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Medical Officer Bones

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  1. Throwing a left-field curve ball here and mention OpenToonz. 🙂 OpenToonz features an excellent bitmap to vector conversion tool that works for both center line as well as outlined vectors. It will convert black and white and colour art, and works on multiple drawings for animations too! The result can be exported as SVG. Also handy: the built-in bitmap/scan cleanup tools make short work of cleaning up art/sketches before conversion to vectors. All for free in this open source animation software (both Windows and Mac) which is used in traditional hand-drawn animation (such as in Mary and the Witch's Flower). The only drawback is that it will take more of an initial learning effort, but it isn't that hard. https://opentoonz.github.io/e/ Tutorial:
  2. Z80! Those were the times. I learned basic Z80 assembly language on my Amstrad CPC 6128! But quickly switched to C.
  3. @MikeW True, I forgot. That said, a PDF file does include media size, and it is safe to assume that this document is supposed to be imported at 300ppi. At least, all the other design software does - including Affinity Publisher. At the very least Affinity Designer ought to just assume 300ppi as the intended PPI (as the others do). My opinion, of course.
  4. @Stoney8 I imported your document in Affinity Designer 2, PhotoLine, Illustrator, and PDFExchange Editor (alternative to Acrobat). I also placed it in InDesign and Affinity Publisher 2. ALL of them tell me that your PDF's settings are: 81.28 by 101.6 centimeters at 300PPI (9600 by 12000 pixels). Or in inches: exactly 32 by 40 inch. When I import into Affinity Designer 2 it will ask for the PPI (DPI). The default "Estimate" results in a 72PPI document (which is wrong), so it should be manually set to 300PPI. As far as I can tell there are no issues. Just tell Designer 2 to import it at 300ppi. It is strange however that only Affinity Designer fails to identify the 300ppi (dpi) in your document and that we have to manually set the PPi, because none of the other applications require manual intervention. So: all good. PS in all apps the boxes remain vectors. No bitmaps in sight. 🙂
  5. ...I have to ask: are you really that surprised that your 64GB i9 is capable of exporting your ~30GB project versus the 16GB M2 Mac that crashes? Even though Apple's new memory architecture can deal somewhat with RAM shortages using its unified memory blah blah and its M2 RAM efficiency, the fact remains your M2 Mac's core RAM is seriously overtaxed by your project's memory requirements. I would actually have been amazed if Affinity would be able to finish that export on the M2 without any hitch or slowdowns! Your primary problem is very very simple: 16GB RAM doesn't cut it for the work that you need to do with it. That is the straight-forward answer to the issues that you experience. You'd need at least a 32GB M2 Mac. I speak from experience: I work with 3D files that require 64GB or more RAM. I tested with M2 Studio Macs that have 32GB installed and my files bring those 32GB M2 Macs to their knees at work. The software crashes even when I attempt to load those files. The entire MacOS crashes willy-nilly, and I had to reboot those machines several times while testing. I In short: it's not an Affinity bug as far as I can tell. It's simply the lack of memory in your M2 Mac: you need at least 32GB to work comfortably within the context of your work requirements. Apple might sing the magical wonders of its new M1/M2 memory architecture and its efficiency, but in real life severe lack of RAM means something's gotta give, either in performance or in stability, or both. Your solution would be to upgrade your M2 Mac to 32GB or more RAM. I would take it on the safe side and get a 64GB M2 Mac, because your OS, other software running, and the screen video ram gobble up parts of that 32GB as well. Unfortunately --Apple being Apple-- that means sending in your Mac for a hefty RAM upgrade price or getting a new one with more memory. Nowadays end-users cannot upgrade the RAM of their Macs anymore. 😞
  6. Intaglio's primary export format is PDF. @Stoney8 Did you try exporting your work as PDF from Intaglio, and then opening it directly in Affinity Designer? It should maintain vectors, page size, resolution and other settings.
