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  1. I posted earlier that I'd like an integrated DAM as some others do. And still wouldn't complain if we get one. But the more I read about it and experiment with some 3rd party DAM apps, I see your point and am starting to wonder whether (a) I really NEED an integrated DAM, and (b) Whether it's realistic to expect Affinity's small team can build that in the near future, while also completing their other development priorities. While I agree with your overall point (that some of us may not NEED an integrated RAW + DAM app, and that they are complex and will take serious effort to develop), I'm less sure about this supporting argument. If I follow, you are saying that it took other RAW + DAM app developers X years to build a solid mature product, thus we should expect it'll take Affinity roughly the same amount of time. I'm not sure that this line of reasoning holds, for software development. There are so many factors that go into building software, you cannot assume a simple apples-to-apples comparison on how long it'll take to build a certain type of project. Some examples of these factors include: the effectiveness of the app design and architecture (a simpler, more elegant design from the start can speed development by orders of magnitude), the total amount of man-hours (aka 'resources') they have to devote to the effort, the skill and experience of the devs themselves (a great dev will often complete a project several times faster than a mediocre one, at the same time building it with higher quality), whether they are starting with a 'clean slate' or having to build on some legacy functionality (clean slate is often faster), what kind of design-build-test-deploy pipeline and tools they are using, what awareness they have of existing apps in the same space which can speed the development of their own (example: the AP team had a good awareness of what functionality they needed to build by looking at mature competitor apps--versus having to sit down and invent from scratch all the functionality that AP would need to include), and so on. Basically, given the analogy of the rapid development of AP and AD, it wouldn't surprise me if the Affinity team could build a solid RAW + DAM app fairly quickly if they have good devs, sufficient resources to devote to it, a good design, and so on. I suspect that today, the main thing blocking them is simply the resources. They may be able to grow and add more devs, which would let them eventually tackle this. But for now, I'm moving ahead with a 3rd party app. I tried XNview and liked it for pure DAM, but it is VERY weak in the quality of the output and the "preferences" options you have to change that, when you are processing files and exporting them to other formats. I do not see Xnview as a viable choice for anything other than viewing, sorting, tagging, basic file renaming, stuff like that. I'm experimenting with some commercial apps, ON1 is one that I liked. And some FOSS alternatives. They are all quite good, though for different reasons. My 2 leading FOSS options are DigiKam and DarkTable. Both have good (DK) or excellent (DT) RAW processing that exceeds the basic tools in AP. They both have the ability to do powerful batch processing, plus they are both very good DAM apps for my needs. Not quite as slick and easy as Xnview for simply viewing/tagging/sorting kinds of stuff, but FAR more powerful in bulk graphics processing while still more than adequate for the DAM aspect. Right now I'm torn between which one I like better, but leaning slightly toward DT as it seems to hog less system resources, and has much more powerful RAW processing that gets great results. What I'd really like to see in the near future--and might be more realistic than to expect Affinity to build a full DAM app with their current small team--is if Affinity would simply partner with some viable 3rd party app, and provide smooth integration between it and the Affinity apps. I'm not sure if partnering with a FOSS DAM app is viable, given that Affinity is commercial, there may be some kind of licensing conflict. But the principle is the same, whether you integrate with a FOSS DAM app like DT, or a commercial one like DxO or ON1. GIMP has been doing something like this, partnering with both DT and RawTherapee so that you can open RAW files in GIMP, which pops open the appropriate RAW app, then hands the processed RAW result back to GIMP. I think Affinity could do something like this, and do it much better than it works in GIMP.
  2. What @John Rostron said. To add some other detail, I can confirm that the current version of Topaz Studio (which I downloaded recently as a complete trial version) works as both a standalone app, AND as a plugin in AP (it also works in Paintshop Pro 2019, which I tested as well). I was impressed with Topaz Studio and if I had the $500 at hand to shell out, I'd love to get the whole thing and use it to clean up and beautify my whole photo collection. It even has RAW editing now, though it appeared to be somewhat crippled in the trial version, so I'm unsure how well that works. But I did use the trial version to cleanup and make the best of some crappy old JPEG files where I valued the contents but did not have a better lossless source file to use. I thought Athentech Perfectly Clear was a pretty impressive plugin too as far as cleaning up those photos, but Topaz Studio is even better and having tried both, I'd probably only get Athentech as the 'budget' option. Which I may end up doing anyway, since I'm unlikely to get approval from my, uhm, 'personal finance manager' to shell out $500 for Topaz.
  3. Well an update: used the Designer trial for a few days, and liked it so much I went ahead and bought Designer. I'm loving how easy it makes it to create vector graphics for the web. So I guess I'm an official Affinity fanboi now that I own 2 of their apps. :-)
  4. I guess on the plus side: they're both surprisingly affordable for high-powered graphics apps, so one would hardly go wrong getting both! :-) One more question. With a tool like Designer, is there any big value in buying a bunch of add-on brushes, such as those offered on the Affinity store, or the Corel Particleshop dynamic brushes (I already have a few of the latter) that can run as a plugin to PS, PSP 2019, and Affinity (I confirmed this)? Or do you just use the 'vector brush tool' mentioned above, and kind of roll your own?
