Real-Draw Pro 5 review

£36
Price when reviewed

Real-Draw Pro 5 takes a different approach to graphic creation than most drawing packages. Its “vector-bit” technology combines the precision of vector drawing with the creativity of bitmap tools, promising the best of both worlds.

This is immediately apparent in the range of bitmap-based formatting options that you can apply to the vector shapes and paths that make up drawings. In particular, Real-Draw Pro provides a host of tiling texture fills and special effects such as drop shadows, glows, transparencies, bevels, lighting and surface skins. These make it possible to create high-impact and near-photorealistic illustrations based on just a few shapes.

As you’d expect, you can also bring in external photos and other bitmaps to your projects. Here Real-Draw Pro 5 adds an important new capability with support for draft images that maintain a link to the original. Thanks to Real-Draw Pro’s existing Megarender capability, it means you can work rapidly and conveniently with a screen-sized composition, then output a high-resolution, high-quality finished image.

REAL-Draw Pro 5 - vectorbit technology

Once you’ve imported your bitmaps, you can quickly apply colour corrections, sharpening and creative filters. However, you aren’t limited to these global effects. Real-Draw Pro also lets you paint directly onto your imported bitmaps using a range of brushes and blend modes.

And in this version you can also now directly paint on a copy of the full-sized image – re-cropping when needed – and go back to working on the overall composition with the draft. You can even quickly apply transparency effects to your low-resolution draft image and then have the resulting alpha mask applied to the full-resolution original.

Real-Draw Pro doesn’t only let you edit imported bitmaps, though. You can also paint directly onto the canvas to create new objects, or paint directly onto existing objects. Even more powerful is its package-based handling. This lets you quickly convert multiple vector objects into packages and then apply bitmap-based effects to the group as a whole.

REAL-Draw Pro 5 - NPR styling

At any time you can double-click the package to open it in a new window where you can edit the vector shapes or paint directly onto them. Click OK and the package is automatically updated, along with any cloned copies.

The Liquid Shape command adds another innovative combination of vector and bitmap handling. Apply this to a vector object and it opens as a bitmap in another tabbed window. Using the various Move, Grow, Shrink and Rotate brushes, you can then quickly distort the bitmap, updating the original shape accordingly, and the effect can be used with packages to quickly apply similar distortion effects to multiple objects, and to their fills and formatting.

Details

Software subcategory Graphics/design software

Operating system support

Operating system Windows Vista supported? yes
Operating system Windows XP supported? yes

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