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primeconcept

Never heard about "Cerilica Vantage" for RISC OS platform?

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About 15 years ago, a company named Cerilica Limited, developed a vector graphics software for Cambridge (UK)-based Acorn Computers Ltd RISC OS platform (anyone used it?), called "Cerilica Vantage". This package relied on a software foundation called "Truism 2", an ink simulation engine described in these archived web pages: http://web.archive.org/web/20050311145351/http://www.cerilica.com/truism/sep.htm

Here it's possible to find a Cerilica Vantage tour:

http://web.archive.org/web/20050209224409/http://www.cerilica.com/vantage/tour/index.htm

Features of the package were listed here:

http://web.archive.org/web/20041220113038/http://www.cerilica.com/vantage/featur.htm

I think there were, in this product, many interesting ideas. What do you think about these capabilities, and do you think they can inspire new ideas for Affinity Designer?

 

 

 

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Hi primeconcept,

 

I've not heard of this package before - I think by the time this was released I was developing on PCs at Xara, having moved on from my Acorn Archimedes I had while at school, years before then (wowser, I sound old!!!) but it's obviously interesting what they were trying to do... Also interesting is the fact that even with this technology, I've never heard of them - and I'm in the industry! :S  Were there any other specific things that you were inspired by other than their "TRUISM 2" ink simulation engine? Tool/Feature-wise? I would expect that by the time we release Affinity Publisher we will have more advanced control of output colour management than we currently have - and this would obviously propagate across to Designer, too.

 

Thanks,

Matt

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Hi Matt,

did you work at Xara, in Gaddesden Place? I've been there, to meet Computer Concepts many years before it became Xara... but that's another story!

(Ever used TopModel 3D software on Archimedes? I was leader of the company which created it)

Regarding your question, this is another interesting package I loved in the RISC OS version (now available for Windows): http://www.davidpilling.net/ovationpro.html

And Cerilica Vantage had some tools and behaviours (line tool, arbitrary-shaped gradient fills, interactive documents) that can be quite inspiring.

A graphic engine like Truism 2 could be used as the foundation for the full range of software you can offer (new version of Designer, Publisher etc.)

 

Cheers

Paolo

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Hi Paolo,

 

Yes, I was working at Gaddesden Place from 2000 until 2002 when I left and joined Serif. Oooh, interesting that you were part of the TopModel 3D story - I think I was getting out of Acorn before your products came around so I've never seen them, sorry :(  I found an old Acorn User article that seemed incredibly positive about it! :)

 

I have my old Acorn A3020 at the side of my desk here at work (just checked to make sure it's still there!) and it still has the old MattDraw v1.0 disk (from 1994) sticking out the side of it - but sadly the machine seems to be dead, all I get is a vague green power light and nothing else happens when I try to turn it on. It may be about to take a trip to the electrical recycling centre, poor thing... :(

 

I think we need to see first where our journey leads us, but obviously keep in mind technology like the TRUISM 2 engine to make sure we aren't missing a trick. Thanks for the journey down memory lane! Hope you have a good festive season,

 

Matt

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I do remember RISC OS being banded about in 1996; but never thought heard much about that afterwards. It was all MS Windows 3.11 and DOS 6.0 on Pentium 2/386/486/686 chips and Cyrix was trying to over clock Intel's offerings. Now who's giving his age away?


MacBook pro, 2.26 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 4 GB 1067 MHz DDR3, NVIDIA GeForce 9400M 256 MB, OS X 10.11.6

 

http://www.pinterest.com/peter2111

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On 12/23/2014 at 11:15 AM, primeconcept said:

About 15 years ago, a company named Cerilica Limited, developed a vector graphics software for Cambridge (UK)-based Acorn Computers Ltd RISC OS platform (anyone used it?), called "Cerilica Vantage".

I've just spotted this thread as a result of a search for something else, so must apologise for being five years late in providing a useful reply!

Anyway, I just wanted to point out one or two things about Cerilica Vantage. As editor of one of the leading RISC OS magazines, I actually went to the press launch event for Cerilica Vantage, which took place in Ross-on-Wye in late 1998 (just after Acorn's catastrophic announcement about the closure of its Workstations division). Simon Birtwistle (for it was he who wrote the software) did indeed achieve some astonishing things. There were many elements of genius in 'Project Avante', as seen on that day, and it did get released (at least in beta form) as Vantage. I used it myself for a while to simulate print output accurately on my Risc PC's screen. It was good for that, though I don't recall that it ever really got finished. Certainly, its user interface was absolutely terrible (with about fifty-seven million tiny little buttons, that all looked the same, on its button bar!), and it never really challenged ArtWorks as a usable design tool (whereas, in technical terms, it should have been able to wipe the floor with ArtWorks if only it had ever been finished properly).

The big news for modern Mac/PC users, though, is that Cerilica was actually an offshoot of Astute Graphics, which is very much alive and well today. Simon Birtwistle's business partner was Nick van der Walle, who was himself a brilliant artist. I had more to do with Nick than with Simon. Nick was a nice chap (and I'm sure still is!). Back in its Acorn RISC OS days, Astute Graphics used to market a clever and handy tool for doing neat things with recolouring ArtWorks files. It was called Phantasm.

Later, when Astute Graphics was getting going in the PC/Mac world, it launched an Adobe Illustrator plug-in called… Phantasm. Moreover, although it has been joined by MANY other very neat, useful and clever plug-ins, Phantasm (now at version 4) remains Astute's original Illustrator plug-in. And Nick is still there at the company.

So, we have a direct lineage concerning a piece of RISC OS software starting life as an ArtWorks add-on and turning into an Illustrator plug-in. The Astute Graphics Illustrator plug-ins aren't cheap, but they're all *very* good and very highly regarded.

As for TopModel… Hello, Paolo! TopModel was another potential killer app for RISC OS – another bit of genius programming – that sadly arrived just too late in the life of the platform.

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