In May 2011, Astute Graphics launched the VectorScribe plugin for Adobe Illustrator. The new “…Scribe” name then continued into 2012 when the new DrawScribe plugin for Adobe Illustrator was released. Since then, a number of people have been in contact to ask us what the differences are between these products. “If I buy VectorScribe, why should I buy DrawScribe?”. This article is here to help…
Overall premiss of each product
As an overview:
- DrawScribe is about refined, accelerated and intuitive vector drawing creation.
- VectorScribe has a wider remit including path editing, measurement and dynamic shapes and corners [typically rounded].
- InkScribe — at its most basic, is a replacement for the Pen Tool allowing you to create precisely, with a huge number of enhancements and improved usability.
- Dynamic Sketch — if you do, or do not, use a Wacom tablet, this tool is the counterpart to InkScribe allowing you to draw much more naturally directly in Illustrator.
- PathScribe — a vector path editing powerhouse.
- Dynamic Measure — measure distances, angles, radii and more based on existing artwork.
- Protractor — direct access to the Constrain Angle preference within Illustrator. Compact but very useful.
- Dynamic Shapes — quick, precise and easy creation of shapes which may be controlled dynamically post-creation.
- Dynamic Corners — define and edit corners (rounded, inverse rounded and chamfer) interactively and dynamically to all cusps within your vector artwork
Note that the Dynamic Shapes and Corners tools are exclusive to the VectorScribe Studio edition.
Distinct and common functionality
As may be noted, the majority of the tools have very distinct purposes. Therefore if your need is to produce geometric shapes with regularity, your requirement is VectorScribe Studio.
If you want to make the most of your Wacom tablet in Illustrator, then please consider DrawScribe.
And if you need tools across both products, you will require both products, for which a bundle discount of up to £29 is available. Or even as high as £62 if you require our other color, pre-press and embedded image control toolset, Phantasm CS, too!
InkScribe vs. PathScribe
The main confusion centres around the similarities between InkScribe and PathScribe. This is understandable as both feature great functions such as Smart Point Removal, Connectors and the ability to reshape any vector path segment by simply dragging it mid-length.
However, here follows a top 3 unique feature list of each tool (there are many more!):
DrawScribe’s InkScribe Tool
- InkScribe allows you to create paths
- Smart Smooth functionality, allowing you to quickly define points as being smooth
- Annotation system (optional) allowing you to access changes in tool state quicker
VectorScribe’s PathScribe Tool
- Being focused on editing existing paths (you can’t create new points), you can select, edit and smart remove more than one point simultaneously
- Select and edit single or multiple Bezier in/out handles interactively or numerically
- Move selected or all points to tangencies
The common functionality previously mentioned is necessary to ensure both tools have a familiar method of operation for the user. But whereas InkScribe can help to get your vector paths down very quickly, PathScribe will help you further refine it with speed and ease. In truth, they are most powerful when working in combination.
Try it for yourself
We always recommend that you try these tools first-hand to see how they benefit your particular workflow before purchasing. VectorScribe, DrawScribe and Phantasm CS are all available as full 14 day trials by clicking here…