On a recent visit to the iTunes App store, I noticed the super-duper Autodesk Sketch Mobile X was at the top of the list of free apps. I tend to hover in the free section of the iTunes shop so I was very excited to see it there. On further close investigation I saw the full version is available for the bargain price of $2.99, so I purchased. Sketchbook Mobile is a painting and drawing app which lets you paint, sketch, erase and zoom with your finger.
Autodesk have a long history of producing 2D and 3D software, and of course Autocad. Sketchbook Mobile uses the same engine as Autodesk SketchBook Pro painting and drawing software. So what are the main features? Well there’s quite a lot of cool gear built into this app.
- Ability to work with up to 6 Layers
- Tons of Brush options
- Symmetrical Sketching
- Customizable Color Palette
- Symmetrical Sketching
- Drawings up to 1024 x 682 pixels
The marking tools (shown below) are arranged in a ring around the central width control. To change your brush size you tap on the center control and drag lief and right to increase and decrease respectively. The tools are the pencil tool, airbrush, paintbrush, eraser, brushes screen, layer editor, colour selection and symmetry.
This is a nice feature. Turning on symmetry means any stroke you draw will be mirrored around the vertical center of the canvas. A little trick here is to turn you iphone or ipod to landscape before turning on symmetry if you want horizontal symmetry.
Every new painting or sketch starts with one layer, but you can add up to five more on iPhone 3GS and two more on other devices. So if you wanted to trace one of your photographs, you can load it in, created a new layer and start sketching above your original photograph. You can merge layers and turn each layer’s visibility on and off.
There are a few features missing that I would like to see. The main one being the ability to export your sketch as a .psd file. Currently you can export drawings as .png. However, I’ll definitely be keeping this app on my phone for a while. If feels like a “proper” app with excellent functionality. As well as being very clever and potentially useful for me as a designer, it’s also great fun.
Other Drawing Apps
This is not the first mobile drawing app for the iphone. You might like to also check out Layers and Brushes which have similar features to Sketchbook Mobile.
Download Autodesk Sketch Mobile X Here (Free)
Download Full Version Here ($2.99)