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Brilliance is a paint and animation program released in 1993 which supports AGA, ANIM-8, and is capable of true 24-bit painting (displayed as HAM). Brilliance’s user interface is composed of stackable, button-only, slices of screens. There are no drop-down menus; and as you move the pointer over various tools, a window tells you the name of that tool. This makes it very easy to get working quickly. You can stack slices all the way up to the top of the screen and still make them vanish with the tap of the SPACE bar. In Brilliance, drawing operations occur in real time, but in TrueBrilliance, there is a lag after you finish a drawing operation when it is updating its 24-bit internal image. Also, brush and filled tools will do a temporary preview before you release the button. For example, if you have a gradient-filled rectangle with transparency turned on, Brilliance will draw the rectangle, transparency and all, if you hold the mouse still. But then you can still move the pointer and reshape the rectangle before committing it. Brilliance has all of the standard drawing tools, but some have extensive control. The rectangle and circle/ellipse tools allow you to draw either from the center or the corner. The curve tool has a Bezier curve mode where you place four control points and can then move them freely before committing the drawing with the right mouse button. The Text tool supports scalable fonts, and unlike Deluxe Paint (where you type right on the screen), you type into a requester and the text becomes the current brush. But just like DPaint, you cannot create text with a gradient, you have to place it down first then fill it.

If you make a mistake, there’s an UNDO button. And if you made two or more mistakes, you can keep hitting UNDO again and again, removing parts of your drawing. Then you can REDO and add back what you just took away. UNDO/REDO is modified by sizing the buffer that holds your changes. Brilliance has a good variety of drawing modes, all of which are well implemented. They are: (Solid) Color, Tint, Colorize, Brighten, Darken, Stencil (Draw), Mix, Smooth, Smear, Avg Smear, Range, Cycle, Random, Dither 1 and 2, Negative, Halfbright (in EHB mode) and Not. Stencil lets you modify the shape of the stencil with drawing tools, Range cycles colors you draw over according to the current gradient. Dither is a selectable (usually checkerboard) pattern. You can always toggle between Color and whatever mode you have selected. Brushes can be sized, flipped, bent, sheared, rotated or outlined. You can have eight alternative brushes, each represented by an icon on the brush screen. Brushes can be loaded from or saved to the Clipboard. Animbrushes are fully supported with morphing. You can really appreciate the buttons-based design if you’ve used DPaint’s menus and windows for animbrushes. The morphing is not bad, but the regions that are created in the process are divided by what looks like lightning bolts. For real morphing, you’ll want a real morphing program. Everything is well organized and operates smoothly. They shoudl have gone a little further in some areas, rather than just doing what everyone else already had in a paint program (like more flexible animation frame editing). Also, there’s no ARexx or support for third party graphics boards. Works just fine in WinUAE and Amiga Forever 7, don’t forget to download all three disks!

More news: Generation Amiga magazine