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Paths Elements - Big Disappointment!

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  #1  
Old 12-06-2008, 11:32 AM
Hoover Hoover is offline
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Paths Elements - Big Disappointment!

Hi,
I purchased Paths Elements not knowing what to expect other than quality software with some quality instruction which I assumed would be by you (Mr. Lynch). I'm using PE2 but I don't think it makes any difference, the software is probably the same for every level.

From my perspective as a learner, and I think you must realize also, the instructions that come with it are extremely minimalistic and don't even cover the basics. Basics such as in Bezier curves creations, each new point you create you are to drag before letting up to create the desired curve.

I'm going to go on a little bit more about the software and documentation deficiencies but I want to point out here that you said "you are about to be introduced to a wholly different concept in working with images." The concept of being 'introduced' to me means getting some kind of overview. Since it was from your website and cost $24.94 I thought it would be pretty thorough. What I got was hours of trying to figure out how something does or doesn't work. The manufacture's support person has attempted to provide a tiny bit of instruction but even it has been in error. So at present, I am frustrated by the software and feel that you have broken my trust.

Back to the deficiencies:

Once a Bezier curve has been adjusted when you first create the point, you can't go back and re-adjust it. That is totally unacceptable to me.

If a previous segment has a curve set to it, future points often have too much 'string' that can't be pulled more taut.

If previous segments have curves set and then you want the next segment to be a straight line you're suppose to hold down the shift key, however that still results in a curved line. An email from the manufacture says hold the ctrl key but that didn't help either and again there is too much string.

There are no instructions for editing the 5 special tools boxes.

As a tool for tracing out selections quickly and accurately, as far as I can tell - it's not.

This software was buy-before-you-try and given your reputation as an educator I felt it wasn't going to be a risk. I have indicated to the manufacturer that I want a refund, that I wouldn't have purchased it on a try-before-you-buy basis given it's current functionality and documentation.
I haven't heard from them in several days now.

So, sorry to beat you up before I've had any cordial contact with you. Perhaps if I had discovered this forum sooner I could have avoid this frustration. I am open to your response.

Sincerely,
Steve Hoover

Last edited by Hoover; 12-06-2008 at 11:56 AM. Reason: punctuation
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  #2  
Old 12-07-2008, 07:39 AM
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Richard_Lynch Richard_Lynch is offline
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Re: Paths Elements - Big Disappointment!

Sorry you feel it is a disappointment. It is a third-party product -- not mine. Support is supposed to be provided by the manufacturer. I was trying to make some additional things available from the site so that people had more exposure to other parts of the technology. Paths for $25 is pretty good...as the alternative is upgrading to Photoshop or getting Illustrator. But if it is not satisfactory, I may remove it from the site. I put it up to help people who wanted path tools in Elements, usually that would be people who are familiar with them. I think there have been a total of 20 or so packages sold, so I'm not worried about taking them down...I'll want to get some other things up to replace them. These were easy for me to put up...but if the support is bad, I don't want it tainting the site.

Perhaps I can toss you a few shape editing tools I do have...not exactly bezzier curves, but it will provide some neat features for shape editing, and it might get me going on sticking to my own releases and getting up some new material!

Let me know.

Richard
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Old 12-07-2008, 03:31 PM
Hoover Hoover is offline
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Re: Paths Elements - Big Disappointment!

I've been playing away most of the day with a free open source program called GIMP 2.6 http://www.gimp.org/. It seems to have a lot of features my Elements 2.0 doesn't have or come stock with. It even has a paths tool. The tool is simple, just make two points then grab the segment and start to drag then adjustment handles appear at both ends of the segment. You can go back to any segment whenever you want and re-adjust.

Last edited by Hoover; 12-07-2008 at 03:32 PM. Reason: puncuation
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Old 12-08-2008, 10:36 AM
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Richard_Lynch Richard_Lynch is offline
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Re: Paths Elements - Big Disappointment!

Never thought of suggesting GIMP as a production tool for vector work, but that may be a good idea. I think I'll be taking down the third-party stuff. I'm not usually a fan of going to another application, but in this case it makes sense as most people won't be using paths a lot.

Thanks for the suggestion, even if that wasn't quite what you meant to say!
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Old 12-08-2008, 08:13 PM
Hoover Hoover is offline
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Re: Paths Elements - Big Disappointment!

What do you think about trying Paths Elements yourself before abandoning it completely? Maybe there is some trick to it that the person corresponding to me didn't know about. Or maybe the company might listen to your suggestions on how to make it better or the documentation better. It would be nice to have something that works in Elements. However, if you've only sold 20 it's probably not worth the trouble.

BTW, I'm just a guy dabbling in something he knows really nothing about. I'm talking about Elements, Paths Elements, GIMP, whatever. I thought I would get your book and learn PE2 once and for all, after owning it since it came out, and I wanted all the bells and whistles to go with it while still available.

