Chasys Draw IES

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Chasys Draw IES

An excellent suite of programs including Artist, Viewer, Converter and raw-Photo, each runs individually

4

Our rating: 

4

Pros & Cons:

Three useful programs: Artist, Converter, Raw processor; Modern user interface; Many features; Excellent help; HDR; sRGB model; Independent layers mean you can have multiple workspaces in the same file! Raw file processing; Batch processing and scripting; Many file formats for import and export; Plug-ins including Photoshop b8f filters; Portable version.
Some unusual (but innovative) features; Viewer is limited.

Our Review:

Chasys Draw IES (Image Editing Suite) is an excellent suite of programs. It has no overall menu as each program runs individually and can be started via the menus of the other programs. 

  • Artist, an image editor which uses the default .CD5 Chasys Draw Image Format. When you start it the "New Project" dialog appears so you can choose from 14 different activities including optical disk labels and sleeve covers, animations, icons, scanning, HDR, batch file-conversion, Raw file processing, or just starting an image from scratch.
  • Viewer is an image viewer much like the Windows default. It would benefit from the ability to explore file folders. As it is, it's primary purpose is to view the default file format .CD5.
  • Converter to convert Image file formats
  • raw-Photo to process Raw camera files

The author's name, John Paul Chacha, is part of the program folder name so you will probably see it from time to time. He aimed to produce his own innovative image editor without relying on mimicking the Photoshop interface and tools. He has succeeded. In many ways it reminds me of Gimp with its multi-window interface: Chacha's tool windows are also dock-able but they default to transparency so you can use a larger part of the display. See the screen-shot above for an example of the transparent user interface.

Technically it far exceeds Photoscape which is the other suite that we recommended here. It has a better interface, better documentation, is more extensible with its own SDK (Software Development Kit), has more options for automation, does more with meta-data, exports to and imports from many more file formats, and has more features including color management, High Dynamic Range (HDR) processing, and its own plug-ins including many Photoshop b8f filters.

Where it does not surpass Photoscape is where many users will want to perform basic image adjustments. The innovative features in Chasys Draw IES sometimes get in the way of performing such simple tasks. Take the example of cropping an image. The Crop and Rotate tool introduces unneeded complexity. The first time that I used it, I found that the easiest method to crop a rectangular area in a screen-shot was to select the area, copy the selection, and paste it as a new image. The crop and Rotate tool has important advantages if I was cropping a photo because I can choose the center of the shot and straighten the image while I crop it.


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