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Astute Graphics Technology

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52 minutes ago, Rees Maxwell said:

I absolutely love the Astute plugins, and paid many hundreds of dollars over time purchasing almost all of them. Then once a more recent MacOS came out (can't remember which one) they said they were no longer developing their stand-alone plugins and I had to now rebuy as none of mine would work any longer, and now I could only rent them as they only run on a subscription model. 

I get that as a developer having people only pay once forever doesn't help the long term needs of development. This is why I guess after a time some devs put out new versions of products, so they can get paid again for new features, but it gives the users of older versions the ability to keep using the older one if that's working for them. 

Instead, Astute wanted people to buy their plug-ins, and then moved to subscription model and none of my plug-ins would work any longer. Period. (Due to them choosing to go this route instead of making new versions which worked with the new macOS and just charging an upgrade fee or whatever.) 

Sucks that I have to rent software now, but that's life if you want the power of the plugins that Astute provides. And remember, I paid a lot of money for their plug-ins previously. I actually can't believe the Affinity products are so inexpensive, and wonder how they have the money to continue development, but maybe they are chasing institutions and getting more money that way. (Would be a ton cheaper for high-schools and colleges to buy site licenses from Serif than Adobe.) I'd pay even more for the Affinity suite if it cost more because I'd own it. I just don't like renting software.

Yeeah... this is pretty much 100 reasons I think Serif shouldn't ever buy a license from them.


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5 hours ago, NIcholas van der Walle said:

Wrong. We still allow pre-subscription plugins to be installed and activated. Please contact our support. We no longer support CS6 or below actively with current or future releases. It's 8 years old already and the OS support is dubious for CS6 to say the least.

Pre subscription?  You're talking about pre-Astute Graphics subscription.  We're talking about Pre Adobe subscription.  So actually it's you that are wrong.  And offensive.

This is from the email I received from Astute Graphics:

"Thanks for your reply and apologies for the delay in mine.

Phantasm CS Studio v1 is now 8 years old and contained elements of  our new plug-ins Phantasm v3Rasterino and InkQuest, such is it’s age it didn’t have a serial number and as such if you have uninstalled it or if you are using a newer machine on which it has not been installed, it would no longer be possible to reinstall it.

"

And so, I paid for it.  I still have the old PC to run it.  I still have Adobe CS3.  I still have all of my payment information. I install but can not register.  Nothing I said is wrong.  Astute Graphics essentially has taken my money and refuses to allow me to use the product which I paid for.  And now has an attitude about it.

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Yeah, I was dismayed to say the least when I contacted Astute about their plugins not working when I upgraded my macOS (already running with subscription Adobe) and they dragged their feet a long time before saying that I could either downgrade my Mac, or toss out all my Astute plugins and rent them from now on.

To be clear, what their plugins allow me to do in Illustrator is magnificent. I really wish they worked in Affinity products. They kickass. But I'm still bitter about their change in business model.

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4 hours ago, Rees Maxwell said:

Instead, Astute wanted people to buy their plug-ins, and then moved to subscription model and none of my plug-ins would work any longer. Period. (Due to them choosing to go this route instead of making new versions which worked with the new macOS and just charging an upgrade fee or whatever.) 

Astute Graphics won't register the plugins for a new OS, and also won't register the plugins for the old OS on which you originally used them.  I still have a PC set up as it was  10 years ago.  All of my old software from that time is running fine on that PC.  I can install my plugins from Astute Graphics, but I can't register them, so I can't use them.

 

4 hours ago, Rees Maxwell said:

I actually can't believe the Affinity products are so inexpensive, and wonder how they have the money to continue development, but maybe they are chasing institutions and getting more money that way. (Would be a ton cheaper for high-schools and colleges to buy site licenses from Serif than Adobe.) I'd pay even more for the Affinity suite if it cost more because I'd own it. I just don't like renting software.

I can't really say how anybody makes their money but I can point to two cases where companies are doing extremely good things and charging very cheap prices for their software.  Clip Studio Paint hasn't had a paid update in about 6 years although they constantly release updates with new features.  The initial price of the software was $89.00 when I bought.  After some time it went on sale for $49.00 and it never came off sale.  That became the new regular price.  And now they have it on sale for half price constantly.  So you can get it for $25.00. 

