Painting with a phone?
After initially being negative about the idea of painting on the iPhone, I am now quite excited about the possibilities. I have played with a number of painting apps and have decided that there is nothing out there that beats Brushes.
Recently Autodesk released a new app for the iPhone called Sketchbook Mobile which promised to have a comprehensive mobile suite of painting tools.. so here is how it marks up against Brushes.
From the second you launch the app you can tell that it is an Autodesk product. There is a singular menu button at the bottom of the screen that gives you access to the vast tool-set provided by this app. This vast toolset can at times be overkill and difficult to navigate. One of the most important features for me as an artist is having quick access to and from the color mixing and paint brush settings. In Skechbook mobile, the path is somewhat lengthy and the numerous options, which are great on a desktop application, become annoying.
On a positive side the app has many great features that make it much more like painting in an Application such as Adobe Photoshop or Corel Painter. The ability to save colors in a swatch and having greater control over the type of brush you paint with is certainly a plus point. The layers section in the app is much more like photoshop with easy re-ordering and merging of layers. The application can also handle images up to 1024 x 682 px in size which allows for high level of detail when zooming.
I encountered a few issues when using this application. First of all the opacity painting is accumulative, which means that if you paint over an area with 10% opacity twice with the same brush stroke it will increase to 20%. This makes it difficult to introduce color gradually. Paired with the long process of adjusting the brush opacity, I found this side of painting in Sketchbook Mobile frustrating. Another issue I encountered was with the applications eye-dropper feature which allows you to hold your finger on an area of your painting and select a color. The selection always appears above where you place your finger, meaning each time you have to drag it upwards to pick the desired color. No doubt this could be fixed with an update.
Brushes has a much simpler interface than Sketchbook Mobile. I find it much quicker to mix the color that I needed and get back to the painting. There are not as many options as I mentioned earlier for saving colours and adjusting brush settings, but I can live with that if it speeds up the way I use the app. The eye-dropper tool is efficient and feel of the paintbrush as you draw is slightly smoother and adaptable as you reach the edge of the screen.
One massive feature of Brushes is that once completed, a painting can be played back as a movie using the Brushes Viewer
desktop application. This blew me away the first time I used it and for me tips the scales towards me using the Brushes application.
So here is a summary of how I feel Sketchbook Mobile compares to Brushes
Sketchbook Mobile is best for..
- Brush settings
- Color Swatch (saving colors)
- Layer Management
Brushes is best for..
- User Interface
- Color mixing
- Brush Opacity
- Desktop Viewer Application Link
Both Brushes and Sketchbook Mobile can be Purchased for the iPhone in the App Store
Buy | Brushes
Buy | Sketchbook Mobile