Affin­ity De­signer

Serif takes on Il­lus­tra­tor

Mac Format - - CONTENTS - £35 De­vel­oper Serif (Europe) Ltd, affin­ity.serif.com OS OS X 10.7 or later Re­quires 64-bit pro­ces­sor

Un­fussy in­ter­face

Since Macro­me­dia Free­hand was discontinued in 2007, Mac cre­atives have craved an al­ter­na­tive to the high­cost Adobe Il­lus­tra­tor, and with Serif’s Affin­ity De­signer, they may fi­nally have one. Part of a suite of new apps that will see im­age-edit­ing and de­sign tools re­leased in the com­ing year, Affin­ity De­signer is cre­ated specif­i­cally for the Mac and, as such, is op­ti­mised for OS X. It of­fers per­fectly smooth pan­ning and zoom­ing, and more than 1,000,000% zoom (you read that cor­rectly), so you can close in on the finest de­tail with­out a loss in qual­ity. It ran well on our 2012 Mac­Book Pro, even with com­plex multi-lay­ered images. Us­ing Affin­ity De­signer is a dream, thanks to its un­fussy in­ter­face. A sim­ple tool­bar holds 16 es­sen­tial tools on the left, while float­ing (or fixed) pan­els ap­pear on the right, al­low­ing a fully cus­tomis­able workspace. Along the top of the screen is a con­tex­tual tool­bar that fea­tures chang­ing val­ues de­pend­ing on the tool in use. Hav­ing th­ese op­tions means you don't have to hunt around pal­ettes (or try to re­mem­ber menu lo­ca­tions or key­board short­cuts), and they're small and sub­tle enough so as not to clut­ter the screen. Un­for­tu­nately, some es­sen­tials (such as fore­ground func­tion­al­ity, but with a few sub­tle dif­fer­ences. The core as­sets of Pen and Shape tools work in the same way as Adobe apps, but with paths hav­ing larger coloured visual an­chor points on screen, mak­ing them eas­ier to use, and edit­ing op­tions avail­able con­stantly in the tool­bar.

With over 1,000,000% zoom (ONE MEEEEELLION!) you can go down to the finest de­tails with­out a loss in qual­ity

Affin­ity De­signer lets you cre­ate com­plex multi-level vec­tor art­work at a frac­tion of Il­lus­tra­tor’s cost.

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