Serif has launched a new version of its vector drawing software, DrawPlus X2, adding animation features, Windows Vista certification and expanding the export options to include mobile phones.

Serif DrawPlus X2 is aimed at hobbyists and general PC users with a passing interest in design, rather than creative professionals. It has a relatively straightforward interface that is intended to help non-designers quickly and easily produce good-looking graphics that can then be overlaid with effects and transitions offered by DrawPlus toolbox.

Serif says this latest version includes enhanced, customisable blending tools, text features and animation capabilities. Natural paint effects are included, while users can quickly and simply create vector logos, Flash animations and multi-page documents.

Keyframes and a new camera tool for panning and zooming are designed to make animation easy. Using a Storyboard tab, users can now draw objects, adjust their position on frames, then leave the application to create the tween and a smooth transition between them. Animations can also be exported to formats including Mpeg, AVI, Flash and QuickTime. Serif has added a further export option, known as Flash Lite, so Flash animations can be exported for plaback on mobile phones.

Serif has redesigned the software program's interface so tools can be accessed via tabbed rather than dropdown menus and are within easy reach. While Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Freehand are the big daddies of the vector and graphic design world, Corel Painter X, Serif DrawPlus and CorelDraw are all relatively inexpensive and established contenders in the hobbyist market.

Serif DrawPlus X2 is available now and costs £80 inc VAT.