CorelDRAW Graphics Suite 2017
There’s a whole host of tools on offer, but it’s the eponymous DRAW that you’ll want to get your artistic teeth into…
Of all the tools on offer in Suite, it’s DRAW that you’ll want to get your teeth into.
CorelDRAW’s brushes can recreate the look and feel of natural tools
CorelDRAW is often overlooked by artists – it’s been long overshadowed by Adobe’s tools. But Corel is a familiar name to digital artists, and its Painter is a staple among concept artists and illustrators.
For those unaware, CorelDRAW is a vector-drawing program. Any image you create is essentially made up of points and is infinitely scalable – unlike raster-format artwork. And whereas vector art is usually associated with crisp, flat artwork, there’s a whole collection of brushes within CorelDRAW that can recreate the look and feel of natural tools.
CorelDRAW itself is part of a bundle of tools – the CorelDRAW Graphics Suite – that includes Photo-Paint, a web design tool and more templates, clip art and fonts than you can shake a paintbrush at.
Yet the tool you’ll be buying this for is DRAW. So what’s in it for artists? Well, we touched upon the natural media tools – and the Artistic Media tool is great – with a number of calligraphic brushes and pressuresensitive controls. CorelDRAW 2017 also has some excellent new node controls, meaning you can tweak your lines and curves with ease.
But the big tool on offer here that artists will love is LiveSketch. This is a real innovation in the world of vector art that aims to give you a more natural drawing environment and in some respects negate the need to sketch on paper and scan in. No matter your drawing style, you’ll get a smooth line. You set a timer in the Properties bar to determine how long you have to adjust your sketch before it’s converted to vector lines.
It sounds complicated but it’s very intuitive with a stylus – it means you can adjust the timing to suit your style of drawing. It’s like nothing we’ve seen before in a vector app. It’s very, very cool indeed. There’s also a new Tablet Mode for those sketching on the likes of a Surface Book.
There’s a ton of other stuff here, too. Photo-Paint is a decent photomanipulation app; there’s a basic web design tool, and some other stuff – like a Barcode Wizard – that you’ll probably never use.
But it’s CorelDRAW that you’ll be buying this for. And at £30 per month or £600 outright it’s pretty expensive. We wish you could buy CorelDRAW 2017 on its own, because this is the real star of the show, and the program you’ll definitely want to try out.
The new LiveSketch tool aims to make creating smooth lines easy, no matter what your drawing style is. LiveSketch transforms your line art into vector curves. It’s amazing to see in practice. Customised node editing shapes gives you even more control over tweaking your art.
The Artistic Media brush is fantastic for creating all-vector painterly effects – just assign a brush and start painting normally.