Real-DRAW Pro 3

[DTP Reviews]
[Vector Reviews]
[Bitmap Reviews]
[Web Reviews]
[3D Reviews]

[3ds max 6]
[3DSOM Pro ]
[Acrobat 7]
[Acrobat 6]
[Acrobat 5]
[Acrobat 4]
[Acrobat 3]
[Acrobat Capture 2]
[Advanced Render 2.5]
[Articulate Presenter 5]
[AutoEye 2]
[AutoEye 1]
[Bryce 5.5]
[Camtasia Studio]
[Canvas X]
[Canvas 9]
[Canvas 8]
[Canvas 7]
[Canvas 6]
[Canvas 5]
[Captivate 1]
[Carrara 5 / Pro]
[Carrara 4 / Pro]
[Carrara Studio 3]
[Cinema 4D 9.5]
[Cinema 4D 9]
[Cinema 4D 8.5]
[ColorDrive 1.5]
[CompuPic Pro 6]
[CompuPic Pro 5]
[Contribute 2]
[Corel Designer 12]
[Corel Designer 10]
[Designer 9]
[Designer 1/8]
[CorelDraw X3]
[CorelDraw 12]
[CorelDraw 11]
[CorelDraw 10]
[CorelDraw 9]
[CorelDraw 8]
[CorelDraw Office 9]
[CorelDraw Premium 9]
[Creative Suite 2]
[Creative Suite 1]
[Deep Exploration 3]
[Deep Paint 2]
[Deep Paint 3D 2]
[Digital Image Suite 9]
[Director MX]
[Director 8.5]
[Director 8]
[DreamSuite 1]
[Dreamweaver 8]
[Dreamweaver MX 2004]
[Dreamweaver MX]
[DrawPlus 8]
[Expression 3]
[Expression 2]
[Eye Candy 4000]
[Fireworks 8 ]
[Fireworks MX 2004]
[Fireworks MX]
[Fireworks 4]
[Fireworks 3]
[Fireworks 2]
[Fireworks 1]
[Flash Professional 8]
[Flash MX Pro 2004]
[Flash MX 2004]
[Flash MX]
[Flash 5]
[Flash 4]
[Flash 3]
[FlashCom MX]
[Flightcheck 3]
[Flix Pro]
[Fontographer 4.1]
[FrameMaker 6]
[FrameMaker 5.5]
[FreeHand MX]
[FreeHand 10]
[FreeHand 9]
[FreeHand  8]
[FrontPage 2003]
[FrontPage 2002]
[FotoFusion 3]
[Generator 1]
[Genetica 2]
[Genuine Fractals 3.5]
[Genuine Fractals]
[GoLive CS2]
[GoLive CS]
[GoLive 6]
[GoLive 5]
[Headline Studio 1]
[Illustrator CS2]
[Illustrator CS]
[Illustrator 10]
[Illustrator 9]
[Illustrator 8]
[Illustrator 7]
[Image Doctor]
[InDesign CS2]
[InDesign CS]
[InDesign 2]
[InDesign 1]
[ImageReady 1]
[ImageStyler 1]
[Intellihance Pro 4]
[Intellihance 3]
[KnockOut 2]
[KnockOut 1.5]
[KPT 7]
[KPT 6]
[KPT 5]
[KPT 3]
[LiveMotion 2]
[LiveMotion 1]
[Mystical Lighting ]
[Mystical Tint]
[Namo WebEditor 5.5]
[NetObjects Fusion 7.5]
[OnOne Photoshop Suite]
[PageMaker 7]
[PageMaker 6.5+]
[PageMaker 6.5]
[PagePlus 6]
[PagePlus 5]
[PagePlus 4]
[Paint Shop Pro X ]
[Paint Shop Pro 9]
[Paint Shop Pro 8]
[Paint Shop Pro 7]
[Paint Shop Pro 6]
[Paint Shop Pro 5]
[Paint Shop Pro 4]
[PSP Album 5]
[PSP Studio]
[Painter IX]
[Painter 8]
[Painter 7]
[Painter 6]
[Painter 5.5]
[Painter 5]
[Painter 4]
[Painter Essentials 3]
[Photo Album 6]
[PhotoDeluxe BE]
[PhotoDraw 2000 2]
[PhotoDraw 2000 1]
[PhotoFrame 1]
[PhotoGraphics 1]
[PhotoImpact 11]
[PhotoImpact 10]
[PhotoImpact XL]
[PhotoImpact 8]
[PhotoImpact 6]
[PhotoImpact 5]
[PhotoImpact 4]
[PhotoImpact 3]
[Photo-Objects 2]
[PhotoPaint 8]
[Photoshop CS2]
[Photoshop CS]
[Photoshop 7]
[Photoshop 6]
[Photoshop 5.5]
[Photoshop 5]
[Photoshop 4]
[Photoshop Album 2]
[Photoshop Album]
[Ph/shop Elements 4]
[Ph/shop Elements 3]
[Ph/shop Elements 2]
[Photoshop Elements]
[PhotoSuite 7 ]
[PhotoSuite 5]
[PhotoSuite 4]
[PhotoSuite III]
[PhotoSuite II]
[PhotoTools 2]
[Picture Publisher 8]
[Piranesi 4 ]
[Piranesi 3]
[Portfolio 3]
[Poser 6]
[Poser 5]
[Poser Pro Pack]
[PrintOffice 2000]
[PrintOffice 1]
[PressReady 1]
[Publisher 2003]
[Publisher 2002]
[Publisher 2000]
[Publisher 98]
[Pxl SmartScale]
[QuarkXPress 6.5]
[QuarkXPress 6]
[QuarkXPress 5]
[QuarkXPress 4]
[Real-Draw Pro 3]
[Real Draw Pro 2]
[Sapphire Plug-ins]
[Satori 3]
[Satori 2.5]
[Sketch and Toon]
[SketchUp 5]
[SketchUp 4]
[SketchUp 3]
[SketchUp 2.1]
[SnagIt 6.2]
[Streamline 4]
[Studio 8]
[Studio MX 2004]
[Studio MX]
[Studio Pro 2 ]
[Swift 3D 4 ]
[Swift 3D 3]
[Swish 1]
[Swish 2]
[Test Strip 3]
[Texture Maker 2]
[Toon Boom Studio 3]
[Toon Boom Studio 1]
[Type Manager Deluxe]
[Vector Studio 2]
[Vector Studio 1]
[Ventura 10]
[Ventura 8]
[Ventura 7]
[Virtual Painter]
[Vue 5 Esprit]
[Vue 4 d'Esprit]
[Vue 5 Infinite]
[Vue 4 Professional]
[Web3D 2]
[Web3D 1]
[WebEasy Pro 5]
[WebPlus 8]
[Windows Draw 6]
[Windows Draw 5]
[Wright Design 1]
[Xara Xtreme]
[Xara X1]
[Xara X]
[Xara 2]
[Xara 1]
[Xara3D 6]
[Xara3D 5]
[Xenofex 2]
[Xfrog 3.5 / 4.x]
[XPress 6.5]
[XPress 6]
[XPress 5]
[XPress 4]
[xRes 2]

