DrawPlus X5 from Serif has consistently stayed competitive when it comes to drawing software. It contains so much potential in its features and tools that new digital artists may look at the complex interface and think it's a high-end drawing program. This application gives you vector graphics features but still manages to keep the difficulty low. If you are a fan of Serif's other software, you'll be able to jump right into DrawPlus X5 with no difficulty.
This art software takes advantage of accelerated graphic technology, which powers the X5 and is unique to DrawPlus. Elements of this technology are often seen in more costly software. These elements consist of composite transparency, blend groups, knockout mode and isolated blending. Because this sketch software delivers quality results, it receives our TopTenREVIEWS Silver Award for drawing software.
As always, owning a drawing tablet will help you a great deal. With a program like this, you will get complete accuracy in technical projects. Also, it is essential when making basic cartoons and illustrations. The pressure sensitivity gives you the feel of each pen or brush available in DrawPlus.
DrawPlus has some impressive tools that go beyond the essential functions to extend your designing options. For starters, most drawing software has quick-shape tools for only basic shapes such as rectangles, circles, polygons and stars. DrawPlus X5 goes beyond basic shapes to provide many more quick-shape options, including hearts, spider webs, smiley faces, swirls and more. With the Shape Builder tool, you are also able to join objects together and remove conjoining areas.
Serif includes tools in its drawing software specifically for helping you easily create accurate illustrations. The align buttons are a great accuracy tool that allows you to align objects by their top, bottom, right and left sides, as well as by their horizontal or vertical centers. The guidelines are another feature that provides accuracy. They will pop up to help you align objects as you create or arrange shapes. In addition to the guidelines, the measurements of the shapes also briefly appear on your screen.
This drawing software also goes above and beyond in its selection of clip art. Most applications provide a limited selection of clip art or an abundance of cheesy, unprofessional graphics that don't usually belong in your illustrations. Instead, DrawPlus gives you a wide selection of creative and aesthetically pleasing graphics. The clip art images in DrawPlus are not only classy and appealing, but you can also easily edit them. Each object is made of individual shapes, but with the X5's Blend tool, you are able to morph shapes together and blend around each of their paths. This is a great starting point for illustrators who don't want to start from scratch but are not quite satisfied with the clip art as it is. The graphic selection ranges from animals and baby-related gear to artistic tree branches and symbols for interior decoration.
DrawPlus X5 has a creative feature that is not included in most drawing software applications – paper textures. These textures include canvas, cartridge, embossed, parchment and watercolor. Each of these paper textures will give your illustrations a different feel.
Some other unique and helpful features include the 3D planes and the perspective presets. With the 3D Plane tool, you can choose to show grids titled Top Plane, Front Plane and Right Plane on the screen. These grids will help you to create accurate 3D objects by hand, although there is a tool that generates equally impressive 3D objects automatically. The perspective presets will flip an object to a preset angle so that you won't have to manually shift those object to create a perspective angle.
In previous versions of DrawPlus, the filter effects were less impressive. In the X5 version, Serif Software definitely kicked it up a notch by adding new graphic styles and composite transparency. For more accuracy, X5 employs transparency and blend modes, which support isolated blending – a fantastic technique for applying effects to one photo or a group of photos.
A major problem with picking the right drawing software is knowing exactly how files can be saved and which files can be imported. This application takes those worries away. DrawPlus supports 18 standard file types. You are able to import Adobe, Photoshop and Illustrator files, as well as PDF files and EPS and CAD graphics. You can even export your creations as Flash files.
Serif provides excellent help and support for its drawing software. You can consult video tutorials, written tutorials, digital manuals and online forums to better learn how to use DrawPlus X5. To fix technical problems on your own, you can look at the knowledgebase and FAQs page. If you need additional help to solve technical issues, you can contact the Serif support staff by telephone or submit a question ticket. For simple questions, you can connect with Serif Support via Twitter and Facebook.
If you are looking for excellent drawing software that is easy to use but still offers the complex tools and artistic results of a professional application, Serif DrawPlus X5 is worth considering. DrawPlus is competitive in all the areas in which we compared drawing applications, most notably in its features and help and support. Once you enter the graphic design world with DrawPlus, drawing with pen and paper may never be enough again.
The shape builder tool allows you to create complex shapes easily.
The interface is too complex.
DrawPlus is a great drawing application that will help you create beautiful digital art.