Another example is even more extreme.  I bought FL Studio in 1999.  Image-Line has a simple policy.  Free updates for life.  I've received 20 years worth of updates.  I paid probably $75, or maybe $150.00 for it in 1999.  I bought it at version 2 or 3.  It's now version 20 and has seen the kind of updates that one would expect over the course of 2 decades of development but they are sticking with that policy.  That one is mind blowing. They sell lots of other products and many of those products are plugins for FL Studio so I can kind of see how they make money.  But, what we really see there is a lack of greed. Nobody could blame them for wanting to be paid for each and every single update.

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I can't comment on the old versions and what AG could do for its former customers but if I understood correctly, AG is not currently on subscription. You pay once and you keep the license of all plugins and what is "on subscription" are the updates/upgrades. The cost even for a hobbyist like me is more reasonable with this new version.


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Just bought Affinity Designer and would love Astute Graphic feature for mirrorme, vectorscribe and the boolean stuffs (based on what i see on youtube). 

+1 to Affinity + AG 

-9999 for any subscription. I only want 1 time purchase. no rent.

I have no idea how the business works i'm just saying from my personal preference as customer. 

I know about the "it's an investment blablabla.." idc, i just want to buy, not rent. that's it. It's up to devs to think about it.

for updates, i prefer Lifetime free updates or only pay to upgrade when i found the update is necessary.

 

If AG or AD or both can't find any solution about non-subscription, then it's fine. I'll stick to the AD with no subscription, I'll just figure it out myself on how to optimize my workflow for time saving stuffs.

I can live without any subscription stuffs until now. So i think i'm fine without it forever.

 

I hope Affinity is just like FL Studio by image line (music production software), 1 time purchase, lifetime free updates, keep getting better and better with frequent amazing updates, listen and loyal to the community, actively talk with their customers on forums, and many more. 

Let's go Affinity! Serif! 

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this affinity apps is nice looking but the usage and the tools and the intuitive ways are missing ... even inkscape has better tools for vector graphics design.

I was just doing a logo design project to test the app ... well i must say i got pretty annoyed of the lack of options and tools to work with.

i would strongly recommend to look around in the open source app how they do things on functionality / Krita, Gimp, Inkscape, Blender / there are plenty of amazing ways how to work with graphics - and make ones life a bit simpler after all its a computer and a software - make the most of it do not settle on half solutions. I understand for  50 Bucks i cant expect too much ... but maybe this is also the wrong model - how you wanna keep up the dev costs from this?!

I would be happy to see some openness to at least integrate some great plugins like Astute.

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1 hour ago, Tamas said:

... well i must say i got pretty annoyed of the lack of options and tools to work with.

Hi @Tamas,

it would certainly be of help if you could name some specific things that did annoy you or that you are missing. In the way you write it this could be anything. I do not want to critisize you but more ask you to help with your contribution to the forum. Since you took the time to test AD do seem to have some things in mind.

Thanks,
d.


Affinity Designer 1.8.5 (beta 1.9.0.820)   |   Affinity Photo 1.8.5 (beta 1.9.0.820)   |   Affinity Publisher 1.8.5 (beta 1.9.0.822)
Affinity Designer for iPad 1.8.4   |   Affinity Photo for iPad 1.8.4

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Older thread but just adding that Astute Graphics' InkQuest and Phantasm plugins are about the only reason I ever need to open Illustrator anymore.  The makes my (somewhat niche) screen printing needs immensely easier.  Getting this kind of functionality to work with the Affinity Suite would be awesome. 

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On 12/6/2017 at 4:00 AM, Andy said:

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.

It would be a great pair, Affinity Designes and Astute Graphics tools. I hope they are listening to us!

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On 6/17/2020 at 3:21 PM, sefosdad said:

It would be a great pair, Affinity Designes and Astute Graphics tools. I hope they are listening to us!

We've been listening all along. It will be interesting to learn of Affinity's thoughts on this.

