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Everything posted by jepho

  1. Hello. Having consigned my CC account to the trash can, I am now learning to use Affinity Photo and Affinity Designer. My question concerns the addition of a stroke to the selection marquee. I have searched the forums and cannot find any answer and wonder if a more experienced user of Affinity Photo can help me. Photoshop had a very simple method by which a stroke could be applied to any selection marquee. This was a really useful feature and I used it regularly for highlighting salient features of images which I had included in presentations, where the images would be included to illustrate important points in the discussion. I would like to know what sequence of events I should follow in Affinity Photo when applying a coloured stroke to a selection marquee. Thank you for your assistance.
  2. .CR3 files on a Mac can be opened by Apple's Photos, Pixelmator, Iridient Developer and Creative Kit. 6000 x 4000 pixels file opens to 72Mb in Photos (8bit file) 187.5Mb in Pixelmator (16bit file) 144Mb file in Iridient developer (16bit file) 187.6Mb Creative Kit (16bit file)
  3. From my viewpoint, the OS of your computer already has the ability to file, sort, open, close and write to digital files and it can also retrieve them. This is DAM by any other name. My RAW processor is only as good as it is because it was developed and has gone through iterations over 14 years. DxO also include their own database of lenses and all of the corrections required to reduce or remove chromatic aberrations and barrel and pincushion distortions. It is unlikely that Serif will be able to replicate that database of information without the relevant scientific testing and creating the means in the software to apply the numbers thereby derived. Serif know a lot more about layout and publishing. Nevertheless, the pre-press requirements of designers are very specific and well known. Notwithstanding that information, Affinity Publisher took a long time to bring to its beta state and yet, it inexplicably still has many vital omissions. RAW file processing is understood and DAM is also understood. High quality output files are not that often seen, despite the welter of available applications. I suspect that Serif will find that they do not have the resources to bring such a program to the market early. ON1 has a reasonable reputation. I have not used it but I have seen many resulting images and in a pinch, I would use it. If you are considering commercial software, have a look at DxO Optics Pro. It will surprise you with just how complete and easy it is to use. I am, of course, biased but then I use it every day for my commercial needs and it has not fallen over or let me down. GIMP is a 20 year old software with 20 year old thinking. I could not recommend it for any serious image editing. Partnering with DxO to gain access to the lens correction database may make sense. I suspect that the royalty cost would then push the software cost too high for Serif's company philosophy.
  4. DxO is more than adequate for my needs. You are correct. I capture the images I need for my clients and I rarely need more than a bit of cropping and some pre printing sharpening. The colour balance and exposure are handled in DxO. Compositing is rarely required because film photographers had to make most of their decisions before using the camera. I am fairly much tool agnostic and will use what I find works. Adobe lost the plot many years earlier than now, when annual 'upgrades' never really addressed the stultifying slow Photoshop. Illustrator exhibited anomalies for donkeys years. The CS Suite was a wheeze to extract more money while refusing to fix the glaring holes in the software. ACR reached a plateau that implied developmental stasis and it was no longer a given that one vendor had all of the answers. I can recall paying £500 for Apple's Aperture software. It looked like a real breakthrough but it was abandoned by Apple and I am delighted that I was never locked into any single approach. I find it more economical to have a separate DAM/RAW processing engine. I keep my vector and image processing software separated from it. To my mind, multi-tools are usually disappointing because they don't do anything well. The worst of all possible worlds if you will. Single use tools are fit for purpose and what appears to be costly and difficult to integrate into the workflow, usually proves to be the best method of working, where outstanding quality is the intended endpoint. YMMV
  5. Sorry for any confusion. It appeared to me that people were wanting Serif to include the DAM and the RAW processor within Affinity Photo. I am happy to have separate applications and having used many different RAW processing softwares, often with pre, inter and post sharpening provided as separate applications, I am not in need of a DAM. You will have noted that DxO provide adequate filing, sorting and batch processing. It turns out that they also provide outstanding RAW file processing and include all of the lens correction files necessary. I will not be using another RAW file processor anytime soon because I am more than happy with the one I do use. I already use the storage and filing provided extensively; with DxO Optics Pro. The interesting question for me is do I think that Serif would find making a RAW processor that matches my expectations too complex a task. I have been processing RAW image files as a professional digital photographer since 2001. I processed and printed all of my own monochrome and colour film as a professional film photographer for all formats from 8 x 10 inches down to subminiature since about 1970. RAW image processing was very