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HenrikM

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Everything posted by HenrikM

  1. There is no good presentation program in the PC/Windows market. Even a very basic presentation program built on the Affinity Photo/Designer/Publisher platform and licensing model could be a killer app. I occasionally do presentations, on topics ranging from photography and digital art to management history, agile methodologies, systems thinking, and complexity thinking. I am not the best presenter around, but I am good enough, and well know enough (, in my little corner of the world), to get paid to present. A couple of years ago I switched from using Macs to using PCs, and I more or less stopped doing presentations, except at work, where I used PowerPoint. Can't hold a candle to Keynote, but I used it because someone else paid for the licence. Now, I have been asked to do a couple of presentations outside of work, in locations where there may not be a reliable WiFi connection, so I started looking for a decent presentation program that runs on the PC. I could not find a single one! First, I'll describe the showstoppers that keeps me from using the PC software I had a look at. Then, I'll write about why I think adding a presentation program to the Affinity suite would be an excellent idea. Showstoppers: Licensing model: Most presentation software for the PC have a pay/month licensing model. If I was a full-time professional presenter, that might be worth it, but I am not. I expect to use the software 4-8 times per year. Dependency on the Internet: I need to be able to run the presentations locally on my computer. WiFi guest networks are not always available. When they are available, they tend to be unreliable. Quality: Basic things, like doing a cross fade between pictures, tend to suck in opensource programs like LibreOffice. Don't get me started on the cluttered LibreOffice Impress user interface, designed to show off as much functionality as possible, while completely ignoring how presenters think and work. Each one of the three problems above is enough to stop me from using a presentation program. While a bad user interface is painful enough on its own, if the quality of transitions is bad enough, I won't even use a free one. I believe there are many other people who feel the same way. That creates an opportunity for Serif: The Affinity products use the licensing model I want. Affinity products are designed to work offline, while at the same time taking advantage of online features, like online picture libraries, when Internet connection is available. The quality of Affinity products is already excellent. They take advantage of fast processors, and fast graphics cards. In addition to solving the showstopper issues, Serif has several other strong advantages if the choose to make a presentation program: Much of the functionality has already been built: Excellent drawing tools Great image processing tools Asset manager Online image libraries Page management ...and so on. The only things missing are page transitions, simple animation features, and a presentation mode. Because of the very tight integration between Affinity products, I believe a presentation program would require a modest investment in terms of time and effort. At the same time, the integration would make it uniquely powerful. It would be possible to design the program so that it focuses on graphics, not on bullet points, which would be great. What do you think of the idea?
  2. For a lot of things, a PDF would be sufficient. On the other hand, it would not work for me. My photography presentations are, for the most part, technically simple. I use a simple cross-fade most of the time. There are 2-3 exceptions in most presentations though, when I need a bit more than PDF can provide. Also, when I make presentations about systems and complexity thinking, I often need to show how things change over time, and then, animation tools are really handy. PDF would not do at all. So, it depends on what you want to accomplish.
  3. Prezi is a good presentation program. Unfortunately, their pay-until-you-die ransomware subscription model eliminates Prezi as a contender no matter how powerful the software is.
  4. I am afraid you are in the wrong thread, but yes, there is a lot of material on how to use Affinity Photo: Serif has videos on Youtube that are very good. Plenty of material made by others too. There are books available. Check out the Serif home page, or just the splash screen of your application. The online Help is actually helpful. Try it and see.
  5. Thanks for the video. I downloaded the 30 day trial version of the program, and I do not think there was a Blend transition in it. The transition looks good, but all things considered, I'll go with PowerPoint this time around, despite its flaws. The information I got about the license server was from the text in the licence agreement. The hardware configuration of my computer changes several times a week, because I connect different devices depending on what I do. The changes I make probably do not trigger a search for the licence server, but then again, they just might. With PowerPoint, at least I know what I'll get: A presentation program with a paradigm so bad it contributed to two spaceshuttle crashes. Most of the other programs I have looked at try to emulate the program that made the spaceshuttles crash as closely as possible. One would think there would be room for better products in the market.
  6. Thank you for the tip. I downloaded SoftMaker and tried it out. When I tried to do a fade between two slides, the screen first faded to black, then went from black to the second picture. That is a bug, plain and simple. A cross fade must not have a fade to black in the middle. I also tried a dissolve, and the picture dissolved into rather large pixels. Very far from the smooth transition you get with Keynote. The other transitions were a mixed bag. Some looked pretty good. However, the abominable cross fade is a showstopper. Cross Fade is the transition I use for nearly all slides in a presentation, and the reason for that is simple: It is the only one that does not look jarring when you watch a presentation. I have paying audiences. I will not show them anything that looks clunky or ugly (except when on purpose, of course). There are a couple of other problems too, like the software locking up if it cannot access a license server, which it tries to access at random intervals. That means if the company that makes SoftMaker goes out of business, the software will eventually lock up and become useless. It also means the software can suddenly lock up while you are about to do a presentation, if it decides to check for a license server, and cannot access the Internet. So, I am afraid this is not the presentation software I need or want. It looks to me like PowerPoint, despite its many flaws, is the only thing that comes close to a professional presentation program running on Windows. For now, that is probably the way I have to go. If Serif did a presentation program, as long as it has a working cross fade, I'd ditch PowerPoint in a second.
  7. I did suggest that Affinity Presents would be part of the Affinity suite. I listed several reasons for why this would be a good idea in my original posting. Even so, creating a new app would require time, and quite a bit of work, and that would slow down development of the applications they already have, so whether it is a good idea, depends on how good the business case is. I believe there could be a good business case, but that is for the people at Serif to decide. If they add a new application, any new application, it would not have the same constraints as the existing applications. If it had, it would not be able to do anything new. Photo, Designer, and Publisher have a partially overlapping set of constraints, but it is not the same set for all applications. A new application in the suite would also have a set of constraints that are partially new, and partially overlap.
  8. There is no good reason to add animation to the current suite of programs. However, a presentation program would be another matter. For a presentation, a simple animation feature would make sense.
  9. I do not want anyone of those! Except for Keynote, the programs on the list are either crapware presentation programs, or programs that are not presentation programs at all. For example, Camtasia is a very good program, but it is a screen recorder, not a presentation program, Windows Movie Maker is a video editing program, and so on. Most of the presentation programs in the list don't work offline. Many of them have pay-until-you-die subscription models. The first program on the list, CustomShow, you can't even buy without talking to a sales person first. LibreOffice Impress can't handle a simple cross fade correctly. Reallusion requires Google Slides to work, and Google Slides presentations loose all pictures when you try to show a presentation while offline, even if the pictures you have linked to are stored locally on the hard drive. It is because of junk programs such as those on the list, that I believe there is room for a simple, but high quality, presentation program on the market.
  10. I worked on a multi-page document yesterday, and quickly got frustrated because I could not find a way to override the No. of columns setting at the paragraph level. It is useful to be able to do this because you can then have titles and introductory paragraphs than span the full width of the text area in the same text box as the main text. This makes master pages way more flexible. You do not have to create separate text boxes for titles and introductory paragraphs. You can also do other things, like having a wide text column, and then, in the text flow, you can override the number of paragraphs, and have a multi-column section right in the main flow. FrameMaker could do this, and it was very useful, both for short articles and longer non-fiction documents.
  11. HenrikM

