“Acrylic” is the codename for an innovative illustration, painting and graphics tool that provides exciting creative capabilities for designers working in print, web, video, and interactive media.
Microsoft Acrylic reviews:
The first thing that I noticed is that the background canavas for the application is filled with “BETA”s, just to make sure that we would get that this is beta software, apperantly, if we missed it in the site and installer. Then the reall annoyance started. Acrylic uses the oh so useless notion of floating panels, I has strong dislike to those, even though most graphical programs seems to find them essensial. A properly docked panels are a different story, as evidenced by VS.Net. The real problem was that the Acrylic started at one monitor, and all the panels started on the second one. What is more, you can’t get them to dock.
I think this an update of the beta Microsoft made available of a program called Expressions originally developed by a Graphics Company called Creature House, the orginal developers of Painter, now owned by Corel. Expressions now code name Acrylic, is a respected graphics program on the Macintosh platform.
There are other things you can ding Acrylic on if you want: performance is pretty terrible (to be expected in a beta, but worrisome; I’m always suspicious of blithe assurances that performance issues will be cleaned up in shipping code), and the selection of formats for saving in is uninspirational. But the bottom line for me is that there just isn’t any terribly good reason to consider this application unless you don’t have any professional graphics program that you’re using now. And if you don’t, I’m not sure why you need one in the first place.
Anyway, the program is huge and complicated, which makes me think it is either really good, or really counterintuitive. Either this program is very advanced, or the UI stinks. It seems to run very smoothly. The only thing I could pull off was using it to take a screenshot of itself (which it does not do as well as Photoshop, not having a proper “Save as Web” feature).
After signing my life away and installing it, I ran Acrylic and was not impressed with what I saw. By default, when you create a new document, it automatically gives you a letter sized canvas, and the default file name is “doc”. DOC? come on… its not Word, its a graphics program. “Doc” gives me no hope when I create, at least with “untitled” I get a feeling of worth, its my duty to make it something I can title. And in the event that its totally abstract.. I can save it as “untitled” and continue life satisfied.
I learned that Microsoft announced Microsoft Acrylic when I was reading Scoble today. I immediately clicked on the link to the product page and I can say that I could not find any compelling reason to press the “Click Here to download Now!” link. Do you know what I look for first when I go to a product site? Screenshots! Is it that hard to put screenshots on a webpage? I don’t think so. What else do I look for? Features. What does this thing do? Ok, it is a “professional graphics software” but how is it different from other professional graphics software.
According to Microsoft the program is intended to be used with a graphics tablet and I could find no mention on the Acrylic site if it would work well on a Tablet PC. I’m happy to say that it seems to work well on the Tablet PC, I get full pressure sensitivity when working with various tools and the pen.
If MS is trying to target the low-end user market, mainly people who want to do simple photo editing for family pictures and such, then Acrylic is going to be too complicated for them even if its priced much cheaper than Photoshop. However, if MS is trying to create a product that is for the professional market, Acrylic doesn’t have anything positive to offer graphic designers that they don’t already have with Photoshop.
Final recommendation: Stay as far away from Acrylic as you can. It needs so much development work done, it shouldn’t be out of Alpha testing. If this is anywhere close to the final product they are planning to release, then Microsoft should be prepared to eat another few million in lost development funds. There’s no reason you should have to eat it too.”
Microsoft Painting software related:
Microsoft’s Paint Program Legacy – YAMPP