[Home / What's New]
[DTP / Publishing]
[Vector Drawing]
[Bitmap / Photo Editing]
[Web Design]
[3D Software]
[All Reviews]
[All Articles / Tutorials]
[Book Search / Shop]
[Site Map / Search]

you can help support the site with a direct donation or by shopping via the following links:


Thank you!




New tools, effects, formatting power, output options and Web authoring keep Real-DRAW Pro's creative pot bubbling.

Real-DRAW Pro is a one-off application that seamlessly mixes vector-based drawing and illustration with bitmap-based effects and painting and then throws in some unique special effects for good measure. I was amazed by the sheer range of power on offer in version 2 and my jaw dropped when I found out that the whole program was written by just one person. The author, Roman Voska, is clearly a genius - and he's been hard at work again.

As its name suggests, Real-DRAW's heart lies in its drawing capabilities. New options have been added to the core drawing tools to enable control over the shape of rounded rectangles and stars as you draw them and there are also new Frame and Torroid tools (essentially two compound rectangles or ovals). The range of shape tools might seem limited at first but there are plenty of other drag-and-drop shapes available from the Quick Styles palette and you can also now import dingbat and symbol glyphs from any TrueType font.

You can combine these basic building blocks to build up more advanced creations using Real-DRAW's new Boolean combination modes and you can choose to break apart, simplify or un-combine the results at any point in future. Another way to create more complex shapes is to use Real-DRAW's brush tools to quickly paint an object and then use the new Convert to Polynome command to turn its outline into vectors. You can also trace imported bitmaps, for example to quickly vectorize your signature. This new tracing capability is useful but it's only designed to produce a single object so it's not up to converting continuous-tone photographs.

Once you've created your objects, you're ready to format them and this is where Real-DRAW really comes into its own. Where most drawing programs encourage the use of vector-friendly flat fills and gradients, Real-DRAW lets rip with a whole host of pixel-based formatting. With separate palettes for managing Colour and Texture, Outline, Transparency, 3D Bevel, Shadows and Effects and even 3D Lights you can quickly create amazing effects blending colours, textures and graduated transparencies with drop shadows, glows and realistic lighting!

Real-DRAW 3 offers even greater formatting control.