    Scripting

    If I could choose the scripting language, I'd definitely go with Python over Javascript or Applescript. Applescript is out, because I currently use a PC running Windows. Javascript is a horrible mess of a language. I have used Javascript rather extensively in the past, because I got very well paid to do it. Today, I am not remotely interested in using it, for any reason. Python is a well designed, easy to learn, and very powerful language with very extensive support in the form of libraries. It fits very well with professional programming practices like TDD and BDD. If choosing between those three, Python is the best choice by far.
  12. For a recent portrait, I decided to try out the Frequency Separation functionality in Affinity Photo to remove skin discoloration. Worked very well.
  13. Thanks! There is room for improvement. There are some things I'll do differently next time. Still, I am happy with the results, and more importantly, so was the model.
  14. @Alfred and @Smee Again, Here is a version without frequency separation.
  15. HenrikM

    Affinity Photo - DxO Photo Lab 2

    I have started using DxO and Affinity Photo together. I do basic stuff in DxO, then use DxO to send the result straight to Affinity Photo for compositing and other work. Worked like a charm from the start. The programs work very well together.
  16. I just downloaded 1.7.0.192. No anchored frames yet. This really should be in the first release. Even though it is a bit risky, I want to layout a new book using the beta. Without anchored frames, that does not really work.
  17. Inline graphics really should be part of the first release.
  18. HenrikM

    Night of the Werewolves

    For comparison...a daylight version of the same scene. Traditional werewolves would be unlikely to venture out in the mid-day sun though.
  19. Alice of Sandby vs. werewolves. Alice is a graphic novel character created by Petra Brewitz. Petra and I are working on a graphic novel manuscript, Alice: Demons Gate. No werewolves in that story...but there is definitely story potential in an encounter between Alice and a pack of werewolves. The scene was rendered in Daz Studio. I used Affinity photo to turn the original daylight scene into a nighttime scene: I increased the contrast reduced saturation toned bright parts slightly yellow, and darker parts slightly blue, to create a feeling of night. That is basically it. A
  20. Having the object positioned above the anchor point was possible in FrameMaker, unless my addled memory confuses wishful thinking with actual experience. A really good thing to have, in any case. I plan to buy Publisher the day it is released in any case, but publishing non-fiction books will have to wait until anchored frames are supported.
  21. My next two projects are a graphic novel and a heavily illustrated book. I'd like to use Affinity Publisher for both of them, but that hinges on getting anchored graphics. I used FrameMaker to write technical documentation, and other things, for several years. With FM, you could produce a document from start to finish with a single tool. What I am hoping for, is to be able to do the same thing in Affinity Publisher. Either that, or seamless integration with a tool like Scrivener. I understand the first release cannot have everything, but anchored frames, that can hold any other object, pictures, tables, or text, should, I believe, be part of the first release.
  22. HenrikM

    Cat and Mouse

    I have begun storyboarding photo sessions using Affinity Photo, Daz Studio, and Dynamic Auto-Painter. Cat and Mouse is a good example. I set the scene up in Daz Studio and rendered it. Then I post-processed it in Affinity Photo. Finally, to reduce the realism and get a more painterly feeling, I ran the picture through Auto-Painter. Works pretty well, I think. Now, of course, I have to do everything all over again, shooting with a live model. However, having a storyboard picture like this makes it a lot easier to figure out how to light the scene, to discuss the scene with the model, to figure out what props to use...
  23. HenrikM

    Cat and Mouse

    It'll be awhile before we do the shoot, but I'll post the image once it is done.
  24. HenrikM

    Cat and Mouse

    Ordinary house cat, and a really, really good makeup-artist. Actually, I cheat a bit. I bought the cat model in the Daz store. For the final photo version, I will probably buy fur with longer hair. The model looks pretty realistic as it is right now though.
  25. Five Finger Voting - A quick-and-dirty illustration for a presentation slide.
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