The iPad has become a great tool for many artists, but when it comes to tracing over existing photographs or other media, the technology tends to get in the way -- a problem the latest version of Trace seeks to eliminate.
Photoshop-style bitmap image editors work with pixels, and therefore require large file sizes in order to preserve resolution. By comparison, vector-based illustrations are lightweight and able to scale up or down without a loss in quality, but finding quality App Store solutions for creating and editing such files can be a challenge. One such option is Inkpad, which has now gone from paid to free with the most recent release – and not the kind of free that involves in-app purchases to be useful. Instead, developer Taptrix made the app open source, allowing others to build upon its work and contribute to future versions.
As iOS apps become ever more sophisticated and feature-laden, it’s nice to see some creative developers opting for a more barebones, streamlined approach to app development. Loop is a notable example of a program lacking a long list of features, instead delivering a tool that serves as a solid introduction to the mechanics of cel animation. But as refreshing as that focus on simplicity may be, it also keeps the app from being particularly useful.
Artists are increasingly turning to the iPad for their latest creations, so it should be little surprise to find that longtime drawing tablet maker Wacom is now jumping into the stylus market with an iPad-specific offering.
There's a great idea behind Adobe Ideas--simply whip out your iPhone or iPad, and you can draw vector illustrations of your own at will, all without the cost of spending a small fortune on Adobe Illustrator. Until now, it's largely been limited by its reliance on touch-based input, but creatives can now use a stylus with the freeform app as of the newest patch and take advantage of options for stroke smoothing, exponentially increasing its usefulness.
Draw Something 2 is exactly the kind of sequel we'd expect from a casual gaming juggernaut like Zynga: It's slickly refined, nicely expanded, and slathered with silly marketing tie-ins. Seriously, when will pop starlet Carly Rae Jepsen continue the game that it made us send "her" during the tutorial? All the same, this follow-up builds upon the sketch-guessing sensation by adding more social features and ways to interact, while wrapping everything up in a flashier package.
Sometimes the simplest of activities can be loads of fun. That's the case with Face Party, a stylish and goofy app that lets you create wild and wooly pictures of monstrous pals to tweak and share. Charm ultimately wins out over substance here, but that shouldn't stop you from tinkering with terrifying tomatoes, fidgeting with mega mustachioed men, or drafting evil cat-pigs to your heart's content.
You don't have to be a great artist to have a good time fiddling around with DrawQuest. This goofy little social art app for iPad encourages you to draw something new everyday by giving you a prompt to follow, and then pitting you against other artists to see who can come up with the most clever sketches. It's a cool way to jump-start your creative spirit, but the real fun comes from sharing your creations with the game's thriving community and voting on your favorite doodles.
I got a demo of Smith Micro's Manga Studio 5 earlier this week, and came away impressed -- rarely does one application pack in so many advanced features for professionals while still remaining accessible to hobbyists. No wonder it's the industry standard software for creating not just manga (traditional black-and-white Japanese comics) but also graphic novels, web comics, and comic books.
Toddlers and preschoolers love to draw, and the App Store has no shortage of solutions for keeping little ones busy doing just that. Squiggles! for iPhone is one of the latest, but goes much further by actually bringing your little one’s work to life, complete with animation and sound.