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CD 4 first impressions

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  • #16
    Originally posted by rwallx View Post

    Thanks for your reply, mdawson69. I've used Canvas since it began life as a desk accessory in the late 1980s and I've written software to support plotting of geological symbols in canvas, but I'm not a pro graphic artist by any means.

    The fact that SpriteEffects work a particular way doesn't mean that it isn't clunky! ACD should at least allow us to set the resolution of the shadow in the new dynamic shadows dialog box though as I wrote before, nobody wants 72 dpi shadows so why not hardwire a resolution that won't automatically frustrate the user (especially inexperienced ones and some experienced ones, too)? I understand how SpriteEffects work and they were brilliant back when first introduce in Canvas a decade or two ago. While they retain considerable power, other graphics programs have found more intuitive ways to implement similar effects.

    As to transparency, iWork apps and others allow one to vary the transparency of the shadow (why can, in addition be varied by the transparency of the object itself). This, arguably, provides for more interesting and realistic shadows where some level of detail beneath the shadow can be seen through the shadows. Real shadows are seldom 100% opaque.

    None of this argues against your final point in favor of PS plug-in support. I can well imagine that this would be useful.

    The graphic designer in me understands your position, rwallx, but the engineer/analyst in me understands why the Canvas Draw development team has the features working the way they do. I have Canvas X 2017 on my work computer and found that the latest Windows version also has dynamic shadows. The feature has the same settings and functions exactly the same as it does in Canvas Draw 4.

    The only difference that I saw was that the shadow that I added defaulted to 144 ppi. My guess is that Canvas X 2017 remembered the last resolution that I used for SpriteEffects. I changed the resolution to 288 ppi, created a new object and then applied a SpriteEffect. The new object defaulted to 288 ppi. So at least in Canvas X 2017, SpriteEffects default to the last resolution used. I will have to see if Canvas Draw does the same when I get home; hopefully I will remember to check.

    As to the selection of 72 ppi as the default that is not so much clunky as a holdover in the graphics design world from the time when computers had much less resolution. The default document resolution for Canvas has been 72 ppi since version 1.0, as that was the document resolution for all applications on the original Macintosh. Once Canvas went cross-platform a preference was added to allow the user to switch between the Mac standard (72 ppi) or the Windows standard (96 ppi). The document resolution impacts the default resolution of all paint (bitmap) objects in Canvas.

    For whatever reason, Canvas Draw does not have Document Resolution settings in its Display Options preferences, so it seems to be fixed at 72 ppi. If Canvas Draw retains the resolution from the previous SpriteEffects setting for new objects then this is less of an issue, but in the age of ultra high resolution displays and computers with gigabytes of RAM, I can definitely agree that the user should have much more flexibility with setting the document resolution.

    As to your other complaints, again, it would require a fundamental change in how SpriteEffects work and that is problematic on numerous levels. While Canvas Draw was build from the ground up for the Mac, Canvas is still a very old graphics application. For that reason, comparing how Canvas handles certain features to newer products such as Pages, Numbers, and Keynote leads to false equivalences, as the latter products do not have a almost 30 year old legacy to retain.

    ACD had a choice when they decided to begin development on Canvas Draw. They could either build a very Mac-like product that looks and functions nothing like the legacy Canvas application that now runs exclusively in Windows or they could just update Canvas for the Mac with a new OS X/macOS code base.

    In the first case, we would get exactly what you are demanding: a more Mac-like application with a modernized user interface, new ways of handling features, etc. The problem with that is that doing so would break compatibility. I seriously doubt that long-time Canvas users would be happy with a product that cannot open their legacy Canvas files—I can remember years of complaints about the inability to properly open Canvas 3.5 files on the old Deneba boards—or that was so different that they would have little to no file exchange with the Windows version.

    If you look at any cross-platform application, the Mac version tends to be more of a port of the Windows version. The classic example, Microsoft Office for Mac, does not have look and feel of Mac-specific applications such as Pages, Numbers, OmniGraffle, etc. Conversely, those applications that have that distinct macOS look and feel tend to be Mac-only products. Thus, ACD took the second route. It is a tradeoff, but it is a tradeoff that does not leave long time Canvas users in legacy file limbo.

