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Nodes in Flexi

Discussion in 'Flexi' started by Colin, Nov 28, 2005.

  1. Colin

    Colin Major Contributor

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    I am looking at the demo version of Flexi 7 and the nodes on a vector appear to only be available in those retarded "bezier" types with the inherent handles on them. I can't stand this particular node characteristic as opposed to what I have in Inspire where you can grab just the line itself without twisting the line on the other side of each node.

    Is this the only way they are available in Flexi?
     
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  2. Dennis Raap

    Dennis Raap Active Member

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    Try clicking on the line with the node editing tool then change the line to a curve you should be able to click and hold any place on the line drag the line to the shape you want between nodes.
     
  3. whynow

    whynow Verboten

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    Not sure what you are talking about. The bezier nodes are the essence of all vector art. Learn how to use the program.
     
  4. bob

    bob Major Contributor

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    Just change the offending node from a curve to a cusp then you can drag the line on one side of the node anywhere and the other side stays right where it is.

    The only real failing in Flexi in these matters it that you must change node types individually, node by node. In Corel, among others, you can lasso a whole bunch of nodes and change all of their types at once. Ditto for changing line types from and to curve or straight.
     
  5. Bobby H

    Bobby H Very Active Member

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    Colin is referring to the "elastic" mode that applications like Corel and Illustrator will allow, depending on which tool is selected (such as the shape tool in CorelDRAW or the direct selection tool in Illustrator). One can use the tool to grab the path and push or pull it around. Flexi has some functions like this, such as the spline editing function (which seems like a hold-over from CASmate).

    I find the whole elastic thing pretty random and clunky. I really can't stand Corel's tendency to twirl paths all over the place if you select an anchor point in not quite the right way. Very twichy.

    When I want to fine tune a vector object, such as a custom letter form, I tend to use "extrema" style anchor points and as few of them as possible. For example, a perfect circle or oval will typically have four extrema points with direction point handles set on perfect 90 degree or 180 degree axis. When paths are digitized using efficient methods they can be much easier to adjust or alter than paths that are pigged with with more points.
     
  6. Fred Weiss

    Fred Weiss Merchant Member

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    Colin, if you will experiment with the shift when editing a segment you will get the effect I think you want. The nodes that anchor the segment cannot be symetrical nodes however. They must be either smooth or cusp nodes.

    Click the segment and press shift = Limits segment adjustment to node arm length
     
  7. Colin

    Colin Major Contributor

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    Thanks for the reply folks.

    Quote by "whynow": Not sure what you are talking about. The bezier nodes are the essence of all vector art. Learn how to use the program.

    Misunderstood again. I've been using vector programs for 17 years and have used the "handle" type nodes aplenty, but I guess you'd have to see how nodes & vectors are handled in Inspire to see what I'm refering to. They are vastly superior in my mind, and so much easier to work with. Inspire will handle beziers (with the handles on the nodes) as well, and you can convert them back & forth to your preference. I'm not sure why they didn't keep this excellent funtion on the "upgrade" to Flexi.


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  8. iSign

    iSign Verboten

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    it's been so long I almost forgot CasMate also had a convenient feature like that. I think it was called the Bulge tool & you could select any segment with it & symetrically drag it in or out.

    Did Freds suggestion work?
     
  9. Colin

    Colin Major Contributor

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    Doug, I'm using ScanVec Inspire which was quite an upgrade from Casmate. It was with Inspire that they finally went from 16 bit to 32 bit, but yes I think both had the same node editing characteristics - it has indeed been a long time.

    I've been mucking around with the Flexi demo, and it appears that the vector/node editing is nowhere near as good as Inspire, and given that this is where I/we spend a lot of time, I don't see any advantage to Flexi for me right now - especially considering the cost.

    I'm still open to more insight though, it's always like stumbling in the dark when using new software.
     
  10. iSign

    iSign Verboten

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    I was able to buy Flexi Pro for $1200 because I was a licensed casmate pro owner. I figured I'd need it someday, so when they gave the impression that the crossgrade price was a limited time offer... I went for it. (I don't think it was all that "limited" & although I assume you already had crossgrade pricing offered... I mention it so you can negotiate for a price like I got if you don't already have a similar offer.)

    I had Flexi gathering dust on a shelf for 3 years, in which Fred told me a few times to dust it off & expect to be impressed with the advantages over CasMate.

    I finally dusted it off (& upgraded it) when I bought my printer. Just for the rip, it was a good investment, so if you don't have an inkjet... but think you may someday, that is another selling point to take into consideration.

    My use of software is always shamefully superficial. I am too big a fan of Illustrator to spend time learning how to do anything in another program if I can already do it in Illustrator. I own Omega for the edge but never in 6 years did a layout in there. I've been using Flexi for 6 months now... no layouts! And I bought Signlab also because my employee used it for 3 years & I wanted the flexi workstation to be dedicated to running my Mimaki equipment, but now that signlab is here... I have no plans to learn how to do much of anything in there right away either.

    All my softwear has the ability to do a good job importing Illustrator files & then driving my various hardware, so it earns its keep that way.
     
