I have been lurking on this site for several months. I have noted that there are a number of people already here whose first name is David, so excuse me while I add yet another one into the mix.
I also note that this site appears to be primarily for those who are video editors. I do not fall into that category, as I have been a print-based art director/graphic designer for my entire professional career (which currently spans a 39 year period). So, I'm not sure if I'm supposed to post here or not, but I figure that since the title of this site is supposed to be "creative communities of the world", then maybe they can make room for a print-based creative.
When I started out in the mid-70s, the industry was still producing ads manually via pasteups built on illustration board and made with technical pens, non-repro blue pencils, Rubylith overlays, rule tape, waxed galley sheets, T-squares and triangles. So, my career has bridged the period from that manual-based era to the current digital approach to graphic creation and production.
So far as the computing era is concerned, I started out using a Mac. The first one I had was a Mac SE with 3 -- count 'em -- 3 megs of RAM! I got that machine back around 1988 or 1989 if memory serves. And one of the first applications that I bought for use on that Mac was: Adobe Illustrator '88. So, my connection with Adobe goes back a long way.
I believe the first version of Photoshop that I bought was version 3. And I also bought multiple versions of individual Adobe software products leading up to the Creative Suite bundles. The most "recent" CS purchases were CS3, CS4, CS5, CS5.5 and CS6. I might also have gotten CS2, but I don't recall one way or the other.
As can be seen, I've been the sort of customer that Adobe presumably preferred to have….one who consistently purchased upgrades as they were released.
Having stated my background and bona fides, I now move to the part of this post that has to do with the question of the day…whither Creative Cloud: sub-only...or sub plus perpetual?
On the surface, the idea of Creative Cloud (as originally implemented) was an interesting idea. When it first came out, perpetual licenses were still the order of the day and CC was merely an option that one could take advantage of if one wished. But then Adobe suddenly decided to go all in with CC as sub-only….no perpetual option. It became their way or the highway.
Adobe has the right to run their business as they see fit, but that doesn't mean that everyone necessarily has to agree with it. There are pros and cons on both sides of the aisles so far as CC sub-only is concerned.
In my case, I think it's wonderful that some customers out there have found what they need or want in terms of the CC sub-only. It suits them perfectly. What I would ask those people to consider doing would be: extend that same consideration to those who do not find CC "sub-only" to be a perfect fit for them.
I have read all the comments about the possibility that Adobe will crank up prices once they have the overwhelming majority of their customers hooked on CC. I have also read where people are concerned about the current monthly pricing. I have also read the various other concerns that people have expressed concerning CC in its current form.
While I share some of those concerns, I think the overriding problem I have with it would be: if Adobe succeeds in getting all (or at least most) of its customers on their subscription bandwagon, then that means that a lot of other software companies will also be lusting after that same circumstance…that of having a predictable income stream on a monthly basis instead of having the sudden peaks and valleys that exist when their new versions are released.
Consider the scenario (and this is for illustration only) where ALL software companies end up switching over to the sub-only approach. Would you really want to have mass quantities of monthly bills coming from every Tom, Dick & Harry software company out there? Don't you have enough monthly bills as it is? I can tell you that if such a scenario were to actually become reality, then for me that would represent a shakeout of software companies so far as I would be concerned. I would end up being forced to choose a few software titles that I would consider critical, and then I would have to drop the rest. I suspect that I would not be alone in having to make some similar painful choices.
Besides the above scenario (which I really do NOT want to see happen), the other concern that I have is one that has been expressed in this forum many times already. No exit strategy. If I needed to stop paying monthly, I would still need to have full access to my existing files.
Given the possibility that Adobe may actually push forward with CC sub-only and not relent, I am actively considering options that will allow me to move away from an Adobe workflow. I hope that does not have to happen, but I am preparing in case it does.
For the record, if Adobe allowed for the option of a buyout at the end of a given time period where, once that amount was reached, you could have the option of staying with whatever version you have at that time, then I would have no problem with the CC approach. Similarly, if Adobe allowed for a setup where a maintenance fee were charged (for the sake of updates, as described in other posts in this area), I would have no problem with that either.
