I collect graphic applications on the Mac. There’s not many I don’t have, and most I use for graphic designs and presentations.
The very affordable and capable ZeusDraw does things I can’t do in Photoshop and Illustrator.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not a wizard graphic designer, but I know my way around Adobe’s best applications.
That’s why I’m always on the lookout for new tools that add something to the mix without a huge learning curve.
My Mac has all the free Mac graphic utilities such as ImageTricks, ImageWell, LiveQuartz.
Of course, no self-respecting graphic designer’s tool kit is complete without GraphicConverter, right?
Drawing utilities? They’re a dime a dozen, though they aren’t priced like it.
What you’ll find with ZeusDraw is another Mac graphic utility, a drawing program, that combines tool functions.
Those combinations give you tools that you create, which give you graphics that would take much longer in Illustrator or Photoshop.
ZeusDraw is a vector drawing program with a surprisingly simple user interface that combines tools and brushes perfectly made for those of us who can’t afford a long learning curve.
Start with the interface. No need to hunt through a dozen palettes to find a tool.
There’s only two—one for viewing and one for creating or editing.
Using Mac OS X’s Quartz and Cocoa, all your image manipulations are done in real time; you can see what’s happening and don’t see a box outline of what should happen.
You see changes happen immediately and don’t have to wait for a fill in.
There’s brushes and path tools and Bezier curves and simple control points with elegant manipulation.
Gradients? Oh, how I love gradients. Just wait until you see the breathtaking gradients from ZeusDraw.
How about color? Color may be one of the more disappointing aspects of some vector drawing applictions, Mac or Windows.
Every developer seems to stick with the standard Apple Color Picker, but ZeusDraw adds a pane to Mac OS X’s standard system color picker.
The Color Chips palette displays all colors used in your design. Set a chip and change it. All design elements using that chip will change, too. Handy.
The list of fun seems to outweigh the list of utility. Text, bitmaps, stencil bitmaps, construction grid, arrows, dashes, tiles, even PostScript.
Yep, PostScript isn’t dead yet.
As with all graphic applications, love resides in the eye of the beholder, so your mileage may vary.
ZeusDraw enables tool manipulation that’s both easy and intuitive, yet the end results rival major applications that cost much more.
Any gotchas? A few. It’s a bit pricey for a new application trying to gain a following. Some of the tools seem overly simplistic but that’s matched by plenty of keyboard shortcuts.
Don’t let the movie size fool you. Try the download demo version. It’s fully functional for 30 days.
Give it a try and let us know what you think. How does Zeus compare to other vector drawing applications on your Mac?