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Thread: mac Vector drawing software

  1. #1
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    mac Vector drawing software

    For anyone like me who has been searching for a mac vector drawing programme other than Illustrator the new version of ArtBoard is worth looking at IMO.

    It's available from the Mac app store for about $US30.00. You can also download a trial version from:

    http://www.mapdiva.com/artboard/

    It's still not perfect and I personally still find the GUI somewhat counter-intuitive and over complicated, but they have been simplifying it and this latest version (1.8) looks like it will work well for basic vector drawing.

    Maybe after a bit working with it I - finally! - may be able to dump the windows virtual machine off my mac. A consummation devoutly to be desired :-)

    Brett
    Visit my gallery here.

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  2. #2
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    Thanks.

    I have Illustrator and never got much out of it owing to my work not going in that direction. I wasn't that graphics heavy. And believe me I tried learning it to where it was easy. But without a proper target it was hard to get my head around it. Sounds like you have a similar impression about vector art as it being counter-intuitive. For me that's an understatement.

    Yet it does seem like it would be very useful to know it. But. . .

    Anyway, this looks like it could be a good way to get one's feet wet. I would have jumped on it some years back when I was sampling everything. Nice to see they are paying attention to Mac.
    "Not a bit is wasted and the best is yet to come. . ." -- remembered from a dream

  3. #3
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    Yes, I agree, Illustrator is a nightmare unless you work with it full time as a professional designer.

    I have been using Xara for years and like it very much. A wonderful GUI and a clean workspace and it's the only reason I now run windows. It was bought by a German company (Magix) and I feared the worst but they seem to be developing it still but their emphasis is on the home/SOHO user so it shifting away from what I liked about it.

    It's interesting that I find myself doing design work in Artrage now :-) Artrage really is a blindingly good piece of software, I think anyway.

    Brett
    Visit my gallery here.

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  4. #4
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    Question

    Quote Originally Posted by hypotaxis View Post
    I have been using Xara for years and like it very much. A wonderful GUI and a clean workspace and it's the only reason I now run windows. It was bought by a German company (Magix) and I feared the worst but they seem to be developing it still but their emphasis is on the home/SOHO user so it shifting away from what I liked about
    I watched the introductory clip for Artboard, and it did look good, but I would say that they are aiming at the same market that is putting you off using Xara ;-)

    Actually, there are now two versions of Xara - Photo & Graphic Designer for SOHO users, and a professional version - Xara Designer Pro. From what I understand the Xara company still operates as an independent company within the Magix AG group.

    A good few years ago I used an early version of Illustrator and whilst it does have a long learning curve, to be honest in my experience (and I'm absolutely no expert), I would say no worse than learning Xara or any other fully fledged graphics program. They all seem to be devilishly tricky to master.

    Incidentally if you have access to an iPad, there are several simple to use, but powerful vector drawing apps worth checking out:

    Two that I've particularly enjoyed playing around with are:

    Inkpad
    http://www.taptrix.com/

    iDraw (also available for the Mac)
    http://www.indeeo.com/idraw/
    Good planets are hard to find - help look after ours.

  5. #5
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    Thanks Jono.

    Yes I know about the various versions of Xara etc. It's great software. The only reason I want to get away from it is that it means running a virtual machine (VM Fusion) and w/out a powerful computer (and mine is not really) it is very slow - and unstable I have found. I found Xara outstanding as DTP and layout software but I am not doing that kind of work anymore.

    I am not doing the intensive vector graphics I used to do (just occasional design work for local small businesses and organisations) so Artboard will probably do me - I still have to work more with it. I know inkpad and don't like it at all. I haven't looked at iDraw for a while; it seems to have developed quite a bit. There doesn't seem to be a trail download though?

    There is of course still Inkscape which is a sort of Xara clone.

    I dunno, I learned Photoshop without any problem, but Illustrator ... It just seems this huge piece of bloatware. Maybe just me :-)

    Thanks for comments

    Brett
    Visit my gallery here.

    =========

  6. #6
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    Hi Brett, as I said, I've not used it for years, but where Illustrator used to be a winner for me was its reliable PDF output for printing blends, shadows, graduated fills etc, and (obviously) itís compatibility with the rest of the Creative Suite. Again I've not used it for years but hasn't Photoshop got a vector capability built into it nowadays. That might be worth fully exploring before jumping ships.

    I should point out that I'm neither a Mac or Adobe CS user at the moment. Although that might change in the future... have you seen the new 12 core Mac Pro? Radical! http://www.apple.com/mac-pro/
    Good planets are hard to find - help look after ours.

  7. #7
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    Lightbulb Illustrator alternate possible app

    I use Illustrator every day. Like Photoshop and InDesign it's intended for the pro working in the print industry. Postscript. You can work in SPOT COLORS, CMYK, even RGB and LAB if you have to. If you're working in the print industry, I don't know what can replace it. However MAC's APP STORE has what looks like a promising app. It's called SKETCH. The price is U.S. $49.99. It has a lot of good reviews. And you can work in CMYK. It'll output PDFs. And I think EPSs. Not spot color however. There's probably a licensing hurdle with PANTONE to overcome for that capability.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikecur View Post
    I use Illustrator every day. Like Photoshop and InDesign it's intended for the pro working in the print industry. Postscript. You can work in SPOT COLORS, CMYK, even RGB and LAB if you have to. If you're working in the print industry, I don't know what can replace it. However MAC's APP STORE has what looks like a promising app. It's called SKETCH. The price is U.S. $49.99. It has a lot of good reviews. And you can work in CMYK. It'll output PDFs. And I think EPSs. Not spot color however. There's probably a licensing hurdle with PANTONE to overcome for that capability.
    I took a look at Sketch and it looks very interesting. No transparencies (there is a general opacity control) or feathering. But I like the GUI and it seems as if it will do what i need. I'll work with it some more.

    Thanks for the link.

    Brett
    Visit my gallery here.

    =========

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jono View Post
    I should point out that I'm neither a Mac or Adobe CS user at the moment. Although that might change in the future... have you seen the new 12 core Mac Pro? Radical! http://www.apple.com/mac-pro/
    Wow! I am overrun by technolust!!

    Brett
    Visit my gallery here.

    =========

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by hypotaxis View Post
    I took a look at Sketch and it looks very interesting. No transparencies (there is a general opacity control) or feathering. But I like the GUI and it seems as if it will do what i need. I'll work with it some more.
    Just as a follow-up I worked with Sketch quite a bit. It's great software, BUT ... it only operates in one set of units (pixels) and according to the developers there is no CMYK support and they will not be implementing these "for some time."

    So both these are deal breakers for me. Pity!

    Great suggestion though and thank you!

    Brett
    Visit my gallery here.

    =========

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