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Older thread but, still on my wishlist (though I know/suspect it is unlikely at this point).  I will also add that Astute recently released a new plug-in "InkFlow" that looks rather handy for freehand illustrating with vectors. Affinity has much of this (especially iPad version of Designer), but this is nicely packaged.
https://astutegraphics.com/learn/tutorial/getting-to-grips-with-inkflow-start-drawing-now

image.png.6dcfbfd87579a80c7d275677f41e8384.pngImage from the Astute website.

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On 5/17/2020 at 5:17 AM, Adi Satrio said:

I hope Affinity is just like FL Studio by image line (music production software), 1 time purchase, lifetime free updates

No, they have already explained that it will be free until 2.0, which will be a paid upgrade.

That is mentioned elsewhere on the forums.

The price is a fair bit lower than FL Studio though, and if they continue that policy and the fact that there have already been several years in the 1.x series, in the end it is still dirt cheap for what they offer...

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On 6/17/2020 at 9:21 AM, sefosdad said:

It would be a great pair, Affinity Designes and Astute Graphics tools. I hope they are listening to us!

I'm not sure about this. Sure Astute's plugins look good but I'd imagine that people who don't mind spending that kind of money probably don't mind paying Adobe every month, so would they be using Designer if they don't mind paying Adobe every month to use Illustrator? Plus seeing how Astute's plugins are unfortunately also subscription based, I think many people would be turned off by it seeing how they no doubt came here looking for an alternative to subscription software and seeing how Astute's plugins are more than double the price of Designer, I wouldn't hold my breath. I'm all for having the ability to use 3rd party plugins then the market can decide if people want to pay for a subscription every, single year for plugins that cost more than the actual program. I wouldn't but there are people out there that no doubt would. 

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1 hour ago, Hokusai said:

I'm not sure about this. Sure Astute's plugins look good but I'd imagine that people who don't mind spending that kind of money probably don't mind paying Adobe every month, so would they be using Designer if they don't mind paying Adobe every month to use Illustrator? Plus seeing how Astute's plugins are unfortunately also subscription based, I think many people would be turned off by it seeing how they no doubt came here looking for an alternative to subscription software and seeing how Astute's plugins are more than double the price of Designer, I wouldn't hold my breath. I'm all for having the ability to use 3rd party plugins then the market can decide if people want to pay for a subscription every, single year for plugins that cost more than the actual program. I wouldn't but there are people out there that no doubt would. 

I DO mind paying Adobe, though it's not me but my non-profit which pays. However, I'd like my nonprofit to be paying less, and so I am transitioning my workflow to Affinity products. I paid for Affinity personally. I also paid for the Astute plug-ins personally even though they were for work, 'cause I try to benefit my non-profit and I knew I could use them for private work as well...and then once I'd finally purchased all the Astute plugins I wanted, they switched to a subscription model! Are their plugins worth $119/year? Well, I'd paid about $350 to buy them before they scrapped them for the sub model, so I suppose they're worth it for three years just on price. But for value...what I get out of them, it's immense. They not only save me time in some of my design work, they give me options that give me new ideas for projects. 

If there is an alternative to Adobe Suite, I'll take it! Affinity fills closer and closer to 100% of my needs there...and it's not subscription based. Once they finally decide they need more of my money and can justify it though a new version release I'll pay the "one-time" fee again. Meanwhile, there aren't any alternatives to Astute's suite of plugins. So I have no option other than to just stop using them...and that would add more design time to my projects. If someone else comes along and makes a replacement for Astute and charges a ton but it's a one-time fee...I might be persuaded to drop the sub and buy them. But to give them all up for good? It's a no go.

That's how I see it, for me and my workflow.

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Sure Astute's plugins look good but I'd imagine that people who don't mind spending that kind of money probably don't mind paying Adobe every month

Illustrator is not as intuitive as Affinity Designer, I used Adobe Illustrator just for these plugins (It's got nothing to do with whether or not I am willing to pay for it, at the end of the day I use AD more than illustrator, it is a better application for my use case.).

