Have the fat cats running Adobe become rich and lazy? Based on the number of Photoshop competitors hitting the Mac’s streets, yes.
Acorn, DrawIt, Pixelmator, and now Naked Light. All seek to put a dent into the floating barge of Adobe graphics products.
I should probably take a moment to thank Adobe for continuing to develop their top applications for the Mac. Of course, a huge chunk of Adobe’s profits and revenue can be attributed to Mac users, far beyond the recent gains in market share.
If you haven’t looked recently, Adobe’s products are, how should I say it in a kind way? TOO EXPENSIVE!! If I’m anything, I’m subtle. And direct.
Yes, Photoshop is the standard tool for graphic professionals, but, to be honest, I haven’t upgraded Photoshop for a couple of their recent Creative Suites. Why? Not that much new and different except me spending more money. And the complexity of Photoshop, Illustrator and friends has become almost bewildering.
What of Photoshop Elements, the stripped down version of Photoshop for the rest of us? Uh, yes, what about Elements, Adobe? Where is the latest version of the one useful Adobe tool I can almost afford to buy?
Enter Mac OS X, Leopard, and a whole bunch of nifty new graphic and imaging tools. They’re not Photoshop but they still make you drool they’re so cool.
Did I mention that they’re not free? But compared to the price tag of Photoshop CS42, they’re closer to free than you may think.
Adobe has painted themselves into an expensive corner. Photoshop contains more features than God intended for all of humanity, and that begets a corresponding level of complexity and difficulty, and a correspondingly expensive price tag.
What of those of us with less needs? Mac OS X Leopard to the rescue. From little Acorn a big tree grows. Acorn is a simple image editor that does much of what most of us would use Photoshop to do, but without the learning curve and expense. Compare it to anything by Adobe at $40.
The new Pixelmator is an image editor that even looks like Photoshop if Adobe ever decided to make it look attractive and easier to use. If you’re into image editing and graphic design, you’d swear that Photoshop’s developer team quit Adobe and decided to create Pixelmator. It’s less than $60.
Guess what? Mac OS X Leopard comes with a bunch of built in graphics capabilities, and Naked Light may be the first Leopard-only image editor, with a truly ‘Think Different’ way of handling graphics. Live filters, holistically, rather than one at a time.
Think Different? Think pixel-free. Define images and tools and filters in other units, such as inches, millimeters, and picas. I’m not making that up. How about bit-map but with Vector-driven paint. Why is that cool? Because I can’t redraw something I did that accidentally looked good. With Vector-based tools I don’t have to. It redraws itself.
That’s why non-destructive editing is such a boon to the rest of us who want to do Photoshop-like work but can no longer afford the Adobe taxes imposed upon the villagers and farmers. Naked Light does a few other things different, too.
Non-linear editing with stacks of filters. All live. 590 quintillian colors? Yes. As if 590 gazillion colors wasn’t enough.
Yes, there’s even more about Naked Light that I can’t tell you about because, until Friday, it’s vaporware, then it become public betaware. And Naked Light requires Mac OS X Leopard.
This is the first of what we expect will be a number of attractive and affordable applications that go Leopard-only. Why? Again, it’s all those cool things Apple stuck into Leopard that it didn’t stick into Tiger. Can you say, Core Animation?
Even better, some of these graphic tools are competition for Adobe’s products, since Photoshop Elements hasn’t been upgraded since, what? Was it last century? It’s been so long ago. Never mind that Adobe has managed to upgrade Elements for Windows users.
Naked Light shows up on Friday. Give it a whirl after you’ve used Pixelmator, Acorn and other new image editing friends. Then share your experience in the Comments section below.