Week 3 – Personal Discovery

Hour 1 – Vector Graphics

I have been looking for a decent alternative to Adobe Illustrator as it is currently priced at only $599, and even the student additions are about a hundred less.  Wow what a deal…

I found a decent free ware site called UberDownloads and they list a product called Inkscape.

Inkscape is an open-source vector graphics editor similar to Adobe Illustrator, Corel Draw, Freehand, or Xara X. What sets Inkscape apart is its use of Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG), an open XML-based W3C standard, as the native format.

The nice thing about vector graphics as opposed to raster graphics is that resizing is not a problem as the actual shapes and angles are plotted rather than a grid of colored pixels.  At this point Opera and Firefox can view vector images without an add-ons, while IE (as always) laggs behind, requiring a viewer which is offered by Adobe.

I’m not currently working on my home system so I will have to wait until next week to give a more thorough review of the program.  The have a very detailed FAQ with Use, Troubleshooting, Developement etc. sections.  The site also has a nice set of Tutorials that I’m looking forward to working through.

Some of the other vector graphics applications that could be used instead of Illustrator are:

  • Xtreme 4.0 from Xara (Trial version available).
  • Drawplus from FreeSerifSoftware (full version only $9.99)
  • Ipe (Didn’t look to closely as they have a very low tech site)
  • Skencil is interesting in that it is mostly written in Python (Linux, Unix only)

Hour 2 – Web Based Tools (Aviary)

Now here is a really noval idea.  I talked a little about Ajax Animator in my Week 2 post, but these guys take it to a whole new level.  They are creating an entire online design/development suite.  The whole thing is built on the Adobe Flex platform which is open source (but not freeware).

The Raven vector editor tool seems pretty amazing from the display video.  I don’t have alot of expierence with vector graphics but it seems like a full featured application, and it’s mind blowing to think that this is all web based.

So I watched a few videos showing the creation of content using the tools and I’m really freaking impressed with Peacock (Visual Labratory).  I also watched Lesson 1 which details setting up an account and the basic user interface for the account.  Oh… and I setup an account.  The T&C are quite a mouth full, but the important thing is that you retain ownership of any work that you create with their tools.  What would be the point if that wasn’t the case?  And going into…

Hour 3 – More on Aviary

So for the last hour I went through some of the basic tutorials for Phoenix which is the image editor.  Not really that much different from Photoshop as far as the basic selection, layer and transform options are concerned.

Looking forward to playing with this site some more…

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *