Which of these applications should I buy?

User avatar
fldsfslmn
Posts: 38
Joined: Wed Jun 20, 2007 6:43 pm

Mon Nov 26, 2007 6:46 am Post

I'm working on a Scrivener-powered blog at the moment. I need to invest a little time and money in an application which will allow me to produce the web graphics I need for the site.

Has anyone used either Pixelmator or Acorn? I don't want to buy anything from Adobe*. My experiences over the past year with buying from smaller developers (Scrivener, Coda, Remote Buddy) have been so rewarding that I want to keep the momentum going.







* And my attention span is too short for GIMP.

Ma
Maria
Posts: 614
Joined: Thu Jul 13, 2006 5:47 am

Mon Nov 26, 2007 8:35 am Post

Hi,

I never tried the software you mentioned (except for GIMP), so I am not sure about which kind of Web graphic you need (vector, pixel>photo?), though it seems to be something like pixel based graphic.

Several years ago I said good-bye to Adobe (though Photoshop was wonderful), and I get along very well with GraphicConverter, now ver. 6.02. It is worth its money anyway.

As for vector based graphic, I am quite satisfied with Intaglio, which is more than a toy and could replace almost all I did with Freehand in the earlier days.

Hope that helps a bit,
Maria

User avatar
antony
Posts: 905
Joined: Thu Mar 29, 2007 7:50 pm
Location: England
Contact:

Mon Nov 26, 2007 10:50 am Post

There's an excellent comparison of the "new breed" of image/photo editors here:

http://jonwhipple.com/blog/2007/10/29/i ... verything/
Antony Johnston
antonyjohnston.com

Ma
Maria
Posts: 614
Joined: Thu Jul 13, 2006 5:47 am

Mon Nov 26, 2007 11:36 am Post

Thanks for the reviews and the links.

Pixelmator looks great, I will try it (though satisfied with the reasonable but not-so-sexy GraphicConverter). Acorn seems a bit toyish -- and since I hate the up-to-date Mail-like window I won't even try it. DrawIt has the same problem -- horrible interface for Graphic Designers (which I used to be before my return to archaeology). Still, the price tag being so different to Intaglio makes it a reasonable choice. Still, although I do not like scripting in AppleScript, it is easy in Intaglio, and I am certainly not going to learn another Scripting language to use in DrawIt just to use a few bucks. Perhaps, I will give DrawIt a very small chance on my computer...

Interesting posts, I am looking forward to using Pixelmator.

Thanks,
Maria

Ro
RobertB
Posts: 142
Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2007 5:36 pm
Platform: Mac

Mon Nov 26, 2007 12:41 pm Post

I tested both extensively and Acorn won hands down. It was faster and the ability to script (and thus have others create filters and other features not included in the base application) is a bonus as well.

I actually thought Pixelmator was a bit "toyish" and found it odd that you said this about Acorn. The dark palettes became hard to use for me after a few minutes. Acorn just seemed to work. I don't think either are perfect though. You may have a look at a free while in beta app. called ChocoFlop as well.

User avatar
AmberV
Posts: 24544
Joined: Sun Jun 18, 2006 4:30 am
Platform: Mac + Linux
Location: Ourense, Galiza
Contact:

Mon Nov 26, 2007 1:43 pm Post

I've given both Acorn and Pixelmator a try. Basically I wanted something for the MacBook that would let me do basic diagram touch-up and such for my researches. I found both to be severely lacking in even the basics. Granted I've been using Photoshop like another hemisphere of my brain for nearly a decade now, so I am a touch spoiled. Pixelmator was probably the most frustrating because it tries to look and act like Photoshop, but with a nearly comedic level of shallowness. A levels tool that doesn't let you adjust individual channels? Acorn was just too---weird for my taste. Interface problems basically. I like having tools spread out, not all contained in one box. I'll admit I didn't play with it as much because I just found the interface too restricting.

GIMP is really the best option I think, still. While it lacks some of Photoshop's more advanced tools, and a degree of polish (though I do prefer GIMP's admittedly non-standard interface philosophy to CS3), it is enormously powerful; and free.
.:.
Ioa Petra'ka
“Whole sight, or all the rest is desolation.” —John Fowles

Ma
Maria
Posts: 614
Joined: Thu Jul 13, 2006 5:47 am

Mon Nov 26, 2007 2:54 pm Post

Hi,

I couldn_t stop playing around with all three apps this evening.
All are immature, any lacks at least one crucial feature -- as most new applications do.

