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Medical Officer Bones

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Everything posted by Medical Officer Bones

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Yes, here on the West Coast of Canada it's after midnight. Time to catch some Zs.
  7. 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.
  8. I agree wholeheartedly with @debraspicher. Clip Studio's sketching and inking 'feel' are impressive. My favourite two drawing and digital painting apps are Clip Studio and Krita. I like Krita better for digital painting work and comic colouring personally. And @debraspicher is on the ball when she mentions that if you have to rely on a stabilizer as a crutch (built-in or Lazy Nezumi) to draw smooth strokes, you are doing yourself a disfavour as an artist. It doesn't help with growing technically, but stabilizers often also introduce a certain identifiable look and feel in a drawing. At least that is my opinion. Personally I always turn off stabilizers unless to create a certain look. Obviously if the artist experiences physical issues (like hand tremors) a stabilizer can be a real life-saver.
  9. @Little Owl Does this version respect your expectations more? (download the PNG to check) PS Real-time anti-aliasing of a SVG in a browser generally doesn't produce the same quality as a well-prepared bitmap version that is displayed at exactly 100%. In particular the horizontal leaf and thin lettering pay the price. A higher quality anti-aliasing is often arrived at when a double resolution image is used and then scaled down. This accommodates retina screens and responsive layouts better as well. Browsers generally do a better job at anti-aliasing scaling down a bitmap image like this rather than displaying the SVG at lower resolutions. Of course, if the generated PNG image already introduced sub-par anti-aliasing, the above point is moot. For sharp-edged logo work like this one I prefer to export at a high resolution (~2000px or higher), then scale down to the required lower resolution with the CatmulRom resampling interpolation method. This particular method retains details better than the common interpolation methods and edges remain crisp looking. (It is not supported by Affinity or Adobe products, however. I use Color Quantizer to perform this step and add a touch of pre-sharpening). All that said, low resolution can only hold that much detail. If you need better definition, there is only one ultimate solution: edit the pixels and colours by hand like a pixel art artist. The third version above I manually edited the line as well as adjusted the colour of the thin lettering below the line, because the converted version introduced a too shallow gray. Subtle, but it looks better.
  10. Then you are obviously doing it wrong: open the old and new PDF, and simply copy the fields from the old version into the new version. Make changes/additions. While it would be nice to have PDF form field support in Publisher, it is not necessary to "redo a hundred fields" in Acrobat or PDF-Xchange Editor (I use the second one). The process takes a minute or two (depending on the number of changes, of course).
  11. Krita, Blender, Gimp, OpenToonz, Visual Studio Code, Inkscape, Godot, Scribus, LibreOffice, VLC Player, Linux... All offer more now than a few years ago and did not increase their pricing! 🙂 I see a pattern.
  12. @lacerto Exactly the magic word: "work loads". Which is why 16GB is a good base standard for any design work, because it allows for a certain flexibility in your workflow that 8GB restricts too much. Then again, I may not count as an average designer: I need all of the 128GB RAM in my system for my work (which includes 3d work). We can agree that any creative who purchases a new machine (mac or pc) is better served with 16GB.
  13. 8gb for graphics work? That memory may also contribute to an unstable behaviour. At work we have a bunch of top-of-the-line 32GB Mac Studios. I thought to try them with Blender and a (granted) fairly heavy scene that works at the limit of 32GB. Turned out to be a total crash fest, and after experiencing at least 10 crashes within 30 minutes I gave up. (I did test with a small scene, and there were no issues with that) Still, I was rather disappointed, in particular after reading how the quick storage system should be able to mitigate somewhat for the lack of physical memory. But as always: reality is sobering and curbs enthusiasm 🙂 It doesn't help either that M1/M2 ARMs share video memory with RAM. I've read quite a few threads on other forums of designers complaining that their 16GB model experienced performance issues with larger design projects. Nowadays I'd say 16GB is the absolute minimum for graphics work either PC or Mac. No matter if those new Macs have fast SSDs as a backup.
  14. PS Inkscape imports the SVG files from your first post without a hitch. Could also be used to convert to a belligerent SVG file that Designer 2 imports incorrectly.
  15. How are you exporting this from Illustrator? When I use the following options: It imports just fine into Designer 2 and retains all vector fills for the light effects:
  16. It's just missing an option to turn off the preview. If the developers add that option users can choose to either use it or not, depending on the job.
  17. Agreed. I expected the second coming of [pick your prophet here] after all of Serif's marketing hoopla. The hoopla did not match reality, however.