    UPDATE: Just checked on Canvas Draw and it does not behave the same as Canvas X 2017 with regard to resolution. I created an object, applied a dynamic shadow, and then set the resolution to 144 ppi. I then created a new object and the shadow still defaulted to 72 ppi.
    Last edited by mdawson69; 07-12-2017, 03:03 PM.


    • #17

      The default resolution value can be set for the spriteEffect. To do that. please deselect all objects first. Then you can open the SpriteEffects palette and type a value to the Resolution edit box. That value will be used for new object.

      For example, if you type 144 dpi, then the resolution will be used for next object.

      Hope this helps.

      Customer Care Team


      • #18
        I followed James' instructions, closed Canvas Draw, reopened and the new resolution was retained.



        • #19
          After these many weeks of using Canvas Draw 4, I'm finding it far more stable and functional, this is the one that's ready for prime time. I know there are operations that are still missing, but judging by the added features in this version, I believe it will all come in time. Thank you James, and Albert for all your support.


          • #20
            I agree with kohanmike, CD4 is just about ready for prime time. There remain a few bugs that hopefully will be stomped out in .01 updates. The biggest problem I have is that I can't print directly from CD4 but have to first save as a pdf. Anyone else having printing problems?


            • #21
              Yup, I have. Still unusable with commercial printers the way I'm used to, which is why for layout I'm using Viva Designer. Because it does have bleed, cropmarks, seperate plate options and whatnot that used to be in the old Canvas X's Print Preview. But that's alright I suppose as nobody else seems to care. Not using Canvas Draw for content anymore either, still no EPS export you see. Why do I still pay for it, you might ask? Good question, nostalgia is the only reason I can come up with. Oh well.


              • #22
                I print with CD4 all the time, to a Brother HL-5450DN, a Canon Pro-100 and Canon i80 using a MacBook Pro 2011 17", 2.2 GHz Intel Core i7, 16 GB RAM, internal 2 TB SSD. Over the years of commercial printing, when the house I used would not move to using PDF, I found one that did, makes life quite a bit easier.


                • #23
                  Originally posted by James W- View Post
                  The default resolution value can be set for the spriteEffect. To do that. please deselect all objects first. Then you can open the SpriteEffects palette and type a value to the Resolution edit box. That value will be used for new object. For example, if you type 144 dpi, then the resolution will be used for next object.
                  I just used Dynamic Shadow again and it's great, what a wonderfully useful and convenient feature.

                  Click image for larger version

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                  Last edited by kohanmike; 08-09-2017, 01:54 PM.


                  • #24
                    Adding my appreciation of the fixes and additions (something old, something new, etc). I am majorly happy with v4, and so far no crashes or odd behavior. I have a few things to explore - the list of fixes is long, but not complete (ends "and more"!). New features will also need exploring. Just wow! Thanks ACD and the folk on this forum (like Albert) for being responsive. Canvas is awesome again.


                    • #25
                      Here's a little bug. Canvas running but no document open. I switch from another App to Canvas and the "New Document" dialog shows automatically. The File->Open Recent menu correctly lists recent documents, but I can't select any of them. I have to first cancel the "New Document" dialog before I can select one of the recent documents to open.
                      However, if I quit Canvas and re-run it, I get a "New Document" dialog that looks a little different (more buttons along the bottom, but no "Cancel" button). In this case, the File->Open Recent menu allows me to select and open a recent document. When I close the document, switch out and back in to Canvas, then the situation is as above - the File->Open Recent menu lists the files but I can't select any of them.


                      • #26
                        Hello, in my opinion I think the bug is in the fact that you can select an item from the top level menu while the New Document Dialog is opened. It should be consistent across the board in both cases, you should not be able to select a recent file from the File menu if the New Document dialog is up. Both New Document dialogs will show a Recent Files tab which should show thumbnails for all previously opened files and let you open them from here. Let me know what you think?


                        • #27
                          One more thing which you may know already. When switching between apps, if you use command+tab to switch to Canvas the New Document dialog will not be called to open. If you switch by clicking the Canvas icon on the Dock, then we get a message to open the dialog. Just thought I would pass that along.