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NIcholas van der Walle

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About NIcholas van der Walle

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    https://astutegraphics.com

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    Male
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    Hereford, UK

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  1. NIcholas van der Walle

    Astute Graphics Technology

    Astute Graphics is now in its 12th year (approx double software company lifespan according to https://mitosystems.com/software-evolution/). Typically produce free updates to the latest Adobe release within 1 month (often 1 week, dependant on changes). Customers commented our plugins were too integrated - ie. hard to tell the difference from native - so we added color bars to the panels to assist on request. Fully customizable UI presence as per native functionality. Hell yeah, we're not cheap... that's because we produce tools which cost a lot to develop to make so good and save 100k+ users so much time (typically ROI in the first day). But all IMHO, of course. Your mileage may vary. However, if Astute Graphics' kind of functionality appeared in Affinity, it would be the overall market that decides on these things Have a nice weekend!
  2. NIcholas van der Walle

    Astute Graphics Technology

    Thanks for posting! That is very encouraging. We'd look forward to seeing firm details in 2019.
  3. Thanks, Mick for the namecheck. It's our InkQuest plugin for Illustrator that allows you to preview total ink coverage, overprint white warnings, swap channels, etc. More info at https://astutegraphics.com/software/inkquest/
  4. NIcholas van der Walle

    Better pathfinder functions

    There is a wider knowledge of this the AG Tech’s availability in the market. Implementing the full AG Tech SDK is a larger step, but it may be possible for users of Affinity to one day implement the Astui web API which is now being fully rolled-out: https://astui.tech Any modern design app which has extensibility designed in (Illustrator, XD, Sketch, etc.) can make quick use of this. It would be interesting to learn if Serif added this core tech layer to Affinity. Newcomers such as XD, InVision and Figma are going to give all existing players a run for their money if the current rate of development is anything to go by!
  5. NIcholas van der Walle

    Creating line tangents

    Sorry, but this is not correct. What you just demonstrated was snapping to anchor points, not tangencies. This example may be nearly similar but it's not what the OP was demonstrating. SubScribe remains a popular toolset for Illustrator and we've seen these requests for such tools to appear in Affinity previously. Hopefully, that will be the case one day, whether it's the Affinity team finding time to implement or their allowing 3rd parties to assist. In the meantime, Illustrator will have benefitted from a very much enhanced set of these tools thanks to Astute Graphics...
  6. NIcholas van der Walle

    Astute Graphics Technology

    Unfortunately, it appears that at present there will be no progress on this front. Astute Graphics has just announced joint progress with Adobe to support the forthcoming XD release with plugin capability through its new Astui service: Medium article, Building a Smart Points Removal Plugin For Adobe XD Using Astui Web API We are also going to be supporting Bohemian Sketch with an Astui plugin (glimpses on the AG Tech web API page) along with Adobe Illustrator. Other extendable design software, existing online services and formats will be catered for in the near future. It's very quick and easy to implement and we'll be open-sourcing the XD, Sketch and Illustrator plug-ins to demonstrate this. Whilst the Affinity suite effectively remains closed to 3rd party extensions, the best we can offer users in the near future will be the SVG web-based file optimisation with the new Astui service. Details to come. Initially, this will encompass our Smart Point Removal and Move Points to Tangencies features, but will quickly expand with web APIs to more of our vector AG Tech. Affinity remains on our radar.
  7. NIcholas van der Walle

    Astute Graphics Technology

    Just to clarify, Affinity does not currently license or use any AG Tech. The suggestion on our site is that Affinity and other vector software can make use of it. We’ve made things a little easier for developers since our original preview of the tech last November. A few weeks ago we demonstrated the tech running in Bohemian’s Sketch via our Web API. This approach is going to be deployed in various products including Adobe XD within the coming months and would be an ideal approach for Affinity on the iPad and desktop as explained here: https://astutegraphics.com/tech/sdk-web-api/ It is our understanding that Affinity don’t yet offer an ability for third party extensions. We’d naturally welcome this step, especially as we are now actively developing for products beyond Adobe Illustrator, whilst maintaining momentum in Illustrator itself. Thanks to everybody’s continued interest; we receive more messages directly from Serif’s users about adding functionality than any other product!
  8. NIcholas van der Walle