I've actually almost completely stopped using illustrator, I open it about once or twice a month. Whereas AD is open everyday.
If I had the power of the the astute functionality as well in AD, I'd just be happier with the tool, and completely switch over 100%

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Sorry Izzy, I think you misunderstood my point. I too much prefer Affinity Designer to Illustrator. I was a hardcore Illustrator user for years until I found Designer and I haven't looked back. My point was that Illustrator is a subscription which most people dislike (or hate) and many people have come to Affinity looking for a similar software solution that isn't subscription based. Astute's plugins are also subscription based so I'd think that many people who dislike Adobe's subscription would also dislike Astute's subscription. As I mentioned, I think that it is best to have 3rd party plugin support and then the market place can decide if it is something that people want to pay for or not. I also think that many people wouldn't want to pay more than double the price of the program just for a plugin but then again the market place can decide. Astute's plugins might be useful, they do look cool but they sure are pricey. Are they worth it? I don't know and the price point is sure going to keep me from finding out. I'm not sure if this is what you're suggesting or not but I too would like to see some of the more interesting things that the Astute plugins offer incorporated natively into Designer, no need for a plugin. Maybe you could make a request for some of the more useful features of the Astute plugins to be added to Designer?

Best regards,

Hokusai 

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To give an insight into our customer’s viewpoint and why they choose to invest in Astute Graphics tools:

https://astutegraphics.com/learn/survey/our-plugins-pay-for-themselves-after-3-days

Our customers are mostly commercial and choose typically on the basis of time saving + creative potential.

1. Time is much more costly than any software in this market. So, if one of our customers charges $100/hour, the cost of the Creative Cloud is relatively minimal. Same for the AG plugins. The potential saving of switching to Affinity is negligible, again on a relative basis.

2. Having the creative edge or the greatest number of design options is vital to many of our customers. It’s a competitive market, and being at the top of the pile (or within reach of the top) better ensures commercial survival.

We hear of personal dislikes to subscription a lot. I’m not going to argue that point as it is simply another financial and commercial decision for a professional to make. If it benefits as described above, it’s a valid consideration. If it doesn’t make financial sense for your particular environment, I’d also urge you to decline it.

If the decision is purely emotional, I understand.

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@NIcholas van der Walle I understand you are here representing Astute in the Affinity forum and you're only going to say certain things based on what they want you to say. Arguing the case for subscription services with Astute plugins to a group of Affinity enthusiasts who support Serif in large part because they despise subscriptions comes across a bit tone deaf. . I've spoken to Dave Clayton directly about my dislike of Adobe going to subscription only and AG following suite. He understood where I was coming from.
Much like hearing a salesman try to entice a buyer with the "low monthly costs forever" the subscription model favors the company over their customers. Could I pay 600 dollars or more for Adobe CC plus another 120 for AG? Sure... but what justifies that cost? There would need to be dramatic improvements and growth all year and every year before I ever considered that option. Are the improvements and options added each year worth 720 or more dollars annually? Not in my book. Just because you could find ways to justify the cost does not make it a worthy investment.
Most features in Adobe and I would assume AG do not change dramatically from year to year. I still work professionally with my copy of CS6 and my purchased standalone AG plugins. Each year I've done this, I've saved over 700 per year. I used to upgrade my Adobe Suite once every couple versions because even those were overpriced and I bought and upgraded my plugins as I saw need. I would have gladly upgraded both Adobe and AG since CS6 was released, but there's no option for me when they only offer subscription models. You may chalk it up to being an "emotional" choice - but I avoid any subscription-only software like the plague. When apps I use announce they are going to subscription only, I ask for a standalone upgrade - some have offered it. If they refuse, I move on to find another application to support that is not subscription based. I do not want to give subscription-only apps any financial compensation because it would only encourage them to continue what I believe is an immoral practice. It's about standing by my principals for what is fair to the customers. I can understand subscriptions if there is real time data and information made available all the time that requires consistent funding. That is not the case with Adobe for sure - they can barely improve the existing tools and the software has become so bloated.
I understand its a solid deal for some companies that would upgrade annually regardless- so why not offer more than one sales option?
Many companies are finding a balance by offering either a lifetime upgrade initial price alongside the subscription model or they offer it as a standalone and if you want updates from that version you pay the upgrade cost. Instead of dismissing those who dislike the subscription model, why not encourage Astute to offer standalone options again? Especially if Affinity opens up their framework to allow plugins.