Thanks,
Steve

Last edited by Hoover; 12-09-2008 at 04:56 AM. Reason: punctuation
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Old 12-09-2008, 07:37 AM
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Richard_Lynch Richard_Lynch is offline
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Re: Paths Elements - Big Disappointment!

I have some simple tools for working with shapes. The missing tools themselves are not something I believe I can create access for. Some useful tools that you will already have, I think, if you have the book (though I can't remember specifically for Elements 2, it has been some 7-8 years) include converting type to vectors and combining shapes. These are features native Elements does lack, but a feature is implemented differently than a freehand tool.

As far as the documentation...it would really not be worth my time to document the feature for the manufacturer. There is a LOT more I can do for Elements users by working in the areas of support for photographic editing. But thank you for the ideas and discussion! it is good to hear anyone posting with some interest.
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Old 04-08-2009, 01:13 PM
karenstimson karenstimson is offline
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Re: Paths Elements - Big Disappointment!

I just found your site and have downloaded your Hidden Power Tools--thank you very much! I read this thread with interest, as I was wondering how the paths add-on works. I design Photoshop actions, mainly for digital scrapbooking designers, and am looking to convert some of my actions for users of Photoshop Elements. Trouble is, most of my actions depend on the create path/stroke path with brush function in Photoshop, which of course Elements doesn't have. I can't figure any workaround for this function, so I was wondering if the paths plug in you sell adds it, and if so, will it work for a step in an action created in PS or does it have to be installed into PS as well and the action written using it? I've only seen reference to being able to use the pen tools with this plug in. I wish there was a demo version! I understand that it's a third-party product, so if you can give me a contact where I can get this information, I would be grateful.
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Old 04-09-2009, 07:14 AM
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Richard_Lynch Richard_Lynch is offline
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Re: Paths Elements - Big Disappointment!

perhaps I can help you out with other features. if you are using set shapes, there should be a way to incorporate that into an action...Do people need to use the pen tool specifically, or just a path?
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Old 04-09-2009, 11:27 AM
karenstimson karenstimson is offline
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Re: Paths Elements - Big Disappointment!

They don't need the pen tool, they need to be able to create a selection from a shape, text, line drawing, etc., and then have it converted to a path by the action, which then strokes the path with a preselected or user-selected brush. I can send you a sample action if you like, just let me know where to send it.

Thanks for responding!
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Old 04-10-2009, 06:03 AM
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Richard_Lynch Richard_Lynch is offline
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Re: Paths Elements - Big Disappointment!

You really should be able to do that in the action.
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Old 04-10-2009, 10:19 AM
karenstimson karenstimson is offline
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Re: Paths Elements - Big Disappointment!

I can do it in Photoshop, but need to be able to do it in Elements, and Elements lacks a Paths tool. I haven't found a workaround for this, if you can suggest one I'd be very grateful.
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Old 04-10-2009, 04:31 PM
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Re: Paths Elements - Big Disappointment!

I can re-create my Elements tools for path making if you'd like. I thought you were doing it with an action for Elements...
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Old 04-10-2009, 05:30 PM
karenstimson karenstimson is offline
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Re: Paths Elements - Big Disappointment!

I'm sorry, I think I'm confusing you and I don't mean to. What I am doing is taking my actions for Photoshop and converting them to run in Elements--so far in Elements 5 through 7, since I have testers for those versions and I have version 6 myself. Most of my actions create a path from an image (a rasterized shape, rasterized text, or line drawing) chosen by the user, then convert that selection to a path, and then stroke the path with either a user selected brush or a brush chosen by the action. What do I need to do to allow Elements to run these actions? If you have a tool that lets Elements create paths, that sounds ideal for my purposes!

Thanks so much for working with me on this, I can't tell you how much I appreciate it. If you can create a paths tool for Elements, I think you would have a good customer base among digital scrapbookers!
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Old 04-11-2009, 07:40 AM
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Richard_Lynch Richard_Lynch is offline
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Re: Paths Elements - Big Disappointment!

Elements will run certain path commands through actions. Without troubleshooting your action I can't tell you what might be going wrong -- only that from what you describe, you should be able to do what you want...without any help from me.
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Old 04-11-2009, 01:12 PM
karenstimson karenstimson is offline
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Re: Paths Elements - Big Disappointment!

Thanks, Richard, I hadn't tried to run my actions that use paths in Elements because from everything I'd read I figured they wouldn't work. But I just heard from my tester that the paths do seem to work in the actions she has tried in Elements, so looks like I just got a lot of bad info online--I should have come here first!!! I only got Elements a week ago on the disc with my pen tablet, so I am a REAL newbie! This forum is a godsend, and I appreciate all your extremely helpful comments. You rock!
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