  18. Which is why I mentioned we cannot compare them directly. Yet I do see parallels between QuarkXpress and InDesign back then, and InDesign and Affinity Publisher now. Users were not unhappy with QXP, but rather with the company and its business practices at the time. Similarly, many Adobe users are quite happy using the software, but rather frustrated with Adobe's rental business model. Quark had all the bells and whistles while InDesign was lagging behind in key areas for many years. InDesign was patently unable to compete on features with QXP for quite a while (in some areas they still can't). Publisher has a broad set of features that compares quite well with the current version of InDesign despite only being on the market for 3 years. Much better in any case than the first three/four versions of InDesign compared to QuarkXpress. And no matter back in 1991 or now in the 2020s: development takes time. It's not a matter of merely throwing more developers at a project and expect faster development, because that is not how it works in practice. This comparison I made was merely to point out these three things. And compared to how long it took the InDesign devs to implement "we can't live without X or Y feature", I am actually quite amazed how far Publisher has progressed in a mere few years. Do I think the devs should focus more on base features that have been around and in use since the beginning of DTP? Yes, I do. But I expect them to get it right in the not-so-long term. Oh, they definitely are, even if Serif wouldn't be competing intentionally.
  19. Oh, come now. Let's be realistic, and compare Publisher's development progress with InDesign: InDesign 1: Everything new! (1991) <--> Publisher R1: Everything New! (2019) Both were products developed from scratch by companies with a deep understanding and experience developing design software. Either first release lacked footnotes or book support. But Publisher R1 offers a wide range of features that were only introduced in InDesign by version 2 ~three years later in 2022: transparency, TOC, indexes, glyphs panel, tables - to name but a few things. And MANY features that are part of Publisher R1 only became available after years and years of development later in subsequent InDesign releases: multi-page PDF placing, bullets and numbering, dynamic spelling, IDML format, multiple page sizes in a single file, primary text frame, Hunspell dictionaries, anchored objects, data merging tools, doc info fields, hyperlinks (pdf), smart guides, effects, and so on and so forth. InDesign 2 <--> Publisher R2 InDesign became somewhat usable compared to QuarkXPress three years later. Rather lacking, but it was the first release that professional users (including myself) began testing the waters with. SO MUCH was missing compared to Publisher R2. But one thing InDesign 2 had going for it: OS X was supported. QXP only supported that OS much later, and it was one reason why Mac users installed it. The InDesign developers also inexplicably removed useful features such as SVG export in 2008 with CS4, however. (Publisher has been a gods' end in this regard: I have converted quite a few InDesign publications by opening the IDML, fixing a few things, and export the pages to SVG! 🙂 ) Version R2 of Publisher is a far more mature product compared to InDesign 2, 3, or even CS2 (which was released 8 years after version 1). I am aware it is not possible to compare the development cycles of the two programs directly. Affinity Publisher started development in a time when dev tools have become easier and more efficient to develop with. But still, to state that development is lagging or slow is rather out-of-touch with the realities of complex software development. In fact, I am quite impressed with what the Affinity devs have accomplished so far with Publisher. They are far ahead of the curve compared to InDesign's development cycle. All that said, I do agree that there are a few inexplicable omissions in Publisher that seem so foundational to publishing in general that prevent myself from using it - because I simply cannot produce a press ready PDF. My personal pet peeve is the lack of 1bit bitmaps and support to output these properly in a PDF. The lack of spreads beyond two pages is another one. And reflowable epub export would be grand. Yet as it is said: Rome was not built in a day. Neither was InDesign, and the same holds true for Affinity. Even though I cannot use Publisher yet for much of my work and still rely on InDesign, I position myself as a pragmatic person. I trust these issues will be tackled and solved in the not-so-long term. I am patient. And there is no need to flip over in anger over software or what could have been. (I continued to use QuarkXPress till 6-7 years later after InDesign's first release).
  20. First post by a new member. My feeling about this post and the OP: merely rile things up and generate negativity.
  21. I have noticed that the majority of negative and "disappointed will not upgrade" threads since V2 was released are all started by new accounts. There seems to be a recurring pattern: focus on a single missing feature that's been requested for a longer time or on the new Windows installation method. Or undermine the new features. Quite a few also mention they will not invest in v2 further and insist they are loyal, but disappointed users. Or "I am really interested, but..." then say they cannot purchase the software until that X feature, that the Y commercial option happens to have, is added. Or they mention they will not upgrade. "It's a promising release, but we should wait it out". "Why isn't feature X implemented yet! Outrageous!". All of them are thread starters. All seem focused on one thing: focusing on generating negative feelings about V2 and the Affinity products. And all of them are created by accounts that were set up by new accounts following the V2 release. Some use older accounts that were inactive for a long time. And these accounts often respond to other complaints if that thread is not gaining enough traction. If I were the moderators, I would investigate if a concerted attack is going on to undermine the v2 release. It seems rather suspicious. I thought about listing examples, but I think that it becomes quite obvious for moderators once spotted.
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