graphics software from a traditional perspective

Noctivagous is a software effort originally founded to publish new professional art programs for graphic design and illustration. Its main program, SVDraw, achieves high standards of traditional art compared to existing software programs (e.g. Adobe Illustrator), exceeding them by emphasizing art and design fundamentals. The result is a program that is a striking upgrade from the previous paradigm.

By reworking existing controls of the keyboard, Noctivagous is making a program that facilitates natural and fluid drawing on the computer, using only standard computer hardware. This program is a product of extended research.

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story of science vs. art programs

It was computer scientists in the 1980's who programmed what has become the illustration software of today. At the time, programmers were focused entirely on engineering aspects of the software; considerations of artistic acceptability were not taken into account. For many design professionals, this is an outstanding problem, even as they appreciate the benefits such software has provided over the years.

The conveniences these programs offered for publication drove them into popular usage in the 1990's. The ease of laying out precision type and graphics overcame any aesthetic objections people had to some of the lesser aspects of the programs and how they accomplish designs, in which illustration became conflated with page design. Professional designers could work entirely in computer files that could be passed easily to co-workers and modified on short notice. As a result, these programs quickly replaced graphics and illustration studio tables and traditional tools, for better and worse.

These programs shape our urban and commercial environment in comprehensive ways and are now the source of corporate logos to signage of nearly any kind as a person walks down the street of a major city. Commercial product packaging is now completely dependent on them.

According to designers, the software company Adobe has usurped the fields of commercial art, graphics, and professional illustration because of how central computers have become to modern work and how it is tied to the Internet. Not using an Adobe product for professional graphic design is now equated with not having a career, unless a person is known specifically as a traditional artist.

Additionally, these programs, because they were made in early computer days, lack crucial artistic ability in a multitude of areas compared to hand-drawn work and they also promote commonplace, default design behavior based on the functions of the programs. Designs, logos, and page layouts that are not actually good or professionally-made can still look like they were because of the computer and laser printer handling all of the line work that would normally be done by hand. Many times these programs allow people to produce plain designs that come off as passable anyway to the typical viewer because of the computer and laser printer taking care of all aspects of the final product's craft, color, and line work.

When compared to the craft required in traditional hand drawing and illustration, these programs are extremely lacking in capacity even as they provide rapid reproduction capacities and alluring special effects. They confine users of the software to a specific set of computer moves and provide a continuous illusion that using them is exactly as effective as drawing by hand. What becomes more important is how to manipulate the program to do something according to a procedure rather than dealing with the actual product being made. Making genuinely good things with them is still an onerous task for certain things, no matter how skilled a person normally is with art and graphics in real life. Skilled graphic designers become obligated to learn involved technical aspects of the program just to accomplish what they could do normally by hand. Most important to note: the products made with them today take on a similar, monotonous computer-based appearance due to the functionality of the programs dictating their outcome:

The programs themselves do not conform to any standards of art, but allow people to feel that they do on account of their ability to produce end products quickly in multiple combinations on short demand, with special effects. The illustration programs we have today caught on because of their automated and alluring design functions, despite their lacking any inherent artistic sense; though people do manage to produce artwork with them, quality is difficult to achieve and even requires learning tricks to make things look normal.