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Yes!

 

I got an email from Astute Graphics this morning. Quite something, really. I can see it allows a benefit for both AG and other graphics application developers. The same applies to AG as it does for developers. That is, AG also doesn't have the time and capability to develop for other specific applications and it would take developers years to natively develop such technology--if they could even do so. I also think that as Adobe continuous to erode away third-party developers plug-ins by making native support for some of the functionality, this is a smart move on AG's part and I hope it works out well for them.

 

I'm a believer in AG's products. They very much extend Illustrator's capabilities and make the thing actually (and easily) usable. They would make a good fit for AD. Of course, another option would be to work with AG and have them port the plug-ins to AD, but me thinks Serif would rather keep control. So this option of licensing the product technology seems a good possibility.

 

Mike


My computer is a nothing-special Toshiba laptop with unremarkable specs running Windows 10 64-bit.

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I have many of the Astute Plugins for Illustrator and it would really allow Serif to catch up and fill in glaring problems with Designer if they were able to license some of that tech. You look at the various forums and users pleading for offset path, better point reduction, improvements to the expand stroke, better more consistent booleans, users wanting something like the shape builder tool from Illustrator, the list goes on and on.

 

Yes, Illustrator is some 30 years old but Designer doesn't need to go 30 years to catch up to some of their features. Please, please make this happen. I would gladly pay more for Designer if it had these missing features, especially if it was powered with some of this AG tech.

 

Also, this is a smart move on Astute's part. There are so many vector apps popping up now, not just Affinity Designer, but other apps like Sketch, Gravit, Figma. I wonder too if their tech could be incorporated in some vector animation apps as well, like Harmony or Moho? Before they had just one revenue stream which was Adobe Illustrator users, but now, it could increase significantly.

Edited by Scungio

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Ah yes, I remember using DynamicSketch from Astute Graphics when I used Illustrator. It was a very handy tool, though it did take a lot of learning. I definitely recommend people looking that one up. I liked it because I could trim overshooting areas of open paths, and then those paths would automatically join and create a closed shape.

 

With Affinity getting up there, I would love for them to collaborate with Astute Graphics.

 

 


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Would be amazing if Affinity Designer implements their tech. This will seal the deal for me moving to Designer completely as I rely heavily on some of the Astute plugins. It doesn't matter if the upgrade requires a payment, it will be worth it.

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I LOVE the tools Astute provides. I've used their trial period to work with many of them, but have only purchased a few as they're spendy! (Worth it, but spendy!) 

I would guess Affinity/Serif would just need to contact Astute and work out integration, but then let Astute provide the plugins. That way Affinity can stay the same price, and people can choose what plugins they want to buy from Astute.

 

I reached out to Astute to see if they'd be creating plugins for Affinity and this is their reply:

Quote

 

At present there is no indication from Serif (the developers behind Affinity) of interest even though there is a good level of interest from others. It may be something to suggest to them?

Best wishes,

Nick

 

(Red and bold my emphasis.)

 

So how about it, Serif?? Are you going to contact Astute? Their plugins really rock, and this would really make huge strides in comparability between Illustrator and Designer. 

 

Here's their contact info:

enquiries@astutegraphics.com

Nicholas van der Walle
Managing Director

Astute Graphics Limited
Penn House, 9-10 Broad Street
Hereford HR4 9AP, ENGLAND
tel. +44 (0) 1432 341073

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+1.

If I remember correctly in my first forum post I said that Affinity should develop in the path of Astute Graphics. However, the price of their plugins is way too high which would increase the AD product price many times over. I just checked the price of the AG 'elite bundle' and it is $483 with discount. Having this mind, I'm thinking the implementation of such an expensive technology would be somewhat counterproductive to what Serif has been trying to achieve here, which is affordable but powerful software.

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Since Astute has plugins for Adobe Illustrator, and people can just buy whichever plugins they want to use (I bought three when they went on sale Cyber Monday), and Astute has said they want to provide plugins for programs...what’s wrong with them and Affinity sharing APIs and there being Astute plugins avail for customers to purchase for Affinity?

 

Seens like many would want the option to try them out (Astute offers trial days), and some would buy certain ones. If you haven’t downloaded some of their plugins and do have IL...try them out, they’re amazing! 

 

That way Serif doesn’t need to make their price higher, and Astute gains a new market for their powerful plugins.

 

Win-Win?

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I did say that I would love for Affinity to collaborate with Astute Graphics, but I admit, I wonder if it may not be the right move at this time. Not for a bad reason, but for reasons of competition. As the software's awareness is getting out there, people will be interested in the tools it has to offer. And to top Adobe, the new industry standard would have to be proven by the tools in the program itself. If people use the plugins, it might hurt the purpose of competing. Who knows? Maybe similar Astute Graphics features will come to Affinity. The pull-on-the-string similarity was already implemented.

