March 30, 2024

Canva's pledge to Affinity


After the news was published that Canva had acquired the Affinity programs from Serif, Affinity's forum exploded and most reactions were not particularly positive. The main reason resulted from the fact that Canva is a subscription based web based tool, while the programs from the Affinity suite require a one time payment for each major version upgrade. The users' concern was justified, since by far the most had turned to Affinity after fleeing in droves from the absurdly expensive and monthly recurring fee Adobe suite. Switching platform is very time consuming and not a leisurely stroll in the park, since the file formats are proprietary for all brands, which means that either files need to be converted to the file format of the refuge application and start a new library from scratch, which will not make customers  and designers happy and therefore reduces income. Particularly modifying and updating legacy files that can not be imported into the involuntary chosen application is a horror scenario for graphic designers.

To ease the minds of the Affinity community and prevent coronary accidents, Canva issued a statement shortly after they published the new that Affinity was acquired. It contained four pledges that can be read in the image below and in the accompanying article published by Canva that you can read here. This allowed most Affinity users to decouple from the oxygen pump and helpers discontinue CPR. In theory the pledges contain a hundred percent positive message, that would put Affinity users' minds to rest and offers Serif to accelerate the programs' development, while operating in a larger chunk of the graphic design market segment. We will have to see what the lifespan of these pledges is. For now Canva should get the benefit of the doubt. It has the potential of preventing a massive parade to the exit of users of the Affinity suite as well.

Canva's pledges to Affinity

Past acquisitions for the majority haven't went well for users of the programs that were built by the company that was overtaken. But there is not a lot that users can do about it. Besides a switch that I mentioned in the previous blog post to the superb, one time payment VectorStyler drawing program, there also is the open source Inkscape that in theory has a great potential where the functional usefulness is concerned, but its UI is by far not as intuitive as Affinity's user friendly interface. VectorStyler does a better job at that, considering that the program has so many tools and functions that it even dwarfs Adobe Illustrator in the versatiliy and completeness department. But after users have become familiar with them, working with VectorStyler opens up new worlds. It however has no photo editor and desktop publishing program, which Affinity has turned into a very proficiently integrated suite of programs, that is unique in software.

VectorStyler logo

So, there is nothing else left for the Affinity community to wait what the future brings. It also is possible to continue to work with the latest version after Affinity would have turned to the subscription rip off model, should Canva dump the pledges in the bin at one point. Pixel pushers could look for possibilities to learn open source GIMP as a photo editor. What VectorStyler has done is prove that the instant of software rot still is quite a distance away. Software rot being the moment in which no further improvement to a program can be made, because it already contains all possible tools and functions imaginable. Unfortunately a desktop publishing program of the level of Affinity Publisher is one developed by Adobe and called InDesign, that is a budget unfriendly, perpetual payment rip off.

Inkscape logo

The question is, can or do graphic designers want to live with the restrictions imposed on them, accepting the fact that they will have to use programs of different brands that aren't designed to flawlessly work together or not? Globalism is a devious corporate / government / UN game in which the losers are known from the beginning as well as the winners. This doesn't exclusively apply to graphic designers; it is why the trillion dollar censorship is coerced on everyone that does not have at least a seven digit bankaccount. Any person with more than two properly functioning brain cells should be tempted to see such an iniquitous development in a broader perspective, because there is more at stake than initially meets the eye.

GIMP logo

Today the globalists' aim to separate the haves from the havenots in an illegal and unfeeling way. They have made it a societal problem that will not spontaneously go away, unless people wake up and stand for their rights, which aren't the corrupt laws that the crooked politicians and evil juridical clowns have imposed. Justice is real truth and nothing else what those without a covert, genocidal plan intuitively feel. Waking up lies poured out on us is the only way out of this callous global misery. 

Thanks for visiting and wishing you an independent future.

March 27, 2024

Canva acquires the Affinity suite programs


The announcement of Canva acquiring the programs of the Affinity suite, came as a thunder strike in a clear sky. Although the CEO of the Serif company, that owns the Affinity suit of programs, tried to make it seem like nothing will change for its community of users, the acquisition caused quite a stir among Affinity crowd. By the way, this topic has recently been closed for comments on the Affinity forum, most likely because by far the most posts, did not cheer the acquisition. The concerns Affinity users put forward make a lot of sense, the most important of which is the fact that the Affinity programs are sold for a one time fee, as opposed to the Canva and Adobe products that require payments according to the subscription model, which means users pay an indefinite amount of money as long as they use the programs, which smells like a daylight robbery.

Surprise acquisition of Affinity by Canva

Most Affinity users abandoned Adobe, because they did not want to continue to pay for the programs by a subscription model fee. In addition the functionality of the online design system of Canva is nowhere near of what can be done with the Affinity suite programs. In addition to this relative shortcoming, Canva bugs the hell out of its users with a barrage of ads, that the locally installed Affinity programs do not. These things give the Affinity community enough to worry about, which they of course do, because they remember how acquisitions that took place in the past turned out, in spite of the promises of the CEO's of the acquired company that nothing will change in the manufacturer - user relation.

