Intaglio

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Modeller

25 Jan 2012, 5:29 am

Intaglio Review

I am a writer, currently evaluating drawing apps, preferring to write them up in the style of a “Review”. Few are ever sent anywhere. But, for what it is worth, I thought I would share this review with the earnest and good people in this forum. It is unlikely to stir positive action, (Moderated off probably), but hopefully may serve as a realistic appraisal to help potential buyers. It is a good app, even if compromised by a side-serve of Caveat Emptor.

This review may appear in other places.

Is INTAGLIO on a slow funeral march?

Users requiring a Tech Drawing vector app, will beat a disappointing trail, and waste money on a sad string of half-baked "Graphics" apps lacking essential features for Tech drawing work.  I've seen Scale/Dimension tools in (otherwise unusable) $20 apps. Why do they turn up missing in $100 Graphics apps? 
Most "Graphics" apps cram the work area with oversized palettes, toolbars, tab-bars, and other cheesy junk. Astounding examples of a Developers brilliance I am sure, but leaves less space to work in than an iPhone screen. Keyhole surgeons, or Win 98 users will enjoy.
Aside from over-priced "Industry Standard" vector apps or the mind numbing torture of CAD, what is there for semi-pro Mac users to do competent Technical Drawing?
Possibly Intaglio. There's a professional "feel" to Intaglio, similar to Canvas, or Illustrator. A "pared back" feature list leaves adequate function, without the proliferation of features in Pro packages. Or the price. But, Intaglio is also two to four times the price of most App Store "Graphic Apps". 
I have used Canvas for twenty years, enjoying the fearsome abilities of the best non-CAD vector app on the planet. ACD have ceased Mac support, Apple dropped Rosetta, so Canvas will expire with Lion. 
Intaglio is no Canvas, but does provide sufficient tools, features, and functions for detailed drawing to be quickly and accurately compiled. Using the demo version, I could rapidly construct a large number of complex shapes, and assemble them smoothly and accurately into a detailed engineering drawing. Without glitches or crashes.
Not without frustration though. The most basic function, adding points to a path, is in the entirely incorrect section in the Help File. It is buried within the Scissor tool instructions. Since when is "cutting" a path a bright way to "add" a point? I have discovered a quicker and more intuitive method, which the Developer has either missed or neglected to include in the Help File. Indeed, Purgatory starts here.
Intaglios' layout maximises work area. Even on a 13" MBP. All palettes and inspectors are compactly designed. Not only in the layout of their functions, but the rapid manner they're accessed. Double-clicking most objects opens the relevant palette. Likewise, Contextual menus are intelligently configured. The slender tool palette has vert/horiz orientation, and a coherent layout. Each has a single letter-key access. "S" for selection tool, "P" for path tool, etc., which assists workflow, allowing users to discard this palette once learned.
Object placement is minimalist and accurate. Smart guides impart references without  annoyance, guide lines are fully controllable, accessible without rulers present. Fine nudge control, and full zoom functions aid precision. The Document Properties and Library, are great "Pro" style features, and the minimalist Layers palette perfect for Tech artists. Why cover 30% of work area with vast Layers panels as most graphics apps do?
This is a clean, competent app, with speedy workflow which will appeal to the many engineers, prototype developers, pattern-makers, scientists, equipment makers, modellers, and those needing detailed line drawing over images. I am not qualified to comment on Intaglios' graphic design abilities, but it is an efficient, and competent Tech drawing app.