 

I could be wrong, but I was thinking that on my original post. Yes, Adobe had many plugins, but they've been out a lot longer to build them up.


The website is still a work in progress. The "Comics" and "Shop" sections are not yet ready. Feel free to connect with me and let me know what you like or what can be improved. You can contact me here, on my contact page, YouTube channel, or Twitter account. Thanks and have a great day!

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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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Hi Nicholas,

Welcome to the forum, and thank you very much for taking the time to reach out! I, and I'm sure many others, look forward to future feedback.


The website is still a work in progress. The "Comics" and "Shop" sections are not yet ready. Feel free to connect with me and let me know what you like or what can be improved. You can contact me here, on my contact page, YouTube channel, or Twitter account. Thanks and have a great day!

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14 hours ago, Patrick Connor said:

Nick, 

Welcome to the Serif Affinity forums. Thank you for your thoughtful comments and input here. 

Patrick Connor 

Head of QA 

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

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Hi Affinity Design team,

I’ve been a long time user of Adobe Illustrator and the Astute Graphics plug-in suite for AI.

As seen in their video (https://astutegraphics.com/tech/), it suggest you guys started integrating their tech in Affinity Designer. So I would like to ask: to what extend do you envision going forward with their technology?

If that can be helpful to know, my wishes for Affinity Designer would be to have these features integrated in order of preference (first being most important):

- VectorScribe
- SubScribe
- MirrorMe
- InkScribe
- ColliderScribe

Thanks!

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2 hours ago, pcote said:

As seen in their video (https://astutegraphics.com/tech/), it suggest you guys started integrating their tech in Affinity Designer. So I would like to ask: to what extend do you envision going forward with their 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!

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On 7/20/2018 at 4:13 PM, NIcholas van der Walle said:

We’d naturally welcome this step, especially as we are now actively developing for products beyond Adobe Illustrator,

After checking the video from Pcote's link, that part was an eye catcher for me. It's nice to see that the suite has more integration now. I'll be watching this topic to see where things go from here......quietly if possible.


The website is still a work in progress. The "Comics" and "Shop" sections are not yet ready. Feel free to connect with me and let me know what you like or what can be improved. You can contact me here, on my contact page, YouTube channel, or Twitter account. Thanks and have a great day!

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On 7/20/2018 at 10:13 PM, NIcholas van der Walle said:

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!

Any news?

Quote

we receive more messages directly from Serif’s users about adding functionality than any other product!

Astute could really add value to Affinity Designer - and users who wants the features - will pay for it.


4. In order to validate value, release early and often
As I always share in my Professional Scrum Product Owner Trainings when we talk about Value, there is one thing that you as a Product Owner must remember: "You have to release a Product to customers/users, in order to find out if you have delivered value for them!". Unfortunately, I encounter a lot of Product Owners in daily practice, who think that 'working on the Product for just a couple more Sprints' will create a Product that customers/users will certainly love. Often, this results in a lot of disappointments... So, start validating value, by releasing to your customers and users early and often!

https://www.scrum.org/resources/blog/10-tips-product-owners-business-value

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14 minutes ago, Wafer said:

Any news?

Astute could really add value to Affinity Designer - and users who wants the features - will pay for it.

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.

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:37_disappointed:

Thank you very much for the prompt reply, @NIcholas van der Walle

I hope Serif will support 3rd party extensions in the future - extensions made so many other products a better - and more flexible - choice. 


4. In order to validate value, release early and often
As I always share in my Professional Scrum Product Owner Trainings when we talk about Value, there is one thing that you as a Product Owner must remember: "You have to release a Product to customers/users, in order to find out if you have delivered value for them!". Unfortunately, I encounter a lot of Product Owners in daily practice, who think that 'working on the Product for just a couple more Sprints' will create a Product that customers/users will certainly love. Often, this results in a lot of disappointments... So, start validating value, by releasing to your customers and users early and often!

https://www.scrum.org/resources/blog/10-tips-product-owners-business-value

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I can only add my voice here again, as I have elsewhere before I found this thread. If Designer really wants to take on Illustrator, Astute Graphics technologies will do that. Whilst Designer does have some of this functionality, none do it better than AG! Period. To ignore it may be folly. Why can't Designer also use plug-ins? Of the trio of products now released  (including Photo and Publisher), Designer has the hardest battle with Illustrator. I know Serif has been developing the tablet apps, but they will never be the choice of professionals. The desktop apps are king now and will be for some time. Like many, I will use a tablet for doodling and ideas, but never for production. Please ramp up Designer to the next level.

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