Castop Plus software supports award-winning friezes created for domes of mosques

A convert to Islam, Muhammad is a highly accomplished artist and calligrapher who discovered that the combination of acrylic and vinyl based on designs created exclusively with this particular software program provided the perfect solution to the production of highly individualistic decorative friezes. Wissen Castop Plus 6 logo

Key features that relate directly to the way Muhammad works with Castop Plus include a freehand drawing tool and a powerful node editor that allows contours to be manipulated at will. It is also easy to switch between drawing and node-editing modes, while the software's distortion tools allow the finished imagery to be transformed to give perspective and three-dimensional effects. Graphic interpretations such as gradient, texture and transparent fills are used to prepare the work for proof printing.

Using Castop Plus, Muhammad created a 30-metre circumference frieze, a two-metre centrepiece and 16 radial spokes for the interior of the dome at the new Chesham Mosque in Buckinghamshire. All of the work on the dome was original line vector graphics (no scanning or clip art was employed).

By continually upgrading the Castop family of software to meet changing market requirements, Wissen has achieved near benchmark status in the development of 'open' sign design and production software that gives small to medium-size users the flexibility and the power to choose all of the elements of each system to suit individual requirements and available budgets. This is in stark contrast with the large number of computer-driven sign-making systems that are sold largely as 'closed' turnkey solutions that are less flexible and invariably more expensive.

Interior of the Chesham Mosque.Worth noting is the fact that Muhammad created the award-winning friezes using Castop Plus software. Now Wissen has extended the upgrade path with the launch of Castop Plus 6. Apart from the tried and tested features of previous programs, this latest package has a new MDI (Multi Document Interface) that allows users to carry out multiple jobs simultaneously. Roll Ups also enable commonly used tools to be kept handy without taking up valuable workspace, while the simplicity of the RET (Recursive Editing Technology) feature belies a huge capacity for the program's speed of production. Using this tool, special effects (for example, shadows) are linked to the original to allow editing and the incorporation of customer's own design refinements infinitely and in a matter of seconds.

Speed is also the hallmark of the Galleries feature of Castop Plus 6 that allows objects and effects to be added with the same degree of acceleration. Using a simple drag and drop process, customised libraries involving any kind of data can be created instantaneously to achieve fast and consistent results using, for example, drop fills, transparencies and transitions.

A close-up of the award-winning interior dome manifestations at the Chesham Mosque.For enhanced colour fidelity, Castop Plus 6 now supports Windows ICM colour management protocols, while a new Postscript interpreter allows the import of Postscript, EPS and Adobe Illustrator files without loss of bitmap data. Other key elements include a corner-rounding facility for doming applications that automatically smoothens sharp corners to prevent doming resin flowing off the media and a powerful colour-trapping function to assist in the production of screens and more professional-looking vinyl colour overlays.

For further information, visit or telephone Kevin Wallace at Wissen UK on 020 8894 3344.

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