I also have no problem with Adobe eliminating boxed versions of their software and delivering it via download only.
But I cannot and will not accept sub-only and loss of access when payments stop.
I am not alone in this thinking, as a lot of other designers who I am in contact with have similar concerns, and a lot of them have no plans currently to move to CC. They will be staying with CS6 or earlier.
It very much pains me to see this happening to Adobe. In the past, I was one who sang the praises of that firm and recommended Adobe software to lots of colleagues. Now, I am sorry I did that. This is not the company that John Warnock represented.
So, there you have it. That's where I am situated so far as the CC question is concerned.
For those of you who think that CC sub-only is the best thing since sliced bread, then good on you! You've found what suits you best. Just don't think that the thing that suits YOU best therefore suits everyone best. It just ain't so. One size does NOT fit all. If Adobe were to relent and allow perpetual licensing via buy-outs after a certain period of payment (or perhaps based on the maintenance charge approach), then I would be one of the first to join….I think that CC is a great idea if Adobe allows choice. But the way it is now, it's a non-starter....for me.
- David Miller
Thank you for contributing your post. Glad to see a perspective from the print industry side of things. I think this forum is for the CC in general and does not encompass just one industry or another.
I echo the concerns you have as well, though I am on the post-production side of things. I have a strategy plan to implement when the time comes. I was on CS5 but have found other software that fits my needs. It may be superior in some ways but not others, just like that of any software. My point of view is fairly simple: Find what works and go with it until it no longer suits your needs.
I agree that subscription only is not in the best interest of everyone, including myself. I have never been a fan of the "one size fits all" approach, regardless of the product or service from any company. At one point I liked the idea of a package deal, not so sure anymore. I prefer the mix n match approach. To me, it opens up other opportunities that one might otherwise miss. Example: I prefer one application for editing, one for motion graphics and another for color grading, all from different companies.
One significant downside of a mix n match approach, however, is moving your work between applications from different companies for various reasons. There might be proprietary hardware involved that might not be compatible with the software you are using or some file formats are supported in one program but not another.
Those are my thoughts.
Thanks for your reply! I would have responded earlier but about an hour after I made my initial post my internet service went down and it is still not working (a tech is supposed to show up later today....nearly 24 hours later to try to fix whatever is wrong).
The reply I am making right now is via an internet connection available via free wi-fi at a car repair place that I'm at right now. Very annoying.
In any event, your comments are right on target. It will be a challenge to integrate new tools in such a way so that they will work seamlessly. But given Adobe's instransigence, that will apparently become necessary.
There is a POSSIBLE option that's looming on the horizon, though. I have posted about this on a couple of other forums so rather than having to re-type everything, I will just do a copy-and-paste of that other text. It follows immediately below:
As noted earlier, I have been actively looking for alternatives to the main applications in the Adobe Creative Suite. Since I have been primarily print-oriented, that meant replacements for InDesign, Photoshop and Illustrator.
I have discovered an English company called Serif that is in the process of developing a line of applications that are intended to replace that Adobe triumvirate. (NOTE: they are NOT planning, at this time, to delve into developing a video application offering. That doesn’t mean that they won’t in the future. I guess this would be one of those “stay tuned” situations.) They are only at the very beginning of their development, so it will be a bit of time before they have robust offerings for each of those 3 Adobe products. I am offering the following information so that, if any of you have need of replacements for the Adobe apps mentioned above, you can follow the development of these new applications and possibly utilize them in the future. Additionally, if you have other creative friends who are searching for alternatives then you can reference this information to them as well.
I have posted about this upcoming new line of products on a couple of other sites (to help spread the word of the new software that is coming), so I will let that text do the talking:
“Like many others, I too am looking for alternatives to Adobe’s offerings. Their decision to go subscription-only is not acceptable. I do not like the idea of having to pay forever and, if I stop payment for some reason or another, I am then left with nothing application-wise (i.e. the software won’t run any longer) and I also have no access to any files I’ve created that are still in Adobe’s proprietary file formats.
A new development has occurred from an English company called Serif which has the potential of making it a real player in the graphic design industry.
