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AD vs alternatives - please help me choose


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First of all, please excuse if my question is not suitable for this forum, but it's been more than a week of thought process, experiments and still I cannot choose.

 

The context is: I am no artist, I can't draw. I'm actually a Mathematician and a Physicist and I would like to make some educational materials for my students. I don't know code, but I'm starting to learn HTML stuff and also getting familiar with vector graphics.

 

My workflow should be:

- Design buttons and interface stuff;

- Design educational illustrations (pulleys, inclines, springs - Physics related objects), not artistic, but somehow "attractive", "realistic" if you will;

- Take all these and use them as resources in some HTML editor and animator (I already love Tumult's Hype 3).

 

Now I'm stuck at choosing between AD, iDraw and Sketch 3. My impressions are:

 

- AD is a great tool, very active development, but somehow channelled towards artists;

- Sketch 3 is made for UI makers, it would be very easy to make buttons, sliders and interface stuff in it;

- iDraw looks like a mixture of the both, but at a quite basic level.

 

Best bet would probably be AD + Sketch 3, but they are quite expensive, even with the edu discount for Sketch 3.

 

So, if it were to choose only one of the three, which one would you choose and how would your workflow look like? Do you have even other alternatives?

 

Thank you.

 

 

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Hi Adrian,

 

First of all I am neither an artist or can I draw I am a Video Editor/Motion Graphics Artist using and teaching. I love what Ad can do especially for UI stuff and buttons as you have mentioned. 

 

Not used iDraw or Sketch so can't really comment on those but yet does appear to simple for my needs. I love where Affinity is at and where it is heading. I  come from using the Adobe stuff thats why it was so easy to love this software. 

 

Hype looks cool and is on my radar and would like to explore that soon, if you can import vector from Ad in to hype then that would be my personal choice and probably venture there myself shortly.

 

As for price at £39.99 it certainly is undervalued in my opinion. https://affinity.serif.com/en-gb/designer/trial/ this link is for a Trial of Ad, I would test it out but i'm sure you'll love it. I and others on this forum like Ronnie McBride also have some tutorials and the Mod team are very supportive in answering any questions.

 

Hope this at least helps in some way.

 

 

Allan

About me: Trainer at Apple, Freelance Video Editor, Motion Graphics Artist, Website Designer, Photographer. Yes I like creating things!!!

Instagram:https://www.instagram.com/mystrawberrymonkey/

Twitter: @StrawberryMnky  @imAllanThompson

Web: mystrawberrymonkey.com  Portfolio: behance.net/allanthompson

YouTube: Affinity Designer & Photo Tutorials

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Hi Allan,

 

Thanks for the reply. Actually, I have already installed the AD trial, I'm on the 6th day I think. And yes, I do love it, but I'm still not sure about its potential for UI stuff. I have browsed this forum and it seems to me that most of the creations that it was used for are rather artistic than functional.

 

I have a long way ahead discovering it in its entirety, but I have to say that I've tested iDraw and it does seem more intuitive to me. Although not that powerful, that's why I'm still thinking about switching to AD.

 

And yes, I do love this forum and the fact that the developers are very involved with a great roadmap in front.

 

I'll try to test and find as much as I can in the remaining trial days and I hope that someone with some experience with all of these (or at least AD vs iDraw) could share some insights.

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No worries, thats great to hear.

 

Personally I think it's already great for Ui stuff. There is room for growth of course. The new grids in the beta is a great addition. I use Muse for web design/creation but I will be using Ad to create buttons, banners etc and slice them to build in Muse, I will also be creating web page mock up for my clients approval before I go full on with it (I have actually just done this).

 

Affinity is still really new and I don't think many have posted UI work i'm hoping to soon and maybe some tutorials if I find the time.  I look at the artwork on here by the forum members and think wow how have you done that, not what I want to create, like you I need more functional stuff and its perfect for that, I created an email signature using it and a Logo which both tutorials are in the tutorial section. I have also created a business card and magazine cover and many other functional items that I needed.

