Sunday, 11 May 2014

iDraw or Not to iDraw? My Conclusion on the Mac App

Let me start off by saying that I have not got the iPad version, so can't say if any features are missing on that one!

So, does this app live up  to the hype?  I've had the chance to use it a fair amount over the last few days and I have to say that I am impressed.
It has enough features that the amateur artist or would be designer can get going quite quickly. Like most graphic software, there is a learning curve (and I am still on it!) I do like the interface, although a variant of the all black theme would be nice - maybe a deep blue?  The interface is not overloaded, it is clear and boxes easily manoevered around to where you want them or toggled on and off. Unlike some software, where if you shut a box down you can spend half an hour trying to find it again!

The main quirk is that some things require that you have your settings before you draw - curves on corners of a rounded corner rectangle, for example.One thing you really need to remember, if you are saving or exporting the file for another app - that unlike in Silhouette Studio, anything off your canvas IS NOT included.  That's fine, as long as you remember and stick another layer in, not so good if you forget and delete it first!  I have noticed that things exported  and imported into Studio can end up being HUGE! No idea why, I suspect it is a Studio issue rather than an iDraw one.
 I miss not having an 'Undo' button, having to go into the menu for that is a pain. (Yes, I know the shortcut key command z, but I don't often use those).
I miss not having  a dedicated object offset button (more on that later).
However, on the whole I am very happy with iDraw, for the price it is extremely good. It does not appear to be prone to crashing and there is no lag.
A shortage of video tutorials from anyone will however, put many off buying iDraw.  I have uploaded a few on the basics
 iDraw Offset Tutorial is just one,
      (see my YouTube Channel for more) made as I have discovered the workings myself. I know developers think they have more important things to do, and they probably have but I also think they under estimate the number of people who have never used graphics software - but want to give it a go. The price puts iDraw firmly in a beginners market but the manual has not been updated and there is little video back up.

I love that you can customise and store your own effects, styles and shapes. I love the ability to save in different formats. The layers are clear, can be labelled and moved. The fills are fantastic, so variable and you can easily import image fills.
Another great feature is the line smoothing. This is brilliant. It takes your rough lines and makes them look all neat and tidy!
Want to join lines that are all over the page? No problem. Didn't quite draw a closed shape? No problem, this can be done or put right at the click of a mouse.
Want to draw and label your garden plans? Easy.
There is a great scissor tool and all the usual path tools you would expect, although they may be called a different name.

If you expect it to be a full featured replacement for Adobe or Corel, you would be mistaken, there is a reason why those are so expensive and why many people would not know where to even start using them; but if you want a great package for small business or home use, this may well be all you need.

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