Serif has decided to develop a professional-level line of applications, and they are aiming that effort directly at the Macintosh platform. They did not want to have any possibility of confusion between their hobbyist-level offering on the Windows platform (DrawPlus, PhotoPlus, PagePlus) and their new pro-level offerings on the Mac platform, so they decided to name their new line under the umbrella name of “Affinity”.
They are intending to release 3 pro-level applications. One will be for vector drawing, one for photo raster editing, and one for page layout. They will be OS X native, and are not ports of their Windows products. The product names will be as follows:
Affinity Designer — vector drawing program to compete with Adobe Illustrator. Designer is due to be released as a Version 1 product this coming October 2014.
Affinity Photo — raster editing program to compete with Adobe Photoshop. Photo is due to be released late in 2014.
Affinity Publisher — page layout program to compete with Adobe InDesign. Publisher is expected to be released sometime in 2015.
Affinity Designer is now in Beta, and is currently being made available free to anyone who wants to test it out. You can go to their website at affinity.serif.com to download it.
Here are two other write-ups about the upcoming Serif releases:
http://www.expertreviews.co.uk/photo-editing/1400759/serif-explains-how-its... (this is the article that first clued me in on the existence of this new application development)
Keep in mind that they are starting from scratch with these programs, so their first offering, Designer, is very much a work in progress….it hasn’t even gotten to Version 1 yet. So, if you do decide to participate in their Beta testing, be aware that the program in its current form is lacking a lot of bells and whistles that might be expected from something like Illustrator. Never fear….these things will come in time I’m sure. You have to start somewhere, and so they are at the beginning of this great adventure. (Additional note: they are currently up to “Release Candidate 3”, so they are close to releasing an official “Version 1.0” of Affinity Designer. You can get the free beta here: https://affinity.serif.com It can take a little while for that page to load, so give it a few extra seconds.)
I am hopeful that they will be very successful in their efforts. Of all the Adobe products that I was worried about having to replace, Illustrator was the most bothersome. Hopefully Serif will be able to come through with their new Affinity line of products.
PS: No, I do not work for Serif or have any connection with them other than being someone who hopes that they succeed in keeping the option of perpetual software licensing alive and thriving.”
- David Miller
Not sure what platform you mainly work with but on the Mac side of things there are two additional options that are worth considering. Both are available in the App store.
First is Acorn, which I have yet to try. The interface looks almost identical to Photoshop from what I can see. It has received very good reviews. There is also Pixelmator but it has a destructive workflow.
The other option is called iDraw which some are moving over to as an alternative for Illustrator. I just recently purchased it and still learning it. So far the learning curve has not been very steep and the software seems stable so far.
I honestly hope that Adobe will offer some type of the old school license with a mandatory one your subscription billed either on a monthly or annual basis. This way you can have an exit strategy but have the benefits of getting some nice benefits along the way, during the subscription period.
The only platform I have really used is Macintosh. I did try Windows for a short time back in the day, but I never cared for it.
I had heard about Acorn. I have not had the chance to try it out yet. The reason I had not tried it was because, up until recently, I had been using Mac OS X 10.6.8 on my main production MacBook Pro and I originally was under the impression that it required either 10.8 or 10.9. Now it turns out that they also have an area on their site where you can download versions of Acorn for earlier versions of Mac OS X.
Anyway, I think I will give it a try and see what it's all about.
I also had heard of iDraw, but have not tried it yet either.
My main effort up till now regarding Adobe alternatives has been mainly limited to compiling a list of products that could be alternate options with an intention to begin trying them out, one by one, in the future.
With the news of the new Affinity line coming to the fore, I may end up concentrating on those products instead. Even so, I will still give each of the other possibilities a tryout and see what their relative strengths appear to be. It's always good to have a lot of tools in the toolbox.
While researching alternatives, I came across a number of options...many of which I'd never heard of before. One of those was something called Xara, which turned out to be a Windows-only option. I wrote them via email some months ago to ask if they had any plans to extend to the Mac platform. They replied saying that they would NOT be moving to the Mac. So, that left them out of the picture.
