Piece of software

projectinspo

#1

I just saw a video of this software this morning. It makes marquetry seem so easy. I think it’s called amazon canvas. Anyone heard of it?

Amazon canvas

It sort of reminded me of an old conversation:


Laser-cut marquetry
#2

Seems pretty cool, but, it appears to be a plug-in for Illustrator.


#3

AH… didnt realize that. It was a tad early this morning when i watched through.

How is Illustrator? Worth the investment? or stick to Inkscape?


#4

From their website amazoncanvas.com (and the amazon in their name is not the Amazon of retail fame):

What is ImagePaint?

ImagePaint is an Adobe Illustrator plug-in (patent pending). ImagePaint software introduced a unique concept “What You See Is What You Get” into the art of, but not limited to, material inlay/marquetry design and production. In addition to features supported in ImagePaint Design Pro, the Production edition includes additional features required to take a finished digital design and turn it into a physical product.

Are you a CorelDraw, Sketch or other Graphic Design Software users?

If you are not familiar with using Adobe Illustrator, no need to worry, Adobe Illustrator can open your vector design file created in your favorite Graphic Design Software. Once that is done, you can start using ImagePaint immediately without having to learn much about Adobe Illustrator. ImagePaint provides its own user friendly User Interface with functions that are fully automated.

The Production Pro version, which appears to be what they use in that YouTube video, is $499 (plus Illustrator). Seems like their proposition is we do the path capture for you. As they don’t do anything you can’t do manually, I’d want to trial it for a while to see how much time they really save.


#5

I really need to read more and drink more coffee before I post in the future, ugh


#6

Weird that I saw this a couple of days ago as well. Almost parallel universe thing. I didn’t notice the software though as any number of packages will do it. I was simply amazed at the details.


#7

I love Illustrator, but I have been using it for a very long time.
It is a beast with a steep learning curve, and lots of internal logic you have to master, but the interface is very well honed at this point and it is solid professional grade software.

You can try it for pretty cheap since the went to monthly payments for the cloud software (I have an older paid copy so have never tried the cloud version).


#8

I agree with you but it has gotten worse with the cloud version. Adobe keeps adding in gimmicky (some useful) features that makes it harder to work with. I’m sure there is a way to turn some of them off but I haven’t looked into it.


#9

Thank you so much for posting this! This level of ease and precision in marquetry is one of my big dreams.


#10

I’ve only been using Illustrator for a few days now and so far I think it’s garbage. Adobe is pretty good at making garbage, IMO. That plugin looks very cool though.

Problems I’ve had with Illustrator…
Tools are hidden below icons for other tools. For instance “reflect” is hidden below “rotate”. Sure, they both start with “R”, and they are both translation tools, but with current computer hardware, screen real estate is vast, why not just have two icons in the toolbar? THEN, when you use one tool, the icon for that tool becomes the default. This, of course, isn’t unique to Illustrator, but it seems to be poorly organized in my brief experience. Holding Ctrl, Alt, Shift (or any of the four combinations of those keys) while clicking and dragging the tool’s icon doesn’t seem to allow rearranging them, unlike so many other programs.

Undo is Ctrl+Z (like it should be) Redo is Ctrl+Shift+Z (which is dumb). Ctrl+Y switches to “outline” mode, the purpose of which is not known to me as a new user.

Interface changes do not seem to be pervasive. I’ve turned on the rulers a number of times, but they always seem be turned back off the next time I start the program.

Scrolling using the touchpad of my laptop only scrolls, it doesn’t zoom. I think that’s the same for the scroll wheel of a traditional mouse too. To zoom you have to hold Alt+scroll. It’s annoying and I haven’t found a way to change it. The relationship between the position of the mouse cursor and the way it zooms is somehow different than what I’m used to with other programs. I haven’t been able to put my finger on the difference though.

To select multiple objects you need to hold Shift. Holding Ctrl doesn’t work for this purpose.

Rotation snapping seems to be limited to 45° increments ONLY. I can’t find an option to change this to 15° increments (or any angle other than 45).

Changing printer preferences requires an extra click. Not that big of a deal, but different than basically every other program on the planet (other than possibly other Adobe garbage).

I’m sure some of these idiosyncrasies wouldn’t be as much of a problem if I had been using Illustrator for several months or years. I’m sure if we all dedicated our lives to memorizing Illustrator’s keyboard shortcuts we could all save a bunch of time that would otherwise be spent digging through toolbars, but that prospect doesn’t interest me too much.


