Photographers and graphic artists wanting to spend more time in Mac OS X received more good news recently with the public preview release of Canvas 8 from Deneba. Canvas 8, for all practical purposes, could be considered an IDE (integrated development environment) for online artists.
This new Mac OS X application has a variety of tools to support both vector and raster work. Illustrators could replace most of their current applications with Canvas, and photographers, especially ones who create web content, could do much of their work here too. This is especially noteworthy considering that Photoshop for Mac OS X is currently nowhere in sight.
The full Canvas 8 download is about 65 MB. Included in this download is a variety of tools and filters; templates; wizards; dictionaries; color inks and profiles; and a tutorial.
New features for Canvas 8 include vector and raster sequence recording, AppleScript support, integrated ColorSync, QuickTime support, web image slicing, and direct Flash export.
The new PDF export filter really caught my eye. With it you can export your completed Canvas files to PDF and include full data stream compression, direct embedding of PostScript and TrueType fonts, hypertext links, and transitions.
I played around in Canvas one morning and really enjoyed trying the different tools and effects. I found the UI fairly intuitive and easy to navigate. The interface is pure Aqua, and the performance was very good.
Deneba has announced the final release of Canvas 8 for early October. But if you want to experiment with the public preview now, you can grab it from their download site.
Derrick Story is the author of The Photoshop CS4 Companion for Photographers, The Digital Photography Companion, and Digital Photography Hacks, and coauthor of iPhoto: The Missing Manual, with David Pogue. You can follow him on Twitter or visit www.thedigitalstory.com.
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