Mapdiva today announces Artboard 1.6, a major update to their powerful vector drawing software for Mac OS X. Artboard makes it easy to design logos, posters, technical drawings and more. Artboard includes over 1700 awesome styles and fully editable clip art, including shapes, shiny buttons, maps, people factory, and home planning; plus a Library to store your own. Version 1.6, optimized for OS Mountain Lion, adds Retina-display support, many new features, and important usability enhancements. Read more
Archive for month: September, 2012
For a quick way to add some perspective (pun intended), Artboard 1.6+ now offers isometric grids along with our standard graph paper options. Bonus: check out the boat-load of new isometric shapes in the editable vector Clip Art collection.
We’ve optimized Artboard for retina display. It involved redesigning all icons and app buttons as vector graphics for high-resolution display. This was a huge undertaking and we are proud that every last one of them was made exclusively in Artboard. It’s a great example of what you can create with Artboard.
When you combine shapes with Union, Intersect, Difference, and Append, Artboard 1.6+ now preserves the editable paths and curves. This makes these Boolean operations 10-times more useful.
We are as focused on improving existing features as we are creating new ones. This one is just for you. Artboard can now crop and mask using Boolean intersection of shapes; select, scale, and reposition images within a frame; adjust exposure, saturation, image effects, and more. Read more
New Features & Enhancements
- Added support for “retina” displays – all artwork is now either resolution independent or includes @2x versions.
- Added support for application sandboxing where required (Mac App Store version only).
- Added support for trackpad gestures for zooming and two-finger double-tap “smart” zooming. Supports laptop trackpads and “Magic Trackpad”.
- Support for Isometric grids added. The user can choose between Cartesian and Isometric grid in the Graph Paper settings.
- Added basic Isometric starter shapes to the built-in clip-art collection (in category ‘Shapes > Isometric Elements’). These objects are correctly proportioned for standard Isometric drawing.
- Export now features an arbitrary scaling factor for raster images. This allows any desired resolution or image size to be exported.
- Boolean operations now use a new algorithm which preserves original bezier path elements instead of reducing them to flattened paths.
- Boolean operations Intersection and Difference can now operate on any number of paths at a time, not just two.
- Boolean operations are now much smarter and perform appropriate individual conversions or other operations as necessary on a per-object basis.
- Images and Groups can now accept a clipping path that is not required to be fully aligned to the bounding box. In conjunction with Boolean operations such as ‘Intersection’ this enables powerful new clipping effects.
- Added ‘Hide’ and ‘Show All’ items to the Graphic menu for hiding and showing objects.
- Added ‘Duplicate’ command to the Layer menu which duplicates the selected layer and all of its content.
- Added ‘Isolate Shared Style’ menu command as part of a number of workflow improvements for working with shared and unshared styles.
- Image shapes now support direct cropping and scaling. Double-click an image to enter edit mode where the image can be directly dragged to crop it, and where there is a direct scaling control. Resizing the image frame in this mode operates to crop the image rather than resize it. In this mode, the excluded part of a cropped image is visible in a partially transparent area outside the image frame which has a special yellow/black dashed highlight.
- The Image Kit image editor panel is now supported for image shape editing. This is shown in the above “edit” mode, e.g. when ‘Edit Image’ is chosen in the menu or the image object is double-clicked.
- Direct controls in objects such as round-rect corner radius and image scale are now rendered using a new control handle style which looks nicer, is clearer in function and is easier to use.
- Rotation knob handles adopt a similar appearance to the new direct control knob.
- Dragging the handles of shapes now shows an appropriate cursor.
- All colour wells in the Style Inspector now implement the convenient drop-down menu behaviour as well as interacting with the Color Panel, similar to the items in the Format Bar.
- Dragging the “rotation centre” target of shapes will now snap to the centre of the shape unless the shift key (constraint) is pressed.
- Double-clicking the “rotation knob” of a shape now resets the object’s angle to zero if it’s not already zero.
- The user can now set a preference to enable and disable ‘Snap To Graph Paper’ automatically when the grid becomes visible or is hidden.
- Contextual menu in Layers sidebar is now much better – the actual row clicked provides the context and the menu is worded appropriately for various actions. You can now access the graph paper and drawing settings from here, as well as use a right-click in the general layers area to create a Layer group.
- Ad-hoc styles are automatically allocated a name (“untitled style n”, where n is incremented each time a new style is needed) instead of having no name, making it easier to see when a style has been cloned. In addition, it is no longer necessary to name an ad-hoc style before it can be added to a collection.
- Added preference for “Styles sharable by default”. This, in conjunction with changes to style naming for copied objects allows a “one style per object” approach to be taken if users prefer it.
- Save dialog for saving templates revised for sandboxing and to more elegantly prevent the user from navigating outside of the designated area.
- ‘Cut Path’ tool now operates on Arcs and Wedges in a sensible manner by dividing the shape into two parts sharing a common centre point and radius.
