I am far from a drawing expert. I’ve dabbled with Photoshop, Illustrator, Paint Shop Pro and, recently, the very slick Paint.NET. I’ve done a lot of basic Flash work but I don’t consider myself a graphics expert by any stretch of the imagination. Because of my Flash experience, I tend to use it for most of my drawing. But there’s always room in the toolbox for good, inexpensive software. For some reason, there’s an ever expanding universe of drawing apps for the Mac. Something to do with the underlying framework of the OS is driving this I’m sure. The latest entry is WouldjaDraw. An inexpensive drawing app that looks very slick indeed. But what’s that over there? It’s iDraw! Another inexpensive drawing app that looks very slick. Let’s race ‘em!
So what’s in the toolbox? Here’s a direct comparison. Generally, I mapped out the iDraw toolbox and provided Wouldja equivalencies where they exist. Note that some features are identical and implemented in different ways. Rotate, for example, can only be done via the Geometry panel in WouldjaDraw. You can free rotate objects and use the Shape Properties panel to rotate objects in iDraw.
|Arrow Tool (selects objects)|
|Point Tool (selects points)|
|Line Tool (creates lines)|
|Polyline (creates multiple lines)|
|Rectangle Tool (Creates rectangles)|
|Rounded Rectangle Tool (Creates rounded rectangles)|
|Oval Tool (Create ovals)|
|Pencil Tool (Creates freehand lines)|
|Pen Tool (Creates bezier curves)|
|Text Tool (Creates text)|
|Eyedropper Tool (Samples colors)|
|Paint Bucket Tool (Fills objects)|
|Scale Tool (Scales objects)|
|Rotate Tool (Rotates objects)|
|Shear Tool (Shears (skews) objects)|
|Taper Tool (Tapers objects)|
|Bulge Tool (Bulges circle objects)|
|Arc Tool (Creates arcs on objects)|
All very well and good. Seems that iDraw has some additional tools.
So you can create objects with reasonable ease in both of these apps. Can you control them? Instead of a full rundown of what each panel does, the two, complete panels are shown below.
Again, it looks like iDraw has the edge here. But wait! Wouldja allows you to drag and drop panels on each other so you can create your own custom panels. The shot above is all the panels broken into separate panels. You could just as easily have this:
Reducing screen clutter is a good idea. Then again, with iDraw you can have this:
To each his own, I suppose. Both are a good way of maximizing screen real estate.
From a pure drawing tool feature comparison, iDraw clearly has a larger feature set. But each of these tools also has a trick or two up their sleeves.
- Line Caps (change the line ends to butt, round, or square)
- Line Joins (change the joins between lines to miter, round, or bevel)
- Drop shadow (add a drop shadow)
- Simple gradients (add a simple gradient)
- Arrow ends (change the ends of lines to arrows)
- Export options (more control over exports)
- Line Alpha (change the alpha of a line)
- Animation (create simple animations that can be exported as Flash movies, animated gifs, or Quicktime movies)
- Complex gradients (gradients with alpha control)
Now, I would be remiss if I didn’t go into more details about iDraw’s animation ability. Here’s a sample:
Animation might be too strong a word here. You can set up slideshow that can be exported as a Flash animation, animated gif, or Quicktime movie. Essentially, you set up a series of frames for your animation. You can control how long each frame is displayed before the next appears:
The animation above is a series of twenty frames. In the first ten frames, I moved the circle slightly to the right. In the last ten frames, I moved the circle slightly to the left. Finally, on export, I set the animation to loop continuously. Export options appear below.
Both are cheap. iDraw comes in US$39.95. WouldjaDraw comes in at US$29.95.
Everyone’s different. I like both of these capable apps. I don’t do a lot of line drawing but each would fit my simple needs. A pure feature comparison tilts the playing field in favour of iDraw. But I don’t need the simple animation tools since I have Flash. And as strange as it may seem, the drop-shadow tool in WouldjaDraw is killer for me. I hate doing drop shadows and WouldjaDraw makes them dead simple. So it’s up to you. Is the additional US$10.00 worth it for animation, some extra tools, and some extra control over your objects that come with iDraw? Or is WouldjaDraw’s simplicity all you need?
posted at - 11:56 am - 5/9/2006