Vector Based Design Packages

By sgrosvenor

Microsoft has acquired the development team and rights to the software Expression, (formerly known as Creature House Expression, which they are offering for download from their site. I used this product quite extensively a few years ago, and it was superb for producing vector based illustrations with full control over the stroke sensitivity and a wide variety of brushes (similar to Painter

  • I checked out that Expression tour. It looks like an interesting application. And probably could be usefull, if you are not already used to some other tools.

    I usually use Fireworks to create drawings for Flash. Fireworks create pixel-accurate vector images in PNG format. You could create vector images with other applications, but as far as I know Fireworks gives best results for screen usage. For instance, Adobe Illustrator is not so pixel-oriented and results are not so accurate. Additionally, I create bitmap images and lay one over another in Flash to check for any critical differences. There is an option to create one more layer and recreate all vector graphics with Flash drawing tools. Although, those tools are not so sofiticated, sometimes it might be needed.

  • Vector-based illustration with a hand-drawn, natural media look is something that I’m constantly trying to achieve in Illustrator. Even with the help of my Wacom tablet, I’m never able to achieve quite the look I’m after.

    Illustrator is a great tool, don’t get me wrong, but its brush features just aren’t up to the standard I see in Creature House Expression. I can’t wait for it to become available for purchase again… I hope Microsoft don’t sit on it too long!

  • Since it’s not clear from the blog post above or the Microsoft site, I thought I’d mention it here: Expression 3.3 beta is currently a free download for all — not just for registered users of previous versions of the program!

    Simply click the Download link on the site, log in with your Microsoft Passport, and the installer will download!

    Can’t wait to start playing with it…

  • sgrosvenor

    CH Expression even a couple of years ago was a brilliant application for producing vector based illustrations that would take a much longer time in any other application; I too can’t wait for a fully fledged release; lets hope they don’t dumb the application down!

  • andy moss

    is this a time limited demo? It doesn’t really say anything. I used version 1 for a while as i got it free on the front of a magazine and I was well impressed. This version is supposed to be quite good and there are a ton of features that other programmes have never even thought of.

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