The downside. A "Distribute on shape" function is missing. (Essential for engineering design. Gears, Splined shafts, etc.). Setting up for Page/Dimensions/Rulers is messy. Manipulation of round cornered rectangles, stars, polygons, is done prior to drawing, and un-tweakable "live" after drawing, with no consistent path conversions for further modification. Many much cheaper vector apps have this ability. 
The Boolean function isn't working on objects drawn with the polygon tool. There is no "Auto save". Lion incorporates it for supportive apps, but there is no hint if Intaglio will even function under Lion! None of these things are the coding equivalent of a NASA interstellar mission, and the issues have been around Far-Too-Long.  A quick scan of the forum shows several issues raised more than two years ago have not been addressed. Any sign the developer maintains a pulse and a trace of commitment would be reassuring. This is not a $10 app., and the strong whiff of decay will deter users looking for a semi-pro app they can commit to. However, beating dead horses gets you a tired arm, and a broken whip.
Intaglio is an "As is-Where is" deal. If the trial does what you want, go ahead. You are only paying for the App. it would seem. Better instructions come with crappy DVD players, or flat-packed bookshelves. 
It is also backward looking. Touting compatibility with ancient apps like ClarisDraw. Fergawdsakes. How many users with low intellectual horizons drag corpses of long-dead apps, whine incessantly in forums, expecting legacy assurance. Forever. They should have switched their "Precious" files into something else in 1995. Providing features for those pathetic souls only bestows validity on their childishly petulant intransigence.
At some time, Intaglio must have won an "Award". The instrument that induces systemic inertia into promising apps. Almost everything awarded "Best in Class", "300 Mice", "Designers Choice" "Mac-whatever" award, all immediately go into a coma. Want to kill a competitors product? Organise an Award for them, saves the buy-out cost, and does the trick every time. 
Will I buy Intaglio? Purchase would be grudging, and only if something with similar ability/price fails to shows up soon. I'd need assurance it runs flawlessly in Lion, and despite the level of competence it's still overpriced. Buying into an expensive app with little support, and a "Nothing done, and never to be finished" feel, is hardly an inspiring start.
Oh. Almost forgot. Adding points; 
Select object. Press x key. Select a point anti-clockwise of the desired insertion point. "Command-D" will then place a point midway on the path. There! How tough was that Nick?

Gary. H. Jeffries.

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Schremmer

25 Jan 2012, 1:01 pm

On Jan 25, 2012, at 1:29 AM, Modeller wrote:

Select object. Press x key. Select a point anti-clockwise of the desired insertion point. “Command-D” will then place a point midway on the path. There!

Not on 3.0.1 under 10.4.11.

Regards

P.S. Oftentimes, I felt I wanted to shoot whomever had bloated Canvas well past non-usability. Intaglio was a huge relief. I am still grateful.

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Daniele Avitabile

25 Jan 2012, 2:10 pm

I like Intaglio but I agree with Gary on several aspect. I would be prepared to pay a premium to see this application maintained and developed.

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Jay Hamlin

25 Jan 2012, 2:58 pm

I too am a convert from Canvas - I think I owned every version since 1993 (?) but finally had to give it up when Lion came out. Intaglio is so much more modern and fast (its written in Xcode and based on Core Graphics) that it should have a bright future except that, for me, its missing a couple of key features. The 2 missing features are the ability to import multi page PDFs and the editing of bitmaps. (BTW- Intaglio did import multi page pdfs for me a couple of times over a year ago but the feature has since just stopped working.) Anyway, with a little effort, Intaglio could be a killer graphics app which I would gladly pay double for.

Jay. On Jan 25, 2012, at 7:10 AM, Daniele Avitabile wrote:

I like Intaglio but I agree with Gary on several aspect. I would be prepared to pay a premium to see this application maintained and developed.

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Tom Fenn

25 Jan 2012, 3:58 pm

We’ve all been here before…

Nothing >ever< happens.If you want to get Nick’s attention, try emailing him directly. From experience you hardly ever catch him here.On 25 Jan 2012, at 15:10, Daniele Avitabile wrote:> I like Intaglio but I agree with Gary on several aspect. I would be prepared to pay a premium to see this application maintained and developed.

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smile, as tomorrow may never arrive!

IanB

25 Jan 2012, 5:03 pm

The problem is, we all want different things. Illustrator’s drawing tools and Boolean shapes (which date back to the early 1990s) are still the best in class. I don’t like Canvas. Illustrator is a much better, but it’s too bloated, complicated, expensive and you apparently have to register online. No thanks.

