Scalado has launched a Web-building utility to help show more-detailed illustrative images. It offers a quick-and-simple alternative to the QuickTime VR-style spinning objects. By using high-resolution photographs, ImageZoom can focus in on particular details without losing quality. Instead of being able to view it from every angle, you can view a car from one angle, but zoom in on its alloy wheels or door handles, for instance. The idea is that people want to see certain details, rather than what a car looks like from above. The clever bit is that while you zoom, the quality goes down, but when the image stops zooming, it displays a high-quality image.
If you’re wondering what happened to ImageZoom 1.0, it was only released for Windows, so ImageZoom 2.0 is really version 1 for Mac. Scalado felt it should support the Mac platform, as it’s so prevalent in the Web-design world.
The interface is quirky, but the rest of the application is easy. At the most basic level, you simply start with a high-resolution image and decide what width the image should be. Then simply drag boxes around the interesting bits, and it instantly makes those parts of the image zoomable. You can click on the box and zoom in, then create another box inside it.
The whole process takes less than five minutes, and results in a Flash and/or Java script that can be put in a Web page. The results look very professional, and complicated, too. You get the benefit of looking like a clever dick, and possibly charging big bucks for the effect.
There are other effects available, like a pseudo 3D effect. This lets you take a series of shots – front, sides, top and back – and then flip between them. It isn’t much like 3D, but it does allow you to show the product from different angles easily.
ImageZoom is a bit clunky due to its PC roots, but it still gets the job done faster than any alternative. If you can’t afford to splash out on the Professional version, there’s a Standard version that has fewer features. It doesn’t include the Pseudo 3D effect, and you can’t do multiple zooms, but at just £69 it’s a lot cheaper than £269.
Min specs: Mas OS X