December 7, 2022

Lucky Life

Arts Fanatics

Amadine for vector graphics (app review)

5 min read

Amadine is a vector graphic design app that’s available on MacOS, iPad and iPhone.

Price of the app is US $29.99 for a single license, US $49.99 for a family (5) license and US $29.99 or US $9.99/year for iPad/iPhone license. If you have intention to get this app on the iPad, it definitely makes more sense to get the one-time purchase of US $29.99 instead of the $9.99/yearly license. The $29.99 pricing is quite reasonable and a pretty good deal because this is an app that’s useful, functional and easy to use.

I had to pay two times to buy the app because the MacOS and iPad licenses are separate.


You can think of Amadine as the competitor to Adobe Illustrator, Affinity Designer and Vectornator. Its main use is for creating vector graphic illustrations. There are some text controls so this can be used for basic typesetting and layout too.

Below are the features advertised by the company:

Workflow

  • Customize UI with attached or detached panels mode.*
  • Store multiple artworks in one document.
  • Create multiple layers and sublayers.
  • Different layer blending modes.
  • View options: pixel/retina preview, outline, guides, grid and rulers.
  • Export the entire document, a sheet or a selection JPEG, TIFF, EPS, PNG, PDF and SVG.
  • Touch Bar and QuickLook supported.*

Advanced Drawing

  • Use more than 30 vector design tools for selecting, drawing, editing, slicing and typing.
  • Add multiple strokes and fills, create unique stroke profiles using the Width tool.
  • Perform union, subtract, intersect and exclude operations on selected objects.
  • Write text along a path or inside a shape.
  • Create vector art using pressure sensitive tablets.
  • Draw illustrations with responsive and natural brushes.

Path Editing

  • Create paths using the Path and Draw tools.
  • Add, remove and arrange the anchor points.
  • Convert points to corner points and smooth points.
  • Edit paths and shapes that they form using the Knife, Scissors and Eraser tools.

The iPad app only offers a subset of features compared to the desktop so there will be differences (*) in functionality.


The user interface for the desktop app is quite similar to other graphic design apps. There’s the menu at the top, toolbar on the left and palettes on the right. The tools and palettes can be detached and moved around, a feature that’s not available to the iPad app.


The basic object tools such as align, distribute, masking, boolean, transform, arranging z depth are all there.


The usual pen path edit tools are all there.


It is possible to create multiple artboards.


Text controls and functionality certainly aren’t as comprehensive compared to Affinity Designer and Adobe Illustrator but these are still good enough for creating headlines and handling paragraphs.

So far I’ve covered the desktop app, now let’s look at the iPad app.


The main difference between iPad vs desktop app is most of the tools and functions are hidden within the palettes and icons. With the desktop app, the palettes are open and visible and you can change settings quickly. With the iPad app, for settings that are not visible, you will have to show the settings before you can adjust them. There’s also no top menu with the iPad.

Basically, the workflow for desktop and iPad (with Apple Pencil) is different since one’s designed for use with keyboard, mouse and monitor while the other is designed for smaller touchscreen displays.


The are keyboard shortcuts but since the iPad app does not have all the features of the desktop app, not all the keyboard shortcuts are available too.

If you’ve used Adobe Illustrator, not all the keyboard shortcuts are similar. You can find the full list of Amadine shortcuts on this page.


The one main issue I have with the iPad app is when used with Apple Pencil, you have to be more careful not to move objects accidentally when you select objects. When you tap with Apple Pencil to select, make sure you don’t move the pen tip after selection to prevent the object from moving. This issue does not happen with cursor and mouse.


Another issue is coloured labels are assigned to layers automatically and you cannot change the coloured labels. These coloured labels will affect the colour of the active selection. Shown above are two objects selected with the desktop app, one with orange active outline and the other with purple active outline. The colours of the active outlines are decided by me. On the iPad, you have not choice for the colours of the active outlines and sometimes you can’t see the active outline when it’s the same colour as the stroke. This is more of a usability or UI issue than functionality issue.


Here’s a vector illustration created with the iPad app by tracing a photograph.

Something like this will probably take me at most 1 hour to create with Adobe Illustrator. With Amadine tablet app, it took me 2-3 hours. Some of the reasons why it took so long is because

  1. I wasn’t familiar with the app. But this is an easy app to learn
  2. Settings are hidden within settings that you have to make visible before you can change them
  3. Not all keyboard shortcuts are available, and you cannot customise your own keyboard shortcuts.
  4. I have to constantly check to see if I have moved objects accidentally during selection with the Apple Pencil

The part that slowed me down most is not having more keyboard shortcuts.

File management
Files are saved into the Files app on the iPad instead of within the app. This is how desktop apps save their files and is the way I prefer to work with.

For backups on the iPad, you’ll have to rely on iCloud or you can backup manually by connecting your iPad with a cable to your PC/Mac. For backups on the Mac, again you can use iCloud or whatever your backup system is (I use Microsoft OneDrive).

Conclusion

Amadine is a wonderful vector graphics app with most of the important vector and design tools included. This app is easy to use with a gentle learning curve. Once you are familiar with the app and tools, you can work quite quickly. It’s definitely worth the US $29.99. Highly recommended.

I feel like the company should just port the desktop version over to the iPad instead. But seeing that the company created the desktop AND iPad versions, I don’t think that’s going to happen in the future. Why I say that is because the desktop app has all the features, keyboard shortcut and has the flexibility to work with larger displays. iPads that use M1 or newer Apple processors have external display support but the tablet app won’t be able to take advantage of large displays and the tablet app isn’t designed for use with cursor and non-touchscreen.

If you’re interested to get this app, you can get it through Amadine homepage.

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