variable in the early days and the standout applications were Adobe's ACR, Apple's Aperture and Phase One. I have tried many others including Pixelmator, Acorn, Iridient and some software which was just a RAW file processor. ACR was not always the best converter and Aperture had a great (almost filmic) way of file processing. Phase one had great software to go with their outstanding digital backs. Iridient was very capable but difficult to drive well or effectively. Eventually I settled on DxO and found it suits my workflow while making my task easy and well organised. The level of quality in the ease of use and the converted file quality, makes me think that serif would be chasing a fast moving target. DxO Optics Pro started out around the last quarter of 2004 with version 1.1. That development cycle of fourteen years has refined the software to its present state. Effectively that is a fourteen year head start on anything that Serif would bring to the table and if we assume that Serif can shorten the development cycle for a RAW image processor to say 4 years to bring out something as highly polished as DxO Optics Pro, they would still be behind the development and refinement curve by eighteen years. I believe that the task is too complex for Serif and that they will be unable to meet my expectations with a RAW image file processor within the next five years. Reinventing the wheel is usually not a profitable line of enquiry. The reason that Serif have gained traction with Affinity Designer and Affinity Photo is that the marketplace was smarting from Adobe's rental scheme and the legacy bloat and failure to update old code left Adobe vulnerable. Affinity Publisher is a different animal and providing Serif address several inexplicable omissions, it will gain traction too. Every camera manufacturer and his brother provides a RAW file converter for their own proprietary image formats.All other generic providers have to update the RAW filetype database regularly to make their image processor work with files that a manufacturer would rather keep proprietary. File handling to extract the maximum detail is more than a set of numbers and parameters and the programming has to be very high quality if it intends to make any inroads in the professional RAW file processing markets. I process Dicomed medical image files occasionally. Will a mainstream software house like Serif wish to service the minority medical image market which needs to process Nifti, Dicom, Analyze and Minc images?
  6. I voted No. My use for yet another file handling application is unlikely to be realistic. I process all of my RAW files in DxO Optics Pro. It handles the filing, the batch processing, the examination of images quickly and the conversions are outstanding. I then round trip the 16bit .tif files into Affinity Photo if they need further post processing. I need the RAW file settings saved with the RAW file so that I have a good starting point when I am called upon to revisit the file. DxO Optics Pro saves a sidecar file (.dop) with every processed RAW file. The DxO interface is slick, understandable, configurable and can be constructed to serve any unique purpose. I think it would be a mistake to expect Serif to reach this level of functionality in a program that developed over many iterations and serves its purpose well. Professional photographers are used to incorporating necessary steps in their workflows. Making one tool serve every purpose is what is wrong with so many multi-tools and legacy tool and software bloat are just one of the results. No tool will serve every need and purpose. I am happy to use Serif software for what it does well. The software is not Photoshop or Illustrator (thank the software deities who oversee such things) and it does not need to be. I have attached a couple of images that demonstrate a few aspects of DxO Optics Pro interface. Screenshot 2019-01-07 22.33.35.pdf Screenshot 2019-01-07 22.32.43.pdf
  7. Yes, of course. Unfortunately, my experience has been that many printing house now want and request images in PSD form (a bit like asking for text in the .doc format) and because Adobe own the format and the current weight of professional use appears to be Photoshop or nothing; the .PSD image format appears to have become a default. Adobe also own PDF format but it is incredibly versatile and useful as well as being rather well developed so it has become a great default file type. Adobe attempted to do the same with images when they supported the .dng file format. I think this has been much less successful because concurrently, many manufacturers had their own well developed RAW file formats. The inception of the PDF file format was when the interrelatedness of all digital processing was not quite as apparent. Just look at how many vendors of UNIX and its unices variants there were. The cost of each manufacturer's baby was frequently outrageous. IRIX anyone? Motif? X-Windows? I agree with your point Walt. I handle a lot of images and PSD has almost become a de facto standard.
  8. You can save a layered .tif file. I do it all of the time for my own processing purposes. There are no specific extensions for each vendor and saving a layered .tif file is not a specified content standard for the tagged image file format. Worse, if other people could not read it , it would be pointless to try and save such a file. Correctly, a portable image standard for a layered file such as .PSD would be the way to go. I use the format for my work and my convenience only. If I had to send the work elsewhere (e.g. printing houses) I use the PDF format. Print on demand houses sometimes use this format and sometimes have their own software. In every case, I use their icc colour profile.
