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Artworks 2.2 teasing

By Ian Chamberlain. Published: 29th Mar 2004, 00:54:17 | Permalink | Printable

Tempt not a desperate man

Artworks 2 logoAs reported last week, Martin Wuerthner is currently a very busy chap indeed. As well as taking on extra work to develop the EasiWriter and TechWriter applications, full-time work continues on ArtWorks 2, with a whole raft of features planned for the next release, 2.2.

This week Martin gave users a sneak preview into one of the most demanded features to be brought to ArtWorks: bitmap fills. Take a look at this snapshot, which illustrates how you can fill shapes with other images and shapes. Other possible new features also include graduated transparency, CMYK sprite handling and PDF export.

Eager users, tormented and teased by this glimpse into ArtWorks' future, vented their frustration on the support mailing list, with one user commenting (albeit with a grin), "I do not think it is nice of you to tease us like that". Martin calmed his adoring fans, suggesting that, if all goes to plan, the new version would be available at this year's Wakefield show.

Although the RISC OS community is now very sceptical about pre-announcements, we ought to remind ourselves that Martin is the man who did what many thought impossible: he brought ArtWorks to a 32bit RISC OS platform and more recently, he delivered a powerful colour printing solution in the form of Gimp Print.


MW Software
Drobe looks forward to reviewing ArtWorks 2.2 soon after Wakefield 2004.

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From strength to strength.

 is a RISC OS Userjonix on 29/3/04 10:53AM
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The only bad thing about Artworks is the cost :| Although it's worth it, many people still can't afford it.

 is a RISC OS UserAndrewDuffell on 29/3/04 5:27PM
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The only bad thing about Artworks is the cost :| Although it's worth it, many people still can't afford it.

 is a RISC OS UserAndrewDuffell on 29/3/04 5:27PM
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It might seem expensive (by RISC OS standards, at least), but it's *utterly* worth it! The more I use ArtWorks 2, the more I like it, and in terms of features and productivity, it's in a different league to ArtWorks 1 (even bug fixes, let alone the wealth of new features, have made AW2 much nicer to use). There's something about the ArtWorks interface that sparks my creativity more than other vector app.

ArtWorks 2 was the first piece of new software that I bought to go with my Omega. Not much point in having a swift and shiny new computer without exciting new software to play with, is there? ;-)

I've also bought Gimp-Print, and Holy Bible (the last for my VRPC laptop -- who said that VRPC wouldn't encourage software sales?!). Amongest my next purchases will, I hope, be an upgraded version of EasiWriter.

No prizes for spotting the link between all those packages!

 is a RISC OS UserStewy on 29/3/04 8:22PM
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What's with the constant price complaints about every piece of software or hardware available?

169 for ArtWorks is not much considering the cost of development and size of the market. If I were in the position that I needed this software or wanted it - I would figure out a way to buy it, even though I'm currently studying at uni.

Compare the price to the RRP price for Corel Draw 12 which lies at 421.83 but can be bought for 315.83 at Amazon.co.uk. I'll admit that Corel Draw probably offers more bang for the buck but they'll probably expect to sell a few hundred thousand copies compared to maybe a one thousand copies of ArtWorks.

Get with it - the RISC OS market is tiny and appears to be getting smaller. Software and hardware does and will cost more than you'd expect to pay for a comparable Windows stuff.

Wether you are a student has absolutely no saying in the development cost of the hardware/software you want to buy and lowering prices in such a small scale market like the RISC OS market is revenue loss - it will not bring enough extra buyers to justify the lowered price.

 is a RISC OS UserGulli on 29/3/04 8:59PM
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AW2 is excellent, Martin has made it much more usable than the original as well as adding a lot of new tools. The simple addition of interactive help has made it easier to learn.

I always felt that CC's version was unfinished - super rendering engine but a bit short on tools. AW2 has some clever tools plus, of course, transparency. Oh, and it's quick, particularly on Iyonix.

