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CorelDRAW 2018 - Thoughts?

Discussion in 'Corel' started by Bobby H, Apr 11, 2018.

  1. Bobby H

    Bobby H Very Active Member

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    The problem is these programs don't all have feature parity. Some are practically apples to oranges comparisons. And they're all very different in their abilities to import/export artwork in other formats accurately. If someone is only doing very basic vinyl cutting chores then, yeah, he can spend as little as $200 on Vinyl Express LXi Apprentice and save nearly $500 versus buying a full version of CorelDRAW and CoCut Starter. The situation depends on one's needs.

    We have a fairly big shop with a little over 20 employees. We can't get by with something like CorelDRAW running a vinyl cutter plug-in. So we have multiple licenses of Flexi, Adobe Creative Cloud, CorelDRAW, Onyx Thrive and individual licenses of EnRoute and some other niche programs. In my own personal work flow I sure as hell don't have time dealing with all the technical problems that occur when trying to use non-Adobe applications to deal with client-provided Illustrator/PDF artwork.

    There's nothing really very cheap about large format printing. The printers themselves are pretty expensive. I don't remember the exact price we paid for our first HP Latex 360 printer, but the price was like that of buying a decent new car. Now we have two of them running side by side. The consumables (vinyls, inks, laminates, etc) are not cheap.

    The risk with trying to go on the cheap with RIP software is it may not handle all the stuff in the art files correctly. When jobs don't print correctly that costs you money on all the wasted vinyl and ink.
     
  2. WildWestDesigns

    WildWestDesigns Major Contributor

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    Oh, I know that. The cheapest single head bridge style machine that we use for small runs or demo runs goes brand new for $40k. Multi-heads.... quite a bit more.

    Now, this one does have a sequin dispenser on it (as do a lot of our machines), not many people have that, so the need for them isn't there. For me, I have yet to find any commercial program sub $3k that will run sequin info (which is a must for me, otherwise that attachment on quite a few machines is non functional). The irony is, that free plugin, does have support for commercial machines that have sequins. It runs flawlessly.

    That plugin I referenced earlier from Pulse doesn't support sequins, nor specialty functions (stop, frame out, slow/fast (for Barudan only machines (which are the ones that I have)) from what I can tell from their brochure and it's over $3k just on the plugin itself from one of the main suggested digitizing software vendors out there. The free plugin is miles ahead of it. For me, it does everything that I need at the quality that I need. And I'm used to running the $15k versions as well.

    Again, doesn't mean that this is going to happen with RIPs, but it doesn't mean that it is totally out there either. I doubt that it will come at a savings, but I can't rule it out as it does depend on what the user needs and not all need the same thing.

    That's a risk that one runs even if they go for something that's $3k. It still may not do everything that you want it to do. And I wouldn't call going $3k trying to be cheap.

    I cringe every time someone asks on here for software in my trade and they want to be less then $1k for commercial software. That's firmly consumer level and most of those that are less then $1k are more automated and produce crap results. I'm not saying not to make sure that it's still going to produce quality, but don't assume that it doesn't produce quality, just because it costs less (or nothing at all depending on what you are talking about).
     
  3. brycesteiner

    brycesteiner Member

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    that is interesting how they made the effect. I wouldn't really call it a sign board simulation because it is not made of the three pixels in RGB. I would call it trying to simulate a spot color in an AM screening pattern (traditional raster processor screening). But it's not really doing that either because the dots are all the same size as in FM screening (except on the edges).
    I took apart the PDF that you posted and Corel actually converted each color in the image to a vector dot, simulating the screen effect. It's not so surprising in the subway vector but it did it also in the low res earth jpg simulation.
    Can you choose the LPI?
     
  4. Bobby H

    Bobby H Very Active Member

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    I still consider it a valid message center simulation. It's certainly more realistic looking than pasting a plain low-res JPEG or TIFF image onto a sign illustration. The results are also more practical to print.

    Individual RGB LEDs are very tiny in relation to the rest of a variable message center display. Printed sketches have zero ability to simulate the color gamma and brightness of those LEDs. Plus, even if you could squeeze in 3 simulated LEDs for each message center pixel it wouldn't look right in print since it's the wrong freaking color model. RGB is additive synthesis. Printing on paper requires CMY or CMYK color mixing for subtractive synthesis. Simulating individual RGB LEDs in a sign sketch would only look right when viewed on a computer screen and only if the screen was honoring the additive synthesis color model for all those dots.

    Just making single circular dots of each pixel has its problems -namely a print-out of the simulated display can look dark for all the black between the pixels. So I don't use circles for the pixels; I use customized rounded off squares to fill in more of the black yet maintain the jumbotron look.

    Yes. You can customize the resolution and choose between standard object shapes or choose something custom. The only limitation with custom objects is the source object apparently cannot be a compound path.

    That sounds like more the exception than the rule. In the context of this discussion we're talking hypothetically about a RIP add-on to CorelDRAW. And that's the problem: CorelDRAW doesn't really, fully properly support all the features of Postscript and PDF. I've gone on and on about the issues of how CorelDRAW and Adobe Illustrator can't understand each other's object gradients. Another big issue is basic color fills. Postscript and PDF allows CMYK percentages down to a hundredth of a percent while CorelDRAW is confined to whole numbers. It's one of the things that makes CorelDRAW prone to all kinds of banding issues. They've gotta get past that somehow. It took them until 2012 to properly support all the features of OpenType.

