Attention Mac users! It doesn’t matter if you’re a professional graphic designer or just someone who wants to make shirt designs for fun, Intaglio is a lightweight and affordable solution that everyone should know about. I can’t recommend it for digital painters since that’s not the software’s focus, but it provides essential vector graphics editing tools in a small chunk of software. Keep reading for a link to the free demo and information that will help you make up your mind whether it’s worth $90 or not.
Stop! Get a graphics tablet first!
Before suggesting any graphics software to beginners, I would feel guilty if I didn’t first suggest buying a graphics tablet. Drawing with a computer mouse can be a nightmare, so a digital pen and paper is highly recommended. I use a Wacom Intuos3 Tablet that’s 6 by 8 inches, but there are plenty of other options on the market!
Here’s a list of the main features that Purgatory Design boasts about its product, Intaglio:
- CoreImage Filters
- Convert PDF, EPS, SVG, and PICT files into Editable Quartz Graphics
- Scale Drawings & Dimension Tool
- Full AppleScript Support
- Sophisticated Text Manipulation
- Professional Quality Pen Tool
- Compound Paths & Path Combination Operations
- Calligraphy Style Strikes Brushes
- Automatic & Manual Guides
Intaglio 3.2 System Requirements
Intaglio – which gets its name from an ancient printmaking technique – requires users to have Mac OS X 10.3.9 (Panther) or later and QuickTime 7.0 for PowerPC or Mac OS X 10.4.7 for Intel. PowerPC users who have Mac OS X 10.2 to 10.3.8 can use Intaglio version 2.8.2 (PPC only). Mac OS X 10.4 is recommended and required for some features.
Registered users with a standard license can upgrade to Intaglio 3.2 for free, and first time buyers of Intaglio can purchase a license through the software bundle for an addition $40. Intaglio is currently available in English, French, German, and Italian, though the user guide is only available in English (download the .zip file here) and French (down the .zip file here), with the Intaglio Samplie Libraries available for download here.
You can download the Intaglio 11 MB demo here. Until you pay for the full product, Intaglio will disable SVG export, LinkBack, being able to save your drawings, printing drawings without “unlicensed” watermarks on your work, and also exporting to PDF or bitmap without the same watermark.
Introduction to Vector Graphics
If you’re new to vector graphics, it basically means that they can be scaled to any resolution without quality loss. In painting programs like Photoshop, you’re creating and manipulating bitmaps, which are raster graphics that are best meant to be viewed at whatever the resolution is set at.
That means there’s data loss if you scale your image up or down in resolution. This might not be noticeable inside the program itself, but if you create text and a logo for a sticker and then want to also print that text and logo on a wall sized banner, then vectors graphics will be able to stretch that large without any quality loss, whereas .jpg or .bmp files would be excessively blurry. Raster graphics are best for photographs and artistic drawings whereas vector graphics are more suitable for technical illustrations.
Intaglio Mac OS X Supported Technologies
Aside from the popular file formats that every art program support, Intaglio can also convert most of your old drawings from ClarisDraw, QuickDraw, and some versions of MacDraw. This lets you continue using your old work to improve it with new tools that may not have been around in the past. Here are the other integrated technologies it supports:
- AppleScript & Automator
- Apple Type Services
- QuickTime and ImageIO
For the app version of this product for iPhone or iPad, be sure to check out Intaglio SketchPad