  7. Original PhotoLine blend object (25 steps, from neutral grey to inner object with gradient applied: Saved as SVG in PhotoLine. SVG imported in Designer: SVG imported in InkScape: SVG imported in Figma: SVG imported in Illustrator: SVG imported in VectorStyler: VectorStyler still has issues with various SVG files that I have tested with. But I've sent them an example SVG and they are working on improving it. I've been testing VectorStyler the past week or so, and my main beef with VectorStyler so far is its slow performance compared to other design apps that I use. Editing one of the 25 shapes in the above example SVG is a smooth experience in Designer, PhotoLine, Illustrator, Figma, and even InkScape feels twice as fast as VectorStyler. Heck, even Figma (prototyping app) is absolutely smooth. But VectorStyler feels slow to work with, despite my best efforts to adjust preferences and despite turning on all the GPU performance bits. I've opened a bunch more complex art of mine in it, and it isn't a good experience at all to the extent that I can't and won't use it. All the features in the world will not help when performance lags force one to push work-arounds to keep things running at a speed that allows for a reasonable work pace... Mind: I have a pretty beefed up system with a 3080ti and 128GB ram. I've reported the performance issues to the VS developer. Based on their forum posts, it seems to be a known issue and affecting some more than others, depending on the complexity of their art. Hopefully they'll be able to improve it in the upcoming release.
  8. Unfortunately for Photoshop users the 3D functionality is being phased out and is now deprecated. Which means it is only available in older versions. Besides, the old 3D rendering in Photoshop is terribly slow and the render quality a throwback to 25 years ago. Not very usable anymore. All the more reason for Adobe to remove it from Photoshop, and long overdue in my opinion. Heck, even the lighting filter no longer functions properly in current versions of Photoshop! Or panorama editing! All because of the simple facts that these features were reliant on OpenGL (a 3D API) to function. If you are serious about integrating high-quality 3d object rendering: install a proper 3d render app such as Blender. Which is free, btw. Avoid Photoshop's antiquated 3d options. Just not worth it.
  9. It really is a shame, and the lack of proper 1bit image support is one of the primary reasons why I am unable to use either Photo or Publisher for the comic publishing and technical documentation that I work on. Publisher only needs to respect 1bit images during PDF export. But it doesn't. That alone prevents me from using Publisher. It is such a basic requirement, but alas! While the inexpensive PhotoLine (which doesn't even focus on DTP) will allow me to work with 1bit images in layers (unheard of in any other image editor, including Photoshop!) and freely combine with CMYK/RGB layers to output a multi-page PDF/X 1~4 compliant PDF file with the correct separations. I even use it to check PDFs for separation issues at times when I do not have access to Acrobat. Of course, for more intricate publishing jobs I still need InDesign.
  10. Indeed: it is very slow to work with. I compared with Inkscape on Windows today, and although Inkscape isn't known for its performance on Windows by a long shot, Vectorstyler is even less responsive when editing objects and curves (to be fair, Inkscape's zooming in and out is dreadful compared). I find that quite surprising for a relative newly developed app; I'd think they would have a focus on performance. I'm back at work after the holidays where I have access to a Studio M2 mac and compare again. I wonder though, because if Vectorstyler's code runs that slow on Windows, it can't magically run that much faster on a different OS platform. I will test. Planning on setting up an account there and I will send them the demo file later this week. Wholeheartedly agreed! Software is merely a tool. Use the tools that suit the job and your own workflow best. For example, I would love to switch to Publisher from InDesign, but I simply cannot due to the 1bit image issues. Not an option for me: my work involves 3d and animation, and Macs aren't suitable for that workflow and software. I don't care about the OS that I am running (it is all the same to me) but about the software. For example, I have to be able to run 3Ds Max. And that is just one example. If it were up to me I would switch to Linux at home, but similar problems there. Perhaps after I get my pension? But that is still a long way off. 🙂 So Windows it is.