#11

So, is the main benefit of this plugin the ability to preview the design with the wood grains, or is it doing something special to the cuts that makes them work better for marquetry?


#12

When you click and hold on any of those to bring up the tool choices, release your mouse-click on the tiny right arrow at the far right of the box. Both icons will be displayed in the new box, which you can put where you want or anchor to another part of the toolbar.

Very handy if you need to find bits of the design which have gotten lost because of a color change or hidden under shapes. Also good for making sure you don’t have multiple copies of the same line in one place to avoid double-cuts. Uses much less processor power.

This one took me a while too. You have to either edit the New Document profiles or create a custom one.
I found mine in Applications>Adobe Illustrator CC 2015>Support Files>New Document Profiles>en_US>

I turn off animated zoom (Preferences>GPU) because it makes me sick

Preferences>General>Constrain Angle Set that to 15.
(not intuitive, because when the Constrain Angle is not set (i.e. is set to zero), holding shift defaults to 45* constraint)
You can also set custom Smart Guide angles in Preferences>Smartguides

EDIT - Changing the Constrain Angle shifts the entire grid. You have to change it back after. For all purposes. You might be able to use it like they talk about here on Stackexchange

Stackexchange is also where I grabbed this tidbit:

Constrain Angle is not what you want. Turn on Show Grid to understand what it does. It effectively rotates the rectangular page grid. So everything you draw is rotated. For example, setting Constrain Angle to 30 degrees will cause ellipses, rectangles, etc., to be rotated 30 degrees when you draw them, even without holding Shift. This feature could be useful if it were not burried in Preferences, if it were document-specific, and if it had some decent interface which let you quickly change it on-the-fly without opening a stupid modal dialog. But as it is, it is a useless bother for isometric drawing.

SmartGuides is more useful for axonometric drawing. Again, it is stupidy buried in Prefs. Again, it is stupidly not document-specific. But it at least provides multiple constraint angles. Turn on Construction Guides and set it 30 degree increments. Then turn it on in the View menu, or toggle it on/off using the Ctrl-U shortcut. This does not have anything to do with holding Shift. When SmartGuides is on the angled constraints act as snaps when you drag/move within reasonable proximity of one of the angle increments.

Be aware that Snap To Grid over-rides SmartGuides, so turn that off.

The behavior is not always going to be what you expect. For example, simply mousing down and dragging with the Line Tool will (stupidly) not sense the Construction Guides. But after drawing the line, selecting and dragging one of its endpoints will. So it’s not what it should be; and it’s not as good as similar features in other drawing programs, either; but it’s better than nothing.

The keyboard shortcuts come with time. the popup tooltips have a letter in the corner for the shortcut key(s). It’s not so much time spent memorizing them, as time saved when you suddenly realized that you are using the shortcuts without looking them up.

Hope that helps a little.


#13

Thanks for the explanation of outline mode. It sound like it could be useful!


#14

I have an Adobe Illustrator V 7.0 ( for windows 95 or NT4.0) still in the box. I wonder if I should try it…


#15

Wow, thats a twenty year-old program! Do you have a machine that will run it?
Illustrator CC (2015) is currently on version 19.2.1


#16

It’s at least 20+ if I remember correctly. I know I have a 286 around that should still run it. I still have my original IBM PC 8088 from 1981 (no hard drive - green monitor) was soooo excited when I got my CGA monitor lol. And my IBM convertable (one of first laptops) again no HD but had two low density drives ( but with my 1200 baud modem I could still run Prodigy off a disk and connect online) . I wonder if Adobe would give me an upgrade reduction…


#17

think they ended that with the transition to creative cloud. And, although I do enjoy the convenience of the connected software, and the ability to have the entire suite at my disposal, it still pisses me off.


#18

They had a 40% discount on Creative Cloud for existing “perpetual” license owners up until last year at some point*. I’m guessing the discount was only for the first year, but I’m not sure.

* it ended May 29th, '15 it seems


#19

Outline mode shows you what the laser will see.

(As long as you are running vector only at least. And if your laser program cannot self-convert bitmap types to vector types)

This fact was very useful for me when trying to figure out how to make my own laser files initially. My first few tries I made a nice file, loaded to the laser… And the file was blank.

Eventually stumbled on outline mode and a file which had some thing which did show on the laser and some that didn’t. Same yes/no pairing when in outline, and everything clicked.