Corel R.A.V.E., one of the three primary applications in the CorelDraw 10 Graphics Suite, is not sold on its own. As an added value to the popular drawing program, R.A.V.E. (Real Animated Vector Effects) lets users dabble with SWF output, but its limited support of interactive elements makes it unsuitable for serious Flash developers. R.A.V.E.’s best features come from CorelDraw, and its drawing and layout tools are extremely powerful. In addition to geometric shapes, including perfect polygons, it has free-form drawing and Bezier editing tools. You can create visually complex artwork, such as soft drop-shadows, contoured edges, and gradient transparencies, with interactive formatting tools simply by dragging the appropriate tool to an object. And functions such as Group, Combine, and Intersect create custom vector outlines. To build animations in R.A.V.E., you sequence objects and insert keyframes on a timeline. Many of the program’s effects and high-end illustration functions can be animated (you can change the angle of a drop shadow to simulate the sun’s movement, for example). Other sophisticated effects include animating a blend to transform one object into another and animating a clipping path. As movies increase in complexity, R.A.V.E. begins to show shortcomings. For example, synchronizing animation effects across multiple elements is difficult, because there is no direct way to copy keyframe values from one object to another. And though the timeline lets you organize a complex composition with layers, you can’t use it to manage a lengthy movie with scenes. In addition, there are very few ways to build interactivity into a R.A.V.E. movie. The rollover effects are excellent, a special editing window lets you change—and even animate—the up, over, and down states for a button. But you can assign only one of two actions to a button: Either play a sound or go to a URL. R.A.V.E. does not give you the ability to include navigation controls (such as Go to frame) or cuing mechanisms (such as Play audio) in your movie. This limitation is especially problematic for audio elements. Synchronizing a sound track to a movie is difficult without commands to start or stop audio playback. The R.A.V.E. manual suggests stretching or shortening the audio duration to match movie length, but this distorts the pitch, which can produce ridiculous results. R.A.V.E. imports a wide variety of file formats, letting you incorporate just about any raster or vector image into an animation. We also like the export options, which include video formats such as AVI and MOV. When generating an SWF file, R.A.V.E. lets you set the JPEG compression level for raster images, prevent the file from being edited, and generate an HTML page that references the Flash movie. Before exporting, R.A.V.E. presents you with a list of potential problems. Most frequently, vector objects will be rasterized, because Corel’s unique special effects are not supported by SWF. This can increase file size a little or a lot, depending on whether the effect has been animated. In our testing, R.A.V.E. had trouble converting its complex internal shapes into the simpler curves Flash requires. For example, the clipping path of a rotated bitmap displayed incorrectly in the final SWF file. SJ Namo WebEditor 6 Suite is an affordable entry-level program that can grow along with a user’s ski… More » Graphics come in many different file formats. Which is best for your needs? We help you choose. More » Please follow this link (or search for the PC Magazine app on your iPad or iPhone) to get your free issue. Offer valid for new app downloads. Source.