  9. Thank you. Agreed. My use case is that I import a file in .tif format and process it. That processing may occupy weeks of my time if it is a complex composite image. I wish to save the file in its semi-processed .tif state. Affinity forces me to make an Affinity Photo file which I have already no need to keep. I am working on my .tif image and I would prefer to keep it in that format without the need for overwriting any previous work or creating an Affinity Photo file every time I process the same .tif file. My digital negative is the RAW image and that is what I keep and file, so that I can always process my image again as required by the client or when techniques improve. I process my RAW images in DXO Optics Pro because I can rely on the conversions and I am not being forced to create a file I have no use for. The Affinity RAW conversions are not as good as DXO Optics Pro just yet but assuming that they would serve the purpose, I would have no need to keep an Affinity Photo image file because my 24Mb RAW .ARW file is my insurance that I can always recover my images. Affinity Photo (just like DXO Optics Pro which I use now) would be just the intermediate file used for processing the image. My interest in an image is the subject matter, followed by the manner in which it portrays the subject and meets the brief. I treat the RAW file (A) as the digital negative and the finished file as the work derived from the digital negative (B). The manner of getting from A ~ B is immaterial and purely a matter of convenient workflow and method. My interest in the software only extends to the point of understanding what the software can help me to do and what its effect on the quality of my work is. My linked piece discussed the behaviour of the software and how it is currently not quite as easy to use as the professional epithet would suggest. For my own use case it is incredibly tedious to keep pulling up the same file for multiple times and many hours of editing work and having to specifically say that I do not want my carefully produced .tif file to be turned into an Affinity Photo file. When my work (.tif) is saved, I want the file path remembered and I do not want to overwrite any previous work. The parallel that I can use to illustrate my ire is this; what I find irritating is when Windows software observes the user doing something that they wanted to do, it asks "are you sure?" despite the fact that the user initiated the action. Affinity Photo feels like that to me. I am editing a highly complex 16bit .tif file because that is what I want to do. I understand why I am doing it and I don't want the software interposing itself between me and my objective because of some notion that I may not understand the implications of choices which I have made.
  10. OK, thank you for clarifying that point. I don't ever work on .jpg files because of the losses inherent in that data compression algorithm. For me, if I am working on a complex image requiring many hours and frequent saves, I don't ever want to overwrite my file location with the latest version. Many layers of a composite image may make for files which are unwieldy in size until they are eventually flattened. Realistically, nowadays, the advent of cheap and plentiful storage does not have the same bearing on this issue that it used to. However, my habit is assemble my composite files using several iterations of the work. Overwriting any of my work until it is in its final state is the one behaviour I really do not want. As to the value of LZW against ZIP and the whole inflate/deflate method, I use a fast enough machine with solid state storage and a few Mb saved is less important than absolute compatibility and speed of manipulation. My last photography contract required me to create, process and store 60,000 images for one website. My storage comprises many terra-bytes and speed of access is far more important to me than time spent compressing and decompressing files. I would prefer to be able to specify no compression if the matter was mine to decide.
  11. It appears to me that anything other than using 'Export' will not get you the file-type you are working on when you save it. I open a 16bit .tif file, and saving it produces an Affinity Photo file. The bit depth is unknown to me as is the compression algorithm. I would prefer to keep the work in progress as a lossless 16bit .tif file, which may also contain an alpha channel. The lack of persistence of the file path is also inexplicable.
  12. I have been editing a number of 16bit .tif images today. Each of the several hundred images is being cropped differently (using the mark one eyeball) preparatory to being laid out in a book. There will be more image processing for each image when they are examined in greater detail and to suit the text. For now each 24Mb RAW image is roughly adjusted for subject matter, exposure, colour balance and pre-process sharpening in another image processor (DXO). The images open out to 144Mb and 6000 x 4000 pixels, which equates to 20 x 13.333 inches at 300 dpi. My workflow is to crop the image to give me a useable image and then process it to the dpi required and apply the post processing sharpening and icc profile as required. In AP when I have reached the second stage of my workflow and cropped the image, I just want to export the image as a 16bit .tif file and I know then that it is awaiting further refinement. I don't get to keep the .tif file when I select 'save as' because the file is saved as an AP file. I think this behaviour is unhelpful because the file-type is already explicit when the file is opened in AP. I then export the file and can select the file-type I want. (the same one that the file actually is when being worked upon in AP) After the file has been modified (cropped) exported and saved, the original file remains and the [⌘] W keypress should close the file. A dialogue box appears and states that the file has been modified and asks "Would you like to save this document?" A blue highlight encloses the Don't Save button and clicking on the button removes the image. However, using the well known Mac shortcut 'D' does not remove the image, even though the Don't Save button is highlighted. The image remains on screen so the 'D' system function does not appear to work. The way the image can be removed is to press return and then [⌘] W. This confusion of method could usefully be eliminated. I don't mind that the process is different but it appears somewhat illogical to me at this time. My workflow should not create a problem and it is only a matter of time before I trust the RAW conversion engine of AP rather than DXO. When a .tif file is imported for processing, should it not be the case that the software assumes that the file saving should be in the format of the file being processed? Any additional file-types should be the subject of the export dialogue box if one was to follow a logical behaviour pattern. It is extremely tedious to have to keep exporting files that have been converted to the final processing format, back into that format to save them after the work is completed. The dialogue boxes should generally adhere to the operating system guidelines under which they are being used with. I would like to see the 'D' reinstated as a means to dismiss a dialogue box. Where the option is already highlighted to dismiss the box, there should be no need for two operations to remove it. Pressing the return key should both select the highlighted option and action it. These adjustments would certainly help to smooth the workflow when processing a large number of images in a manner which means that all images will have a different processing endpoint, despite similar processes being followed for all of them.