Intaglio is good enough; it’s a very capable program, but it could be much better. It needs a perspective vector tool, shapes on a path (like Expression), Illustrator and EPS import and export (EPS that open in Illustrator), vector distortion (think waving flags), a vector roughen tool, a better Gradient tool and rounded corners feature (as Vector Designer). The Paths tool and Bezier curve tool are the same, so why the duplication? If the pencil tool could paint real media effects (dry brush, pointed ‘Sable’ brush, scratch pen, etc as in Expression), it might be useful. The Object>Rotate menu system is messy. I’d like a Rotate box in a floating palette in which you could enter a specific number of degrees. Many other programs have this.

Intaglio’s Standard effects work well, but the other OSX CI effects can easily cause the machine to slow to a crawl and even crash. Does anyone know how to use the Geometry palette? Blends should be in a palette (like Photoshop and Vector Designer); I can never remember what the different blends actually do. Translate, Rotate, Scale and Shear should be in a single palette (like Canvas). The origin box is a mess; you should be able to rotate or skew around a particular point (see Canvas and Illustrator). Measurements and Dimensions are a mess; I’ve never figured them out (Quark XPress is much better). Gary’s Add Points tip works here (thanks for that), but there should be a dedicated Add Points tool. I use the Paths tool for cutting out parts of bitmap images and it drives me nuts having to constantly reselect the Scissors tool. It would be more sensible if the Scissors could be selected from the Add Points tool (the opposite of the present arrangement).

In the early 1990s, I used Quark XPress every day and it was brilliant. All the important features were in floating palettes. Eighteen years later, there’s still nothing to touch it. Programs have become enormous, but they’re no more useable than XPress.

Are we going to get these things? Of course not, but we live in hope. Did anyone see the videos of David Hockney drawing with ‘real’ paint effects directly on an iPad screen? That’s where drawing programs should be heading.

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Andy Dent

26 Jan 2012, 1:48 am

I’m another former Canvas lover and started getting quite excited by Intaglio.

One of the biggest letdowns for me has been the sharing with the iPhone/iPad Sketchpad program. I spent hours doing layered drawings in Sketchpad and wanted to migrate them back to the Mac to work on the big screen. However, despite the impressions given by his advertising blurbs, the sharing is somewhat crippled.

Yes, you can share documents directly between Sketchpad and Intaglio, but they go through a compromised SVG export that flattens them. It doesn’t even support the idiom-based layering of Inkspace (a common way to deliver layers in SVG).

As a result, my wonderful layered diagrams are stuck on my iPad unless I want to unpick a flattened Intaglio document.

There are so many clever, clean things in the UI of both Intaglio and Sketchpad that I hate to slander them but they really do feel like orphanware.

I’m still mourning Canvas, nearly as much as I miss ObjectMaster (for C++ coders).

Andy Dent (baking in the hottest week Perth’s experienced since 1935)

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Software developer in Perth, Western Australia

Modeller

26 Jan 2012, 6:00 am

My humblest apologies for the messed up middle bit of my post. A tough read, and no idea how that occurred. The feedback is as I expected. A bunch of hard working graphics people struggling to get the perfect app. We all find different apps appealing for different reasons, but we all really need the basic tool set to be there, functioning, and dependable. I had a brief flirtation with Vector Designer, love the workflow, and many clever features. Lack of Scale/Dimensions, and no feedback from the Dev killed it for me. Intaglio is better, for my Tech needs, but Andy Dent put it best, “Orphanware” Hey Andy, I spent 25 years in S.A. so sympathise with the heat thing. Now back in NZ. Cheers guys, and thanks for the kind responses.

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David Leigh

19 May 2012, 2:27 am

Hi

Intaglio should be renamed Requium.

Its DEAD.

Been there done that with Lineform, Freehand.

Has an awful smell of a dying programme:

  1. Developer won’t answer e-mails.

  2. Four years since last upgrade.

Sorry guys the Fat Lady is singing……

Trying another bus named Sketch….

