Wish list: long dull art software post.

Apparently V 1.5 of my favourite photo editing package (Pixelmator if you needed to ask) is out in a few short weeks time and it, and a small slanging match online, made me think of things I would like to see in the update: layer styles, brush palette coverflow and folders, layer groups, text rotation and manipulation in vector, nested palettes, mask to layer transform, wave filter, filter on filter deformation, CMYK and so on.

Which is actually a long list. Ironically 1.5 seems to be about web graphic manipulation so my little list isn’t likely to be looked at I would have thought, but hey, I am unusual. (The small slanging match was to do with a sadness I expressed that every review of Pixelmator dwells and overdwells on what’s missing, not what’s there. Despite this list – and this is a little like life, kids, there’s loads that Pixelmator does amazingly well and that’s what I judge it by not what it’s yet to be. That was described as irritating complaining but hey ho).

Ahem. /sermon.

Anyhow, the other thing it made me think about was that two of my other favourite art packages are coming towards a refresh also and, in one case, a major update apparently: Blender hits 1.5 (doh! well spotted – 2.5 indeed) and Expression Design hits V3. Blender, we’re told, will have a completely upgraded user interface (which, I hate to say it, is long overdue. It’s intelligent but a little overwhelming and offputting) and Microsoft’s Expression Design…

Hmmm…. Well, we’ll see. ED2 (and 1 as well) are, in ways, a step back from the prior versions of the software (which reached their peak in Expresion 3.3 which is still available as a free download from Microsoft if you’re interested in a try out). I’d love to see ED become the de facto vector tool of choice for designers but there are a good few niggles and that’s a shame. I love it to pieces though, but there’s a fair few things that were taken out for no discernible reason (fill fringes? Effect lines? Fill softening? Variable stroke width?) and a good few things that I’d love to see in there: stroke mixing and blurring, layer transitions (by which I mean strokes moving from one layer into another giving the user a pseudo 3d effect, layer shadows with perspective depth and a better way to look at fill colours, vectors and bitmaps. And also, while we’re on the subject, a flipping Mac version.

Did read a review of Painter 11 which I’d love to play with and Photoshop CS4 needs to have more of a playthrough when I have the time. Good times for art software 🙂 It’s turning into a heck of a year for AAA art software 🙂

Just wish I had more time to play with the software and create more doodles 😉

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