Freeverse is well known for its iPhone and iPad games, but a lot of people still don’t know they also make apps. One of their most accomplished pieces of software is the Mac illustration app: Lineform. It combines a simple user interface with powerful features that every graphic designer needs, which makes it a great option for Mac users who need to make illustrations or vector based diagrams. Its balance of power and simplicity is so great that it even won an Apple Design Award back in 2006, and has been updated ever since.
Introduction to Vector Graphics
Are you new to vector graphics? A brief explanation is that they can be scaled to any resolution without quality loss. In painting programs like Photoshop, you’re creating and manipulating bitmaps, which are raster graphics that are best meant to be viewed at whatever the resolution is set at.
If you scale the image up or down, there will be data loss. This might not be noticeable inside the program itself, but if you need to create text or a logo image for a sticker as a vectors graphic, then it can be scaled up to also be printed out on a shirt or even a wall-sized banner without any quality loss. This is because all text and images are created from vector lines instead of brush strokes. Raster graphics are best for photographs and artistic drawings whereas vector graphics are more suitable for technical illustrations.
One of the best new features in Lineform 1.5.3 is that it’s now compatible with Mac OS X 10.6, which is also known as Mac Snow Leopard. A lot of glitches have been fixed and a few graphical improvements have also been implemented. Let’s look at the list of Lineform features that Freeverse is most proud of:
- Freeflow Text that can fit sentences or paragraphs of text into a custom shape of your choosing.
- Arrow tools that let you morph arrow shapes to create artistic ends on your lines.
- Users can paste pictures, diagrams, or other data into any other software that also has LinkBack.
- Complete freedom to edit any shape or curves with powerful Bezier curve editing abilities.
- Bezier Pen that smoothly & automatically converts freehand sketch strokes into editable paths.
- Interactive gradient creation where you can drag or alter gradients in real time in the document.
- CMYK Preview gives you a better idea up front of what art will look like when it’s printed.
- Artistic Strokes that remain editable but can be applied to any object.
- Free Transform to rotate, shear, scale, or move an object smoothly.
- Outline tool can be used for both text and curves to help you create shapes quicker and easier.
- Boolean Operations for creating complex shapes using Union, Intersect, Subtract or XOR.
- Universal Binary means Lineform runs at full speed on any new computer from Apple.
- Cocoa is an object oriented application environment for developing Mac OS X native apps.
Lineform System Requirements:
Anyone who has Lineform version 1.50 or higher will need at least Mac OS X 10.5, as well as a G3, G4, G5, or Intel Processor. Other requirements are 500 Mhz or faster, 32 MB of VRAM minimum, 256 MB RAM minimum, 20 MB hard drive space minimum, and an Internet connection for registering your product. Please note that Lineform uses DRM that requires an internet connection as well.
You can buy Lineform or download the free trial here. The full version of Lineform 1.5.3 currently costs $79.95. If you’re a Mac OS X 10.4.x user then you’ll need to download this full demo (direct download link) instead. All free trial users should note that printing is disabled in the demo version during the evaluation period. For more information you can check the Freeverse Support section.