David Architect NSW

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Schremmer

19 May 2012, 3:07 am

On May 18, 2012, at 10:27 PM, David Leigh wrote:

Hi

Intaglio should be renamed Requium.

Its DEAD.

Been there done that with Lineform, Freehand.

Has an awful smell of a dying programme:

  1. Developer won’t answer e-mails.

  2. Four years since last upgrade.

Sorry guys the Fat Lady is singing……

Trying another bus named Sketch….

David Architect NSW

While you may well be right, I do not see why, once an application does the job, it needs to be upgraded. Does it work with Lion?

Also, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feature_creep

Regards

P.S. Sketch looks nice but … I am still using a PPC.

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Frank

19 May 2012, 8:17 am

On 25 Jan 2012, 5:03 pm, IanB wrote:

The origin box is a mess; you should be able to rotate or skew around a particular point (see Canvas and Illustrator). Measurements and Dimensions are a mess; I’ve never figured them out (Quark XPress is much better). Gary’s Add Points tip works here (thanks for that), but there should be a dedicated Add Points tool. I use the Paths tool for cutting out parts of bitmap images and it drives me nuts having to constantly reselect the Scissors tool. It would be more sensible if the Scissors could be selected from the Add Points tool (the opposite of the present arrangement).

Hi Ian.

Can´t confirm your complaints about rotation and shearing: Place your “dedicated point” while holding “alt-key” down and click - now rotate/shear as usual. And with “alt+cmd” the dedicated point snaps to raster/grid. Insert point could be as easy as in Inkscape: double-click on a place on the path; Voilá. But “scissor=C” isn´t that far away and can be skipped by the cmd+D insert-point trick. As we´re here now; all I miss is kind of interactivity with the “round rectangle/star/Polygon tools”.

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Tom Fenn

19 May 2012, 12:59 pm

What utter rubbish David Leigh. I use Intaglio almost every day. It the job done, and gets it done fast. Instead of complaining, why don’t you just buy illustrator instead? You’re an architect? Don’t architects have budgets that stretch to being able to afford such titles as those from Adobe?

And on a final note, if you just happen to write emails like the one above to the developers, is it hardly surprising you don’t get a response?

regards,

Tom Fenn

Product Designer/ Architectural technician.

On 19 May 2012, at 03:27, David Leigh <email@hidden> wrote:

Its DEAD.

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smile, as tomorrow may never arrive!

Daniele Avitabile

19 May 2012, 4:27 pm

Tom, David’s tone may be wrong. But he raises serious issues. A piece of software that is not updated for more than two years is on its way to obsolescence.

The point is not whether Intaglio is useful as it is, but if it is worth getting used to it or not. I love Intaglio and use it currently. However, there was a time when I convinced at least half a dozen of people (all academics working in science) to buy Intaglio and to make it part to their everyday workflow. Now, I have stopped doing that, because it is undeniable that Intaglio’s developer has been quite for too long. Apple is essentially planning to update Mac OSX yearly: I don’t think it is a good idea to stick with Intaglio current release cycle. Even worse: the developer is definitely out of reach: he does not seem to be interested in having an exchange of opinions with his users, or take into account their requests.

And, whether you like it or not, Intaglio does have bugs and would need some maintenance.

On Sat, May 19, 2012 at 2:01 PM, Tom Fenn <email@hidden> wrote:

What utter rubbish David Leigh. I use Intaglio almost every day. It the job done, and gets it done fast. Instead of complaining, why don’t you just buy illustrator instead? You’re an architect? Don’t architects have budgets that stretch to being able to afford such titles as those from Adobe?

And on a final note, if you just happen to write emails like the one above to the developers, is it hardly surprising you don’t get a response?

regards,

Tom Fenn

Product Designer/ Architectural technician.

On 19 May 2012, at 03:27, David Leigh <email@hidden> wrote:

Its DEAD.