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3 hours ago, Boldlinedesign said:

@NIcholas van der Walle Sure... but what justifies that cost? There would need to be dramatic improvements and growth all year and every year before I ever considered that option.

Hope you don’t mind scrolling, and scrolling... and scrolling, to see what we achieved in our first year:

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/celebrating-14-years-plugins-1-year-subscription-van-der-walle

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@NIcholas van der Walle - sigh - spoken like a faithful and loyal employee who's paycheck depends on overpriced subscription models!  haha. you missed my point entirely. if Astute can't consider  the idea that many people think subscription models for software like this is insulting to many potential users and offer alternatives - than they don't really care about me as a consumer and the Affinity community is the wrong place to be touting a subscription slavery model - again, most people are here because Adobe refused to listen to its customers


 

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@NIcholas van der Walle - That's insulting - it is not purely emotionally based - It's a viewpoint developed based on principals of honesty, fairness, and what is most effective and helpful to the customer. Almost all subscription software rewards the developer at the expense of the customer. It rewards laziness while cutting progress off at the knees. You refuse to consider that because your paycheck is dependent on people falling for your talking points.
 

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Sorry to read that your viewpoint on subscriptions doesn’t align with how Astute Graphics has adopted it.

The past year has never seen customers access a larger number of genuinely useful new tools and functions, only possible through the subscription model.

More exciting and truly innovative and class-leading tech has been brought to market by us than any other point in our 14 year history.

It would have been more profitable in the past 12 months to be non-subscription as it would require less effort. But that would be sacrificing the speed and breadth of developments that will now benefit our customers for another 10 years.

We have yet to be rewarded for any semblance of laziness. Sounds nice if possible. But that’s not ;)

Different perspectives. I’m not for one moment thinking I’ll win you over, but I feel it important I describe the landscape from our, and our customer’s viewpoints.

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N. van der Walle... you’re really blowing it here. The way you condescend makes me embarrassed to say I like the products you are pushing. Seriously, is there anyone else from Astute who can come in here and at least talk from a place of respect? 

The way you talk as if everything Astute does is all for the benefit of everyone else is BS. And again, I gladly paid a ton of money for your products out of my own pocket to save my non-profit some money, and then when Astute refused to just upgrade them to make them 64-bit or whatever the macOS / Adobe tech change was that would have required a total rewrite... your company opted to use that as an opportunity to make a new cash grab by making all your customers either stop using your plugins that they’d bought (because they stopped working with the new version of Adobe), or force them to pay for them all again unto eternity with your rental model. And to make matters worse, Astute dragged their feet on it, causing your customers who upgraded their Adobe suite to have to work without any functional plugins from Astute for a very long time, and all the queries from me and others in your forums would not be answered with anything other than new versions were coming out. No date, no timeline, and certainly no advance warning that you all were going to make us keep paying to rent the plugins we’d already purchased, in perpetuity.

it is disingenuous to tout Astute as an angelic corporation as you insinuate here. And it’s heinous the way you tell people with valid viewpoints that they are being emotional. Do you treat your family the same way, just touting your ideas and beliefs as reality and 100% accurate and putting down other people’s as simply “an emotional opinion”? Must be frustrating to be around you if this is your usual way of being. I hope for your family’s sake that you actually listen to and value their opinions and don’t treat any opinion contrary to yours as “emotional.”

Your words here in this forum have greatly devalued Astute for me. I have a real nasty taste in my mouth after watching you repeatedly belittle others here. I am no longer too keen on your company and certainly don’t wish to contribute to the financial success of your company if you are at all the product of their culture. If I don’t hear from someone higher up than you on this forum, I will be looking into phasing out my use of your plugins, and seeking other means to adjust my workflow.

Maybe your condescending attitude here is a blessing in disguise as it may be the thing which finally causes me to totally rework my workflow so I can get rid of Astute and Adobe for good and instead work entirely with a company who values their customers and listens to their customers.

And I’m guessing I’m not the only one who now feels this way.

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