Victagraph Plot Window


Issue 2

Feb/Mar 83

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Whilst the Atari is capable of excellent graphics displays in modes 7 or 8 there is no denying that it is a laborious task indeed to get a picture from paper to screen. The traditional way would be to trace the original drawing and then transfer to graph paper, finally either numbering the squares on the graph paper or counting along to find the plot position. Anything that can make this task easier must be worth looking at. The best answer of course is to use a digitizer. The only one generally available at the moment is Versa Writer but at 169 you need to do an awful lot of drawing to make it worth while. The Victagraph which retails at 7.00 won't take away the chore of finding all those Plot and Drawto points but it does make the job much easier. The Victagraph is described as a Plot Window and comes as four sheets of plastic measuring 17 inches by 12 inches. One is a white base sheet, two are see-through sheets with scales of 320 horizontally by 200 vertically and the final sheet is a clear mask with sights at each corner which enable you to plot and read off points. You may not think that that is a lot for 7 but there has been no attempt to use cheap materials, the plastic is of a very heavy gauge and the printed scales very clear and professionally done. It comes in a protective cardboard sleeve which even the most heavy handed postman could not damage! There are two pages of instructions which are written in a friendly way although they do seem to make the use of the device seem more complicated than it really is. To use, you merely place a drawing on the base sheet, overlay a plot window and then use one of the sights on the window mask to go round your drawing and read the horizontal and vertical co-ordinates for each point. Once you get used to it, reading off points is very easy and very fast. You would probably be persuaded to try some fairly complex designs in Graphics 8 to which the scales are ideally suited. It can cope with the other Graphics modes with either a smaller drawing or by scaling down.

The Victagraph certainly makes picture drawing easier. Don't be mislead, you still have to figure out the Plot and Drawto points but it definitely beats tracing and counting up graph squares.