Friday, 24 July 2009


Well there's been a big buzz amongst the scal groups about the new version and after having a brief play with the trial version I couldn't resist upgrading.

I've not played with it fully yet so maybe I'll be amending this post over the next few days but my intial impression is WOW.

I love the new zoom tool, no more nose against the screen trying to see small detail. You can zoom in to 500%.

Layers.. ooh how I love them. For those who just do the odd welded word it isnt going to change your life but if you're into paper piecing or you want to mat and layer perfectly this is fab. You can arrange everything on the virtual mat to check the borders, placement etc but by having each image on a seperate layer you can cut them individually. This is going to save me loads of time and messing about. No more saving a 12*24 mat with all the images scaled then having to keep deleting & moving stuff into position and having to save half a dozen different scut files.

There's a new trace tool, no more having to open jpgs in inkscape, convert and save as an svg then import into scal. This nifty tool does it all in one go so it's going to save some disk space. I can't see inkscape (or other svg converting programmes) being totally redundant, there is still going to be the odd file or 2 that needs tidying up and node simplification.

At last there's a group feature, dead handy when you need to move loads of images/shapes and keep them in perfect position. It's also great to be able to change their size all in one go as well.

Can't say as having the mat at a side orientation has ever bothered me but it is nice to be able to switch the ruler to cms.

Now I have run into a few issues that make it a good idea to keep scal1 on the pc until any bugs are ironed out.

Shadows are playing up a bit in scal2, I tried to shadow a jpg image but instead of a nice tidy shadow it went crazy and the finished shadow bared no relation to the original. I hear other people are finding the same thing on the basic shapes as well.

If you have an expressions make sure you preview before cutting. For some unknown reason it wants to cut half page only. Easily cured by going back in and checking the 12*12 mat but it's irritating when you're cutting duplicates and the last cut worked fine.

There is also the issue of compatability, you can open scal1 scut files in scal2 but not the other way around. I've also found you can't delete images from scal1 files in scal2. This isnt a biggie issue for me though.

I'm over the moon with scal2 but if you only want to use scal for welded words I don't know that I'd be jumping to upgrade. For those that arent using scal to the extremes that myself and others are this is going to be a great help in getting more from it than just the odd letter and basic shape.

As to how you get an upgrade, just click the logo on the right and click to download. If you already have scal1 you will need to fill in a form on the craftedge site with your name, email addy & serial number. Craftedge will then email you back a coupon code, use this in the purchase area and your upgrade will only cost you $30 (£19 in uk money today).

Have also found when tracing an image you cant duplicate them by cutting and pasting you have to retrace every time. Maybe not a biggie but if in a desperate rush it might be quicker to convert the image to svg in inkscape.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for this If I get scal 2 do I need scal 1 first