Acorn: no, I don't like the interface.
Pixelmator: Exact Photoshop Copy on the surface, disappointing whenever it turns out that it does not have the power of Photoshop. Still OK for modest jobs.
DrawIt: The interface was enjyoyable, I did not expect that.

I think, a combination of DrawIt and GraphicConverter can fill most gaps that Photoshop leaves (I long for gradation curves and sometimes need the CMYK though), and DrawIt is not expensive.

I would go the DrawIt line, try a bit more, buy perhaps and -- if it turns out that one of the other apps made better progress, the money for DrawIt was a good investment for a year at least.

Besides, I use Aperture to keep track of my digital images and use it for image correction. So if you work with Aperture, one of those other applications seems a nice completion of features that needed Photoshop or GC yet.

Have fun!

Maria

Pr
Prion
Posts: 97
Joined: Fri Aug 25, 2006 3:14 pm

Mon Nov 26, 2007 8:52 pm Post

I am considering http://www.lightcrafts.com/products/ for pixel image editing on my future Leopard Mac. It is by no means a toy but I have always found the zone system easier to grasp in practice than gradation curves. LZ indicates which parts of your photos correspond to which zone and lets you manipulate them. Coupled with the fact that you can restrict its actions to definable areas of the picture it looks it may cater 90% of my day to day image editing needs.

When I learned that Adobe will not support CS2 (which I own) on Leopard I could not believe it. What are they thinking? No support for an expensive software suite that was sold until very recently? I am not amused.

On the other hand, what alternatives are there for Illustrator and Acrobat? If anybody can recommend something I'd loved to hear that.

Prion

Ma
Maria
Posts: 614
Joined: Thu Jul 13, 2006 5:47 am

Mon Nov 26, 2007 10:57 pm Post

Prion wrote:I am considering http://www.lightcrafts.com/products/ for pixel image editing on my future Leopard Mac. It is by no means a toy but I have always found the zone system easier to grasp in practice than gradation curves.

....

When I learned that Adobe will not support CS2 (which I own) on Leopard I could not believe it. What are they thinking? No support for an expensive software suite that was sold until very recently? I am not amused.

On the other hand, what alternatives are there for Illustrator and Acrobat? If anybody can recommend something I'd loved to hear that.

Prion



Prion,

A year ago I tested LightZone and liked it very much. At the same time, I was looking for an administration app for my photos and decided for Aperture which offers comparable features. Since LZ is even more expensive and lacks the data administration parts, I decided for Aperture. Aperture is not perfect, but it works very well for me, and I am happy to have an opportunity now to find my photos. Even with Spotlight since the IPTC data are embedded. (Another reason to use GC on a small iBook: it deals with IPTC and XMP, now even in Unicode, so information is never lost).

I checked Lightroom as well, which might be another alternative with similar additional features, and it had some advantages over Aperture. But I don't buy Adobe products. I was shocked to read your mail, that Photoshop and Illustrator won't be upgraded for Leopard. Unbelievable, and what a way to treat customers!

As for Illustrator, there are some similar applications, I decided for Intaglio. If you look for Intaglio on Versiontracker, you will also find the alternatives. I am very satisfied with Intaglio and the responsive developer. But the other apps seems quite well done as well. It is like with Freehand and Illustrator in the old days: Both were excellent, and despite some small difference in features it was mostly a decision of taste. I used Freehand, and sometimes today, when I have to open an old file, I am overwhelmed how much Freehand offered -- and how easy things are nowadays.


Best,
Maria

Kh
Khadrelt
Posts: 361
Joined: Sat Nov 11, 2006 1:22 pm
Platform: Mac
Location: Utah, USA
Contact:

Mon Nov 26, 2007 11:26 pm Post

Prion wrote:When I learned that Adobe will not support CS2 (which I own) on Leopard I could not believe it. What are they thinking? No support for an expensive software suite that was sold until very recently? I am not amused.


Welcome to the corporate world, where everything (EVERYTHING) is about money. The buyer says, "Why won't they do a little update to allow this very expensive program I own to work on Leopard?" But the corporate executives say, "Why bother updating an older version of our software to work with Leopard when we have newer versions out to work on?"

