Key features that relate directly to the way Muhammad works with Castop Plus include a freehand drawing tool and a powerful node editor that allows contours to be manipulated at will. It is also easy to switch between drawing and node-editing modes, while the software's distortion tools allow the finished imagery to be transformed to give perspective and three-dimensional effects. Graphic interpretations such as gradient, texture and transparent fills are used to prepare the work for proof printing.
Using Castop Plus, Muhammad created a 30-metre circumference frieze, a two-metre centrepiece and 16 radial spokes for the interior of the dome at the new Chesham Mosque in Buckinghamshire. All of the work on the dome was original line vector graphics (no scanning or clip art was employed).
By continually upgrading the Castop family of software to meet changing market requirements, Wissen has achieved near benchmark status in the development of 'open' sign design and production software that gives small to medium-size users the flexibility and the power to choose all of the elements of each system to suit individual requirements and available budgets. This is in stark contrast with the large number of computer-driven sign-making systems that are sold largely as 'closed' turnkey solutions that are less flexible and invariably more expensive.
Worth noting is the fact that Muhammad created the award-winning friezes using Castop Plus software. Now Wissen has extended the upgrade path with the launch of Castop Plus 6. Apart from the tried and tested features of previous programs, this latest package has a new MDI (Multi Document Interface) that allows users to carry out multiple jobs simultaneously. Roll Ups also enable commonly used tools to be kept handy without taking up valuable workspace, while the simplicity of the RET (Recursive Editing Technology) feature belies a huge capacity for the program's speed of production. Using this tool, special effects (for example, shadows) are linked to the original to allow editing and the incorporation of customer's own design refinements infinitely and in a matter of seconds.
Speed is also the hallmark of the Galleries feature of Castop Plus 6 that allows objects and effects to be added with the same degree of acceleration. Using a simple drag and drop process, customised libraries involving any kind of data can be created instantaneously to achieve fast and consistent results using, for example, drop fills, transparencies and transitions.
For enhanced colour fidelity, Castop Plus 6 now supports Windows ICM colour management protocols, while a new Postscript interpreter allows the import of Postscript, EPS and Adobe Illustrator files without loss of bitmap data. Other key elements include a corner-rounding facility for doming applications that automatically smoothens sharp corners to prevent doming resin flowing off the media and a powerful colour-trapping function to assist in the production of screens and more professional-looking vinyl colour overlays.
For further information, visit www.wissenuk.com or telephone Kevin Wallace at Wissen UK on 020 8894 3344.
Designed to meet the demands of custom apparel and gift shops, R-Wear Studio offers all the necessary design elements for a range of profitable applications, including heat-transfers for apparel, gift engraving, hot-fix rhinestones, vinyl lettering, labels and decals, and POS signage. With R-Wear Studio, users can even create multimedia apparel decorations featuring rhinestone embellishments and heat transfers together using vector-based designs, logos and lettering.
Roland R-Wear Studio comes complete with artwork, stylised typefaces and patterns for fast, easy production.
Users can also import their own graphics, rhinestone patterns, personalised lettering, unique backgrounds and more for the ultimate in customisation.
"With R-Wear Studio, you can create a wide variety of rhinestone templates quickly and inexpensively without relying on outsourcing," said Peter Kettle, Roland DG 3D Product and Sales Manager. "R-Wear Studio has a large library of 500 hot-fix rhinestones that match the different colours, sizes and types available on the market. The software can also automatically display a job's cost, allowing users to quickly calculate profits and manage rhinestone inventories. R-Wear Studio is a great addition to the R-Wear Business Solution suite."
Roland R-Wear Solutions are based on the company's output devices including EGX engravers, the GX-24 cutter and the VersaCAMM VP-300 inkjet printer/cutter. Each device delivers outstanding results across a variety of workflows for maximum creativity.
With R-Wear Business Solutions, users can generate simple vinyl lettering using the Roland GX-24 cutter, or print and cut more complex graphics by pairing a commercially available printer with the GX-24.
Shops can also print and cut colourful heat transfers, labels and decals with the Roland VersaCAMM VP-300, all in one seamless workflow.
The latest version of VersaWorks features a new single-pass white ink print mode for the company's SolJet PRO III XC-540W 54" printer/cutter.
VersaWorks 2.7 is now available free for Roland users at www.rolanddg.com/download.html
"We are pleased to offer our XC-540W customers the ability to select either conventional dual-pass print mode or new single-pass print mode for white ink applications," said Roland DG (UK), Head of Product Management, Brett Newman.
"This flexibility allows shops to customise their workflow for the job at hand. New single-pass white ink print mode allows users to take full advantage of the XC-540W's media take-up system for long unattended production runs and large prints such as decorative window graphics. Dual-pass print mode is recommended whenever overprinting is involved and when the media selected requires an extended dry time. Both print modes deliver exceptionally smooth gradations for outstanding overall print quality."
The new VersaWorks is designed for high density printing and jobs requiring more opacity and facilitates print and cut applications such as labels, decals and product design. It reduces ink consumption while delivering brighter colour output and better opacity; as a result, production and maintenance costs are lower and efficiency and productivity are increased.
GraphCUT has been produced exclusively for these machines by CADlink Technology, the people behind the widely popular SignLab software. Based on SignLab, it includes all the features, design, text and cutting tools needed to quickly achieve professional results.
This new software is easy-to-use and enables even inexperienced operators to get creative and start designing immediately. Whether it's adding drop shadows, special effects to text, editing graphics, or fitting text around an arc, GraphCUT makes it simple.
Available in 600mm and 1200mm cutting widths, the CE5000s are favoured by start-up signmakers and retail outlets that produce their own signage, as well as larger sign businesses wanting extra production capacity. They have an enviable range of functions for cutters in their class, including SmartFeed auto material pre-feed, providing enhanced media tracking for consistent accuracy, and an exceptionally easy-to-use menu.
The FC7000MK2's range of sophisticated features and newly developed functions make them first choice for high production environments. A new all-in-one cutter head, Graphtec's Advanced Registration Mark Sensing System (ARMS), Auto Registration Mark Reading, and more, provide improved cutting accuracy along the entire length of even large and long format drawings plus increased production speeds and reliability.
Whichever machine customers choose, choosing a cutting plotter from Graphtec has just become an even better business investment.
"The CE5000s are designed to help a business grow without a big up-front investment and the FC7000MK2s to boost production. GraphCUT software is the perfect complement to both, enabling operators to quickly and easily produce a wider variety of signage with extra design elements added," says Phil Kneale, Sales and Marketing Director for Graphtec (GB).
"CADlink has developed industry-leading design and production software for more than 18 years. Specialised tools it developed for particular markets such as signmaking have become industry standards; now that knowledge and expertise has been applied in developing GraphCUT."
"The software that comes with many entry-level and even higher-spec plotters is often very limited and doesn't cater for more than the very basics. But GraphCUT lets you can do much more, and because it's so user-friendly, you don't have to be a technical wizard to achieve excellent results."
"And, where most software that comes with a cutter can't be upgraded as your business grows, GraphCUT can be seamlessly upgraded to SignLab Vinyl, with more money saved in the process," adds Phil.
GraphCUT is fully compatible with Windows 2000, XP and Vista, and comes with full technical support.
To find out more or arrange a demonstration, go to www.graphtecgb.com or telephone 01978 666700.
Many VersaWorks users are using desktop publishing programs to output files to VersaWorks software. These software packages simply do not offer the wide format design and production tools or the seamless interface that SignLab for VersaWorks Edition provides.
Visit www.cadlink.com for additional information.