PaintCode is a vector drawing tool that is built for one kind of
output, Core Graphics source code. I’ve been messing with the demo today and
I’m very tempted to buy. Its got a nice interface, basic shapes, a reusable
palette of colors and gradients, and it lets you build more complex paths out
of simpler ones through union, difference, and intersection. You can choose
between OS X or iOS code and you can watch the code update in real time
as you draw on the canvas.
I’ve used Opacity for things like this in the past because it lets
you “export” vector drawings as Objective-C code. In addition, it also has a
nice workflow for exporting png graphics in all the different resolutions and
icon sizes these days. But it can be a bit buggy. And it’s such a full featured
vector drawing tool, that often you’ll create something that just can’t be
rendered into code. By contrast, all PaintCode is good for is drawing things
that Core Graphics can do. That simplicity seems to be a strength here.
They have a time limited demo to try before you buy and a set of videos to show
off the power.