[This is being posted to Mac, Windows and app forums as it relates to both - apologies for the duplication]
When Corel announced that CorelDRAW was returning to macOS, I was personally super-excited to see this for several key reasons (which I wrote about in this article: CorelDRAW is gracing macOS again - and why this is important).
This is not an advert, but I feel it's an important brief background. Astute Graphics is known in the Adobe Illustrator world, since 2006, as developers of plugins for professional users. Many of the world's largest brands rely on us as well as many, many freelance designers and everyone inbetween. We serve varied sectors including branding, architecture, fashion, sign making, gaming and more.
The tools we currently produce for Adobe Illustrator allow users to gain very high-level control of Bezier profile (drawing and editing), positioning, effects, stroke variable widths and more.
Some of this functionality will already be in CorelDRAW. But what core drawing and editing functionality are Corel customers seeking that they feel would be suitable via a 3rd party option. And yes, I acknowledge everything should be there natively in the single purchased core product, but reality doesn't always allow this.
Finally, in Astui, we now also have the building blocks that allow us to produce much more advanced tools and functions. These include Boolean (add, subtract, divide vector shapes), Offset Paths, Variable Stroke Widths and many more. Even though well-developed technologies such as Boolean and Offset are within Corel - hence it being the key competitor to Illustrator - it's essential to have full access to these underlying technologies in order to build exciting tools such as Long Shadow, Path Reshape and more.
Excitingly, Astui can be deployed as a web API allowing online tools such as CorelDRAW.app to benefit. Equally, having this toolbox allows Astute Graphics to build new tools quicker and based on 7+ years of technical development.
So - are extensions applicable to a wide range of users welcome to Corel users as they are in Adobe's world?
I'd love to understand what you think,
That's really useful info, hywelharris - appreciated!
Live Effects in Adobe Illustrator are a long-standing feature and really powerful. I personally feel that tools should be as dynamic (non-destructive) as possible allowing a designer to make adjustments at a later stage.
As this is relatively new in CD, it's understandable that it won't yet be at its full potential. That's the sort of area we'd be very interested in working on.
Our first plugin for Illustrator back in 2006 (and many updates since) is Phantasm which allows for live or absolute (ie. destructive) color adjustments such as Hue/Sat, Curves, Levels, etc., plus vector Halftones. This is a perfect example of where live or non-destructive comes into its own; tweaking colors to suit at any stage gives huge workflow advantages.
Visual effects generally benefit for live atributes. "Playing" with artwork leads to much greater creativity.
Bitmap based effects are fun, but I would suggest that true vector live adjustments play to CD's core strengths.
But I'm still speaking theoretically. You will all have vastly more experience of CD in action, hence why I really appreciate all comments and thoughts. Please keep them flowing!
If you want details for extremely useful tools please feel free to contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
The fist thing to understand is that those who make direct comparison between Illustrator and CorelDraw or Affinity and CorelDRAW most likely will come up really short. Those concepts are 1990 concepts.
For the 21st century, graphic packages that provide a stable platform for the following uses are the future of professional graphics. Web creation, transparency in all color models, traditional print, wide and grand format output, digital print as well as cutting, bending and large scale projects, as of now it's up to 150' x 150' and that's where a designer who wants to be creative and profitable into 2100 needs to be.
Let's leave Affinity off the table because in the real world of production except for tiny RGB/CMYK color print and web it's a joke. Illustrator just falls flat because of size limitations, lack of real multi-page capabilities and the fact that in large scale files even with and I7 and 64 GB of RAM it chokes itself because it fails to control the environment.
I'm talking a market for low cost ($10 to $20) as well as high quality professional plugins that can cost more than Affinity itself for use in architectural and engineering for signage. A user could buy the base plugin that does web and presentation or the professional level that does high resolution, large scale, RGB,CMYK and device N color in transparency.
Thinking first! Plugins need to be aimed at the proper market, work in RGB, CMYK and device N color. On the professional end they need to compensate for limitations of file formats, systems resources and have the controls scaled for resolution dependance.
I give you 3 examples of requested features that are great ideas but need thoughtful programming to be successful.
1. Transparent layers, a good idea however in a multi-page multi-layer application with full color model support in a 150" x 150' page requires INTELLIGENT programming to control resources and to provide a good user experience.
2. Nondestructive effects, great idea however in a 150' x 150' full color model with transparency support requires significant thought.
3. Pixel perfect work, it should be simple, perfect alignment in a low resolution, RGB environment but Corel needs it badly.
Here's a great example of a professional level plugin I use for Photo-PAINT, AKVIS Smart Mask. It provides a professional level masking tool, what Corel Knockout used to provide in a 64 bit environment. Yes I know that I spent $70 for it but so what I make allot more with it than I do without it.
Controlling system resources and providing good a user experience is key to a successful marketing concept of any application or plugin.
Thanks David Milisock for the details!
I'll look into these more.
Out of interest, I have been aware for years that one of CorelDRAW's USPs over Illustrator is its larger dimension work area. This, as I understand, has ensured the continued loyal following in the signmaking market.
However, I'm curious how many Corel users make use of the large area to design on?
There are old schoolers who still use scale but almost all wide and grand format users I know design to size. The evolution of design that has the old schoolers using scale and in reality actually only providing CONCEPT design is fading away. I do concept design that when approved is actually the manufacturing file. The issue for effects to scale is that it's irrelevant because the effect still has to be in the original CDR file at a high enough resolution to scale up. I.E. a 17 foot design at 100 dpi to be scaled to 51 foot has to be at 300 DPI at 17 foot to produce high quality at 51 foot. Which we do on occasion. We do the large Sprinter vans which are 22 foot. I did an entire 400 foot strip mall signage two years ago as 4, 100 foot pages. People use Adobe the way they do because they were taught to do it that way and now have developed the workflow they are used to and Adobe has them stuck there. Corel's failure is that they have features that kick everyones ass but they don't teach the user how to use it that way, if they did they'd have users developing their workflow in ways that no other application could come close to duplicating and they'd have their users using Corel workflows. I did the 400 foot mall signage, we went through reduced but scaled sized PDF proofs, (which is a plugin opportunity for you). Unlike the Adobe concept designer who had to produce real manufacturer drawings after approval, inducing mistakes for me the CorelDRAW user once approved the job was finished. I simply clicked the sign and exported it to PDF.
astutegraphics said:Out of interest, I have been aware for years that one of CorelDRAW's USPs over Illustrator is its larger dimension work area. This, as I understand, has ensured the continued loyal following in the signmaking market.
astutegraphics said:However, I'm curious how many Corel users make use of the large area to design on?
It's certainly a "killer feature" of CorelDRAW for some users.
How big a potential market that fraction of CorelDRAW users comprises? I think that's a very good question.