  13. I can confirm this behaviour. The last file printed appears to cause the next file to print the same number of copies. MacOs applications usually release the printer copy number field after printing n copies of a document and return it to print one copy of the next document unless the amount is specifically altered by the operator. .
  14. Per MikeW <quote> "I hardly know where to begin" "I really don't know what you actually mean here." "But I don't think that simple restatement is what is meant" "but whatever" "I think I have said all I want to say in response to your posts." <unquote> Substituting what YOU think for what I mean is not a dialogue. The casual "but whatever" is rude and uncalled for. Your worldview does not permit any opinion but your own. It is futile to debate opinion. Thanks for the chat.
  15. It is a tautology that those who care will learn. The comment; "I seen consumer (simply non-professionals) do work akin to most all professionals" has to be 'hyperbole'. e.g. Had you said something along the lines of "occasionally may work akin to the odd professional", I would not have found the statement so hard to swallow. It was the "akin to most all professionals" that smacks of making a claim that must be considered to be untrue. I have attached an image of a book to which I have referred many times since 2002. I know about 30% of this book really well and another 30% quite well. The remainder of the book needs much more of my time for my complete understanding. This book (by Adobe Press) has been my typographic bible and reference book ever since typesetting and pre-press work became one of my interests. My point? What consumer will have any knowledge of typography to this depth, especially when it comes to undertaking my work? Ask the diligent and intelligent consumer about white space or creating legible body text and the responses are likely to be blank looks. If I attend a photographic shoot, ask the consumers why they wait for me to set up the shots before they take out their smart phones and adopt my viewpoints. One of my exams for my photographic skill set provided me with one single piece of transparency film for a 4 x 5 inch camera. The brief was to create and shoot an image in the studio which would be for an advertisement. Apart from loading and perfectly exposing and developing the latent image on the piece of film, the remainder of the challenge was to image the tableau vivant which had to be assembled by the photographer. The image had to be perfectly lit and in focus and show sharpness in depth. The lens aperture had to be set to f/128 necessitating multiple exposures. It is not an easy task to complete and I doubt that a consumer would be able to undertake it without the relevant understanding. If the term professional is to have any meaning (apart from the obvious one of working for money) it should mean that the work will be completed to the highest standard possible, in the most effective manner. Hallmarks of a profession include seeking to raise one's own standards and sitting recognised qualifications. Consumers are very unlikely to work to that standard. My naysaying should demonstrate that professionals who are time-served and subscribe to the tenets of their profession, will always do a better job than lay people. It was George Bernard Shaw who said that "Professions are a conspiracy against the laity" in his play, 'The Doctor's Dilemma'. My position is that I want to use the tools that a professional would want to use and I don't need the lay person, well-meaning amateur or consumer having any input into how I go about my work. YMMV
  16. I have no data on this. My intuition is that the advent of the CC model will have brought some users into the DTP software fold; who previously would not have considered using ID. I would be surprised if there was any significant bonus for QXP in this move to enrol prosumer/consumers into using what were once known as the main formal DTP software packages. The POD/Photo book market is relatively new and many of the providers of those services also provide the necessary website gubbins to make the books under their own aegis. I would agree that these users are not really to be considered as professionals, even if they are going on to sell the books. Absolutely! The dilemma for Serif is that their approach was to state that the program would be aimed at professionals. It is unsurprising that professionals would wish to assess the software. The point was well made by @JGD when describing his concerns for the GM release of Publisher. We have witnessed many calls in these forums for GREP find and replace, Master Page fixes, Anchors, Grids and columns fixes and other omissions... any of which could halt the current workflow of professional pre-press users of DTP softwares dead in its tracks. The sheer volume of commentary on several of these issues should have caused the developers to pause and think about whether their current offering will be good enough at GM release time. My own conversation with @Steps in this thread underlines the scale of the issues facing Serif. I could resolve the issues that @Steps is experiencing very easily but he is starting from a place which I had not expected. This means that my convoluted hints and explanations are of little value to his specific situation. A simple example is the generation of a high resolution PDF file. MacOS can do this natively with any file that can be printed from any application on the desktop. Until one has seen all of the options which can be adjusted in Acrobat, before a print from a PDF file is made, then all potential new users of DTP software have insufficient information to proceed. If I make the assumption that Serif is serious about marketing Publisher to the professional market, I must assume that they are willing to market Publisher in a form which includes all of the obscure abilities that only a professional would know about or would want to use. The beta process is one means by how this objective would be achieved. Some of the comments I have seen in these pages, from the development team members, have suggested that some omissions are likely to remain absentee facilities. Does this mean that Serif exhibit a refusal to consider the software in the light