We always like coming across an interesting free application… especially when it sets out to accomplish a lot of what a paid application does. That’s exactly the first impression I got when using Artweaver. They don’t come out and say they are trying to emulate Photoshop, but they don’t need to. A lot of the menus are organized the same way, things like layer management all work the same, and the upper-toolbar changes based upon the tool you’re using… just like in Photoshop. The only question is how successful were they at cloning the functionality.
I was actually pretty impressed with some of the things it offered. It has a wide array of features, image adjustments, gradients, and much more. Obviously it’s not capable of doing everything Photoshop can, but I’d say it includes most of, if not everything that casual Photoshop users need:
- Support of many different digital brushes e.g. chalk, charcoal, pencils…
- A wide variety of adjustment settings to customize the default brushes or to create new brushes.
- Standard image editing tools like gradient, crop, fill and selection tools.
- Support for the most common file formats like AWD (Artweaver), BMP, GIF, JPEG, PCX, TGA, TIFF, PNG, and PSD (no layer support).
- Transparency and Layers support.
- Effect filters like sharpen, blur, emboss and mosaic.
- Editable text layers.
- Pen Tablet support for a realistic feeling.
- History function to und/redo last editing steps.
- Expandable by Plug-In modules (Artweaver Standard).
- Support for many languages through language files.
This is a program that I highly recommend trying out, and that’s easy to do since there is a portable no-install version available. Just download, extract, and run it to see if it’s right for you. Plus the fact that you can throw this on a USB drive is awesome!