 

Maybe someone with some practical experience in iDraw may give their opinion but for me and functionality, it's great.

About me: Trainer at Apple, Freelance Video Editor, Motion Graphics Artist, Website Designer, Photographer. Yes I like creating things!!!

Instagram:https://www.instagram.com/mystrawberrymonkey/

Twitter: @StrawberryMnky  @imAllanThompson

Web: mystrawberrymonkey.com  Portfolio: behance.net/allanthompson

YouTube: Affinity Designer & Photo Tutorials

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Adrian,

 

I use Affinity Designer mostly to create artwork but I spent many years working in print design and once the Affinity team gets some more print friendly things from their Road Map into Designer, I will say goodbye to Illustrator for ever. I have replaced Illustrator with Designer in most of the things that I do but there are a few things that Illustrator can do that Designer can't yet do and so I'm forced to keep Illustrator a while longer. Designer is improving at a very fast pace and I know that they are working to add more things aimed at UI designers (https://forum.affinity.serif.com/index.php?/topic/6958-affinity-designer-for-ui-designers/) so if you give them some time, I think that it will work nicely for you. I also have iDraw and while it is good, it lacked some very basic features (like no CMYK for one, maybe they have added it by now but it didn't used to have it). I think that iDraw is a good application but it doesn't have as many tools and features as Designer (in my opinion). Plus I feel that Designer has tons of nice little, well thought out, features. I think if you use it for a while, you will love it. Plus at the price that they are selling it for, it is one hell of a bargain. I have never used Sketch and so I can't comment on it but I am very happy with Designer and I can't say enough good things about it.

 

Hokusai

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Adrian,

 

I use Affinity Designer mostly to create artwork but I spent many years working in print design and once the Affinity team gets some more print friendly things from their Road Map into Designer, I will say goodbye to Illustrator for ever. I have replaced Illustrator with Designer in most of the things that I do but there are a few things that Illustrator can do that Designer can't yet do and so I'm forced to keep Illustrator a while longer. Designer is improving at a very fast pace and I know that they are working to add more things aimed at UI designers (https://forum.affinity.serif.com/index.php?/topic/6958-affinity-designer-for-ui-designers/) so if you give them some time, I think that it will work nicely for you. I also have iDraw and while it is good, it lacked some very basic features (like no CMYK for one, maybe they have added it by now but it didn't used to have it). I think that iDraw is a good application but it doesn't have as many tools and features as Designer (in my opinion). Plus I feel that Designer has tons of nice little, well thought out, features. I think if you use it for a while, you will love it. Plus at the price that they are selling it for, it is one hell of a bargain. I have never used Sketch and so I can't comment on it but I am very happy with Designer and I can't say enough good things about it.

 

Hokusai

 

 

Thank you, Hokusai.

 

I also love the roadmap the guys revealed and this forum (and this very topic) is a good indicator for their awesome activity and improvement initiatives. Although I'm not a pro (I'm not even good at design), I can already see many more features in AD and an overall smoother experience than in iDraw.

 

The only thing I feared is that the developers could focus more on artists, but the topic you mentioned proves that they really want to make it *the* design app for everybody. I have done a bit more searches on this forum and the results reinforce this.

 

Alrighty then, I have purchased AD and all I can say, apart from thanks for the replies is good luck and keep up the good work, Serif! Let the updates roll!  :)

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I have extensive experience with both the desktop and iPad versions of iDraw. I still use it on the iPad because there is not AD available yet in that form. As for iDraw on the desktop, I don't use it very much since I bought AD. iDraw is a great app but AD seems to have surpassed it on the desktop at this time. I have limited experience with Sketch so I can't really comment except to say it is almost twice the cost of AD, which doesn't make sense to me if you look at feature list comparisons. Thou UI developers seem to love Sketch and they know better than me on that for sure.

