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Smart Designer?

Discussion in 'General Software' started by Greg, Aug 6, 2003.

  1. Greg

    Greg Member

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    Hello,

    I have posted this on other forums and haven't really got an answer to my question yet, which is worrisome to me. All I get is advice on OTHER programs that are great to own. I'd love to own them all but that isn't going to happen.

    Anyway, I have used CorelDraw! since v3. However, I am interested in a program called Smart Designer (v10x currently). Smart Designer is a "plug-in" for CorelDraw! (http://www.smart-designs.com/sd10.htm). Has anyone here ever heard of this program? Has anyone ever used it? If so, could you be so kind as to give your opinion(s) of it?

    Thank you in advance for any insight you might provide.
     
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  2. TerryStolmeier

    TerryStolmeier Member

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    I have never heard of it.

    Looking at it and watching the promo video they offer it seems pretty interesting. Then I saw the price tag.

    In addition to the price, it requires 512mb of Ram to run on XP. Not that it is a problem, it is just the first program that I have seen that requires that much. (actually, it is just a plug-in... wich is even worse) This leads me to believe it has the potential of bogging down a computer drastically.

    Anyone else have any input?

    Tery
     
  3. gresults

    gresults Member

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    Smart Designer

    Been using it for years, Basically just speeds up some of the basics..I did have problems with it and Coral 11 ended up having to build a computer to handle it..

    Not sure if it was there program or the fact that Coral 11 is a memory hog.
     
  4. SignLady

    SignLady New Member

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    Greg- I invested in SmartDesigner last fall at the Ft Worth trade show. I had read up on it and it sounded great but after getting the opportunity to actually see it in action I bought the whole bundle and never looked back.
    It's a terrific tool and really speeds up work. Not all the layouts are relevant to any particular job but it's useful as a guide.
    I use it with Corel 10. And yes, you need at least 512 RAM but mine has 2gig so that was not an issue for me. I was told it wouldn't (at that time) work w/ V 11. You'll find their tech support to be very helpful (and patient).
    I do all my designing in Corel now then zap it over to SignLab if it's a plotter job.
    LOL... Linda:cool1:
     
  5. Greg

    Greg Member

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    I bought it...

    Well, I am revisitng this topic.

    I purchased Smart Designer 11, Creative Concepts, Eurovector and CoCut Pro and upgraded to CorelDraw 11. I'm still figuring out parts of it all. The templates seem very customizable althought they lean toward t-shirt and sports shirt designs. I would have preferred more "sign" oriented templates. While I plan to expand to shirts I don't have a press yet. By the time you get the cutter, software, supplies, etc. one needs to regroup a bit before spending more money.

    Even with a 2.26ghz PC and 1GB RAM it seems to struggle a bit. Maybe I should close the three dozen web pages I usually have open and eliminate some of those programs that insist on starting every time I turn on the PC. Yes, its easy enough to do but can I really live without the Quicktime Player, the DVD Player, the ATI Radeon Taskbar, Shortkeys, Anti-virus (NO) and all the others?:biggrin: I also started a major project defragging my hard drive. Been at it all night and today. Man that defrag is slow. Maybe I should do it more often.

    Thanks for the help on this decision!
     
  6. geb

    geb Very Active Member

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    Greg, I'd like to hear your comments on Euro vector in regard to vectorizing compared to other software's vectorizing programs. I believe I read somewhere Euro vector was an excellent program for vectorizing and was curious how it works compared to others, thanks for any input.
     
  7. SignLady

    SignLady New Member

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    Geb- Euro Vector works beautifully- takes some practice, though. I've vectorized numerous logos, photos, etc. and in most cases there is very little cleanup after dropping it back into Corel. For simple clean lines though Corel Trace works fine.:thumb:
     
  8. Greg

    Greg Member

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    Jul 30, 2003
    I haven't had an opportunity to give it a real test yet. When I do I'll give a report.
     
  9. Greg

    Greg Member

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    I haven't forgotten the Eurovector question but I have been wrestling with my PC the past two weeks. I finally installed a new motherboard and hard drive (after the 3rd XP reinstallation) and seem to be up and running again.
     
  10. Greg

    Greg Member

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    EuroVector as promised

    I promised I would give my impressions of EuroVector Tracing program.

    To be honest I don't think much of it so far. I have version 1.0.

