Classic Computer Magazine Archive CREATIVE COMPUTING VOL. 11, NO. 2 / FEBRUARY 1985 / PAGE 52

Super graphics driver: Lumena. (evaluation)

Once upon a time there was a need to bring the power of graphics systems costing $20,000 and more down to the level of the $3000 microcomputer. Enter the Mindset, and enter Lumena, a piece of graphics software that is truly impressive. Lumena turns the Mindset into an unmatched color graphics machine.

Designed for best use with a graphics tablet, we had to get by with the mouse as input device, and though the mouse is not a great drawing tool, we were still able to get the "feel" of Lumena. Lumena allows you to design, store, and retrieve graphics screens that take full advantage of the color, resolution, and animation power of the Mindset computer. It packs more than 100 powerful graphics commands into a point-and-click, menu-based palette that toggles onto the lower third of the display. And though it does not work as smoothly nor as intuitively as MacPaint, Lumena is quite similar in terms of its user interface, while incorporating a major difference: the results are in vivid multicolors.

In addition to the usual complement of graphics commands, Lumena has some tricks that can be found only in professional level minicomputer-based software, including scale and rotation commands, and sophisticated animation tools. In addition to a very easy-to-use "animation paintbrush" function, Lumena can handle animation not only through color cycling but in a cell-based method, wherein you store images in the Mindset frame buffer for fast and individual transfer to the display screen. Combined with conventional disk storage, dynamic use of the cell buffer can result in very effective animation effects.

It takes some time to get comfortable with the Lumena program, and the manual is very terse. Learning the nested tree-structure takes time and is not a casual process. Some features actually seem to work counterintuitively, you might say. We are not quite sure what the reasons are for this. But as a graphics tool, Lumena is very impressive. And once you sit down with it for a few minutes, you tend to get hooked.

Products: Lumena (computer program)