On the plus side, while CS2 isn't 'officially' supported under Leopard, word on the street is that it seems to work okay most of the time anyway. I've been using CS1, and so far the only problem I've run across is funky weirdness when trying to enter values in the Crop tool. Can't say personally for CS2, but that's what I've heard.
And that, my Liege, is how we know the earth to be banana-shaped.

User avatar
valente.mac
Posts: 213
Joined: Tue Nov 21, 2006 10:50 pm
Platform: Mac
Location: Algarve, Portugal

Tue Nov 27, 2007 9:57 am Post

@ fldsfslmn --

I don't really know your needs regarding graphics, but in my case, regarding web graphics, I mostly use two applications:

Skitch (still on beta; a wonderful program)

ImageWell (there are two versions, a freeware and a shareware one)

Maybe these will be useful to you.

User avatar
antony
Posts: 905
Joined: Thu Mar 29, 2007 7:50 pm
Location: England
Contact:

Tue Nov 27, 2007 10:32 am Post

CS2 works fine on Leopard for me (G5 iMac).

A notable alternative to Illustrator that's been around for a while, has a lot of very good press/reviews, and is 10.5 compatible is Freeverse's Lineform.
Antony Johnston
antonyjohnston.com

User avatar
ptram
Posts: 956
Joined: Sun Mar 25, 2007 3:43 pm
Platform: Mac
Location: Recanati, Italy

Tue Nov 27, 2007 1:45 pm Post

While I have a full license for the Adobe Creative Suite CS3, I -- like others before me -- would suggest Intaglio for anything not absolutely requiring Illustrator and Photoshop for drawing. It has a good set of features, and is very pleasant to use.

Paolo

User avatar
xiamenese
Posts: 4631
Joined: Mon Jan 29, 2007 1:32 am
Platform: Mac
Location: London or Exeter, UK.

Tue Nov 27, 2007 2:57 pm Post

ptram wrote:While I have a full license for the Adobe Creative Suite CS3, I -- like others before me -- would suggest Intaglio for anything not absolutely requiring Illustrator and Photoshop for drawing. It has a good set of features, and is very pleasant to use.

Paolo

I've got to throw in a vote for OmniGraffle as a drawing app. It's the one I use almost all the time. For photos, I've gone for LightRoom ... I tried Aperture but it just didn't want to work the same way as me. I would love to have LightZone, I tried it and it was great, but I have the problem of finding the schekels ... RMB simply doesn't cut the mustard for online purchases like that.

Mark

User avatar
lenf
Posts: 121
Joined: Wed Feb 07, 2007 11:28 pm
Location: North America

Tue Nov 27, 2007 4:25 pm Post

Maria wrote:But I don't buy Adobe products. I was shocked to read your mail, that Photoshop and Illustrator won't be upgraded for Leopard. Unbelievable, and what a way to treat customers!


Of course, it's only CS2 versions of Photoshop and Illustrator that won't be upgraded. CS3 installs of both programs work very nicely in Leopard. And while it's true that CS2 was offered in the last 6-8 months, Adobe had actually been very open for months before about CS3 versions coming up.

Why would anyone expect Adobe, or any company, to update a version of a program released in 2005 to run on 2007 Leopard, when the program itself has been updated since? It seems kinda silly to me that someone would upgrade to Leopard but not be willing to update anything to go with the update to Leopard.

Maria wrote:It is like with Freehand and Illustrator in the old days: Both were excellent, and despite some small difference in features it was mostly a decision of taste. I used Freehand, and sometimes today, when I have to open an old file, I am overwhelmed how much Freehand offered -- and how easy things are nowadays.


The end results were quite alike, but the path to get there was very different. Freehand was largely built on code Altsys used for Fontographer, optimized for making fonts (hence Aldus buying Altsys). The same graphic built in both programs would often require three times longer to rip from Freehand than Illustrator, since the former wrote out such convoluted PostScript.

Re: Illustrator vs. Intaglio, over the last few months I've been working with a graphic design used at sizes from billboard and banners to 2 inch tall inclusions at newspaper print specs. The design has something over 9000 individual elements in Illustrator, as well as several grain and shadow effects. No way I'd use anything but Illustrator for such heavy lifting.