Artist (MRM) Review | A&B Computing - Everygamegoing

A&B Computing

BBC Model B

Published in A&B Computing 2.01


There are several painting programs on the market for the BBC Micro, though I have not had the opportunity to try them. Therefore I can't make direct comparisons but I must say that I found MRM's Artist a well-written program that is easy and enjoyable to use. The program runs in Mode 2, reserving the top two lines for a set of menus and providing the rest as your canvas. There are various options for drawing on the screen. If you choose line drawing, the program uses a computer aided design (CAD) technique known as "rubber banding". You first move the cursor to the point at which you wish to start and put the "pen down". You then move your potential line about with the cursor keys, varying its length and position until you are ready to fix it in your chosen colour. This makes it very easy to see what you are doing before you commit yourself.

Other CAD techniques are used, for example in the options to draw empty or filled squares and triangles. The shape may be expanded or contracted (using < and >) and "dragged" around by the cursor keys, once again being fixed only when you are happy with its precise size and location. There are similar options for circles and ellipses. In the latter case, you can change the size of height and width independently. Another very nice feature makes use of the extended PLOT facility for filling irregular shapes with colour. All you do is drag a vertical bar and then adjust its size to stand within the space to be filled. The fill will cover any black background area either side of the bar up to the nearest line encountered horizontally in another colour.

Screens may be saved and reloaded for subsequent work, though with a file size the better part of 20K this will be slow if you are using cassette tape. If you have a screen dump routine for your printer you may of course write your own Basic utility to *LOAD the saved screen and dump it. All in all, this program is nice to use and makes intelligent and full use of the micro's operating system.

Jonathan Evans

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