If I could only pick one I would go with AD.

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Thanks for the post, Chris. I have refunded the iDraw purchases and got AD, as I said. I really like this community and the involvement of the developers and, although you could say that AD is at its very beginning, there's a lot of plans for growth and I like that.

 

I have to say, though, that there are 2 things I miss deeply from iDraw, aside from the iPad version: the possibility to add many instances of the same effect and the measurement tools. I have written about these in some feature request topics, I can't wait to see them implemented.

 

As for Sketch, I could have used an educational 50% discount, but yes, on the "creativity" level, it seems that AD has much surpassed it.

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I used Sketch for a UI project, and it was slick in some respects, but VERY buggy. I haven;t used it since because of that. After Sketch 3 I found Affinity and haven't looked back since... Sketch should be sold for no more than $25.

2021 16” Macbook Pro w/ M1 Max 10c cpu /24c gpu, 32 GB RAM, 1TB SSD, Monterey 12.3.1

2018 11" iPad Pro w/ A12X cpu/gpu, 256 GB, iPadOS 16

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Adrian - iDraw still has a soft spot in my heart but I was having to do too any workarounds for things I could do easier in AI and AD. iDraw does have those nice features like you mention but they should be implemented in AD as they do seem rather basic to have in a competent vector program. If iDraw had a brush panel like AD it would be very interesting......

I am really looking forward to the iPad version as I usually can get a lot done while I'm on the road and them port over to the desktop version of iDraw to finish. 

Adobe has recently come out with some apps that can (kinda) do the same thing (Illus Draw or Line to AI) but the workflow is not as fluid. I suspect with the competition heating up that this type of cohesiveness between iPad apps and their desktop brethren will be the norm at some point (or at least I hope so).

 

Ronnyb - totally agree - with my limited experience with the trial version, Sketch 3 was very buggy. Sketch is no more than a $25 app for sure. 

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I purchased AD not too long ago and I was also looking at Sketch.  I read too many issues with bugs and after looking at many YouTube videos, I settled with AD — I didn't realize there was a free trial :)

 

 

Price

  • Sure AD could be priced a little higher, but I wouldn't pay US$100 for it. I also will say that this was the major factor behind my purchase, so maybe it is adequately priced.  I think $69 would be their optimal pricing, though; and $29 for upgrades, $5 for certain plugins (if any exist).
     
  • I agree with ChrisP, I think Sketch is probably a US$29.99 app.  Certainly not $100.

 

Quality/Experience
 

I can't talk about much, but I appreciate the Vector / Pixel options in AD.  I will say I've used Photoshop/Illustrator and GIMP/Inkscape in the past and I think AD fits midway between the paid/free.  Though, I'm not by any means a power user or artist, so I didn't use all the features Adobe offered and the free softwares are not necessarily buggy, but don't feel as smooth.

 

 

Other

 

You might be better asking this question some place else.  People that participate in this forum will most likely be AD-biased — we all probably have probably purchased it, or had a hand in its development.

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I use illustrator, sketch and AD. For creating single elements and actual artwork I spend more time in AD nowadays.

Sketch has horrible drawing tools, in reality it's all the surrounding features that make sketch good - pages, art boards, shared styles and symbols. These features are present but I've never been convinced they are particularly good implementations.

Most of these features are on the road map for AD and making a guess you'll see a good deal of them this year. I'd wager they're going to do a better job of them too.

Sketch has a very long way to go to make it a decent drawing tool. There's a much shorter Road for AD to be a decent UI design tool.

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iDraw does have those nice features like you mention but they should be implemented in AD as they do seem rather basic to have in a competent vector program. 

 

 

I am really looking forward to the iPad version as I usually can get a lot done while I'm on the road and them port over to the desktop version of iDraw to finish. 

 

 

There's a much shorter Road for AD to be a decent UI design tool

 

 

I couldn't agree more!

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