    The manual is pretty skimpy and I can't find any "support" for the program on the web. I thought perhaps there would be an update available. There may very well be an update but if its on a Swedish web site I'll never know it.

    Anyway...I've played with the software and I have yet to produce an acceptable trace of anything I have tried. Surely I am doing something wrong. Even when I "vectorize" a clean, simple image and export it to AI or EPS I usually end up with pieces of the graphic. I have tried the color merging feature with no luck (although If I can't vectorize normally I wouldn't expect the color merge feature to work either).

    I have heard great things about this software. So why doesn't it work for me? Did I get a demo or "lite" version?

    I'm lost....and back to CorelTrace.
     
  11. SignLady

    SignLady New Member

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    Greg- When you send it to Vector are you unchecking the outline mode in "VIEW" first? Are you posterizing before vectoring? Also, after it vectorizes just drag it into Corel- you don't need to export. 90% of the time it works beautifully for me, just be patient and keep trying. Watch the tutorial in SmartDesigns- I had to run it several times before I got the results I wanted. I agree with you- the instructions suck! And there are floaters on the screen that I have no idea what to do with. LOL
     
  12. geb

    geb Very Active Member

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    SignLady, how would you compare euro vector to other vectorizing programs, for example corel or signlab? I have used those two, sometimes getting good results, other times I find them quite challenging. Thanks for getting back to me Greg. When you get pretty good at euro vector, I'd appreciate any comparisons or opinions to Corel Trace or other sign programs.:thankyou:
     
  13. SignLady

    SignLady New Member

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    Geb- I just did a logo that was emailed to me in .jpeg. I sent it to Vector, did the "thing", dragged it back to Corel, cleaned up a few spots (which I could have done while in Vector, but Corel is easier), and it was ready to cut in less than 2 minutes. CorelTrace seems to have a lot more cleanup and small details just don't show up correctly- it always looks good inTrace until I bring it into Corel and examine it closely. SignLab is OK for large simple drawings but again, details get lost.

    BUT- to be 100% honest here... I had a 9' spinal column to put on a sign and none of the 3 programs were worth a flip. It was just easier to hand draw and scan it in, clean it up way.

    Hope this helps.
     
  14. Greg

    Greg Member

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    I know it has to be my unfamiliarity with the program. I've tried with outline mode and without, etc. Are you saying I SHOULD posterize before vectoring? In CorelTrace you just select the type of trace you want and click TRACE. You also get a million more nodes than you need in Corel Trace.

    I'll try again and post my results (if I get any).
     
  15. Fred Weiss

    Fred Weiss Merchant Member

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    I've not used EuroVector. I've seen it demonstrated and it seemed competent.

    The best autotracing application IMHO on the market is Adobe Streamline. Very fast, very easy to use and customize to various types of artwork. The saved vector coming out is in native Adobe Illustrator format, ready for any additional cleanup required or immediate use in virtually any other application you may be using for vector graphics.

    I use it in preference to FlexiSign or CorelTrace along with several other good quality tracing applications. Very reasonably priced as well.

    Adobe Streamline
     
  16. Greg

    Greg Member

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    I downloaded the "Try-It" Adobe Streamline 4.0 package.

    BTW, I did get reasonable results using EuroVector last evening. Part of the problem is I'm trying to trace jpegs which seems to be a typical need for me. Am I the only one foolish enough to try to vectorize jpegs and bmp files? Garbage In, Garbage Out.

    At first look Streamline seems to have limited "import/open" file format support. "Import bitmapped images in TIFF, PSD, PNT, or PCX formats."

    Thanks for the "posterize" tip for EuroVector. Almost got a useable vector using that option.

    Thanks!
     
  17. SignLady

    SignLady New Member

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    Greg- Yes, you need to posterize before vectoring- I really don't know what that does, I'm just going by the SmartDesign tutorial. I wish someone would give EuroVector 101 crash course.
     
  18. Greg

    Greg Member

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    I think "posterizing" just equalizes the colors so that if you have 4 shades of light blue it makes it one shade of light blue. Kind of a 1st step before you get to the color swatch mixing/merging step.

    I could be wrong........
     
  19. Fred Weiss

    Fred Weiss Merchant Member

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    You're correct as to file support in Streamline. Maybe they just know that they get the best results from those formats. They certainly support JPG and others in their other applications.
     
  20. jeffk

    jeffk New Member

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    I bought it with ver 9, it seems more towards screen printing? But I may be wrong.
     
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