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Comic Life Magiq: My Troubleshooting Experiences

To be honest, I was not always happy with Magiq.  When I first downloaded the 1.0.2 version, it had a problem with displaying and exporting images. The results looked fuzzy and blurred in spots, and not up to par with Comic Life Deluxe.

Deluxe image export:

Magiq 1.0.2 image export:

My experience with Macintosh software taught me that, when in doubt, check the preferences. Deluxe used to have something similiar when WYSIWYG image filtering was turned on- so originally I thought it was a variation of that issue.

There were some toggles which appeared related, such as "New Comics Image Filter" under Preferences and the drop-down menu under Format>Comic. No such luck, even when testing high at 300 and low at ye old web-ready 72 dpi.

I investigated possible solutions with my source images. I thought perhaps they were too high or too low to properly internally display. Nada. I was miffed, to say the least. Magiq was written to utilize Quartz (the core graphics framework) that was already part of Leopard. My iMac  at the time was running 10.5.3.

The next logical step was to hit the plasq forums and see if anyone else was having the same or related problem. No luck there, either.
So I posted an initial query with a description of what was going on, and the links to the above images.

An important thing to remember about user forums is that participants come from a myriad of different skill levels and experiences. Most are civil. Some act like a schoolyard bully, and some just want to appear to be the most knowledgeable in the room. It’s best to ignore those and stay professional. I generally work under the assumption that if you are rude to your waiter, you  get the "special" sauce in your meal, no extra charge!

On the other hand, if a tech responds to their users in a disrespectful or unprofessional manner, it’s a good indication that you might want to look for an alternate software title. If I feel the need to report a problem, I stick to the facts. I find it usually gets me further than if I throw flames, insult the creators or technicians of the software, even if they’re acting huffy, oblivious to my specific problem, or could be moving a little faster thank you very much.

In this instance, plasq responded right away to my forum post and asked that I contact them directly, and upload the images via their submission form. Unfortunately that form did not work, so they were instead zipped and emailed directly. In all cases I got an automated confirmation of the receipt of my initial query as well as my follow-up queries.

A month later, Magiq version 1.0.3 came out and I was contacted by plasq and asked to give it a shot. The results were outstanding. The Magiq image is equivalent and arguably, slightly better than the Deluxe version.

Not all troubleshooting experiences with software and hardware will end this well.  Sometimes one will need to dig a little deeper via Google, or in third party forums to find another solution with a different product. One of my favorites is Mac OSX Hints.

Fortunately with plasq, they are enthusiastic about their software and very pleasant to deal with, often a good sign of a healthy product and company.