Posts Tagged ‘3D’
Since I last wrote about Serif Drawplus on the blog there have been some major changes by the software company. First of all, Drawplus has been updated from X2, through X3 and now stands at version X4! Also and probably of more impact to the freebie loving computer users the downloadable free version has completely changed. Instead of making available an old version for free, Serif have decided to release a new up-to-date little brother kind of version call DrawPlus Starter Edition. I’ve seen and heard of quite a few other companies doing this recently, it seems to be a new trend for software developers.
This is bad and good news as you have probably guessed. The best things about the new Starter Edition in my opinion are;
- The new interface. It’s a lot less clunky and Windows 95 looking than the previous free version! The docked tabs seem more sensible in their layout. They are very very much like Adobe’s tabbed palettes. Some have more options and flexibility than Adobe’s, others less. The balance is good though.
- DrawPlus’s fills, transparency and brushes. All seem to have better, more accessible and immediate use than in Illustrator. Immediate because there’s so many more useful presets and when you drag the mouse you see the fill or transparency transform in real time. In Illustrator and older versions of Drawplus you could only see the reault after you let go of the mouse, so it was a guessing game with any kind of gradient.
- Effects. They work really nicely, like Adobe’s Styles but I like having material thickness and fathering right there on the palette itself. The Starter Edition has just a few of a massive range of materials and textures that is included in the full X4 version. Enough to test, quite a crafty ploy to make you feel like buying the full version!
- Tablet support. The brushes are highly configurable, and look great. I didn’t use a tablet in my test though, just the mouse.
The not so good things are of course the things that are unavailable to Starter Edition users. As well as having less fills, brushes etc available, some portions of the program are ghosted out so the options/facilities are unavailable. Notably these are;
- Export/publishing options
- 3D projections and planes
- Colour palette designer
- Flash animation
There are still lots of things available to make the program fully functional in many ways, it might be all you need! If you’ve never tried Drawplus yet love working with vector graphics it’s definately worth trying this new Starter Edition. I am really quite tempted to upgrade it to the full X4 version because other than the interface there are lots of other things in this new version of the program I would like to try out. I only own full version 6, which came out in 2001 according to Wikipedia! Also for work, it has CMYK and Pantone fill palettes now available. Mostly I’d like to try the 3D planes feature which could help create some great isometric designs and logos.
I’ll update you with my findings if I buy the X4 upgrade.
Is 3D in the non-interactive and non-animated design side of things a bit stale and shopworn?
It seems so, even clients have asked “no 3D effects”, not that I wanted to do any… So it seems like it’s a thing to avoid, a furry dice of the graphic design world now. In fact there has been a consciously flat movement for many years, flat colours, no gradients, no shadows and no 3D. However it seems perspective effects are still quite popular and isometric effects have been cool for a few years. What do you think, is 3D often used to put lipstick on a pig?