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You guessed it, this is yet another virtual makeover program for girls (see Clueless, Cosmopolitan Digital Makeover, Disney's Princess Fashion Boutique). As with other makeover programs, Barbie Digital Makeover lets girls choose models to make-up, dress, bedeck and photograph.
Girls have the option of using an existing model, Barbie or one her ethnically diverse friends, or create personalized models using photos of themselves or friends. Photos taken with the Barbie Digital Camera are instantly available. Other images, if saved as jpeg or bitmap files, can also be imported and used with this program. Kids must size and align the face. They also choose a head shape, adjust the lip and eye outlines for makeup application, and select hair and skin colors to best match those of the photo model. This done, it is truly amazing how well imported photos work with the program. Barbie's clothes, jewelry and make-up look almost realistic on the photo model, who not surprisingly begins to resemble the animated Barbie.
The answer is, most likely, somewhere in the middle. The simple fact is that many girls like to experiment with fashion and makeup. They imagine themselves transformed into modern day princesses. One can only hope that instead of picturing themselves as simply adorning the arms of tech giants, they see themselves as tech giants.
Mattel Media calls this creativity software. As such, it does a nice job. Girls are presented innumerable options for the development and decoration of their models. They can apply makeup, either from a preselected makeup kit or one that they design and compile themselves; style, cut, lengthen, color and streak hair; and add facial tattoos, jewelry and hair adornments. They then choose the background, clothing, frame, and friends to appear in their photo. Finally they virtually snap their photos and add them to their scrapbooks. All told, hours of entertainment is enjoyed.
The program itself is fairly intuitive, however there were a few techniques that stumped our testers until they consulted the manual. In particular, importing photos from floppy disks, CDs, or somewhere on the computer hard drive was at first a mystery. To import a photo from a source other than the Barbie Digital Camera, users must drag or copy and paste the desired jpeg or bitmap file into the "My Photos" folder that the program places on the user's desktop, or place them in the "Export" folder, found in the following path: Program Files/Mattel Media/Barbie Digital Makeover/Photos/Export.
A few hints: don't import photos of smiling models -- they get lipstick on their teeth; spend some time adjusting the imported image fit so that it fits the given window -- the results are quite good; and finally, makeover everyone in the family -- boys and dads make hilarious models!
PC: Microsoft(R) Windows(R) 95 and Windows(R) 98, Pentium(R) 166 MHz or faster processor, Minimum of 70MB of free disk space, 32 MB of RAM, Color monitor with at least 640x480 resolution and 16-bit colors, Quad-speed (4x) CD-ROM drive or faster, 16-bit Sound Blaster(R) or 100% compatible sound card and speakers, Ink jet or Laser printer to output images(optional).return to top of page
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