of comments from professionals... or was it an underestimation of the manner in which professionals work? I cannot say and it is not a very profitable line of inquiry. What should be obvious is that without a very clear and specific idea of where the software is heading, apropos the omissions discussed within these forums; there is likely to be a subset of professionals who will be unable to commit their time to this very worthwhile project. I respectfully disagree with these two propositions. My issue is that they are mutually exclusive. I have little to no interest in what any consumer wants from the software. My rationale is this... any concession to the consumer users is likely to result in a dumbing down of the software. My earlier point about facilities needing to be what a professional wants and can use professionally remains unsullied by consumer demands. I don't want to read about a consumer user complaining that the font kerning pairs options are taking up some much needed space on the menu bar. It is likely that the professional software instruction set refers to concepts for which consumers have no previous information or experience. e.g. Typefaces have x-heights, ascenders, descenders, counters, legs, bowls, bars, loops, cap heights, serifs, collars, links, necks and stems et al. A consumer will not want the correct terminology used whereas a professional will want the instant understanding that accompanies their own specialist knowledge when seeing specific and meaningful terminology.
  17. Agreed that the situation is that a professional only model would be incredibly expensive. In one role I have a need to examine and use medical radiographs. Viewers tend to favour the Dicomed system. Happily there are now stand alone viewers for Dicomed images. Photoshop can see them via useful plugins. The endpoint here is that highly specific tasks still need to be done and it is whether the capability exists within the software. The beta of Publisher has a few omissions that have regularly been requested by pre-press professionals. As the suite of software is being marketed to professionals, their requests and comments are an essential part of any beta testing. I dis nt suggest that the software should only be marketed to professionals. I suggested that the line for the endpoint of the software's capabilities should not be drawn at the prosumer level because that would automatically exclude the professionals to whom the program was aimed at. As for InDesign and Quark... it is improbable that consumers would make use of these two programs. Many of the concepts and features within desktop publishing software would only apply to the pre-press market.
  18. PDF export/saving/printing: Windows 10 has a native print to PDF option. You could print your fully assembled book like this. The print option saves the whole file as a PDF file. You could send this to your printer... with a couple of caveats. The file will be the wrong size because you are not creating your photos at the requested size. The windows native option may not let you apply an icc colour profile. You could address these issues by working in the iccc profile colour space and making the images the finished size. Another advantage is that the printer would not be able to work with .jpg image files which will lose detail every time the files are saved because of the lossy compression algorithm. Working in a 16bit lossless filetype like .tif will give you the maximum headroom for adjusting aspects of your images. If you need the space in your computer when working with images then an 8bit lossless compression type like .png is the way to go. The native export options for Publisher are very good and providing you set the rasterise option to 300 dpi and then press the More button between the cancel and export buttons on the PDF export screen, you can set all of the parameters that you need to keep a high quality file. A PDF file cannot be adjusted by the printer so you would need to work at the finished size of the book. Your image sizes are larger than the finished size which equates to 15.09 x 7.66 inches at 300 dpi and this converts to a metric size of 383.26 x 194.56 mm. Where you have used fonts that you have purchased, create outlines of the fonts and lock the PDF file. This way the printer will not have access to fonts for which you have paid for the right to use. Hold all of your image files in lossless formats. There is no value in saving .jpg files because they are altered and lose detail every time you save them. Work in the icc colour space your printe requires.
  19. I am not too sure about your processes but the issues you raise are all amenable to resolution. What computer OS are you using? Windows or MacOS? "Placing images, crop and rotate them, add an outline, add an shadow and some artistic text here and there" Is the work profile you have listed above all that you require? "With the printers software I can do that for free, BUT it will not give me a high-quality printable PDF to keep forever" This looks to be resolvable by changing your methods slightly. For help with this, I would like to know what image sizes are you using and what resolution do you send to the printer? The printed quality of a digital image depends on the number of pixels which are native to the image. "Printers even do not offer to give one a PDF-version of the book for money. And you can't get a PDF out of it in any way" You may find it better to publish to an ePub format and then send that file to a printer. Something like Calibre can convert the file. If you use a Mac then Apple iBooks is your answer. You can create a book that is virtually an ePub book and it can import and export PDF files. Extracting the best resolution from your images depends on not processing them into jpeg files. I would suggest 16bit tif files if you intend the images to retain detail and colour information. the PDF files produced from these images will be the highest quality that you can achieve but that is a conversation for another thread. edit: I forgot to add that you can use a book printing service like Blurb. I have included a link to one of my books at... http://www.blurb.com/books/233471-bricolage The images were all processed as 16bit tif files in Photoshop around 2009.