- Bezier and Irregular Polygon paths will end when the user clicks outside the drawing canvas area. This is in addition to all the other ways you can end the path creation mode.
- Added preference to disable import of SVG “filter” elements. When used indiscriminately, these filters drag performance down dramatically, even when they contribute no visible effect.
- Image Browser and Template Browser now include a search field to filter the selected folder by name.
- Added source viewer for SVG images in Image Browser (right click on selected svg image > View Source). This is intended for checking SVG source, not editing it. Text can be copied and pasted from here however.
- New folder watcher based on FSEvents allows image and template browsers to update when the folder on disk is updated externally. This replaces the buggy kqueue()-based functionality removed in 1.5
- Added ability to directly unlock the trial version by purchasing a license key as an alternative to the Mac App Store. Such an unlocked version uses an alternative update channel but is otherwise identical.
- Menu keyboard equivalents rationalised for Boolean ops so that shift-command-D is now “Difference” (q.v. Union and Intersection) and Polar and Linear Duplicate no longer have keyboard equivalents.
- Menu wording for “Paste Path On Object” made consistent between Edit main menu and contextual menu. When selected object is an image, menu wording is “Paste Image Clipping Path”; for a group, “Paste Group Clipping Path”, for text “Paste Text Clipping Path”.
- General improvements and simplification to overall menu layout, and full consistency between a menu’s text and what appears as an ‘Undo’ command.
- General improvements to the overall appearance of the UI in numerous places.
- Path objects now return their geometric mid-point as their “location” instead of their top, left point. This means that image and other adornments are aligned relative to the mid-point of the object which is a more useful and expected result.
- On Mountain Lion (OS X 10.8), the main window background now uses a grey linen texture.
- Image Shapes no longer incorrectly allow the “Reset Bounding Box” operation which sometimes ended up skewing images.
- Menu arrow shown in colour well buttons now draws in a contrasting colour when the displayed colour is dark.
- Transparency gradient buffering for PDF export is now done using double resolution previously used (now 288dpi) to reduce pixelization with retina displays, etc. As before this is only done if absolutely necessary to work around lack of PDF support.
- The ‘Layers’ toolbar item is replaced by a new ‘Sidebar’ item which more accurately reflects the function it performs, since the sidebar is no longer only used for layers. Similarly, the View > Show/Hide Layers menu item is now worded Show/Hide Sidebar.
- Graph Paper layer can longer be made active. There is no sensible reason to activate it, and it is now excluded from the menu listing activatable layers.
- Moved Undo preferences to ‘Advanced’ tab to make room for more Editing settings.
- Default for image shape’s ‘image on top’ setting is now YES. In addition, this can be toggled from the contextual menu if a style is applied. The default (clear) style applied to images can no longer be copied as it has a special class within the app.
- Auto-activation of layers with content selection is now a preferences setting rather than a menu item. This helps to make the general UI simpler.
- A problem with compatibility with Mountain Lion when the Color Panel was hidden and a colour well was forcibly deactivated was fixed. The most noticeable effect of this bug was scrambled text when editing a text box.
- Stroke widths in SVG files were not being scaled correctly when an overall scale transform was present.
- Arcs, Wedges and Regular Polygons now correctly use the selection colour of the layer they belong to to draw their control handles.
- Auto-closure of paths was previously inconsistent depending on how the path was ended.
- Text On Paths are now never auto-closed.
- Image Browser was throwing an exception when its contextual menu was shown.
- SVG using css styles with multiple items in a “class” element is now processed correctly.
- When a bad SVG file ends up generating a zero-sized thumbnail for the Image Browser, this now sets the “failed file” icon instead of waiting indefinitely for an image that will never arrive.
- Certain pattern images were not being rendered to a bitmap (JPEG, PNG, TIFF) when exported due to the incorrect composition mode being used and the image having no alpha channel of its own. e.g. our built-in wood grain textures were not being rendered for Export.
- The “transparent background” setting was being ignored for Export of “selection only” to PNG format. This acted as if it were always ON (transparent). Now if it is unchecked the paper colour is used.
- Groups with a clipping path no longer end up “reverse clipped” in some cases after opening a file.
- Drag and Drop of colours from the colour picker onto a group now works as for any other shape – the drag is received by all objects in the group as if they had been dragged to individually, and respond in the same way. The same convenience extends to text and images.
- Occasional crash when browsing through the Library Manager under certain circumstances fixed.
- All group items in Library Manager are now initially expanded because the change to the hidden show/hide button from the older turn-down triangle means you cannot tell that there is anything more to show at a glance.
- Dragging the handles of a shape when it was very small and the zoom scale wasn’t very high would previously grab the origin target in preference to an edge handle. Now edge handles have a higher priority to avoid this problem.
- Mis-clicking in the tools palette such that no button is hit (between buttons) no longer deselects the current tool.