  5. I had a similar question, as a new Photo user. I am interested in vector art, and learning to do some digital drawing and painting as an amateur. It looks like you can create vector art and refine it quite a bit even in Photo. Is there any call for me to try out Designer too at this point, if I don't have a specific need for it? Or is Photo really the primary workhorse app, and Designer is more of a niche app for designers?
  6. +1 on using Digikam with Photo. The combined set of cataloging/tagging files, handling metadata, RAW editing, and really powerful-but-simple batch processing, make Digikam a pretty incredible tool considering it's free and open-source software. I like it better than all other FOSS software, and better than most paid software apps of this type. An app with similar features, but much more focused on specialized RAW editing and not nearly as much on the media file cataloging and management features, is RawTherapee. Use that one if you want to edit and batch process a lot of 32-bit RAW files with a lot of nuanced editing features.
  7. Hey @SrPx, thanks that's a good write-up, exactly the feature-level comparisons I was looking for. Interesting to hear this apparently long-running issue about color management in PSP, and the fact that in your usage, AffPhoto does a noticeably better job. Also interested in this comment about using Photo, PS, or even PSP as an all-purpose work horse editor: This is really what I'm looking for as well, though for slightly different reasons. I'm not a pro or even an experienced amateur when it comes to actual photography, or in working with graphics software editors. Goal right now is to learn more, and to build skills working with one primary do-it-all graphics editor that is less than $100 US. I don't mind having a couple of add-on, specialized apps that do certain things I need, it doesn't all have to bundle into the main workhorse app. For example, I don't mind having an app like the free/open-source (aka, "FOSS") Digikam, which is a great tool that combines 3 things I need: (1) Media file management/browsing/metadata, (2) RAW editing, and (3) Powerful but easy-to-use batch processing workflow. I also use a FOSS app named ShareX for advanced screenshot functionality, which gets used in my day job. But in general, I don't need or want to end up with a large set of specialized graphics apps. Ideally, just a work horse as you said--something I can master and keep using for the long haul--and then a couple of specialized apps if needed. For me, best candidates for work horse graphics apps costing < $100, are the 2 listed in the OP (PSP 2019 and AffPhoto). Yo could also throw in FOSS apps like GIMP and Krita. I've tried all of these recently, all are actually pretty impressive and could be valid options. But I've come down on the side off AffPhoto when you consider all the factors listed in the OP. Would really like to hear more comments from experienced graphics users similar to yours, where you look at support around a specific type of graphics functionality that a medium-to-advanced user would need, and how well that feature is implemented in PSP vs AffPhoto.
  8. OK, sorry to hear about your woes on the trial. I don't have my trial edition anymore (installed over a month ago), but to confirm, I IM'd Corel support with the Chat Now option on top of their main site page. They said in the trial installed off that page anytime recently, you should get both 32/64 versions (my trial had them), and should be able to import scans. They suggested if having issues with the trial, ping them via that IM support option, and if possible, take a screen shot of your disabled Import menu. If you have time to get the trial working, as per the OP, I'd be interested to hear any side-by-side evaluation you can offer on features.
  9. That would make sense why it works, and if so, would invalidate Vuescan as an example of a 64-bit app that works with the Canon drivers. I pinged Canon driver support for more info on their x64 drivers, definitely has my curiosity going.
  10. @walt.farrell: Yes, the docs in PSP 2019 also have that blurb about full WIA and TWAIN support in the 32 and the x64 PSP. However...it's also interesting that other 64-bit apps I have on hand seem to recognize the Canon scanner drivers and work (two I just tried are the included Windows 10 x64 Scan and Fax app, and a 3rd party app called Vuescan). This, plus a number of other PSP x64 user complaints about this same issue of not recognizing their scanner, leads me to think that that Corel really has an issue with their TWAIN and WIA implementation in the x64 version. But regardless, it shouldn't be a blocker for anyone who wants to use PSP x64. If you have decent native scanner software (like Canon's), or if you can use a solid x64 app like Vuescan, you can still send your scan output directly to any graphics app including PSP x64. Of course what would really rock though, is if we could get true WIA scanner support in AffPhoto 1.7. :-) @John Rostron: Definitely PSP gives you that true B&W option you're looking for, directly from the scanner and without need of conversion. Agree with you, that aspect doesn't work in AffPhoto. To get the latest version of PSP 2019 for comparison (this should include both 32-bit and x64), I got my free trial here before I purchased it.
