Herbert123 wrote:But really, try Expression 4.4. It is missing some neat features from Expression 3.3, but the stroke engine is really quite impressive. I wish Photoline would have a similar stroke options.
OK, I'm testing Expression Design 4 (version 8.0.31217.1), and I think PL's variable width stroke is much better:
- Design 4 only can create variable width strokes if you use a graphics tablet. PL can create variable width strokes with or without a graphics tablet.
- Design 4 cannot change the width at points along the line once the line has been created. PL's method, of course, allows this.
The pen pressure sensitivity is slightly different between the two programs, but not enough to make much difference when drawing.
I'm also testing the ClipStudio Paint Pro program you mentioned, and the those same points apply to it as well.
Those two programs have neat effects that can be applied along the drawn line, which are similar to the effects Illustrator and CorelDraw have. If those are the "stroke options" you referred to, then Yes, they're nice.
Herbert123 wrote:Btw, I do like the variable width option. It is just that the current implementation and GUI remind me of how a programmer would solve this problem! A creative mind (artist) would want easy to use direct manipulation of the variable thickness on the canvas - not hidden away in an obscure modal dialog.
This, I feel, also touches other parts of Photoline's interface. Most filter and effect operations in Photoline would benefit from direct on-canvas manipulations, working together with a non-model parameter/properties panel that adapts to the presented context. The modal dialogues approach is a tad old-fashioned, and feels very clunky.
There's nothing inherently wrong with "how a programmer would solve this problem". In fact, PL's method gives more flexibility, as I noted. Just because "artists" don't want to think logically at times doesn't mean that always manipulating things directly on-canvas is the best. At times it is (applying gradients, for example), but sometimes it's just more powerful, and flexible to use a properties panel. You're right that the modal dialog box can get in the way at times -- maybe PL could implement a "Properties" (or "Effects", or "Tool Editor") panel where appropriate....