One of my favorite Mac graphics tools is Macromedia’s Fireworks, now officially out to pasture, a relic from the days of 32-bit apps, an old friend that won’t run on 64-bit macOS Catalina. That situation required many months of exploration to find a replacement. Here it is.
Fireworks brought vector graphics to those of us who needed a good graphics workflow without having to take night classes at a nearby community college. The app blended a few bitmap tools into an array of vector tools that allowed me to keep using it years after Adobe stopped support and upgrades.
Such is the nature of change. My needs have not. What was required was a drawing tool with balance; the right blend of tools and functions to let me manipulate graphic elements easily, quickly, and, since I prefer vector graphics to bitmap, easily edited components.
My search ended a few months ago with Amadine, a delightfully pleasant drawing app from the same folks who publish Art Text, Swift Publisher, Get Backup Pro, and amazing Live Home 3D. More on those at another time.
Amadine is the vector drawing app for those of us with a creative bent, a precision tool that is both intuitive and obvious, but with functions that turn an idea into a finished product without having to dink around for days.
What I prefer are tools that surround the creation, easily available and visible, yet simply obvious.
Tool palettes that can stick to the image the way Fireworks did, or float as needed.
Even better is the performance. Amadine is a new Mac app for a generation of developers who want power graphics but without the overhead. It’s fully 64-bit compliant, runs very fast on macOS Catalina, and uses the Mac’s built-in functions to deliver professional-level performance.
That includes Metal 2, OpenGL, CoreImage, even Touch Bar context-sensitive function keys.
Built into Amadine are some of the tools you find in Art Text; tools that let you produce art from text and do so within minutes instead of hours.
Lettering and typography are elegant and time-honored methods to create business or project logos, and that makes Amadine even better than Fireworks. I preferred to use Art Text instead. Now many of the same functions are combined.
Most of the tools and effects you expect of a vector graphics design app are built into Amadine. That includes shadows and blurs, inner and outer glow, stroke and fill, plus gradient fills with user-controlled radius.
One technique I have used since the last century is workflow– custom profiles and elements. Amadine makes it easy to create settings and keep them as a customer profile. Another technique that ranges beyond my daily usage is advanced drawing techniques which let the designer in you loose to create a vector art image that looks more hand-drawn instead.
Here’s the deal. I dabble in graphic design and have for nearly 30 years. That means I need a useful set of tools that help me with logos, projects, brand ideas, web graphic design when I’m in a hurry. I’m always in a hurry and don’t have time to take a 36-hour online course.
The user interface and almost obvious approach to tool location and settings is what made me grab onto Amadine and stick around. Plus, there’s no monthly fee. One price. Affordable. There’s a reason why we’ve reviewed a number of BeLight’s apps through the years.
We use them.