  11. Bobby H

    Bobby H Very Active Member

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    I suppose if you have other employees using Gerber Omega and SignLab then it might make the purchase worth it. Otherwise spending several grand for those two applications just to have them sit on the shelf would be pretty crazy.

    I would also be careful about file management problems. Interoperability between applications and various workstations is pretty critical.

    We have 7 computers, out of around 20 total in our network, doing design work. Lots of different applications can be used in the process of creating a design. But the end result is usually CorelDRAW and Flexi files for archival purposes. We can bring the Flexi files up on three computers and Corel layouts on all 7. Lately, however, we have been using Illustrator and Adobe Acrobat more and more for a number of design tasks and generating client sketches.
     
  12. iSign

    iSign Verboten

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    Bobby, I propbably simplified my post too much to really make myself clear, but Omega is used every day to run jobs on our edge. For the first 5 years I had it, I was the one running it everyday untill recently hiring my first employee 7 months ago. My main point was that I don't design in it, I import Illustrator files, & then make my minor adjustments like assigning foil colors, screwing around with print order, overprints, gradients, & setting up repeats.. (OK, not always "minor") ...or I am using it for opening 6 years worth of .plt files for re-orders, so it is hardly "sitting on a shelf"

    Flexi is used each day also, but only for setting up (or opening existing) print/cut files for my Mimaki.

    Signlab is the newest major investment, & I could have used Omega to run my 24" Graphtec plotter for basic cut vinyl jobs... but My employee is so entensively capable in Signlab, that I have no doubt his increased production will justify the expense, plus as my 2nd employee learns to run more edge jobs, the infrastructure is there to pull the Graphtec & Signlab over to another workstation & have both employees keeping both dedicated systems producing.

    I actually think having all my layouits start in Illustrator has some advantages. Alomost like backing up (which I also do religiously) it offers me second copies of every job I run...

    I'm not exactly sure the meaning of "Interoperability between applications and various workstations is pretty critical."
     
  13. Bigdawg

    Bigdawg Just Me

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    I'm with you on the Illustrator, Doug. We use it for all of our layout since 1) It's what we owned when we started doing vinyl and 2) It's been my program of choice since Illustrator 88. We use a little program called EasySign to actually cut from.
    I asked about Flexi here on the board once and the short reply was that is was Illustrator on steroids. Looks like it may be an investment we'll make later if we get a color machine, but since we get good results from Illustrator we're going to keep running with it.
     
  14. Bobby H

    Bobby H Very Active Member

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    Bottlenecks, basically. If you run a shop that has a number of design stations, but only one running a certain application then the potential rises for that to turn into a bottleneck. It will really happen if that one application is critical for getting a lot of stuff done.

    We have three Flexi licenses because of that very reason. One person may be setting up jobs for EnRoute3D while another is cutting vinyl and still another is doing large scale design work. Many jobs require all these people to be pulling up the same art files to get their part of the project done. Our volume of work is pretty high, so we can't afford to have people hopping over each other to try to use the same "dongle" to get their tasks completed. More work is having to get done in parallel.

    Illustrator is a very good app. But it needs quite a few features to be used as a sign design application. The 227" X 227" workspace limit is a big problem when it comes to electrical sign design. Flexi's workspace is much larger (even a lot larger than the workspace of CorelDRAW). Flexi has a lot of object deformation tools and point editing tools that Illustrator still lacks to this very day.

    Illustrator and a vinyl cutting plug-in might be fine for banners and low volume sign work. In higher volume workflows you're going to be more productive using a dedicated sign design application.
     
  15. WVB

    WVB Very Active Member

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    Illustrator can be used with CADtools to increase that workspace. It can also be used with CoCut as a bridge to cut from (does CoCut have a RIP?). I don't own Cocut so I can not speak on it. What I will say is that no single application is a all in one. I use Illustrator to design in and save files in. I use Photoshop for effects (naturally) and I use FlexiPro to autotrace (until I figure out CS2 autotrace better as when I use it it doubles all the lines), add effects such as drop shadows, outlines etc., then export as ai and finish it up with Illustrator. I have also noticed that the design rendered on screen is MUCH more crisp with Illustrator then FlexiPro.
     
  16. Colin

    Colin Major Contributor

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    TVG: That coarse or jaggy look that you get in Flexi is also present in Inspire. I used to think it was my monitor until I saw what files looked like in CorelDraw 12 - wow what a difference! In CorelDraw, there's an "enhanced" mode under the View menu, and it smooths out the images making them look beautiful. This is especially important when having customers view stuff. It just doesn't look very nice in Inspire/Flexi and I wonder what it would take for ScanVec/Amiable to improve that.
     
  17. Bobby H

    Bobby H Very Active Member

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    Corel's "enhanced" view has been a feature of the program since CorelDRAW 7 was released. That's when Corel started grafting a lot of code from Xara directly into Corel.

    Illustrator's anti-aliased view was a response to Macromedia incorporating Flash Anti-Alias View into Freehand years ago.

    IllustratorCS2 is a much different animal than past versions. With many effects being "live" you'll have to get used to "expanding" or "flattening" effects and duplicating certain objects that expand operations will consume. The Live Trace and Live Paint functions often do some odd things in that department. Still, I find them to big improvements over the stand along Streamline application.
     
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