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Creature House Expression
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Microsoft Expression 3 (formerly from Creature House)
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The Bottom Line
Expression was the first graphics program to allow users to create brush strokes from arbitrary pictures, and remains the most artistically-oriented vector-based drawing package available. Microsoft acquired Creature House in 2003, after this review was written. At this time, Microsoft is offering free downloads of Expression 3 for both Windows and Macintosh.
Guide Review - Microsoft Expression 3 (formerly from Creature House)Creature House Expression (formerly Fractal Design Expression) is a vector-based drawing tool featuring "skeletal strokes," a 2D drawing primitive which offers complete editability and scalability. While many other computer drawing programs have tried to imitate Expression's object-stroked paths concept, none can come close to the flexibility and variety offered by Expression. The user interface, though somewhat overwhelming, is well-designed with much care taken to alleviate keyboard and mouse (or pen) swapping as much as possible. You really need to have both artistic ability and a strong desire to explore and learn this program, but it's quickly obvious that once you do, you can do truly amazing things with it.
Update February 2004: Since Microsoft's acquisition of Creature House in September 2003, sales and downloads of Expression on the Creature House Web site have been suspended indefinitely.
Update May 2004: An updated Macintosh version of Expression 3.3 is now available for download from Microsoft.
Update June 2004: Microsoft is offering Expression 3 for Windows and Macintosh as a free download after completion of a brief online survey.
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