Daniele Avitabile Research Fellow Department of Mathematics University of Surrey http://personal.maths.surrey.ac.uk/st/D.Avitabilehttp://personal.maths.surrey.ac.uk/st/D.Avitabile/index.html

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Tom Fenn

19 May 2012, 5:17 pm

What ‘serious issues’??? You tell us! You haven’t posted any evidence of any ‘serious issue’ or raised a concern to a ‘serious issue’? Where is this ‘serious issue’?

As for updates, there was actually an update not that long ago. Intaglio wasn’t working in Lion very well but now it does. Is that not an update?

And what bugs? I don’t know any bugs? If you have found a bug, you should email the details to the developer! Most ‘bugs’ are simply mistakes the user is making.

Has it ever occurred to you that developers are also human beings too? Life changes and moves on. There are a plethora of Intaglio/Illustrator wannabes out there. If you don’t like where Intaglio is, then don’t use it! It’s that simple.

Sometimes I can’t help thinking of that quote from Douglas Adam’s ‘The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’, “We’re trying to recreate the wheel, but can’t work out what colour it should be”.

On 19 May 2012, at 17:27, Daniele Avitabile wrote:

Tom, David’s tone may be wrong. But he raises serious issues. A piece of software that is not updated for more than two years is on its way to obsolescence.

The point is not whether Intaglio is useful as it is, but if it is worth getting used to it or not. I love Intaglio and use it currently. However, there was a time when I convinced at least half a dozen of people (all academics working in science) to buy Intaglio and to make it part to their everyday workflow. Now, I have stopped doing that, because it is undeniable that Intaglio’s developer has been quite for too long. Apple is essentially planning to update Mac OSX yearly: I don’t think it is a good idea to stick with Intaglio current release cycle. Even worse: the developer is definitely out of reach: he does not seem to be interested in having an exchange of opinions with his users, or take into account their requests.

And, whether you like it or not, Intaglio does have bugs and would need some maintenance.

On Sat, May 19, 2012 at 2:01 PM, Tom Fenn <email@hidden> wrote:

What utter rubbish David Leigh. I use Intaglio almost every day. It the job done, and gets it done fast. Instead of complaining, why don’t you just buy illustrator instead? You’re an architect? Don’t architects have budgets that stretch to being able to afford such titles as those from Adobe?

And on a final note, if you just happen to write emails like the one above to the developers, is it hardly surprising you don’t get a response?

regards,

Tom Fenn

Product Designer/ Architectural technician.

On 19 May 2012, at 03:27, David Leigh <email@hidden> wrote:

Its DEAD.

— Daniele Avitabile Research Fellow Department of Mathematics University of Surrey http://personal.maths.surrey.ac.uk/st/D.Avitabilehttp://personal.maths.surrey.ac.uk/st/D.Avitabile/index.html

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smile, as tomorrow may never arrive!

Frank

19 May 2012, 9:02 pm

On 19 May 2012, 4:27 pm, Daniele Avitabile wrote:

And, whether you like it or not, Intaglio does have bugs and would need some maintenance.

No proper bug reports = no fixing. ;-)

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Daniele Avitabile

21 May 2012, 7:06 am

Have a look at the “What’s new” section of the website

http://purgatorydesign.com/Intaglio/history.html

  • Intaglio has been subject to bug fixes for the past six updates. The last updates that contained new features was Version 3.0. Developing means adding features. When we say that the development seems to be dying, we have some evidence for that. The page is so out of date, that in several places it mentions “In Tiger, you can do this and that”. During this time, the developer issued a version for iPad, though. And this has, in my opinion, little to do with Intaglio’s development.

  • Intaglio does not use any gestures (pinch-zoom, rotate etc.). They have been around (and available to Apple developers) for, I believe, a couple of years now (this issue has been talked about in this forum).

  • I have asked (again in this forum) for a feature that would allow to smooth beizer curves with a simple shortcut.

