Adobe Paintcan


Today Adobe released an interesting lil’ experiment for iOS called PaintCan and I have to say I like where Adobe is going with these ‘experiments’. Especially when they’re aimed at us artists!

From the Adobe blog:
Today we’re previewing one of our latest experiments, PaintCan (now available on the App Store). PaintCan allows anybody, regardless of skill level, to sit down with their iPad, select a picture, and create a painting within minutes. Powerful brushes adjust themselves to the underlying image, making every stroke look beautiful, so that users can create novel and expressive artworks. PaintCan explores the space between automatic photo filters (which makes pictures look cool, but isn’t all that personal or fun) and manual art tools. With PaintCan, I really am in control, I decide where to paint, where to reveal details, where to obscure them. The app makes sure that all my paint strokes look great, but I’m still the painter.

While I do not own an iOS device, you might so if you choose to download it, let us know what you  thought in the comments! You can read the full article here.

News: Toshiba’s inexpensive Windows tablets now have a pen option


With CES in full swing, lot’s of interesting tech tidbits for us artists are surfaces, so here’s something interesting… Toshiba has just updated their cheap tablets to support pen input!

What does that mean? Well, you can now get a cheap Windows 8.1 tablet for under $500 and run full blown Sketchbook pro on it to draw to your hearts content. Now, of course that does NOT mean that you’ll likely be running Flash, Photoshop or any other processor intensive app on it’s tiny little Atom processor, but it does allow you to have a modern tablet that you can doodle with and not forgo a full interface by having to work around iOS’s refusal to include pen input or Android’s hit and miss implementation of the same. Now of course, whether the digitizer is powerful enough to handle real time pen input remains to be seem but it seems plausible since it it will have pressure sensitivity.

From Engadget’s site:

Though they are indeed inexpensive, they allow for pressure-sensitive pen input, something you’ll rarely see on a device in this price class. The two tablets come in 8- and 10-inch sizes, and will sell for $350 and $400 when they go on sale next week. For the money, you get a Wacom-made pen, with 2,048 levels of pressure sensitivity. To put that in perspective, Microsoft’s own Surface 2 costs $449 and doesn’t have a pen option.

What’s also interesting to note here is Toshiba’s including three useful apps the third of which I find extremely useful. The first one  is called TruCapture allows you to scan newspaper clippings and other printed text using the tablet’s 8-megapixel camera, and then automatically brightens and straightens them. In addition, the app uses character recognition, allowing you to search for keywords later, as well as export raw text to Toshiba’s “TruNote” app which is the second app they’re releasing with this tablet. You can write, draw, doodle and clip anything in and out of this app, which could be cool for research etc.

The third app called TruRecorder, I find the most interesting. It can recognize different voices in a conversation, and then break up the recording according to who’s speaking, complete with color-coded labels for each person. From there, you can play back individual voices, or specific combinations of people. Anyone wanting to record their dialog for a short or animatic will instantly recognize the value of that!

The fact that tablet companies are finally seeing people would like stylus input but not pay $1500 for what really is about as useful as a sheet of paper is both encouraging and exciting. here’s to many more clever art related gadgets in 2015!


You can read the whole Engadget article here.

Software: Vectorian Giotto an actual Flash Alternative?

Vectorian Giotto

Yesterday I was doing a little search trying to find an app that would do decent animation with text that could be imported into Flash and I stumbled across Vectorian Giotto. No it’s not some fancy latte but actually a Flash replacement app that at first glance seems to be fairly useful, if you don’t have the ability to purchase Flash itself. At first glance the interface does seem dated but it’s actually not a bad program to use. It’s one flaw I can find preventing it from being a true replacement is not being able to dictate what frame is displayed on a keyframe inside a symbol. Still, your results may vary.

Here’s a few tidbits from their site:

Created for designers, not coders

Giotto is the free Flash animation package made for you to design, not to code. With Giotto you can relax and focus your imagination on creative concepts, integrating stunning graphics and music into masterpieces of design.

The latest versions of Adobe® Flash® are moving away from designers. They are becoming more and more oriented towards coders. With the introduction of ActionScript 3, creating a simple action such as button click now requires ten times more coding than before.

Giotto has full support for ActionScript 2, but we made built-in effect generators that will help you create outstanding effects without any scripting at all. This software is made for you, designers.

Vector drawing, animations, sounds, filters…

Create complex vector illustrations in Giotto, anything from simple shapes to custom ones like polygon, star, or rounded rectangle. Transform vector objects in any imaginable way. Use bitmap filters like blur, drop shadow, glow, and all blend modes.

Organize all objects in the Library, create symbols like Movie Clips and Buttons for multiple use. Add text fields, with font kerning and paragraph alignment.

Animate objects with motion tweens and shape tweens. Add sound to movies and create advanced interactivity.