- Selecting “container” elements in the iPhoto section of Image Browser now amalgamates and displays images within that container, just as if it were a folder (such containers are not actually folders).
- The iPhoto section of the Image Browser is included only if iPhoto has actually been run and created a database. Previously it would add the item if iPhoto were present on the user’s system even if it hadn’t created a database.
- When hit-testing objects, the fill no longer returns a hit if it is merely disabled, rather than deleted from the style altogether. This gives a more intuitively correct behaviour when a fill is disabled from the Format Bar, etc.
- Contextual menu items pertaining to path operations are no longer included when the object is a subclass, such as regular polygons, arcs, wedges, etc that have special behaviours. As before, these need to be converted to ordinary paths before applying these operations.
- A problem with failure to update symbol libraries based on their internal version number was fixed. In addition the version number of the library is no longer incorrectly reset if it is greater than the class version number.
- A problem correctly detecting a ‘hit’ on an object if its fill was inside a Core Image effect group was fixed
- A problem where very similar images ended up as the same image was fixed
Any text in Artboard can be converted into a shape and custom styled to great effect. We show you how to use Artboard’s Core Image Filters applied to a style to create this hauntingly beautiful art text effect.
Program : Artboard 1.7+ for Mac OS X
Difficulty: Intermediate to Advanced
Topics Covered: Style Inspector; Core Image Filters; Converting Text to Shape Group
Estimated Completion Time: ~20 minutes
Open a new drawing.
Draw a large text box with the Text Box[t] tool. Return to the Select[s] tool, double-click the text box and type “ARTBOARD”. This is a good place to mention that in Artboard you can automatically change the case of your text. For example, select the text box and choose Text > Change Case > To Lower from the main menu. Note how your text changes instantaneously to all lower-case. We are using “Moltors” font that is only upper-case so it doesn’t matter in our example, but now you know how to do it!
Speaking of fonts, with the text box still selected, open the Font panel and choose a nice fat font (e.g., Moltors) and adjust the size. Our example uses 96pt for a large text block, but you can adjust the text to fit your purpose. As needed, use the Select[s] tool to grab the text box sizing handles and adjust its size. Close the Font panel.
Prefer doing things hands-on? Give it a try…
In the next step we convert our text to a shape so we can style it. We could simply convert the text to a single shape (once you do that the text will no longer be editable) using Graphic > Convert To > Shape from the main menu (or right click and choose Convert To > Shape). However, I want to flip the “R” to make our graphic text extra fancy, so each letter needs to be a separate shape. To do so, choose Graphic > Convert To > Shape Group from the main menu (or right click and choose Convert To > Shape Group). Then, ungroup the shape.
With the Select[s] tool, select the first “R” and choose Graphic > Flip > Horizontally from the main menu. You may want to adjust the letter’s position after flipping to maintain nice spacing between letters. Now, select all the letters and choose Graphic > Combine > Append from the main menu, or click the “Append” icon if you’ve added it to your toolbar. Appending the shapes together allows us to apply a style across the shape as a whole.
Use the Select[s] tool to select the text shape and open the Style Inspector. With the text shape still selected, click “Reset” to create a new style from scratch. Click onto “Fill” in the components list then click the “-” button to remove the component. Repeat to remove the “Stroke” style component. Next, click the “+” button and add “Core Image Filter” style component. The core image filter is a group, so we’ll need to add one or more components under the group (we’re adding an image). Click the “+” and add “Image” to add an image adornment. You may need to click the little triangle next to “Core Image Filter Group” in the components list to expand it and see what’s inside the group.
Click onto the “Image Adornment” to open its properties. Click the “Image File…” button to choose an image that will be used as the fill. You can use any image here – experiment to see what works best for your needs. In this example, we’re using a lovely floral pattern we downloaded from freedesign4.me.
Let’s turn our attention back to the Core Image Filter Group. Click on it in the style components list. From the drop-down, choose the “Gloom” filter. Keep the standard settings – with “Clipping” set to “Inside path”. The effect will automatically be applied to the image in the filter group. If the image is smaller (or undesirably bigger) than the text shape, you can return to the Image Adornment and adjust the scale of the image.
Finally, let’s add a background object to our final image. Use the Rectangle[r] tool with the “Licorice – fill” style from the Basic Strokes & Fills category in the built-in collection. Draw a large rectangle. With the rectangle selected, choose Graphic > Send To Back from the main menu (or right click and choose Arrange > Send To Back). That’s it!
From here, you may want to copy your shape to try different background photos. With the copy selected, click “Clone” in the Style Inspector. Now you can simply go to the Image Adornment style component and choose a new image file. To save any of your styles to the User Library, click “Style” at the top of the Style Components list and name and save the style to your collections. Here is our final image, along with a variation using an old family photo for the image adornment. Do you think it would look good over a patterned background?