For a long time, Corel had its CorelDraw package on Windows. Back in the 90s, Corel decided to extend to the Mac and ported its CorelDraw suite to that platform. They arrived way too late, though, since virtually everyone on the Mac already had Illustrator, Photoshop, FreeHand and the like....so there wasn't a lot of need for CorelDraw at that time. So, a few years later, Corel withdrew from the Mac platform. They now have a golden opportunity to return to the Mac given Adobe's decision, but the jury is out whether they will do so or not.
The move by Serif, with their upcoming Affinity line, is the first I've heard (in a long time) of a new company writing a suite of major applications from scratch for the Mac platform. I wish them all the best and I hope they are very successful in their endeavor.
- David Miller
Have not heard of that company before but will be curious to see what direction they head in. Not sure when they came into business but I feel more comfortable dealing with established companies that been around at least a year. Anything less than six months I am just a bit reluctant about. Guess it is a comfort issue type of thing but then again just being a bit cautious.
Would like to hear what your experiences are with the software as I love to hear about other options out there, even the unknown variety. Hope this makes sense.
Well, the English company named Serif has been around for quite some time. Up till now, they've only made software for the Windows platform, so that's why I had never heard of them prior to now.
Here is what they have posted in their "Company Profile" area on their website:
Developer and publisher of powerful, and easy-to-use software.
Serif develops and publishes the award-winning software range that includes PagePlus®, PhotoPlus®, DrawPlus®, WebPlus®, MoviePlus®, CraftArtist® and more.
Founded in 1987 with the aim to develop low-cost alternatives to high-end publishing and graphics packages, Serif has been repeatedly praised for its powerful yet easy-to-use software which has put professional effects and demanding publishing tasks within the reach of ordinary PC users around the world.
Now the winner of over 200 awards internationally, with over 6.5 million customers worldwide, Serif has 190 employees at its head office, development and European sales centre in Nottingham, UK.
After 25 years of developing products exclusively for Windows, in 2014 Serif will release its first ever Mac product - Affinity Designer. This professional graphic design software is the first in a new range of creative applications developed by a dedicated research team at Serif. Totally re-imagined and engineered from the ground up, the Affinity range makes use of all the hardware and technology available on the Mac platform. The result will be the fastest, smoothest, most precise range of graphics products ever seen on the Mac.
Registered Offices: The Software Centre, 12 Wilford Ind Est, Nottingham, NG11 7EP Registered in England No 2117968 VAT Number: GB 779 8920 50
Their "Company Profile" page can be viewed at: http://www.serif.com/company/aboutus/
They will be sending out notice near the end of this week about when Version 1.0 of their vector program Affinity Designer will be available for purchase. They are testing their Release Candidate 3 of Designer right now. They will be selling Designer through the Mac App Store, and the cost will be $49.99.
Once Designer gets released as a commercial product, they will be continuing to add features to it and they will also begin their beta program for their raster product, Affinity Photo, near the end of this year. Their page layout program, Affinity Publisher, will be in beta sometime later in 2015.
- David Miller
Thank you for the information. Very interested to see what they have to offer.
David (and anyone else who may have interest):
I just received an email from Serif/Affinity. They have announced the launch date for their new vector program Affinity Designer!
Affinity Designer (AD) will be available for purchase from the Mac App Store on Thursday, October 2. So, presumably, AD will then be an official "Version 1.0" product.
As mentioned previously, once AD gets released for sale, Serif/Affinity will then begin the beta testing for the 2nd of their planned 3 products, Affinity Photo (raster editor). That should come around Christmas time in December. The 3rd product, Affinity Publisher (page layout), is apparently slated to go into beta in the 2nd half of 2015.
The email I received about the release of Affinity Designer on October 2 indicated that there would be a 20% discount at launch (from October 2 through October 9). I don't know if that 20% discount on price is for those who were part of beta testing, or if it's available to anyone who purchases it.
If everyone gets the 20% off, then the price will be £27.99 / $39.99.
If not, then the price will be £34.99 / $49.99.
Spread the word!
- David Miller
"New" David, my work involves some video, but mostly web development, graphics design, multi-platform publishing and some 3d work.
