Hemera Photo-Objects 50,000, Vol I & II

"A Great Collection of Royalty-Free, High Quality Pre-Masked Photos!"
| Type of Product | User Level | Features |
| Product Analysis | Final Comments | System Requirements |
Type of Product

box cover vol. I

box cover vol. II

resized vase

Hemera's Photo-Objects 50,000 Volumes I & II are an excellent collection of digital images. Each volume provides you with a different set of 50,000 royalty-free photo-objects in a variety of categories. With Photo-Objects, you get the best of two worlds: the quality of photographs and the flexibility of clip art. A Photo-Object can be used anywhere that you would normally use clip art whether it is in graphics, web or wordprocessor applications. The advantage of a Photo-Object is the quality of the image that you are using. Clip art is a vector image (line drawing) and a Photo-Object is a photo of that image with a transparency mask that surrounds the object for the removal of the background. The program is a great time-saver as it saves you the effort of working with a digital imaging software package, where you could spend hours masking an object. The high quality and resolution of Photo-Objects (plus the ability to save the images in a variety of formats for many types of programs) allows you to use them in all your projects for print or the web. Since the images are totally background independent, they can be placed on top of any other background or each other. You even have some Photo-Objects that are already framed. The images are scalable so you can resize or crop them before export, and you have a choice of setting the resolution at 96, 150, 200, or 300 DPI. The image to the left shows a Photo-Object vase that has been resized twice, once for the larger vase and then again for the smaller version. The flowers are also Photo-Objects that I placed within the graphic. Another advantage of Hemera's Photo-Objects is that they are completely royalty free, so you don't have to worry about when or where you can use them!

Each volume comes with a User Guide, a printed catalog, an easy to use search engine, and an Export Wizard that helps you save an image in the format that works best for your application. There is also a bonus program, PhotoFont Maker, that is included with each volume. It allows you to apply any photo background or texture to a word or phrase.

Hemera's Photo-Objects 50,000 Vol. I & II are available for Windows and Macintosh. Pricing: Vol. I is $84.99; Vol. II is $99.99. Hemera has a variety of other products such as: Photo-Objects 25,000, Photo-Objects 10,000, Photo-Objects 3,000, Photo-Objects Holiday & Festivities Collection, NetGraphics Studio 2, NetGraphics Optimizer 2, and a new product, The Big Box of Art 350,000 Images (See our review of The Big Box). See their web site for more information: http://www.hemera.com

User Level
export with colored background
Advanced Beginners, intermediate, and advanced computer users. Photo-Objects is perfect for just about anyone. Novice users with little or no experience in masking techniques will appreciate the ease of use of incorporating these pre-cut transparent images into their projects. Also, the intuitive interface and the Export Wizard get you up and running in no time. Intermediate and Advanced users can use Photo-Objects to quickly and easily export an image for those dreaded projects that were due "yesterday." The graphic to the left shows three lion heads that I exported, one on a black ground, another on a green background, and the smaller head on a transparent background. I then used a plug-in to create the special effects. Photo-Objects are great to use with special effects to create unique images.

clouds, tree, dancer

Each volume includes the following:

  • 50,000 royalty-free Photo-Objects in over 80 categories in Vol. I and in over 90 categories in Vol. II. All are 32 bit (true color) cropped photographic images with transparent backgrounds (24 bit RGB images with built-in 8 bit alpha channels). The graphic to the left has three Photo-Objects placed on top of each other: the clouds, the tree, and the sitting woman.
  • Photo-Objects at a base resolution of approximately 600 x 600 pixels that can be used at up to 300 DPI.
  • A user-friendly search engine that allows you to search for a Hemera Photo-Object in an easy and intuitive fashion.
  • An Export Wizard, allowing you to quickly and easily export a Photo-Object to your favorite application.
  • PhotoFont Maker, a bonus application that allows you to fill your fonts with photo-realistic images and textures.
  • Over 200 ready-made textures to use with PhotoFont Maker or you can make you own.
  • A printed catalog with thumbnails of every image.
Product Analysis

Installation is a snap. There are 8 CDs for each volume, but you only use the first disk for installation of each set as you are only installing the search engine and the thumbnail images on your hard drive. The installation program builds a database so you don't have to swap cds to see what's on each one.

User Guide and Image Catalog
framed image

There is a small User Guide that discusses: what a photo-object is; searching for an image; the different methods for placing images into specific programs that support transparency; and how to use the images in various programs that don't support transparency, as well as choosing a background color to give the appearance of transparency. The PhotoFont Maker program is also covered. A printed catalog with thumbnails of all the images in that volume is also available in each package. The graphic to the left shows a Photo-Object with a frame.

Search Engine
For those individuals who don't like to browse a catalog, there is a great search engine. With this intuitive, user-friendly search engine, you don't need to remember file names or image titles. The plain English search engine works with common sense words. It lets you instantly see any images corresponding to the descriptive keywords you type into the keyword search window. The keywords used are those that make the most sense, such as the name of the object, color, where you would find it, etc. And you have two search options. You can narrow your search to a particular topic of interest by choosing the category from the Search In drop-down category. The second option is to search for a Photo-Object throughout the entire collection by choosing the All Categories option. And, if you have both volumes, you can have the installation process combine the thumbnails of both volumes, which speeds up your searches.
Placing Photo-Objects and PhotoFonts In Your Documents



The program is flexible and gives you four different ways you can place Photo-Objects and PhotoFonts in your documents for the PC and five different ways for the Mac.

  1. Export Assistant--The first and easiest method is by using the Export Assistant. You start the Export Assistant by double-clicking the thumbnail image of any Photo-Object.
  2. Drag and Drop--The second method is dragging and dropping Photo-Objects directly into your document from the Hemera Photo-Objects window. When you use this method, the image will take on the file format defined in the Drag and Drop default settings under Preferences in the Edit menu.
  3. Copy and Paste--The third method is exporting Photo-Objects using the copy/paste method. You simply copy the image onto the clipboard by selecting the thumbnail image you want, select the Edit menu, and choose Copy to Clipboard. Then from the application you wish to use the copied image, select the Edit menu and choose Paste. When you use this method, the image will be copied in the file format defined in the Clipboard settings found under Preferences.
  4. Save-As/Importing--The fourth method is saving the selected Photo-Object directly to your hard drive by choosing Save As from the File menu, and then importing the Photo-Object from within the application in which you wish to use the image.
  5. Drag and Drop to Finder--The Mac has a fifth method which is dragging and dropping images to the Finder--in other words from Photo-Objects to your desktop or any folder on your system.

Export Assistant
export options

The Export Assistant or Wizard walks you step-by-step through the process of exporting an image. The first step is choosing one of five types (see below). All five options allow you to resize or crop an image, select a resolution (96, 150, 200, and 300 DPI), flip an image, choose a background color, maintain an image's original width to height proportions, and select whether you want the image's physical dimensions to change when the resolution is changed. In addition, each type has other options specific to that choice. For instance, if you choose Web Authoring, you select whether you want a color, a tile, or an HTML file for the background color; whether you want the image saved as a GIF or JPEG; various optimizing choices; and whether you want the image displayed interlaced or progressively. The program even analyzes your choices and suggests whether the image should be saved as a GIF or JPEG, which is great for novices. In the optimizing step, you can select the image quality and see the corresponding file size and download times for different modem speeds.

  1. Wordprocessor, Spreadsheets--Use for wordprocessing programs or spreadsheets such as Word, WordPerfect, Excel, or Quattro Pro.
  2. Slide Presentation Software--Use for presentation packages such as PowerPoint, Presentations, Harvard Graphics, or Freelance.
  3. Web Authoring--Use for Web pages.
  4. Graphics Applications (That Support Transparency)--Use for graphics programs that support transparency such as Adobe Photoshop.
  5. Export As File--Use if you wish to save the image as a file rather than inserting it directly into an application.

PhotoFont Maker

PhotoFont interface

PhotoFont Maker is a bonus application packaged with Photo-Objects 50,000 Volume I & II. This is a fun program that is easy to use. The User Manual for each volume covers both Photo-Objects and PhotoFont Maker as the interface, steps, and options of each are almost identical.
Final Comments
photo-object & photofont
Hemera's Photo-Objects Vol. I & II is an excellent package for just about anyone. I was surprised at the versatility of the program and did not expect it to have the range of options that it provides. Users with limited experience can quickly and easily spice up their projects by using the Photo-Objects. None of the examples in this review took more than a few minutes to create and could be done by beginners. The graphic to the left shows a Photo-Object image of a woman on a dune background, with text made in PhotoFont Maker. Having some images already framed is a bonus, also. When you save to the TIFF with transparency mask format, you have to load the selection and delete the background. But, this is an easy process and allows you to make further changes if you want, such as feathering, blurring, etc. Since all Photo-Objects are 24 bit RGB color, for users who need CMYK color, you will have to bring them into a graphics program and convert them. Again, this is not difficult. The images in these two volumes should be suitable for most projects, whether for the Web, on-screen presentations, or print. And, the quality of the masking and detail are fine considering the affordable price of the packages. For very high-end professional designers that need an image greater than the 600 x 600 pixels, Hemera is currently developing a high resolution service that will enable current users of the Hemera Premium Image Collections to order higher resolution Photo-Objects. All of these high end Photo-Objects will originate from photographs scanned at 2048 x 3072 pixels using the Kodak photo-CD scanning technology. As each of these high-end images will have a unique dimension, the actual dimension of each image will depend upon the Photo-Object chosen. And if you purchase either volume of Photo-Objects 50,000 before December 31, 2001, you get a free coupon for $100 worth of these high-end images. You couldn't go wrong with these flexible and affordable volumes of Photo-Objects. And they would make great gifts for the holiday season!
System Requirements


  • Pentium Processor 120 MHZ minimum (200 MHz recommended)
  • 32 MB RAM minimum (64 MB RAM recommended)
  • Windows 95/98/ME or Windows NT 4.0/2000
  • 115 MB hard disk space minimum (215 MB recommended)
  • CD-ROM drive
  • 256 color display (high color, 16 bit display adapter recommended)


  • Power PC minimum (G3 recommended)
  • 32 MB RAM minimum (64 MB RAM recommended)
  • Mac OS 8.6
  • 115 MB hard disk space minimum (215 MB recommended)
  • CD-ROM drive
  • 256 color display (16 bit display adapter recommended)
Graphics: Adobe Photoshop 6.0 & Alien Skin Eye Candy 4000
Images: Hemera Photo-Objects 50,000 Vol. I & II
Web Page Design: Macromedia Dreamweaver 4.0
| Applications | Games | Hardware | Children | Plug-Ins | Tutorials | Back to PC Cafe Home |
| Educational | Books | Utilities | Web Tools | Legal | Articles |
Return to PC CafeGo To Top
This site is (c) Copyright 2001, by PC Cafe Online. All World Wide Rights Reserved