19 June 2021

illustrations: Trois femmes influentes Louise brooks, Pam Grier, Nichelle Nicols





A style I wanted to try out. I also wanted to do them all in Affinity Designer  for yer iPad since I am not really familiar with the interface and want to use the iPad pro much more for design, graphics and art over the next year. 

Nothing special about the images really. I don't exactly have access to any of these women to take my own references so I used pretty well known photos but the point wasn't originality but to play with this style of portrait.

11 June 2021

iPad IOS 15 announcement : did it live up to the hype and rumours?

 


One of the problems with Apple announcements is all the hype and speculation about them months ahead of time. This time was no exception and while iPad IOS 15 didn't fulfill all the dreams about it, it probably did more than anyone should have really anticipated. 

It's a solid upgrade with new features in multi-asking and interface improvements adding some much needed and much appreciated (by me) functionality to the devices. I look forward to using them and they will without a doubt help me make the iPad Pro more useful in my professional work. 

The biggest disappointment have little to do with the the IOS itself it seems. Many people wanted and were predicting a slew of professional apps to be released along with it. It's no secret the iPad Pro is far too powerful for any of the software on it and can handle what any of the new M1 chip devices handle. Those apps were not to be seen. I personally don't see myself editing any of my movies on the iPad Pro anytime soon, or coding on it etc but I know some people do. Procreate did an interview and made users aware that Apple throttles all the Apps with a 5 gig RAM limit and that restricts what can be done with any app. The porting of professional desktop apps directly to the iPad is not happening anytime soon. 

I am sure there are reasons to limit RAM on the devices, some good and some not so good but I was happy enough with the update. My big disappointment is that Affinity Publisher for iPad is still not released and no idea when it might be. THAT is the app I need to work from the road much more than Final Cut Pro. I would love to see Blender on the iPad or Krita but these things depend as much or more on what the coders of those products want and can accomplish and less on what Apple does at this point. That hardware is ready and the IOS might not be totally there but I don't think Apple is deliberately hindering them from getting it done for nefarious reasons. 

In short, I'm not disappointed with what the fall update is bringing to device but I am impatient for some apps that will put a little more "pro" into the iPad Pro.  

05 June 2021

NIK 4 Plugin suite by DXO


 I updated to suite 3 last year because it was more compatible with Affinity photo, despite the fact nothing else about the plugins had changed. This update does have more changes and some really welcome ones, but I would still question even the 60$ upgrade fee as only 2 plugins got any love while leaving the others behind. The installer app was updated and improved, it deleted the old versions and installed the new with no problems. Updaters are often overlooked so this was a nice surprise.

Silver Efex Pro and Viveza got a major interface overall and a couple new features along with better U-Point control which is the primary reason to get these plugins - in my opinion. I really like the new look. It's modern, easy to read and better organized. Viveza has needed some love for a long time and it is finally where it need to be. Silver Efex pro got the addition of Clearview, borrowed from DXO Photolab  which clears out haze and can really add drama to a dull photo. I already have that in DXO Photolab thought and adding more presets which was a large % of the update to me is cheating when listing new features. 

To make this worth the upgrade price, they really need to apply the new interface to all the plugins and maybe they will before NIK 5 is released. If not I won't be updating again as while the new look is great, they all work fine as it is and they would have to add really amazing new and unthought of functionality to make me spend more money. They update DXO Photolab quite a bit between paid iterations and I hope NIK will get some of that attention too. 

That said, if you don't have the NIK collection at all, it is well worth having and does amazing things. It integrates more completely with Photoshop and Lightroom but it works nicely with Affinity with the exception of Perspective Efex which you have to run as a stand alone. HDR Efex is my favourite HDR processor but to use it with more than one photo, which is what HDR is really all about, you have to either do the initial processing in Affinity and then open HDR Efex or open is as a standalone to import a series of bracketed pictures at once which is what I would recommend.