Canva needed code like Serif bult, because the latter has developed software that far succeeds the functionality of the former while Canva has the financial power to acquire Serif. It is a repeating story in the world of software, that always evolves along the same lines. The acquired partner always has to cave in and abandon its user friendly policies because those policies are changed towards the nature of those of the acquiring partner. It is of little use to deny such a prospect, because it is the tried and tested way from a business point of view, that outranks all other considerations and policies and therefore makes it predictable what the future developments hold, with regard to user obligations.

Some annoyed users stated that they will return to Adobe, what will cost them an arm and a leg, while it was the reason they abandoned Adobe and switched to Affinity in the first place. So, that doesn't really make a lot of sense in my opinion. Fortunately there still is one appealing alternative available, which is switching to the brilliant VectorStyler, which is built, offered and updated by just one single person (....) a.k.a. programming wizard, named Csaba Raduly-Baka who resides in Finland, who seems to have resisted the temptation of big players in the graphic design market segment to hire him to make use of his outer worldly programming skills. VectorStyler is a graphic design program that is packed with a ton of functions that none of its competitors include and its programmer has a close relationship with the users of the program, that leads to meaningful upgrades that make the program even more usable than it already was.

So, lets see how much time it requires for Serif to succumb to the demands of Canva and in the meanwhile go check out the prowess of the superb vector design VectorStyler program, that also is available for a one time payment instead of the perpetual subscription based extortion method. I promise it will be worthwhile for graphic designers, who are fed up with the corporate greed of the big players in the graphic design market segment. You will be pleasantly surprised by the plethora of very usable functions that VectorStyler offers its users! It is the most estimable refuge for graphic designers that have much talent, but limited funds in trying to survive in the aim of companies to gain limitless corporate dictatorship.

I for one will focus on working with VectorStyler and Plasticity 3D that so far have displayed a fair policy towards their users, while maintaining a rapid upgrade frequency. It has become a challenge to continue to work for graphic artists in a corporation ruled environment, but fortunately there are at least some companies left that value decency and skill on their journey through space and time.

March 5, 2024

Vector painting of a jaguar


This is a vector portrait of a crouching jaguar, created in VectorStyler and Affinity Designer. At this time - March 2024 - it still is a work in progress. VectorStyler I used to create the majority of the spots, using the Spikes shapes effect, which shapes the outline of an object into a spiky line, that can be controlled. In Affinity Designer I did the composition and tweaking. Vector objects can be copied and pasted between the two programs, which is a time saver, since Vector Styler has a ton of tools that are not incorporated in the programs of the competition.

Everything mentioned above was drawn with the mouse. The final touches - the hair strands - will have to be drawn and I plan to do it with my old Huion 620 Pro drawing tablet (in vectors too), because I intend to keep this image a 100% vector drawing. The oldest stage is at the bottom, the newest on top. Click on an image to see a larger version of it in Google's Lightbox. In there you can also scroll through the stages on a PC. I used a ton of tricks to create the desired effect. In a multi layer drawing as this one, that contains a large amount of objects, it is best to use the Spit Screen View in Affinity Designer to select and / or reshape objects to save a huge amount of time. This paragraph also is in the bottom section of this blog entry. Most objects are given gradient fills, transparency, layer effects and Gaussian blurs to avoid the proverbial had edges typical for vector drawing programs. This makes images drawn in such a way appear to be very unrealistic.

Please check in every now and then to see the progress of this drawing.

Vector outline

The vector outline view shows the contours of objects and strokes - what actually is drawn - without fills and effects applied. Below this paragraph is the vector outline view from the stage before adding the fur structure that would dominantly hide parts of other objects, since it literally shows a plethora of objects. At this stage the outline view without the many strokes of hair still gives a rough idea how the drawing was set up. It also presents an idea of how many objects (called Layers in Affinity Designer) were drawn to achieve the desired result, bearing in mind that many objects are stacked on top of each other (most with a different effect or blend), which does not show in the outline view. Drawing the jaguar in vector instead of pixels, allows to resize the image to any scale without loss of quality.

Multiple object / layer selection in Split Screen View

When a drawing contains hundreds or thousands of objects / layers, selecting a particular one is difficult. The only effective solution to this problem is to work with a Split Screen View in Affinity Designer, which makes selecting less cumbersome, especially when the drawing contains many nested (objects within objects to various levels) layers. The image below shows what this looks like.

Jaguar in a virtual 3D frame

I often place my vector 2D images in a virtual 3D frame to see what it would look like, using the Plasticity 3D program to draw the frame, to see if the placement of the composition is off, before having it giclée printed, which is a special fine art way of printing with a high resolution (up to 6800 dpi and a 100 year of quality preservation). If cropping and / or alignment isn't done meticulously, any artwork can be ruined or subconsciously look strange. The image below shows the as of now not yet final stage of March 12 2024.

The vector painting
in a virtual 3D frame