Monday, March 01, 2004

Software and Art

I was chatting with my buddy Miker the Biker regarding graphic software packages and art the other week. Recently he purchased Corel Painter and was showing me what it can do. I was very impressed with what I saw. While Photoshop is an overwhelming choice of the visualization industry there are many things that it lacks in terms of digital art. So far with my experience of both pieces of software I find that they can compliment each other very well for production work.

For those of you that have a Wacom tablet, make sure you check out the Wacom privileges section as I found a special pricing upgrade for this and other products available as a registered owner. One other piece of software that peeks my interest is Toon Boom Studio, and for those wondering.... I broke down and purchased this product to add to my arsenal of tools.

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I have to give a big thumbs down to/for the Corel Website and lack of response from staff. I had a project that this would have been perfect for this weekend so I ordered Painter 8.1 on Thursday morning (bright and early), paid an extra $15 bucks to have it next day overnighted via the web to be delivered by Friday 10:00am. No follow-up e-mail and no package on Friday. The website is/was difficult to navigate and even harder to find an e-mail address for a live person or group. Finally I called their 1-800 number and got a nice young lady to look into my issue. Somehow my name and information were in the computer, but my order was not. Having never bought a product from Corel before I found this odd. The girl mentioned that the site sometimes has ordering issues and I should try again via the web or place my order by phone. I chose to try via phone this time with a live person, after asking for a FTP option to download to meet my weekend deadline she mentioned this is available for other software but not Painter, with no other options but to wait for mail. She mentioned the shipping options and there were 2 choices 2-3 days or 4-5 days and no overnight. For the 2-3 day service they charge $20. $5 more to order by phone and it is not overnighted. I mentioned that the website option was $15 and overnighted but to no avail.

I also decided to document my experience and see if there was anyway to get a FTP or authcode for my purchase to activate the demo. After trying to login to the website and it not accepting my login name and password I started to give up. An hour later my login name and password worked successfully for once to log in, managed to get an e-mail out to them and documented the experience up to this point (including the login issue). After logging out, I could not log back in since. So far I have not received a response back from their support staff either. Now that's customer service! Give me an Autodesk or Adobe product any day, they understand customer service and the value of a client.
Set Rantmode = Off

I know my post above sounds negative, but what a great weekend otherwise. Beautiful weather, manual labor (heavy yardwork, exterior house cleaning), little rendering, coding and not to mention the upcoming birth of our son. The due date +/- this week.

This week I will be posting my favorite things about AutoCAD 2005 and ADT 2005 for some writing material, if I miss a day or two it means we are in the delivery room.

Cheers and I wish you a great week too...

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