 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 29/3/04 9:17PM
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Funnily, the new feature the teaser screenshot shows is NOT bitmap fills. It is something rather different (though obviously, there are some things that can be done either with this new feature or with bitmap fills). However, a look at the rightmost object (the Apple in the "P") should give a clear hint that we are not talking about bitmap fills here...


 is a RISC OS Userwuerthne on 29/3/04 10:01PM
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I'm now considering buying Artworks 2.2 after reading the following in the feature list:

"Arrowheads that end with line ends (rather than continuing from line ends as it currently happens)"

Laugh if you will, but this is my greatest annoyance with Draw, and something I would welcome in Artworks!

 is a RISC OS Userksattic on 29/3/04 10:11PM
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Martin: So that'd be "Clip group object that clips all object types" ? -- sounds great.

 is a RISC OS Userimj on 29/3/04 10:44PM
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"There's something about the ArtWorks interface that sparks my creativity more than other vector app."

I completely agree with you there. For me it's the most "natural" of RISC OS applications. Everything is just totally obvious. I never find myself clicking randomly around the screen trying to work out how to move or change something, it just works. Because of this, I'm exceedingly productive when I producing artwork in AW. And to use a cliche, ArtWorks remains a RISC OS "killer app". While I think Xara on the Windows platform is very good - it has many features AW does not yet have - the interface hinders my creativity; technicalities get in the way when the juices of flowing.

Birng on AW 2.2!

 is a RISC OS Userfylfot on 30/3/04 1:58AM
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Gulli: I did not say that it isn't worth the money, just that I can't afford it.

 is a RISC OS UserAndrewDuffell on 30/3/04 7:49AM
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ksattic: Please note that this is a list of *possible* features in future versions of ArtWorks, not a list of ArtWorks 2.2 features. The new arrowheads will most probably not be in ArtWorks 2.2., but at least for paths that end in line segments (as opposed to curves) it should not be too hard to implement. Martin

 is a RISC OS Userwuerthne on 30/3/04 8:04AM
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Andrew Duffell: And we need to know this because...


 is a RISC OS Userandypoole on 30/3/04 8:33AM
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Market research old boy! If you are marketing a product it is helpful to know why some people don't buy it. I won't buy it either, but not because I can't afford it, but because I don't need another vector art package. I hardly ever use Draw, and even then it's mostly for printing bitmaps (something I can do just as well from a number of other apps anyway). But I'm sure that if you need such a package, Artworks is a good choice.


 is a RISC OS Usermrtd on 30/3/04 8:51AM
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"Market research old boy! If you are marketing a product it is helpful to know why some people don't buy it."

I fail to see how simply knowing that someone can't afford some software is in any way helpful. ArtWorks could cost 50 and people would still be complaining.

Clearly the cost of ArtWorks is right because people are buying it (development continues) and it competes very favourably with similiar products like Vantage.

 is a RISC OS Userfylfot on 30/3/04 10:14AM
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As a Vantage purchaser I'm certain that it is not in the same league. Vantage is still buggy and now appears to be no longer supported. ArtWorks may be older but at least it is seen to be being actively developed further.

 is a RISC OS Userrmacf on 30/3/04 10:35AM
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Andrew Duffell:

I know you didn't say it wasn't worth it, you actually say:

"Although it's worth it"

It's just that it's getting a bit tiresome that whenever a new or improved product is announced the price nagging comments always seem to be the first to appear.

 is a RISC OS UserGulli on 30/3/04 11:03AM
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Since ArtWorks is a very modular peace of software, maybe Martin could release a light version, wich leaves out some not so commonly used features?

 is a RISC OS UserJGZimmerle on 30/3/04 2:00PM
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As for the statement "Although the RISC OS community is now very sceptical about pre-announcements, we ought to remind ourselves that Martin is the man who did what many thought impossible: he brought ArtWorks to a 32bit RISC OS platform and more recently, he delivered a powerful colour printing solution in the form of Gimp Print. "

Ian forgot to add that Martin not only delivered these things but did so in time; his pre-announcements can thus be taken seriously opposed to the odd pre-announcement from the odd other source :-)