About two years ago I switched from Adobe software to alternatives. In search of a viable Photoshop alternative, I tested pretty much all of the alternatives: Corel, Xara, Acorn, Pixelmator, and many more.
I settled on Photoline for all my (professional) image editing needs, and Krita for digital painting. Photoline is rather extraordinary. It is available for both Mac and Windows, the net download is a paltry 20mb~30mb(!), yet it somehow offers most of Photoshop's functionality.
The main omissions are the 3d and video functionality, and the lack of a comparably powerful refine edge function. That last one I replaced with Topaz Remask (Photoline is compatible with classic Photoshop plugins). Unfortunately, Photoline also lacks a scripting API at the moment.
I found Photoline surprisingly powerful as an general purpose image editor. As a matter of fact, the layer system surpasses Photoshop's layers in several key areas: an unlimited number of layers, unlimited dimensions (limited by memory only), an unlimited number of bitmap and vector based layer masks per layer(!), virtual clones of layers (that unlike smart objects update in realtime when the source layer is edited), external file layers, layer opacity that can be set from -200(!) up to +200(!), non-destructive layer transformation by default (no silly smart objects are required), adjustment layers that can be grouped in a kind of super adjustment layer (cleaning up the layer stack considerably)...
Gradients can be adjusted in the view in realtime, and are non-destructive for both bitmap and vector layers! This also includes layer masks!
And every layer can be set to its own custom image mode (RGB, CMYK, Lab, Greyscale, monochrome) without the need to change file image mode!!! And full 8/16/32 bit per channel support. Each layer can also be set to its own resolution.
Even 32bit multi-layered EXR files are supported for both import and export.
What I also love is the option to adjust curves in RGB, Lav, HIS, and HSV colour modes WITHOUT the need to convert to a different image mode. Just apply the curve adjustment layer, and change the colour mode in the curve dialog!!!
Aside from these features, it supports:
- full adjustment layers for both colour adjustments and filters (again without the need for smart objects)
- advanced colour blending like Photoshop (blend if: with HIS support! An improvement over PS!)
- layer effects, with additional options compared to Photoshop.
- the most useful color adjustment layers and layer effects are maintained when loading up a psd!
- full non-destructive RAW editing (although you may want to also run the open source RAWTherapee as a Lightroom alternative on the side.
- full REAL vector support. Vector layers ARE truly vector, and will export like vector in a pdf, for example. All adjustment layers and effects can be applied to vector layers as well. There is also a pixel mode for vectors, and pixel snapping. Anti-aliasing can be controlled on a per layer basis. Pixel snapping is available as a document setting or again per layer.
- multi page document support!
Another great feature is the app link: with this you can send layers or files to third-party applications for round-trip editing. It is somewhat comparable to, for example, Illustrator smart objects in Photoshop. For example, I can send a vector layer to InkScape for more refined editing through SVG as an intermediate format, and then the file gets updated in realtime in Photoshop after I save the changes. Or I can send a bitmap layer to GIMP or another bitmap effect generator, apply, save, and again it is updated automatically in Photoline.
You can even load up the 32bit version of Photoline to apply (older) 32bit photoshop plugin effects, and return the result to the 64bit version!
There are some things not as elegantly implemented compared to Photoshop. Other things are an improvement over Photoshop, while some things are more awkward. I am hoping for better guides control.
But all in all: I have been extremely happy with Photoline. I have not had to fire up Photoshop for my image editing needs in the last year, except for the odd PSD conversion. Which is a testament to Photoline's image editing capabilities. And the devs are very open to suggestions.
Check it out for yourself: http://www.pl32.com.
The GUI can be set to a dark interface with greyscale icons at three sizes, btw. The default GUI setting looks a bit campy, I have to admit.
(Yes, the website is horrific, but give the app a fair chance!)
Here is a screenshot of mine:
System: Win7 64bit - i7 firstname.lastname@example.orgGhz, p6t Deluxe v1, 48gb (6x8gb RipjawsX), ATI 7970 3gb, EVGA 590 3GB, Revodrive X2 240gb, e-mu 1820. Screens: 2 x Samsung s27a850ds 2560x1440, HP 1920x1200 in portrait mode
Thanks very much for the extensive information regarding PhotoLine! I had run across that name in the past, but have not yet had the chance to give it a good tryout. With all of that info you've provided, it sounds like it really is a good option as a Photoshop alternative. I will have to give it a look.