  20. The issue is not one of price for professional users. I don't mean that professionals can stand to pay anything because the client will always bear the cost of software and equipment. The fundamental question to answer before a tool is used professionally is this; Will it do the job? Every tool has to be justified in terms of its cost when set against its utility. Buying a tool that does not do what is required is wasted expense and effort, even if the tool only cost the user £1. Possibly it is more of a calamity if the tool costs the user several thousand pounds but the value of the tool lies in what it permits the user to do, easily and accurately. If you were to commission me to create a portrait of you and you want the framed image to be 60 x 40 metres in size, you would be concerned if I turned up with one small camera and nothing else. You would expect to see flash units and continuous lighting, slave units, stands, background materials, a few props and at the least a medium or large format digital camera. I would usually bring a back-up camera, spare batteries, an exposure meter and a colour temperature meter along with assorted gobos, snoot and barn doors for the lighting and numerous reflectors of different colours too. My living depends upon me selecting the right tool for the job. The item at the URL: https://www.polaroid.com/products/cube-plus-action-camera just will not do the job required. Designing any number of project types with a computer is pretty much taken for granted. A myriad software solutions exist to solve any specific problem and job type. Desktop publishing for pre-press purposes is a purely professional pursuit. It is largely the preserve of graphic designers, professional photographers, technical writers and book publishers. If you are designing a single page flyer at home for your local darts club, you are unlikely to want more than a basic page, images and a little text handling. Most image editors will handle that requirement. You will not want to be bothered by page numbering, index/table of contents, foreign text and R to L or vertical text, traps, glyphs, drop caps, dot gain, colour management, typeface handling and a whole raft of considerations that MUST be decided upon before sending output to be printed. The missing bits of Publisher are essential to any software that claims to be professional because the pre-press professional is unable to work accurately without them. The line, to which you refer, must not drawn below what a professional would need to use the software. The constraint must be placed upon all other non-professional users otherwise the software is doomed to be sub-optimal for professional use. Back in the day, no amateur had even heard of Photoshop when digital imaging was in its infancy. Most cameras had manual controls and I could control shutter speed, aperture, and if a light meter was included in the body (rarely) ISO. Film images were scanned by drum scanning bureaux and pre-press assembly was handled by dedicated software such as raster image processors and computer to plate programs. Pages were manually pasted up before being imaged and sent to an image setter. These tasks are all largely automated today but they must still be completed. The purpose of professional software is to permit the users to undertake work on a professional basis and charge the client for doing so. When the software does not permit the task to be done, it prevents the client's needs from being serviced. Take typing for reprographic work. Imagine a worker being asked to produce a 50,000 word text for a corporate brochure. It was laboriously typed, proof read and corrected and then typeset and imposed for production. If colour was required then spot or corporate colours were designed into the project. If the client, on seeing the proof copy, wanted to make changes in font, colour placement and content, the assembled document would have to be taken apart and adjusted. The process would be completed again and when the final proof copy was signed off, the work would be printed, quality checked and sent to the client and with luck and a fair wind, the client would pay on receipt. Good pre-press software handles all of these tasks such as changing text content. It can be achieved more rapidly but it still must be done and the facility to do the work must be included in the software. It may never be used but were the client to demand it, the designer must be able to meet their needs or else the software is just an impediment. The accuracy with which the software works is also an issue when using it in production work. If I cannot be sure that my content placement (such as gutters) is accurate to three decimal places, a cut through the final printed pages when assembling say... a book which is to be perfect bound may have some of the content obscured by the glue or stitching. A professional software will not permit such inaccuracies. When I print a proof image for a client, I want the client to see every detail, in the right colours and at the actual size of the final image. In my opinion, you are not the target audience for the Publisher software. That you can make sense of the program and use it for your purposes is a side effect of how well the system has been designed and programmed. As you scale the learning curve and become more familiar with the software's uses and capabilities, you may bump up against its limitations. While you are using it for your own purposes it will not matter too much. Should you ever want to use the software commercially, it will become a major hurdle.