To JGZimmerle: True, Martin could offer partial ArtWorks 2 sets like he did with his numerous ArtWorks modules for ArtWorks 1. But I don't think this will happen since I learnt that well over 95% of his customers then bought *all* modules and not just some. I assume that for that reason and to reduce the work load he opted for the full package. But you can always ask him...

 is a RISC OS Userhzn on 30/3/04 3:08PM
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Some more information: I just added clipping support to AWRender, so the new feature (which by the way is called ClipView and allows you to dynamically clip any collection of objects to any shape) is available in all third-party applications that support ArtWorks files, too.

This means that for the first time you can have for example a sprite or a JPEG clipped to a circular path in Impression (or the forthcoming EasiWriter with ArtWorks support), simply by embedding the bitmap in a ClipView inside an ArtWorks file and dropping that into Impression...


 is a RISC OS Userwuerthne on 30/3/04 4:30PM
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The trouble is that it is a lot of work to produce a new release with new CD images, CD labels, new manual with an indication which features are only there in the non-"Light" version etc. But OK, it could be argued that it might be worth while. However, the question is then which features to remove. If I remove only not so commonly used features, then this does not justify a big discount. So, I would have to remove some "big" features like transparency, bitmap and SVG export, text areas, ClipView but then, these are the features that make ArtWorks 2 what it is... SVG export is probably the only obvious candidate of a major feature that some would not need at all and that could be left out. It would result in a discount of about 10-15 Pounds...

As Herbert has pointed out, there has been the opportunity to selectively buy features for many years, but very few people made use of it. Even more than 95% of users bought all modules.

So, it would probably make more sense to sell the full software at a cheaper price to specific customers, e.g., introducing a student offer.


 is a RISC OS Userwuerthne on 30/3/04 4:53PM
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I don't know a lot about Artworks, so the following may not be possible/make sense...

Could 'Lite' version be made by removing CMYK/Spot Colour support, that way it couldn't really be used for professional print work. Pro users would still need to get the full version, but hobbyist users could get the 'Lite' version. Pro users could still use it for web work of course.


 is a RISC OS Usermugent on 30/3/04 5:43PM
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Unfortunately, removing colour separation would be a considerable amount of work and it would not remove too much anyway because you could easily load the resulting Artworks file into any other application with ArtWorks support (e.g., Impression or OvationPro) and separate from there. Besides, the proportion of users using colour separation nowadays is very small, so I guess less than 5% of users would ever see the need for the full version, which defeats the whole idea.


 is a RISC OS Userwuerthne on 30/3/04 7:02PM
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Darn, I can't help but get all warm and fuzzy over Artworks.

I'm really pleased that Martin has taken the reins of this package. I really enjoyed using it, for what, 7 years or so (92-99). Some of my graphics with it are on my Get Netted website ([link]) - these were done in 96/97, yet still looks fresh! And it got the job done real fast. Nowadays, I get bogged down with MM Freehand MX or Adobe Illustrator CS - their learning curve is a lot steeper! rage

It seems a remarkable twist of fate that for a few years, Vantage really had the market talking, while Artworks was at risk of becoming a ghost of it's former self. Now it appears to have gone the other way round. Let's hope that this momentum can be kept up for both Vantage and Artworks.

I really really wish I had my RISC OS :-( :crybaby:

 is a RISC OS Usersascott on 31/3/04 3:37AM
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In reply to sascott:

Assuming that you have access to Windows XP, you could always get RISC OS, and ArtWorks 2, via Virtual RiscPC:


Go on, you know you want to ;-)

 is a RISC OS UserStewy on 31/3/04 12:44PM
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You don't *have* to lumber yourself with XP - 2000 should work fine (and possibly 98 and ME)

 is a RISC OS Userjess on 31/3/04 1:12PM
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or of course you could get a second hand RiscPC :-)

 is a RISC OS Userepistaxsis@work on 31/3/04 1:43PM
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