That feature regarding non-destructive layers sounds especially interesting. It would be wonderful to be able to apply various effects to layers without having the original image degraded each time something gets applied to it.
Thanks again for the info!
- David Miller
Thanks for the information. Photoline looks promising but have heard there is a learning curve. I do have Pixelmator, a nice little program despite the destructive workflow.
There is a learning curve - but not as bad as you would think. For seasoned Photoshop users the transition is relatively shallow, although some of the terminology in Photoline can be frustrating initially.
For example, a selection is called a 'lasso'. Levels are "Histogram". A mask and a lasso are two different things in Photoline.
Then again, put any beginner behind Photoshop and they will feel lost too. Photoline is an advanced image editor in the end.
System: Win7 64bit - i7 email@example.comGhz, p6t Deluxe v1, 48gb (6x8gb RipjawsX), ATI 7970 3gb, EVGA 590 3GB, Revodrive X2 240gb, e-mu 1820. Screens: 2 x Samsung s27a850ds 2560x1440, HP 1920x1200 in portrait mode
[David Miller] "that is in the process of developing a line of applications that are intended to replace that Adobe triumvirate. "
well thank baby Jesus for that. Fine its print and still but who really cares? the point about the CC Hindenburg rising into the air is that all applications under forced subscription - my own included, are under the same monopoly distortion field.
if any serious chunk of it were to perceptibly weaken then all of it might actually go. The shareholders have already accepted the strategic death of adobe on the web as a key software vendor. If print were to weaken, if photoshop were ever to be seen to weaken -
then they'd be back to having to make real customers for vendor products as opposed to herding us all into a smelly subscription cellar with one shakey lightbulb.
Adobe are only likely to get more Roman without even the vague threat of an entrant designed specifically to disrupt them.
(this is going to be a really long disclaimer: so all that said Premiere CC 2014 for sizzle reels is a joke. The type controls - and they will hit that again - the animation controls, the speedgrade looks, the realtime performance with h264 grabbed online materials for internal reels stacked with alpha channels and transfer modes and blurs, curves, 2K compositor toolkit smoke - all running in realtime at 1080P on a 2012 mbp beggars the mind.
I would kill to have the latest at this moment with bezier masks and feathering for dodge and burning of video to protect onscreen typography.
that said the AE link works surreally well. I actually had no idea how well that worked. the only issue I would have is that it locks you into the original clip, when you might need to slip and slide - but now it doesn't - in your head - given how quick it can reset back to footage: with the next madhouse release.
the unavoidable fact is that the current execution of premiere is driven by a need to validate CC and for my money, literally my money, it's a sheer monster.
I wouldn't know how to judge it for a drama, and I've only done exactly one broadcast-ish golf documentary and a fifteen minute BDA piece - but if you're serious about synthesising music, editing, image shaping and typography elements for trailer duration pieces everything else is a joke.)
that's the disclaimer.
everyone, and I mean everyone has to give it to adobe, and Mooney, for this total and utter madhouse run. leaving aside adobe anywhere - that can apparently function transparently JKL on a 25mb connection.
For those who enjoy software baseball, the form and manner that premiere pro took under Al Mooney and the pressure of CC is an everliving sight to behold. I've been working it for a client off my own kit, day in day out for a week now.
I honestly haven't been so mind boggled by riches since photoshop went from 2.5 to 4.0 through college.
http://vimeo.com/user1590967/videos http://www.ogallchoir.net promo producer/editor.grading/motion graphics
Thanks for your reply!
Funny you should make mention of the Hindenburg in your post....we all know what happened to that! It went up in smoke! Perhaps a harbinger for CC? "Oh, the humanity!"
While I realize that you fought the good fight for some time on this forum, you ended up succumbing to the dark side of the Force due to a circumstance that you already described. That is unfortunate since, by joining CC, you ended up becoming yet another brick in Adobe's wall. :(
Good luck with that.
- David Miller