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David Heller
David Heller
Editorial and site information posted from the ShareCG Team

I’m an Early iPad Adaptor & Sketchbook Pro Rocks!

April 27th, 2010 by David Heller


Yep, I’m an early Apple adaptor.  I got the first iPod, the first iTouch, jumped on the bandwagon when the iPhone arrived, even though I’m very disappointed by AT&T’s coverage, and now — drum roll — the iPad …. tah dah!  I’ve had my iPad for a week and have already taken it on a business trip in place of my laptop, used it to show prospective clients presentations on the spot, and also let them see how cool is.

The best iPad feature — it turns on INSTANTLY!  No longer do I  wait 5 minutes or more for a PC operating  system to figure out how to boot up, and the iPad turns off instantly too, what a relief!

It’s biggest downfall — it doesn’t connect to the cellular system, just to wireless, so I had to find a work around.  I want to be able to connect to the internet from anywhere so I went to Verizon and picked up a MyFi wireless hub.  The Verizon network really is one of the best, and with my little MyFi hub I can connect to the Internet, and  even when there’s no other wireless within miles I can check my email, the web, and even make worldwide phone calls using Skype.   I slapped a strip of Velcro on the back of the MyFi and a mating piece on to the back of the iPad and I was ready to go anywhere.

sketchbook_homepageWhile grazing the Apple app store I noticed Autodesk’s Sketchbook Pro for iPad,  a cool looking app that I felt would be of interest to the ShareCG audience.  I plunked down $7.99, instantly got the app,  and even-though I’m not an artist, I couldn’t wait to run it through its paces.

But, before I could get serious I had to invest another twenty bucks for a Pogo Sketch stylus from Ten One Design, which certainly beat using my index finger to draw with.   I then slipped my writing hand into an open finger bike glove so I could rest my palm on the screen while I drew,  and was finally ready to learn the tool and take my non-existent artistic skills to the next level – or just have some fun scribbling.

A picture is worth a thousand words, and a video is worth at least ten times that.  So, I’ll give you a few specs and highlights here, express some of  my impressions,  and then share a video with you that shows how a real artist, like you, creates meaningful work in Sketchbook Pro on iPad.

I learned how to use the majority of Sketchbook’s features in less than thirty-minutes after watching the included slide show tutorial and reading the documentation.  Then after poking around with Sketchbook for another thirty minutes I really understood how to use this tool, even though I can’t really create much yet.  If I want to take it to the next level, i.e. create real art,  I guess I’ll have to take a basic drawing course and then come back to this high-tech canvas.

I’ve listed below some  Sketchbook Pro for iPad features …sketchbook_layers1 I was impressed by all of them, especially the layers!  That’s because I was able to pull a photograph into a layer, create a new layer on top of the photo, draw the subject’s a outline, fill in the outline, and viola, I’m an instant artist!

sketchbook_penselectandcolorwindowI also liked the versatile pen and color selection window (Brush Editor) where I was able to choose from a wide assortment of pen and brush stroke styles, adjust their width, opacity and color, draw perfect rectangles and circles, and even select preloaded objects such as bushes, eyes, a hand and lots of other interesting goodies that make even my work look professional.

Sketchbook Pro’s Notable Features

• Full Screen work space with support for any device orientation

• Canvas size: 1024 x 768

Multi-touch Interface:
• Two finger pan & zoom navigation with 2500% zoom
• Three finger tap for controls
• Three finger swipe gestures for quick access

High quality brushes and tools:
• Professional grade paint engine delivers smooth and precise brush strokes
• 75 preset brushes, including pencils, pens, markers, natural media and photo brushes
• New Nature & Stamp brushes
• Flood fill and smear tool
• Completely customizable brush settings for each brush
• Draw styles for creating straight lines, rectangles, and circles
• Synthetic pressure sensitivity (brush fade-off)
• 10 levels of undo and redo (Quick Access: three finger swipe left and right)
• Dynamic symmetric drawing
• Quick Access: Three finger swipe down on canvas

• 6 Layers allowing ease of editing and control
• Import layers from Photo Library
• Duplicate, Merge and Reorder Layers
• Move, scale, and rotate layers interactively using Multi-Touch
• Toggle visibility and adjust Layer Opacity
• Quick Access: Three finger swipe up on canvas

• Store and view work-in-progress
• Export to Photo Library
• E-mail images
• Export as a layered PSD file
• Browse images in full screen mode

• Color Wheel with HSB and RBG color space
• Customizable Color Swatches
• Eye-dropper color selection
• Erase color chip to convert any brush into custom eraser

The Video

I placed a Sketchbook Pro video  in my ‘jalex417’  ShareCG gallery and posted it in the animation section so you can see how a real artist uses it.  Just click the  screen shot, sit back and be amazed.


Click and Watch

I’m really jazzed by this tool, and if you’ve got an iPad, $7.99 and some artistic talent I’m sure you’ll get more than your money’s worth of creative fun.  In fact, I’ve added a new category in CG Art named ‘Sketchbook Pro/iPad” so you can upload examples of your work.  Once we’ve got a good sampling I’ll showcase your great works of iPad art on the home page for the world to see 🙂

Enjoy your new toy, and allow me, and all our readers, to live vicariously though your experience.

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