"Virtual" framing software

Mat Bored

Grumbler in Training
Jan 29, 2004
Denver, Colorado
I was wondering if anyone has had heard of a good framing software that enables you to digitally photograph/import your customers artwork and view the finished frame design around it. I would love to incorporate a digital camera above my design counter for this purpose. I am looking at it to display the image AFTER inputing the design. It would be used to help Mr/Mrs customer visualize a better frame design (and help me get a bigger check!)
It should be tied to a POS system - and it needs to be quick....
I know that there were attempts in the past to create this (IE: FullVision, Virtual Framer, etc) but I haven't heard of a GOOD one these days...
There are a few packages out there which offer this feature, but often they lack basic business tools that should be in a POS system.

My concern is where the images come from as vendors change their lines, if the colors and 1d display do it justice, if there are legal implications from duplicating(scanning) their art, and if you have room for a scanner big enough to fit the artwork on in the first place. Maybe someone that has one will jump in with some advice to address these questions?

There was a post last night on the PPFA Hitchhikers forum that mentioned a new program called Arteck, which was displayed at the recent Vegas show. I'm awaiting info about this and will list it as soon as I receive their contact information.

Custom Framer, Framers Guide, FrameShop Pro, FrameSmart, Masterpiece, and Masterpiece Manager are some options worth checking out.

For a good all around (non visualized) POS system, I suggest checking Lifesaver, FrameReady, Specialtysoft, Ferensoft, Artisan Frame Plus, etc. I compiled a full comparison list at www.getthepictureframing.com/gfaq/ if interested.

Nearly all vendors offer some kind of downloadable demo, so you can try-before-you-buy. This is extremely important, and I suggest getting the demos, asking questions of the vendors, and asking folks right here on the Grumble.

Welcome to the Grumble!

Mike ,
Thanks for your reply.

I'm really not that concerned about having the colors perfect (like you would need to have them if you were strictly designing from your computer monitor). My thoughts are to use it as additional amunition against customer objections towards the design, by helping them visualize the final result after showing the mat/moulding samples.....

My plan would be to incorporate a digital video camera above my design counter to capture the art and manipulate it with the PC...
I'm familiar with the other POS systems (I've used Lifesaver and FullCalc) but like I say, it's hard to believe that with the technology out there, that this is not currently available...

As far as copyrights, the way I understand it is that as long as you don't publish or distribute a copy than you are not in violation..(It would be no different than an art collector taking a picture of his prized piece of art for insurance purposes)...My thoughts are strictly to show the customer via the computer screen, and that's all - no need for a print....Like I say, it needs to be a quick process (no need for additional distractions from the sales/design process..

If I was more experienced with Photoshop, I suppose I could create this myself, but I'm surprised that all the POS software companies haven't already incorporated it...(After all - Isn't the MAIN reason for most customer objections because they can't visualize the design from corner samples?).

As far as getting the digital pics of the mouldings and mats, wouldn't all distributors have digital images of all their products that they manipulate for marketing brochures and the like already? I'm sure it would be some work to maintain this, but hey, I would be willing to pay a premium for the right package!

I'm interested in the new software introduced at the Vegas show....If you or anyone else has any further info on this product, please let me know...
Somewhere around here, I have the full version of FrameShop Pro. At least I think that's what it was called.

It had a simple pricing and order-writing component, but the big deal was that it was possible - essential, in fact - to add all your own mouldings and mats to the image database for the pre-visualization component. The also had a scheme that involved a digital camera mounted above the design counter and the ability to add images of your customer's art to the program.

I decided it was going to take a full-time tech employee just to implement it, so I never used the software.

Thanks for your post....

I have seen the Frameshop Pro in "action" (and that's a term to use with a grain of salt here).
It was slow and cumbersome....I don't blame you for putting it out to pasture..
I was hoping to find something new and improved..

Has anybody used the Masterpiece Manager Framing software with the image loading?...Does it have images of the frames and mats in it's database?

Thanks again...