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  • Slightly OT: Acorn an alternative to Photoshop?

  • David Mathis

    June 13, 2014 at 5:37 pm

    While waiting for Resolve 11 to come out and an update to Motion or FCP X, was wondering about getting Acorn as an alternative to Photoshop. Currently have Pixelmator but the destructive workflow is a drawback. Still a nice little application otherwise. Acorn looks to have an attractive price and from the reviews, seems to be very solid. Any advice is greatly appreciated.

    Just curious how well it fits into a Motion and FCP X workflow.

  • Massimo Alberto Croce

    June 13, 2014 at 11:23 pm

    I sue GIMP, it s free and open source.

    Massimo Alberto Croce
    Video Editor, Colorist, Pro Tools Editor
    [email protected]

  • Gary Huff

    June 14, 2014 at 12:46 am

    [Massimo Alberto Croce] ” I sue GIMP, it s free and open source.”

    I have played with GIMP…man is it rough. The UI is definitely nothing that I would call “user friendly”.

  • Bret Williams

    June 14, 2014 at 5:59 am

    Is GIMP non-destructive? And by non-destructive I assume he’s talking about smart objects. Geez I hardly bother with those I’m so used to doing it the old way. But even Photoshop Elements, which is 90% the same as Photoshop, doesn’t have smart objects and it’ll run you close to $100. Pixelmator is where it’s at for me for one reason – it can export as PSDs.

    However, I’ve found my old CS5 Photoshop is still better than Pixelmator, so I’m using it while it still runs.

  • Gary Huff

    June 14, 2014 at 1:56 pm

    [Bret Williams] “I assume he’s talking about smart objects.”

    Smart objects? I always thought “non-destructive” meant layering? I try to keep my Photoshop work as non-destructive as possible, so that’s how I always did it. Am I missing something not working with smart objects?

  • Bret Williams

    June 14, 2014 at 2:19 pm

    Yes. Smart objects allow you to apply live filters like After Effects.

    Pixelmator has layers and a subset of PS layer effects (which I guess would also be called non-destructive) so I figure he’s talking about smart objects.

    For example you can copy a vector object in Ai, and paste it in PS as a smart object, allowing you to add live filters or rescale it at any point.

    But heck, I hardly ever use them. So used to doing stuff the hard way from 15 years ago.

  • Gary Huff

    June 14, 2014 at 2:49 pm

    [Bret Williams] “But heck, I hardly ever use them. So used to doing stuff the hard way from 15 years ago.”

    I mostly do a lot of healing brush and curve tweaking, so I tend to isolate the area I am working on in a new layer and then I can toggle it on/off. I occasionally use filters, but it would be nice if a smart object could take a filter and apply it down through the layers to the original. I’ll have to play with that.

  • Lance Bachelder

    June 14, 2014 at 6:48 pm

    You can kind of think of Smart Objects like pre-comps in AE. They can contain any number of layers etc and remain “live” and editable until rasterized. I use them a lot in graphic design – for instance when I do a credit block on a movie poster or DVD sleeve I normally create them as a Smart Object so I can re-size or change them without rasterizing and they appear as one layer in my project.

    Lance Bachelder
    Writer, Editor, Director
    Downtown Long Beach, California

  • David Mathis

    June 14, 2014 at 6:56 pm

    Never thought of a smart object as a pre-comp like in After Effects or a group in Motion but that is a very good explanation. How well does Motion handle a smart object? I remember reading somewhere that Motion can have issues with multiple smart objects.

  • Peter DeArmond

    June 15, 2014 at 6:54 pm

    This review is a year old, but it provides a nice comparison of Pixelmator and Acorn:

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