Powerful animated effects without any scripting at all

Giotto comes packed with more than 50 great effects that can be applied to both shapes and text. All effects are fully and easily customizable through the effect editor, and the results are immediately visible on the screen for you to play and explore.

There are more than 100 effect presets, to show the new user the different ways the effects can be adjusted.

These effects are based on ActionScript, but you don’t need to know the code behind them. Creating a perfect banner has never been easier!

Color palette editor that you can actually use

One of the main advantages of Giotto is its built-in editor for color palettes. Most color palette editors out there are quite useless, but we made Giotto’s very applicable in real life.

The Color palette editor uses special algorithms based on human perception of colors, rather then traditional mathematical models which produce poor results.

Once you select the base color of your project, you would have countless options to create palettes using many various matching algorithms. This makes the start of your new project quite easy!

User interface very similar to Adobe® Flash®

Switching from one animation software to another can be hard. We hate learning to use completely new software as much as you do. That’s why we created Giotto’s user interface very similar to Adobe® Flash® and simplified it further in order to enable designers to achieve results easier and faster.

Although it’s freeware, there’s no lacking of major features, and everything is where you think it should be – tools, context menus, object properties… so you will have the sense of familiarity and ease of use from the very first moment you open it.

We have added some new elements like natural color palette editor, effects generator, and other tools that create stunning effects without ever touching the ActionScript.

Autodesk Sketchbook Pro 7 released!

SketchbookI’ve been working on the beta for this new version for the last six months and of course I have not been allowed to say anything but today I can finally break the silence on the brand spankin new Skletchbook Pro 7 which releases today at!

the biggest news about this new version is much awaited Flipbook feature which brings a timeline to Sketchbook and allows to actually ANIMATE within the program! Add to that the ability to draw with the most natural pencil tool on the market and this is a VERY powerful tool for animators. Now I won’t lie to you, it’s a work-in-progress and as of yet, you can not put sound on the timeline nor can you export a video. You render out frames, place them in a video editor and build a movie that way. You do however have the ability to have multiple layers and the background layer actually stays throughout the timeline which allows you to actually do a background behind your animation. You could also use that layer to place a studio’s board template on it which will allow you to storyboard.

Sketchbook Pro 7 is available online both Mac and PC for $65 at right now. Also, new with this build is the option now to subscribe for only $24 a year and of course you’ll get free upgrades as they add new features.

A natural drawing experience

Draw in SketchBook Pro and discover an authentic, natural drawing experience that is as close to pencil, pen, marker, or brush on paper as a digital art tool can be.

Autodesk SketchBook Pro Steady Stroke

Steady Stroke

Steady Stroke brings greater predictability and control to strokes, helping with precision and confidence.

Autodesk Sketchbook Pro Traditional Tools

Ruler, Ellipse and French Curve

Ruler, Ellipse, and French Curve tools for designers who enjoy working with traditional toolsets.

Autodesk SketchBook Pro Brushes

Customizable Brushes

Do-it-yourself brushes give maximum control over the finest details of your art.

Autodesk SketchBook Pro Perspective Tool

Lay down perfect perspective with all-new Perspective Guides

Lay down perfect perspective in seconds with 1 point, 2 point, 3 point, and fisheye perspective guides. Freely adjust vanishing points and horizon lines on, or beyond, the canvas.

Flipbook key frame animation toolset

For the first time, artists can express motion with SketchBook Pro. Built in collaboration with the Autodesk® Maya® team, this simple key frame timeline enables a traditional animation workflow in the familiar SketchBook environment.

Autodesk SketchBook Pro Flipbook

Layer enhancements for even more control

New layer blend modes, multi-layer selection, ten levels of layer grouping, and background layer color selection makes whole or partial image manipulation, transformation, and selection easier than ever.

More features to discover and explore

Experience the Copic® Markers and the Copic® Color Library along with over 100 preset brushes, pens, pencils, markers and airbrushes.

Autodesk SketchBook Pro Enhanced Selection Tool

Enhanced selection tools including magic wand selection and drawing within the selection.

Autodesk SketchBook Pro Distort Transform Tool

Distort transform gives you the freedom to manipulate your image easily.

Autodesk SketchBook Pro Flood Fill Tool

Dynamic flood fill tools with solid, linear, and radial gradients with complete control of the fills.

Discover amazing art created with SketchBook Pro

Bobby Chiu

Bobby Chiu

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Creature Box

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Jay Shuster

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Kyle Runciman

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News: Pencil stylus set to level up with pressure sensitivity on iOS 8


As you may be aware Apple’s upcoming iOS8 will finally bring pressure sensitivity to the platform which is fantastic news for us artists! is reporting that Fifty Three’s Pencil new stylus will actually be able to give you lines as thin as a mechanical pencil! The article goes on to say you’ll be able to shade with the side of the stylus which is something I have yet to see digitally anywhere. Now if they have palm rejection, I’ll be in heaven!

Read the full article here.