  21. Yes, this is a very well made point. If the GM release follows the beta accurately, I will find it hard to overlook the obvious omissions. I set up pages using odd numbers of grids when publishing newspapers. There appears to be no ability to run headings, external to the text columns, for any number of the columns. Yes, there is a work around but placing a frame which can contain text or images across a number of columns should be a standard implementation of how grids are used to control the manner in which components are aligned and the general look of a page. I have not yet found out how to create and run a frame round an odd shape component, like an alpha background image, so that I can control the inset of a textual runaround placed underneath the image. This is the bit that is less clear. What commitment do Serif have to produce a really useful substitute for ID/QXP? Stopping to review what they have produced and the requests for features that appear to be absent, ought to assist the developers to rethink their plans. The base is good and the integration with Designer and Photo is an excellent notion, although we have not yet seen how that will operate. Professional capabilities will be essential to a program marketed for professionals. I would not mind paying double for the software if it funded the addition of features that would make the software useful for professional purposes. I hand off the image file as an uncropped and unretouched maximum resolution RAW file and I provide the requested image at its printed size. This is in a printable PDF file form which is locked to external editing adjustments. I don't keep any of these files. In the case of say... a corporate brochure, the whole design is produced as requested and the image files used are all provided as full resolution, unretrouched and uncropped RAW images. The fully assembled and printed output is also supplied as locked PDF file. Once again, the files are not kept. My clients know that they are buying my services once only. The locked output files are to prevent my work being disassembled and components used without my consent. Repeat business does occur and my clients seem to like being in control. They can take my images anywhere to be reproduced and they control their files. My design work is my own and they can use it for the original purpose but anything else has to require more layout and design work and further costs or they use a new designer. I retain the ability to open all of the locked PDF files which I have produced. I agree completely. There is no need to work in a convoluted manner when you don't need to. This is the worst of all possible worlds. I was a happy user of Adobe products until they forced decisions upon the user in the move towards CS Suite. I felt like I was running to stand still and was not convinced by many of the so-called updates. I started skipping them and felt like I was losing touch with what was essential software for me. Designer and Photo have been my lifelines but layout has been problematic with InDesign and CC. I don't want CC and I resent being forced to drop my standalone version of Acrobat Professional (v. XI) in favour of the CC version. Feeling out of the loop is a horrible experience when you make your living by being able to process your work. I have begun to feel something similar with Apple hardware. The original Macintosh II was a great machine. Apple have slowly removed hardware that was useful and now it looks as if expansion will be restricted to Apple proprietary connectors. My next machine is likely to be non Mac because I don't feel that Apple wants to keep me in its development loop. I paid a lot of cash for Aperture only to see it heavily discounted by Apple then abandoned. The design of their computers seems to be heading for style over hard to justify and very expensive substance. Hmmm... well they are your own expectations, nevertheless I do understand and empathise with what you mean. Next to Photo and Designer, it certainly feels as if Publisher has not met the brief. I would not ascribe any malice to Serif's motivations but I think they have not considered who would want to use publisher and how it would be used. The uses and users of Page Plus software may have sidetracked Serif a little and caused them to take their eyes from the ball and the prize... that is to say wholehearted professional endorsement of their layout and publishing software.
  22. Agreed! Paying more is always an option and it may be that Serif have misread the audience of professionals at this point in the development of Publisher. I had not found any difficulties with using Photo or Designer and the softwares largely perform as expected. I don't mind that there are different sequences of actions or behaviours to achieve what I want. The acts of image editing and vector image creation are pretty well understood and minor differences between softwares are ultimately of little consequence. In photography, I can and will use any item that can be called a camera and I have no interest in the manufacturer or the format... I will always produce an image. Likewise, I can and will use any software (on a Mac) when it comes to producing a vector design or editing pixels. Naturally, I prefer to use software that does not require me to fight it to achieve simple things. I have even used GIMP which I dropped when I needed to edit 16bit images and the software could only handle 8bit images. The matter of using a single software to pull together all of the elements of any designed production in a layout program... such as a newspaper, magazine, technical publication, pamphlet or a book; requires the software to be capable for multiple levels of activity. Arranging the elements both freeform and constrained and outputting accurately placed items in a format understood by printing houses and including end to end colour management and permit all manner of text adjustments, ligatures, glyphs &c., is a simple overview. Yes, 16bit CMYK output and Pantone support for spot colours absolutely implies a professionally capable piece of software. In Publisher beta as is, grids and frame handling do not yet seem ideal and master pages have already featured in our discussions. Possibly the beta version of Publisher was released rather too early. The calls for features that may appear (to the developers) as if all people request and want/need is a cheaper version of ID or QXP; in order to get out from under Adobe's subscription model heel or the oppressive pricing structures of professional layout software like QXP, may feel as if there has been a sustained attack on their efforts. Project management can be a nightmare filled with dependency networks and Gantt charts. Whichever point in the envisaged Publisher development cycle has already been reached for the current beta of Publisher, may dictate that it is not yet possible to add some features in the developer's current development timeline. It is something of a mixed blessing to learn that certain facilities may not be added for a time (or even told that there is no intention to provide a facility discussed in the forums) but at least we should be able to decide whether the software is worth our time investment on the basis of what we know and can see and have tested. It is evident that Publisher beta misses several essential marks for a layout software and it remains to be seen how Serif addresses that particular fact. The beta suggestions and bug reports will help to refine the product but I can see why the development team may be reluctant to be sidetracked while the software is still effectively in a pre-release form of development. I can relearn to work within limitations set by software and I do not have any old files that will require conversion or reworking. That is a rather long story but with image editing sales I was constantly receiving obscure requests many years after undertaking a commission. I decided to never store client files again. All of my images were sold complete with the copyright and the RAW files and the need for large costly storage and file handling software as well as dealing with copyright abuses; was removed in one fell swoop. I am happy to wait and see what the final Publisher product looks like. We all would like to make cost savings because we must defray our costs by charging the customer. Can we get more work by charging less than our competitors for doing the same work? Probably, so I am going to wait until the final product is released. I can see that the Publisher software will not suit people who have requirements which are not met by the current beta and for which the plans to provide the facilities needed are not in place.