The creativity is so enormous that it can be difficult to keep on top of things. New in version 3 is the sidebar down the right of palettes that lets you quickly swap between the main formatting options. Even better is the new ability to quickly and consistently apply formatting to multiple objects (you can also now select multiple objects from the Layers palette). There's also new formatting power on offer from the Surface Skin palette, which provides subtle surface texture effects for your fills, and the Bump Map palette, which provides raised textures that interact realistically with any 3D lights that you've set up.

Real-DRAW's pixel-based formatting power is dramatic and it's immeasurably enhanced by the program's ability to create bitmap objects from scratch, to paint on existing objects and to "package" objects up so that you can apply bitmap-based effects to them. It's this bitmap-based power that is the secret of Real-DRAW's creativity, but it means that the program isn't suited to producing scalable and pin-sharp vector artwork such as logos.

Having said this, version 3 does now boast Pure Vector Export to EPS, SVG, DXF, EMF and PDF format but, as all formatting information is dispensed with to leave just solid vector shapes, there doesn't seem much point. Much more useful is the program's MegaRender capability which takes Real-DRAW's low-resolution, screen-based image and re-renders it at a higher resolution. With version 3 you can now use this capability for high quality print and for outputting layered Photoshop PSD files.

MegaRendering seriously boosts Real-DRAW's print credentials but in many ways the program is still best suited for creating screen work. In particular its combination of vector-based control and editability and pixel-based creativity and output is ideal for producing web graphics. Version 3 recognises this and offers a dedicated HTML Slicing Editor in which you can mark up hotspots, links and text cells and leave Real-DRAW to output the separate graphics and HTML table code necessary to create the final page or navigation bar. Using the revamped Multimedia Extension palette, you can also set up fully styled rollovers or you can do this with a range of preset effects from directly within the Slicing Editor.

You can now create advanced web pages within Real-DRAW.

The power is impressive but it's not pushing back the boundaries. There are two areas however, where Real-DRAW 3 does show its talent for innovation. The first is the unique Push-Back tool which uses lenses to swap the order of the underlying object stack - great for producing interlocking effects such as Olympic-style rings. The second is the Fit to Path command. Of course text on a path has long been a drawing staple and Real-DRAW's version is comparatively limited and awkward, but the idea is given a twist with the ability to automatically stretch or repeat text - and to apply the same effects to any object!

Real-DRAW Pro 3 offers some unique new effects.

This combination of a few rough edges with some inspired creative thinking is typical of this latest release. There's not the same wow factor that there was with version 2 and the program's maverick tendencies are more obvious, but the new power still comes as a welcome addition to Real-DRAW's existing strengths. And with just one developer to support, the price is extraordinary.

Real-DRAW Pro is the best value graphics application around and - more importantly - one of the most excitingly creative.

Ease of Use
Value for Money

ratings out of 6

Tom Arah

February 2003

Hopefully you've found the information you were looking for. For further information please click here.

For free trials and special offers please click the following recommended links:

For further information on the following design applications and subjects please click on the links below:

[3D], [3ds max], [Adobe], [Acrobat], [Cinema 4D], [Corel], [CorelDRAW], [Creative Suite], [Digital Image], [Dreamweaver], [Director], [Fireworks], [Flash], [FreeHand], [FrameMaker], [FrontPage], [GoLive], [Graphic Design], [HTML/CSS], [Illustrator], [InDesign], [Macromedia], [Macromedia Studio], [Microsoft], [NetObjects Fusion], [PageMaker], [Paint Shop Pro], [Painter], [Photo Editing], [PhotoImpact], [Photoshop], [Photoshop Elements], [Publisher], [QuarkXPress], [Web Design]

To continue your search on the site and beyond please use the Google and Amazon search boxes below:

Web independent, informed, intelligent, incisive, in-depth...

All the work on the site (over 250 reviews, over 100 articles and tutorials) has been written by me, Tom Arah It's also me who maintains the site, answers your emails etc. The site is very popular and from your feedback I know it's a useful resource - but it takes a lot to keep it up.

You can help keep the site running, independent and free by Bookmarking the site (if you don't you might never find it again), telling others about it and by coming back (new content is added every month). Even better you can make a donation eg $5 the typical cost of just one issue of a print magazine or buy anything via or (now or next time you feel like shopping) using these links or the shop - it's a great way of quickly finding the best buys, it costs you nothing and I gain a small but much-appreciated commission.

Thanks very much, Tom Arah

[DTP/Publishing] [Vector Drawing] [Bitmap/Photo] [Web] [3D]
[Reviews/Archive] [Shop]  [Home/What's New]

Copyright 1995-2005, Tom Arah, Please get in contact to let me know what you think about a particular piece or the site in general.