Stilll looking for a OSX Vector app...

Discussion in 'Design and Graphics' started by eejits, Feb 25, 2014.

  1. eejits macrumors member

    Jul 12, 2013
    Hi there,

    Since migrating to the Mac, I have been looking for a suitable replacement for Paint Shop Pro. I create my cartoon creatures usinf both vector lines & shapes and raster layers for colouring/shading/highlighting. Paint Shop Pro has served me well all this time, but one feature that always bugged me was I couldn't have a variable thickness on my vector lines using the pen tool (so they could nicley taper out at the ends). The options for adjusting the width of the line altered the whole line or nothing at all....

    Since I've been looking for a new Mac app to replace PSP, I've put this feature at the top of my list. Is there an app out there that will do this or is Illustrator (and going all vector) my only viable option?

    Thanks in advance,

  2. funwithdesign macrumors regular

    Dec 9, 2011
    I personally wouldn't consider anything but Illustrator but that's mainly because I've been using it for so long.
  3. Supermacguy macrumors 6502

    Jan 3, 2008
    Illustrator is your tool then. It does have variable line weights in CS5 and up. It can work with raster image objects in a document, to a reasonable degree. There are alternatives in the App Store, but none are quite as polished or capable yet.
  4. firedept macrumors 603


    Jul 8, 2011
    Inkscape will do that. I do not personally use it, but do know someone who does use it and they have confirmed for me that what you are asking for can be done. I use Illustrator. Personally I would go with Illustrator. Then you have all the tools at hand.

    If you do not want to pay subscription prices, try to find a CS5 or newer copy around.
  5. Flood123 macrumors 6502a


    Mar 28, 2009
    Living Stateside
    I would have to agree with everyone in here. Illustrator is the way to go.
  6. steve123 macrumors 6502

    Aug 26, 2007
    iDraw hasn't been updated in quite some time :-(

    I had hope for this software but it appears to be going no where fast.

    Also needs to add the capability to open and save illustrator files natively.
  7. CrickettGrrrl, Feb 27, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2014

    CrickettGrrrl macrumors 6502a


    Feb 10, 2012
    B'more or Less
    Indeeo just released a huge update for the iPad version to bring it in line with OS X features and they're currently working on updates for OS X which was last updated August 2013. The devs are quite responsive to user questions and suggestions on iDraw's Facebook Page.

    I just tested opening an Ai file in iDraw, layers present, looks good. True, iDraw won't export in Ai format, but yes in SVG & PDF.

    I'm still learning Illustrator and it's amazing, but to be fair, it's a Hairy Beast that's been around a lot longer than the other programs which are being discussed. :)

    OP: Clip Studio Paint (free trial), original brand of Manga Studio 5. You can use a brush on a raster layer and on vector layers within the same file, the brush stroke widths on the vector layers are adjustable afterward with Beziers. Powerful with a steep learning curve (for me anyway, I think it must be easier for Windows users). Similar to Paint.

    Check out Mischief, it's a vector painting program. Very simple controls at the moment. Infinitely zoomable. A very different way of illustrating with vectors without handles & points. Need to tweak an outline stroke? Paint it or erase it. The devs are working on getting Mischief in the Mac App Store at the moment.

    Earlier this week I opened several PSD files, lots of layers, Pen tool work, layer styles & adjustments, etc. in GIMP, MS5, iDraw, & Pixelmator. GIMP was the most disappointing in distorting colors or having whole layers missing. iDraw was pretty good actually but you couldn't readjust layers, granted it's not a pixel program. Manga Studio 5 and Pixelmator were surprisingly good and allowed for further adjustments. I've also been doing the same with Ai files in various software.

    I'm just saying that there have been huge improvements all around with these various programs in the past year or so and it's only going to get better. The devs are pretty smart and realize the huge discontent out here/there with Adobe is an opportunity.
  8. steve123 macrumors 6502

    Aug 26, 2007

    I hear you and agree there have been big improvements and Pixelmator has been doing some really great things. I find I still do not use it much however. I have PS 5, PS 5.5, PSE 6 and Pixelmator 3.1 and I find I use PSE 6 most.

    The reason I made the decision to pay for iDraw was because I felt I wanted to support the project and not because the software was a particularly good replacement for AI. Voted with my wallet. My opinion at the time, and still remains, is iDraw is our best hope for something that could replace AI.

    Both the Indeeo team and the Pixelmator team need to be congratulated. We also need to ask them to understand that file formats are important to usability. Many of us have Illustrator, Photoshop, SVG and other file formats that we use on a daily basis. We require an application that will not just import, but write the native file format as well. It is too disruptive to workflow and version control to import and export files.

    Indeeo and Pixelmator are not the only ones that suffer from this. Notably Apple needs to add native file writing to Pages, Numbers and Keynote for the same reasons.

    I understand this is asking a lot. The silver lining is once this happens, then for simple jobs it becomes easy to slip the tool into the workflow and use it, even if it has a reduced feature set. The more we use it the faster we get at using the UI and can work around the feature limitations and therefore the less need to revert back to Adobe et al.

    I purchased both Pixelmator and iDraw to support the projects. I hope one day I will actually be able to productively integrate and use the software in my workflow.

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