Create instant caricatures with Let's Draw
by Alan Zisman
(c) 1997. First
appeared in Computer Player, February 1997.
Let's Draw, Microforum, Inc. 416-656-6406, http://www.microforum.com,
How many of you have had secret ambitions to be a
your high school notebook with sketches rather than class notes?
Okay. You can put your hands down now. Let's Draw,
from Toronto's Microforum,
may be what you've been waiting for all those years since high school.
This Windows (3.1 or 95) software lets everyone create
you've got any artistic talent or not. At it's most basic, it's sort of
the digitized version of Mr. Potato Head-pick a head, add a body, eyes,
ears, nose, mouth. Add in a background, a voice bubble, some text, and
you're ready to print out your cartoon, and pin it up on the fridge or
the office bulletin board. With over 120 face-shapes alone, a vast
of cartoons are possible just using the pre-fab picture elements.
Or use one of the 50 templates, and use your cartoon
for a fax cover,
calendar, greeting card, wrapping paper or more. You even get about 100
ready-made caricatures of famous people... but don't expect to be able
to use these to get a job as a political cartoonist for your daily
from Chretien, Mulroney, and Trudeau, the bulk are pop-culture figures,
ranging from W.C.Fields to Madonna. (If you're not good at recognizing
who's being spoofed, don't expect any help from the program... the
are identified only by number, even in the Clip-Art Reference Guide).
You can customize the pre-fab elements, distorting,
changing size or
colour as desired. As well, drawing tools are included, allowing you to
add your own features to the clipart, or to create a picture from
The program is a vector-draw program, similar to the popular Corel
simultaneously less powerful and easier to use. Lines can imitate
or felt-pen, for more realistic effects. Like better-known draw
you can work with freehand or bezier-lines, and zoom and rotate to your
heart's content. Image elements can be easily distorted, tapered, or
and these effects can be applied to text as well as to the standard
While the program, by default, saves files in its own format, artwork
be exported as standard BMP and WMF formats, so they can be used in
processor or desktop publishing files.
The program is a 16-bit Windows 3.1 application, but
it installs nicely
under Win 95 as well-even adding an uninstall option to the Win95
Panel list. It can be set up to run from the CD disk or from your hard
drive, taking between five and 29 megs of drive space, depending on
Lets Draw is fun to use. Both novices and more
and computer users can quickly produce caricatures and other graphics.