  11. Out of curiosity, I installed Vectorstyler, and gave it a whirl the past 2 hours. Some observations: the mesh gradient tool is prone to corruption of the rendered result. Is that a bug? In the first hour I experienced two crashes. One where I left the program for a while, and it spontaneously self-combusted. That doesn't happen very often in applications. That worries me. Vectorstyler seems quite crash-prone. I was not doing anything complex, merely placing shapes and feeling my way around. Image effects like the curve corrupt the rendered result as well. Bug? It has a good vector tool set. It feels somewhat sluggish to work with. I wonder how it will keep up with more complex artwork, since it did start to slow down with quite simple things. I also experienced lags and hiccups all the time during testing. Working with text felt slow as well. Even the GUI panels feel slow to respond. Overall, it feels clunky. Other design apps feel much snappier. There are a number of features that I really like: the Repeater (something I wanted in other design apps), and the Stroke Width tool which I use all the time in OpenToonz and ClipStudio. There are a lot of options to fine-tune things as well. The vector brushes remind me of Expression (remember that gem?), which set the bar quite high. I am not a particular fan of the way image effects are isolated from the layer stack. All in all, it has potential. I have to add that Vectorstyler is one of the least stable and buggy design apps that I encountered in the past few years. The developers should focus on stabilizing their app and improve the overall performance. In its current version it is still too crash prone and buggy for my taste. A standard test of mine is to load a certain AI file (artwork not by me, but by Von Glitschka). Affinity Designer loads it perfectly: The same AI file in Vectorstyler: Oops! Not quite-so-compatible with AI files, it seems. Editing this file is butter-smooth in Affinity Designer. In Vectorstyler it is a trial in patience. Even moving single objects updates the screen perhaps by 2 or 3 frames per second. Which confirms my initial doubts about Vectorstyler's performance with even medium complex art such as in this case. Vectorstyler is not quite ready for prime time, in my opinion. An interesting newcomer on the market to be sure. But I'd rather have decent performance while editing than a missing mesh gradient tool. What use is a mesh gradient tool when editing slows down to a crawl with medium-complex vector art? It is also quite expensive for what is on offer in my opinion. I played around with the Windows version, btw.
  12. Apologies - I was busy finishing up a client project. No forum time! The steps are quite simple: (1) export the logo as a 2000px PNG with transparency from Affinity Photo or Designer. (2) drag and drop the PNG file on Color Quantizer http://x128.ho.ua/color-quantizer.html (no installation required: just unzip the executable to your desktop, and drag files on the icon or in the window). (3) Trim the transparent background (optional step, but it is generally preferable to adjust image margins or padding in code) (4) Zoom in a few times in order to check the result on a pixel level. Scale down to the required size. Choose Catrom for the resampling method. Applying a degree of presharpening and postsharpening may help introduce more perceptible sharpness in the edges (do not overdo this: in particular an overdone post sharpening looks quite horrid). (5) Save the result as a PNG (click the floppy disk icon). (6) Open in Affinity Photo. Delete one or two of the soft anti-aliased pixel rows with a rectangular marquee selection. Next, select the thin lettering with a rectangular marquee and apply a curve adjustment to increase the contrast of the too shallow grey lettering: PS when adjusting pixels always ALWAYS open a second view to preview the work at true scale. (A throwback to Deluxe Paint times on the Amiga ) (7) if anything else seems out of order, edit the pixels as required. (8) export as PNG. Consider saving as an indexed 256 colour version which will save a few kilobytes.* But I am a purist and pixel heckler, so you may not want to go that far. (Indeed, I reopened the result in Color Quantizer and performed this last optimization step there. It does a better job than a typical image editor like Affinity Photo.) That's it. * I encountered a bug(?) in Photo 2: when I activate "Palettised" the result is... empty! Also, why on Earth does the export insist on scaling the preview to the full window size? Worse, why is bilinear filtering applied to the preview? That filtering renders the preview useless for its intended job! That export window is not ready for production - not even at MVP1 level, in my opinion. PPS I also tested this just now in PhotoLine (which also support CatmulRom downsampling). I get an even better result without the need to adjust the horizontal line and the thin lettering looks quite a bit crisper and defined. PhotoLine seems to respect the pixels better. And surprisingly no need for Color Quantizer in this particular case. Huh. I did not expect this result.
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