  11. @John Rostron, some additional info: My second scenario above, using my scan software with AffPhoto 1.6 for Win10 x64, worked. I was able to do the same thing as with PSP 2019. Using the Canon Pixma 9120 native scan software, when the drivers scan a doc or photo, they will launch AffPhoto and send a scanned JPEG, PNG, or TIFF image directly to it. For my 9120 printer at least, the Canon product drivers page indicates the drivers are providing full x64 support on Win10. So I still suspect that the fault of scanner not being recognized in PSP 2019 x64, is likely due to PSP not using the new model in Windows which is no longer TWAIN, but rather requires a WIA driver model, as here. They likely either have a bug, or they haven't implemented WIA yet in x64. However, the good news is that you don't need to 'acquire' scans from within the application anyway, using the approach above, you can just send your scans from native software to your 64-bit graphics app, whether PSP or AffPhoto.
  12. John: I just checked this out as I have PSP 2019 (note this is latest version, I cannot vouch for 2018) which includes both x64 and 32-bit versions in the package. I also have a Canon Pixma TS9120, a recent multifunction printer model. I found that the PSP x64 version indeed will not recognize the scanner in the Acquire from TWAIN menu options. However, a few interesting workarounds: The 32-bit version works fine and recognized TWAIN input directly from the scanner (as @walt.farrell said). It appears that either PSP 2019 x64, or my Canon TS9120's scanner drivers, are not properly updated to work with x64. Of the two, I'd suspect it's more likely that PSP 2019 x64 is at fault, as I've heard this issue from other users and in reference to using PSP x64 with scanners before. You may be able to use your scanner device's native software to "send" the output directly to PSP 2019 x64. (BTW, I haven't tested this yet, but I assume since you are just sending digital output in a recognized file format, this same approach would work with AffPhoto as well.) This is the solution that worked best for me. I used the Canon's included scan software utility, which let you select various configuration details for the scan, including things like output file format, color options (color, B&W, grayscale), size, and other details. I can also select a "send output to" application, which in this case is PSP x64. This works just fine, including that it addresses your B&W scanning application. I can select PNG, PDF, or TIFF as output file formats that work with B&W. The resulting scan is sent to PSP x64 as a 2-color (B&W, or 1-bit color depth) file. I can run the "Soften" or "Denoise" adjustments on it, which quickly improves readability/quality for an image that is essentially a text document. PNG format really works great for this and keeps file size down too. One other interesting thing I was able to do with my Canon software: I can select PDF as the output format for a document type of scan, and then select an OCR output application as Microsoft Word, which will consume the PDF and instantly on the fly converts to a perfectly formatted, editable Word doc (which can be saved as Word OR as PDF). So, even though it appears to me that PSP have not got their story figured out on scanning in x64, if you use the 32-bit version or use your scanner software to just send the output to PSP x64, you can still get good results.
  13. That's good to hear, so at least it works with the most recent version - 1. I'll be interested to hear if FF replies to my query about v8. Not sure if it's their issue, or mine, but these were clean installs and the only thing I did was point to the installation directory from AP. Note that I did run FF v8 standalone, and it works ok doing that.
  14. I saw on the AP supported plugins page that the Filter Forge plugin v6 was fully supported in AP 1.5. On the FF site, they say their new FF v8 version fully supports AP 1.5. However, I have the latest version of AF 1.6.5 for Win 10 x64, and I cannot get FF v8 plugin working. It does install correctly, shows up in the plugins menu, launches as a plugin (or alternately, as a standalone app), and will then render a preview of your image and their various effects. However, the picture with effects applied is not successfully round-tripped back to AP 1.6 and rendered there. I tried: multiple photo images, multiple file types, multiple color bit depths, didn't matter. The result was always that the plugin and AP 1.6 hang, and both have to manually killed from Windows Task Manager. Has anyone gotten FF v8, or any recent version for that matter, working in AP 1.6? Update: I submitted an issue to FF as well.
  15. I've been using Corel's Particleshop brushes plugin (https://www.painterartist.com/en/product/particleshop/). This is powered by the software in their standalone Painter app, and is an officially supported plugin within Photoshop and Paintshop Pro for dynamic painting effects (see their site for a description, this is a bit different from a static brush). This works great within my copy of Paintshop Pro 2019 Ultimate, plus Corel offers many interesting add-on brush sets for sale. So I was curious to find out if the Particleshop plugin (v 1.5) works in Affinity Photo v1.6 on Windows 10 x64. Verdict: Success. After you install the plugin, in the Affinity Photoshop plugins settings, you can point to the install directory. Then Affinity recognizes it in the Filters | Plugins submenu and will successfully launch photos into the plugin, let you use all the artistic brushes, and round-trip the result to AP without weird behavior, crashing, or side effects that I've yet noticed. Items worth noting: the plugin lets you save the brush strokes only AS brush strokes if working with layers, or you can save it merged with the original photo. Also note: the plugin requires you to convert any image you are working on to 8-bit color depth before adding brush strokes. So this is a limitation, though not a show-stopper for me. I tried a workaround which seemed to work. Open the 16-bit photo (mine was PNG), convert to 8-bit, launch the plugin and add brush strokes, then save as "brush strokes only." Then you can use various approaches to combine the new 8-bit brush stroke layer back with the original 16-bit image.