects, including text, while playback of video (which now includes a Chromakey facility) has also been improved. DirectX support is now an option for full screen presentations and this provides much smoother animation, just like you’d expect for games.

There are around 100 completely new features designed to make your presentations quicker to create, simpler to operate and more stylish in appearance. For example, the Always On Top action will keep a designated publication on top; a current publication can be backed up to a zip file; a CD-R wizard is included which will transfer your work to a CD and the new QuickBuild function will automate many common activities and allow rapid copying from one object to another, as well as establishing useful menus to link pages together.

The script editor – there’s a full JavaScript-like scripting language built in – will now show tool-tips to show function parameters; it also includes custom syntax highlighting and will auto-capitalise. Hypertext links can be created from URLs as you type them in and there’s a new aspect fit justification for text. Once finished, your publication can be exported to Macromedia Flash format so it can be opened on any platform or computer with Flash Reader. All clever stuff.

If all of this seems a bit daunting for the first-timer, there are some handy tutorials included in the package, as well as a new Question Template Wizard which will take you through step-by-step and ask you what you want to include in your publication. Having said that, Opus Pro 04 is still better suited to someone already familiar with an earlier version of the package who wants to turn out truly first-rate multimedia publications.

Company: Digital Workshop

Contact: 01295 258335


Verdict
If you want to wow your audience with slick presentations that include animation, video, photos, clip art, text and impressive graphics, then this versatile package is an essential business tool.