  23. Your first point is an absolute with which I wholeheartedly agree. Its natural corollary is your second point and once again, I am in total agreement with you. The final point appears to be common sense but I don't believe the software industry has worked quite like that in the past. In years past I had attended an Adobe day where the CS2 suite of programs was launched. My software use included Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign along with Acrobat. My work was to produce stand alone photographic work, graphic design for logotypes and posters, tabloid newspaper production, corporate brochures, web page catalogue assembly, technical manuals and books. I was always, inter alia, a professional film photographer and I owned and used cameras that covered the whole gamut of film sizes and formats from 4x5inch down to sub miniature. My colleagues were all going digital and my first 6 megapixel professional digital camera cost me around £2,000 for the body only. I was keen to get an Adobe staff member's view on where the Photoshop aspect of CS Suite was going. This was in the light of Apple's Aperture software and its aspirations to become a highly regarded professional photographic production tool. I was told by Adobe staff that there were only about 100,000 professional photographer's globally and the market which was driving Photoshop development was the amateur photographer with his new found public accessibility of digital photography. It was clear to me then that Adobe had little interest in the professional photographer's needs market and so it has proven to be the case. Amateur photographers can now access Photoshop and Lightroom CC plus 20GB of storage for under £10 per month while another £10 payment secures 1TB of storage. Smartphones now have far more megapixel resolution (by a factor of 3x) than my first professional dSLR. Adopting Lightroom digital image management and Photoshop digital image processing looks to be a no brainer for many amateur photographers. Very specific professional photographic tools such as the NIK plugins were purchased by Google and now they have languished, despite being really excellent tools. While professional photographers are charged more (if they are paying the Adobe CC rates shown earlier in the thread) it is the amateurs that provide the bulk of Adobe's photographically derived income. No surprise that Adobe wants to woo amateur photographers, in preference to their professional counterparts. I am really guessing here but my educated guess is that market numbers will win and dictate where the software developers will aim their products. The ability to print direct from a computer to really capable home printers is a significant factor which helps to drive the DTP software markets. I can print 300 dpi dye sublimation up to 12 x 8 inch in addition to high resolution A4 colour laser output. There is no need for the user to be familiar with graphic design tenets or computer to plate printing methods when simplified DTP software is readily and cheaply available. To brand a piece of software as 'professional' usually implies a massive hike in price in return for a few obscure facilities that only a professional would want. This, in my view, is the precise area where the serif Affinity software must not inhabit. I welcome the simplicity of software and the underlying abilities to carry out professional work. Where the sales dictate the market, it remains to be seen whether Serif can overcome the temptation to make vast numbers of amateur sales and neglect the needs of publishing professionals.
  24. I agree with you that master page functionality is a convention and is a vital function where it is included and implemented well. I would like to think that any of the elements which I attach to a master page are reflected throughout a document. Any change in master page composition should be reflected throughout the document contemporaneously. I suppose that it is the developers that tend to view master pages as a software program within a software program. Herein lies the first problem... that the master pages sometimes have a life of their own because of their implementation methods and they may not act entirely in concert with the ordinary pages. The tighter that master pages are integrated into the general program, the more useful they are functionally, in my view. How difficult are these pages to implement, so that they can be independent of the pages that they determine the layout for, is unknown by me. Once I understand what it is that I want to achieve in terms of my overall layout, then I would hope that the software permits me to arrange my pages how I wish. My own use of master pages falls at one of the early hurdles when I find myself trying to apply several different master pages within the same document.