Need simple photo and graphics editing tool
July 30, 2004 7:23 PM   Subscribe

Illustrator is too much, Microsoft paint is not enough...

I'm looking for a program to do drawings on. Very simple line drawings done with a tablet, that will be saved as simple graphics files for sending over the Internet.

I've tried Illustrator, but it seems extreme overkill for what I am trying to do, and something like Microsoft Paint is just to simplistic. I just need something right in the middle of the two.
posted by benjh to Computers & Internet (19 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Tried GIMP or Corel PhotoPaint yet?
posted by shepd at 7:30 PM on July 30, 2004

Macromedia Fireworks, maybe?
posted by Hackworth at 7:46 PM on July 30, 2004

Or, maybe Microsoft Expression (formerly CreatureHouse), which is free and kind of similar.
posted by Hackworth at 7:47 PM on July 30, 2004

sketchbook pro is what you need.

I really should get a commision from these people. it is a great freehand drawing program. it is NOT vector. I say this becuase you mention illustrator which is vector. if you want a simple vector drawing program I would try just using flash. it has simple drawing tools that you can do alot with.

If you dont want vector the only way to go is sketchbook pro.
posted by darkpony at 7:58 PM on July 30, 2004

Ultimate Paint has been compared to DeluxePaint, widely considered to be among the best paint software ever made.
posted by majick at 8:03 PM on July 30, 2004

Illustrator is a vector program which means it probably isn't the right tool for what you want to do. I find that Photoshop 7 is perfect for all kinds of things beyond photo manipulation, and all of the brushes can be made pressure sensitive. An alternative is Corel Painter 8. A much better product than earlier versions I find that it is the closest to replicating the feel of real media, the oil paints feel different from the charcoal, and the new watercolor tools and wet/dry layers have remarkable verisimilitude. You can download a free trial of both the mac and pc versions from Corel (note that win9x is not officially supported but it will install and run).
If you have photoshop 7 or CE (I forget if 6 had as much brush options), explore the default brushes and making your own. If you don't, give Painter a try.
posted by Grod at 8:22 PM on July 30, 2004

Fireworks is an awesome tool if your final destination is screen (and can do some good stuff for print). I find it the ideal spot between Illustrator and Photoshop. It *does* have a learning curve, though.

If you're on a Mac... don't overlook Apple Works (or Claris Works if you've got an older mac). I used the drawing tools there for years to reasonably competent effect.
posted by weston at 9:18 PM on July 30, 2004

Corel Painter is absolutely astounding.

However, if you're looking for simple line drawing, I suggest you take a boo at SourceForge's projects. There are plenty of open-source drawing programs.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:42 PM on July 30, 2004

Oh. Should say some things like this:

Corel Draw is a top-tier vector illustration program.

Corel PhotoPaint is a top-tier raster editing program. Readily comparable to Photoshop, though with a completely different interface.

Corel Painter is a top-tier natural media emulator. I doubt there's anything that quite compares to it. Deep Paint, maybe.

Corel Designer is a top-tier technical illustration program. It doesn't have a bunch of the more odd Draw toys, replacing them with a bunch of powerful tools that make it far easier to do exploded diagrams, isometric diagrams, etc.

The strangest thing about Corel, I find, is that they have some of the world's best applications, yet do not dominate the market. They must have made a concerted effort to fail at marketing their products.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:46 PM on July 30, 2004

yeah, painter blows my mind. Corel has all sorts of products that should be better known. Even Bryce is a better product than people know.
posted by Grod at 9:57 PM on July 30, 2004

painter = great but I think may be 'too much' like illustrator.
please just try sketchbook.
posted by darkpony at 10:11 PM on July 30, 2004

Is Corel Draw still around? I used that a number of years ago and it was pretty awesome and easy to use, whereas Illustrator is not.
posted by dagnyscott at 8:04 AM on July 31, 2004

Painter isn't anything like Illustrator.

Corel Draw is still very much around. v12 released some time in the past year or so, I believe. Same familiar interface, with some very neat tools that make it easier to do blended fills that get into that sort of airbrushed art look.

The old Hedy Lamarr graphic was done in Corel Draw 8 (?). It's a vector illustration! Amazing. Much easier to pull that sort of thing off now with some of the mesh-warping/blended-fill tools.
posted by five fresh fish at 11:08 AM on July 31, 2004

Might as well mention SketchUp 3D. I haven't tried it, but it looks very good!
posted by five fresh fish at 11:09 AM on July 31, 2004

Paint.NET: 100 time the power of Paint, 1/100 the power of Photoshop. I use it for most simple image manipulation.
posted by j.edwards at 2:20 PM on July 31, 2004

Doesn't look like a natural media tool to me, j.e. Looks to be more like Photoshop and Photopaint, not Paint.
posted by five fresh fish at 6:59 PM on July 31, 2004

I didn't say painter was LIKE illustrator, I just meant it may be 'too much' featurewise.
posted by darkpony at 10:55 PM on July 31, 2004

SketchUP is a simple sort of CAD, not a 2d drawing program at all.
posted by signal at 7:55 PM on August 1, 2004

Well, yah. But it fits into that vague category of "things that make pictures using a mouse"... [shrug]
posted by five fresh fish at 9:33 PM on August 1, 2004

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