    Astute Graphics Technology

    Thanks Patrick! We’ll keep an eye on Affinity developments with interest. As when an extension framework becomes available, please keep us in the loop. Best wishes and season’s greetings, Nick
  9. NIcholas van der Walle

    Astute Graphics Technology

    Hi all, I have been prompted to take a look at this thread. Firstly, thanks to all for the interest from a user's level and kind comments about our products. We've had an amazing response since first posting the Astute Graphics Tech sneak peeks on YouTube a month ago. Full disclaimer - I am the founder and MD of Astute Graphics, so my opinions are bound to be biased. But here's my thoughts and responses based on my personal experience in the market for years which includes considerable hours behind Affinity Designers since its original release: Adobe Illustrator has a 25 year head start over Affinity. There is naturally overlap, but I have suggested - and have seen - users adopt both packages simultaneously for different reasons. I always encourage that creatives and technical users make use of the best tools that suit them. There are many reasons why Affinity will be the best for a specific workflow and/or budget. If you are a professional user, the opinions of cost (Affinity being low cost, Adobe Illustrator Cloud with its 20+ major apps also being very good value) can only be determined on the requirements of a user's workflow. If any tool saves time and money, it is worth its investment. When analysed fully (which is what we've been doing in detail for 10+ years), you may also come to the conclusion that the greatest investment is in the user's time becoming familiar with any new product. Affinity Designer is an incredible relative newcomer to the market. Long-established competitors to the clear market leader Adobe Illustrator, including CorelDRAW and XARA sadly only remained single platform (by and large). Affinity have taken a much longer view and invested heavily in both Windows and Mac OS platforms. That's not a small task and I personally hugely respect the results. Since Affinity's release, various other competitors have emerged, albeit for more specific markets such as UI/UX including Figma and Adobe's own XD. It will be interesting to see how these continue to develop and intertwine with Affinity's customer base. Why wouldn't a professional have Illustrator, Affinity and Figma all running in parallel? If one app saves hours on a specific task, then it's once more worth the investment. Adobe Illustrator is built around the concept of plug-ins. If you delve into the Ai package, you will find all the native plug-ins that make the default tools. This structure is largely opened out to developers over many years which allows Astute Graphics to integrate itself so deeply into the overall toolset. Several years ago, all our Ai panels had to have a colour banner added as customers were commenting that they didn't know what was native and what was Astute Graphics. I am not aware of Affinity's depth regarding extensions; they may feel they have no need to cater for "rich" plug-ins as it would require a significant amount of resources to bring about, maintain and provide 3rd party support for. This is purely a business decision for Serif. The functionality in our tools can be roughly split up between tools which require interaction (eg. brush-type tools) and "one-button wonders" (eg. path cleaning operations). For interactive tools - which is a significant number of our popular plug-ins - a deep integration would be required. In this case, from a development cost point of view, I am estimating it would be easier for Serif to develop into the core of the product rather than support a complex plug-in architecture. However, the one-button wonders should be easier to add as an extension. The Bézier vector technology available to license from Astute Graphics would naturally be a great asset to Affinity Designer and we've had too many messages to suggest this to count! But the requirement for an efficient, extensive and top-level workflow is not a requirement just for Affinity; Figma, Corel, Autodesk, et al, - and even Adobe Illustrator - could make immediate use of this. It's what the users are calling out for and has resulted in some very interesting potentials fro us. Please keep an eye out for news from ourselves on this front. I hope that we can work as well with fellow UK companies as we have proven to work for years with our US counterparts... I have reached out to Serif and look forward to hearing from them. Thanks, Nick
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