  • Intaglio’s users do not even know if there is a planned release for the future. I have moved from Leopard to Snow Leopard to Lion and I never know whether the new update is going to break intaglio or not (again, talked about in this forum). And if you are thinking that I should “try and see”, I think you have the wrong idea of what software should be like.

  • I often import pdf of data plots from Matlab or Matplotlib or other plotting routines to manipulate them. When converting to PDFs for editing, my text is always butchered (talked about and not fixed).

  • Very often, when the number of plots is above a certain limit, intaglio crashes. This issue is so recurrent that I now create multiple intaglio spreadsheets for a single paper.

  • LaTeX pictures imported from LaTeXIt give problems. At the moment, more than a year after the problem was reported, all we have is a workaround.

  • SVGs produced by intaglio give me and my colleagues problems when they are opened in Inkscape, so I can’t exchange with them my plots.

Best. Daniele

On Sat, May 19, 2012 at 10:02 PM, Frank <email@hidden> wrote:

On 19 May 2012, 4:27 pm, Daniele Avitabile wrote:

And, whether you like it or not, Intaglio does have bugs and would need some maintenance.

No proper bug reports = no fixing. ;-)

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Frank

21 May 2012, 7:37 am

As I said: No proper bug reports= no fixes. Describe what you´re trying to do, find the crash-log (usr/Library/logs/CrashReporter…), make a text file containing crash-log, MacOS/Mac-Specs and problem, save it along the Intaglio file into a folder and send it to >support “at” PurgatoryDesign.com<. And best one email per issue.

Cheers

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Perry Brett

13 Nov 2013, 2:26 pm

Has anyone had experience with iDraw.

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swimmer35

13 Nov 2013, 2:28 pm

I use Idraw all the time.. and love both the mac and the iPad versions

On Nov 13, 2013, at 10:26 AM, Perry Brett <email@hidden> wrote:

Has anyone had experience with iDraw.

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swimmer35

13 Nov 2013, 2:29 pm

I use Idraw all the time.. and love both the mac and the iPad versions

On Nov 13, 2013, at 10:26 AM, Perry Brett <email@hidden> wrote:

Has anyone had experience with iDraw.

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Perry Brett

13 Nov 2013, 2:59 pm

Subject: Re: Intaglio Review From: email@hidden Date: Wed, 13 Nov 2013 10:29:21 -0500 CC: email@hidden To: email@hidden

I use Idraw all the time.. and love both the mac and the iPad versions

On Nov 13, 2013, at 10:26 AM, Perry Brett <email@hidden> wrote:

Has anyone had experience with iDraw.

Thanks for your reply My particular interest is drawing prehistoric pottery motifs __perry_____________________________________________

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Daniele Avitabile

13 Nov 2013, 3:02 pm

In fairness to the developer(s) and following my latest post, I should mention that a developer told me they are working on a major Intaglio release.

On Wed, Nov 13, 2013 at 3:59 PM, perry brett <email@hidden> wrote:

> >

Subject: Re: Intaglio Review From: email@hidden Date: Wed, 13 Nov 2013 10:29:21 -0500 CC: email@hidden To: email@hidden

I use Idraw all the time.. and love both the mac and the iPad versions

On Nov 13, 2013, at 10:26 AM, Perry Brett <email@hidden> wrote:

Has anyone had experience with iDraw.

Thanks for your reply My particular interest is drawing prehistoric pottery motifs __perry_____________________________________________

Daniele Avitabile Lecturer in Applied Mathematics School of Mathematical Sciences University of Nottingham http://www.maths.nottingham.ac.uk/personal/pmzda/

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Frank

13 Nov 2013, 3:09 pm

From what I see here: http://www.google.de/search?q=prehistoric+pottery+motifs&client=safari&rls=10_6_8&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=UqKDUpqrK4netAaLoIHQDA&ved=0CAkQ_AUoAQ&biw=1404&bih=1248 a vector drawing app will fit well into it. The only thing you may find difficult is to introduce line “variations” along a Bèzier-path which neither Intaglio nor iDraw can do like Inkscape for instance.

Cheers

Frank

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