Chasys Draw IES Artist is a free, full-featured image editing and drawing program that does what big-box programs like Adobe Photoshop can do, with a few unique touches that set it apart and actually make it easier to use than the competition.
When you install Chasys Draw, you have the option to associate it with various file types, which is handy if you want to make it your default graphics tool; you can change these associations at any time, too. The main interface is similar to most graphics programs in its layout, its complement of tools and functions, and its use of layers. Wizard-like steps simplify the processes of creating a project and opening and editing an image, video, or other compatible file. We clicked New Project, and the program walked us through the steps of selecting a new image, video, or disk label project or scanning an image. We selected a blank document, choosing dimensions, resolution, orientation, and background colors. We started with the brush tool, drawing freehand with both the mouse and a Wacom pen. Most of the program's wide range of brushes, effects, and tools are similar to those in Photoshop and other software. Chasys Draw accepts plug-ins, too. What we like about this tool, and what sets it apart, are its customizable Windows Aero-compatible transparency, which kept unused windows and tools semitransparent until they were activated by hovering the mouse; its pop-up labels and explanations; and the way the Help file opens on the appropriate entry when you first initiate a function. Other small but useful touches distinguish Chasys Draw from the pack, such as tiny icons in the left-hand corner for rotating images from portrait to landscape orientation. This versatile bundle also includes an icon generator, a calculator, a Notepad utility, and a color palette generator. The raw photo tool offers so many options that it's essentially a separate tool, while the Image Converter tool is powerful and flexible.
Chasys Draw IES Artist does so much that it would take some time to cover it all. It's a legitimate alternative to the big-bucks, big-box image tools on its own merits, and all the more so because it's freeware.
Chasys Draw IES is a suite of applications including a layer-based image editor with animation, icon editing support and super-resolution via image stacking (Chasys Draw IES Artist), a multi-threaded image file converter (Chasys Draw IES Converter), a fast image viewer (Chasys Draw IES Viewer) and a RAW camera file processor (Chasys Draw IES raw-Photo). The whole suite is UAC aware and is designed to take advantage of multi-core processors, touch-screens and pen-input devices.
What's new in this version:
- Improved "New Image" dialog with more options
- Walk-through guide for stacking images
- Menu option for opening multiple images at once
- Improved NetPBM support with PAM (type P7)
- All selection tools combined into one Select tool
- New Select tool option - Free-form
- Zoom to and Limit Preview to Actual Size
- Write support for GPS geo-tagging data
- Single-key shortcuts in Viewer
- ... See all new features »