Torture Testing...And The Bottom Line
I tried some of the weirdest things I could think of. I dropped an AVI video file on top of a TIFF image, resized it and composited the result and saved it as a GIF file. Not bad. Then I tried to convert a different AVI file to an animated GIF by simply using "Save as...". That didn't quite work, but about 2 minutes' perusal of the manual came up with using Batch Automation to create a SuperPalette from every single frame of the AVI automatically (remember, we're remapping 16 million colors to just 256). From there, I was able to save the file as an animated GIF, which actually came out pretty good (except for the inevitable loss of audio). Try that with your favorite paint program!
There are plenty more things that DeBabelizer can do, especially for people working with video files (if you know what scan lines, blue screens, NTSC, and PAL mean, check it out), that make it a major timesaver in many applications. However, I feel that this product should be considered as a special purpose tool for Web designers and graphic artists for that reason. The more advanced features have a bit of a learning curve, the special things it does don't come up in everyone's work schedule, and the simple things it does -- such as file conversions and optimizations -- are done by many other programs that have more Web-specific features. But if you truly need it, DeBabelizer works quite well indeed.
This article first appeared in April, 1998.
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