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App of the Month: SketchBook Pro (Review)

Game: SketchBook Pro
Developer: Autodesk
Rating: 5 out 5 stars
Price: $4.99

From Autodesk, the makers of the industry standard for 3D animation (Maya), comes SketchBook Pro. The app is not only for artists, but for anyone wanting to express themselves using a fully loaded graphics illustration app.


An art store worth of tools and colors is available at the touch of a finger with SketchBook Pro

Users start out by choosing a brush from the extensive selection, then they sketch or paint using a finger or an iPad stylus. The app allows you to export layers as .psd files and has a customizable user interface as well.

The Features 
SketchBook Pro is one of the most capable illustration apps out there. Just take a look at just some of its amazing features:

• Full-screen work space, with support for any device orientation
• A canvas size of 1024 x 768 and supports up to 12 layers on iPad 2
• Optional High Resolution canvas on iPad 2 = 2048 x 1536 with 4 layers
• Multi-Touch Interface, with two-finger pan & zoom navigation with 2500 percent zoom
• More than 60 preset brushes, including pencils, pens, markers and natural media
• Precise brush strokes
• Install more than 90 additional brushes and stamps brushes from the in-app store
• Flood fill and smear tool (just like Photoshop), and other great tools additions, like 20 levels of undo/redo on iPad 2 and dynamic symmetric drawing


A customizable UI allows users to set up their most used tools within SketchBook Pro‘s own interface. 

You can also import images from Photo Library or the camera on iPad 2, too. Plus duplicate, merge and reorder layers (just like Photoshop) and toggle and adjust the layer visibility/opacity. Everything you would expect to do with a high-end graphics application or learn using Photoshop, you can do with SketchBook Pro.

The app exports photos, has in-app email and sharing features, customizable color swatches, eye-dropper selector, custom erasers AND (if that wasn’t enough), video output using either the Apple Component AV Cable or the Apple Dock Connector to VGA adaptor.

Becoming a Digital Designer
Artists have more digital tools available than ever before, but if you’re a digital designer with an iPad or someone who wants to start learning digital art and graphic design, SketchBook Pro is a must-have.


Create both complex and simple pieces of art using SketchBook Pro. Click the image above to enlarge. 

The app gives artists full control over their creativity and the import and export features are easy to use and set up. Creating complex works of art will still take time, but the app supports you with tools to express your vision every step of the way. And at just five dollars, the app is a great investment, and should be a no-brain’er for artists now using the iPad.

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posted by DMA Jordan in App Development,News Blog and have No Comments

Digital Photography and Photoshop For Teens in San Diego

(c) chrisowen.com 2010

Kyle Knox, San Diego County. Photo courtesy Chris Owen. (c) 2010

I once spent some time with a very accomplished professional photographer who was in Ansel Adam’s photography home group back in the day. He told me something very shocking about Ansel’s philosophy of getting the “magic shot.” Just shoot, shoot, shoot.  It will come. I couldn’t believe it.  This is coming from not just one of the worlds most respected photographers, but the one who invented what we know as  THE ZONE SYSTEM. Most universities teach Ansel’s system religiously as a standard of where to start in the world of photography.

With the influx and availability of digital camera’s and media, the problem certainly hasn’t been one of shoot, shoot, shoot, but one of edit, edit, edit.  And honestly, in the digital world, it’s our biggest enemy. Overshooting that is.  At some point, we all approach a threshold where we long again for the art and simplicity of photography.   The balance remains in the approach.  Knowing when to let the shutter loose to sing, and when to move on and find inspiration elsewhere.

This Summer the pre-teens at UCSD will be jumping in the mix to learn about digital photography from a technical, yet highly artistic perspective.  All the basics of camera functionality will be covered, along with incorporating lighting, exposure and aperture to create both fun and professional images.

The photographic experience only starts while looking through the lens.  As the photographers of old used to say, the darkroom is 80% of an image.  Well, in this world, the digital darkroom (photoshop) is about 95% of making great imagery.  We will learn all of the foundational principles in Photoshop  that into creating great images.  Subjects covered will be using layers, adjusting levels for exposure compensation, and yes — removing all the little annoyances such as blemishes and red eye.

There’s plenty to cover, and the kids will have a blast while exploring their creativity and leveraging all the technical tools available to make images into the “magic shot” that all photographers, in every generation dream of.

by Chris Owen (www.chrisowen.com)

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posted by DMA Jordan in News Blog and have No Comments