    I'm not totally closed off to affordable or even open source software. I think the 3D program Blender is going to reach new levels of popularity when version 2.8 moves out of the beta stage.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2019
  5. WildWestDesigns

    WildWestDesigns Major Contributor

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    You have others as well. InkCut is a good alternative to say CoCut. I don't need all the functionalities of even InkCut though and since the printer drivers that are included with most linux flavors that I use, I don't even need an official driver from Roland to cut directly from Inkscape.

    I will say this, there are some that do suck big time. Some have a good start, but not quite there yet.


    This is were the plugin can get expensive, I believe. For some of these plugins, since they use the tools that are already in the base program, the plugin vendors had to have licensed the source code of the base program to make these changes. I can't see it happening any other way. Versus say the Astute Graphics plugins (which I love, I have all the ones that were available for CS6 before Adobe was firmly entrenched in the) they seemed to add functionality on top (with new tools), rather entangle within.

    The plugin that I've been apart of, is entangled within Inkscape. Able to open and save embroidery files directly within the program. That functionality does not exist in the base program otherwise. I don't see why that can't be done with a RIP plugin to extend file handling, but because they are going to more then likely license the source code from Corel to do it, that's going to add to the cost.


    I could be wrong, but I'm reading this as thinking that all open source software is free, as do a lot of people. That isn't the case, not in all versions of the Linux OS and not in all open source software (Ardour being the best example for ready to run files, they force you to pay something, depending on how much you pay depends on what you get, which is still ludicrously small for what you are getting in that particular DAW).

    A lot of people (general public) have outdated perceptions of open source software/OSs. They use it more then they realize already and some of the hurdles that people think of, aren't exactly there today. I see some of that thinking in the forums here, where people are actually more knowledgeable about such things then the average consumer.

    The biggest problem with open source projects is advertising, not many people know it exists in the first place.


    It's already there. 2.8 is the reason why I broke my own rule of using beta, well even alpha, software on my production rigs. Although it did help that it was portable as well (I don't use the traditionally installed version on any of my production programs). I use it for 3D printing, traditional 2D animation (GP is the main reason why I broke that rule of not using alpha/beta software) and video editing through the VSE, which I have several extension that add on top of that as well.

    Most people don't think of video editing with Blender, while it still has a render slowtime (which hopefully that will be taken care of with stable release), it is far and way better then my experience with Kdenlive, which seems to be the poster child for video editing and I've never had a good render out of it at all.
     
  6. Bobby H

    Bobby H Very Active Member

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    The folks at Blender.org still warn people not to use version 2.8 beta on actual production work since bugs are still present in the program and data loss is a risk. Nevertheless, the 2.8 beta version is overwhelmingly better than any previous version of Blender from the perspective of being user friendly. The layering system actually makes sense now (rather than being a bunch of vague little squares down in the bottom center of the work space). There's a big debate about left-clicking versus right-clicking in the program. But the developers of Blender are moving in the right direction by embracing a lot of industry standard user interface metaphors. It will help Blender catch on with more people rather than having many newbies to it try it briefly and quickly give up out of frustration.

    A long time ago Corel tried bundling a 3D program in the CorelDRAW box, but it went nowhere. Tranferring CorelDRAW artwork to "Corel Dream 3D" was a total pain. I played with the program briefly and didn't mess with it anymore. Adobe incorporates a lite version of Cinema 4D into Adobe After Effects. The same thing can be plugged into Photoshop and Illustrator, but it is limited compared to having a full version of Cinema 4D (which costs quite a bit of money). SketchUp is popular with a lot of commercial builders, but I think it's a real pain to use for importing sign designs and fleshing them out into full blown 3D designs. SketchUp doesn't do any photo-realistic rendering.

    I'm interested in seeing how well Blender 2.8 can import complex sign designs for 3D sign illustrations.
     
  7. WildWestDesigns

    WildWestDesigns Major Contributor

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    That's a risk with any alpha/beta software. The new GP was the main reason why I violated my own rule. It is just so much better and now be able to start with a sketch and go very quickly to 3D (or stay in the 2D environment), to me and what I liked to do, was worth risk.

    I have had some particle effects cause crashes, but save often has nipped that in the bud.

    This and the new keyboard shortcuts for some of the operations.

    I consider both of these concerns, BS. It is very easy to choose upon first opening Blender 2.8 what you want and if you decide you want something else, it's easy enough to change that in the user preferences.

    These concerns are more about a resistance to change then any true fundamental workflow concern.
     
  8. zstekovic

    zstekovic New Member

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    Bought...
     
  9. myront

    myront CorelDRAW is best

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    Hmmm.....shoulda held out for a bit longer
     
  10. I am using X-8 and it works fine and I am really do not upgrade each time a new one comes along.

    I have using Corel Draw for the past 15 years and for the type of graphics I do it is the perfect program.

    Jim
     
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