UPDATE JULY 2012 - I broke down and bought the Pazzles Inspiration Pro 2010 software and use it exclusively for all my design work. It has some kinks, but I usually find a workaround for what I need to do. I don't use MTC or SCAL 3 anymore, nor do I do rhinestone designs anymore. I may do some rhinestone designs if someone asks, but I am really not interested anymore.
I thought my diecutter decision making journey was ugly, but I think I've found what I need in the Pazzles Inspiration. My current problem seems to be finding the "perfect" software to use with it; one that includes a super rhinestone feature. Don't get me wrong on this, I love the fact I can create my own designs! This is super for us crafters and I thank both SCAL and MTC, you guys are super!
So far I have tried both SCAL 3 and MTC, but one is lacking something or the other. Together, these two software would be awesome (I have both by the way).
This is what I look for in one software to use with my Pazzles Inspiration (don't even know if my wishes are realistic, but I can hope): (Not interested at this time in buying the Pazzles Pro because I think it is costly and should have come with the machine anyway). Just my thought. I will probably purchase it, hesitantly, later.
1. Rhinestone Counter
2. Accurate layout of the stones without gross overlaps and tons of cleaning (yes I do know that some designs are just not going to be proper for a rhinestone design)
3. Can handle the fill of at least a cartoon face with eyes of a decent size
4. Ability to handle fonts with some curves
5. Does not slow down on my Win 7 with 4GB RAM upon trying to fill a 4" design with no other software open (I do not have a lot of programs on my PC and I save everything to a SD card. My PC is fast for most things (i.e. I can have Adobe Illustrator, PS, and Dreamweaver open with no slowness on my PC, but can't have one of the above opened alone to fill a 3" rhinestone design without it freezing))
6. Has an eraser tool
7. Has a pen tool and other common drawing tools
8. Ability to type in my own stone sizes and spacing without just a slider that I can't accurately move to the desired location
9. Works with Pazzles Inspiration
10. Under or at $300 with free updates
11. Good customer service with vendor/developer (at least have more than one video I can watch)
12. Ability to dock and undock panels
Is this too much to ask for one application? I don't know. I guess I can dream.
I have found that one software has almost all that I want, but lacks some simple tools like the ability to draw a line. The other software has the drawing tools, but is horrible with vectorizing and does not have a rhinestone counter. I just don't think it's cool that I have to use multiple software just to accomplish a task. Why the heck should I go to one program to draw a line, then paste that line in the other software so I can use it? Does that make sense? No.
I had no intention of using my blog as a gripe session, but hey, it is what it is. Hopefully, soon, I will be able to show some things I intended this blog for, but until then.....ignore my rants/reviews. :-)