Posted by Jessica Fisher on June 20th, 2014 + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Demagic AB has released a new app called PainterTool. Artists can use a photo as a reference to sketch pictures and then photograph the sketch with the app, which then allows the user to compare the two images and make adjustments to the original drawing to practice proportions. PainterTool also offers tutorials and grid lines to make sketching even easier.
You can download PainterTool off the App Store now for free.
The iPad’s form has been seducing digital artists and those who love to doodle since its launch. It’s also the ideal size for taking hand-written notes. There are dozens of apps that create rich drawing or writing environments, but until recently input devices have been limited. Fingers just won’t do when precision is needed so artists and copious note takers usually rely on capacitive styluses which simulate the feeling of a pen, but are limited by the touchscreen interface. They aren’t sensitive to pressure, they offer no control over line thickness, and holding one comfortably tends to leave palm marks on the virtual page. Ten One Design offers one solution with their Bluetooth 4.0 Pogo Connect stylus. It doesn’t get everything right, but it’s a solid start in a promising direction.
At 5.1″ (130mm) with a price tag of $80, the Pogo Connect sports a stylish silver barrel with a rubber tip at one end and decorative cap at the other. There is a single button on the side and a LED light. It uses one AAA battery and because it’s Bluetooth 4.0 that battery will last a long time. A little wider than a regular stylus, the pen lacks heft, but it fits comfortably in the hand and has good balance. The tip is the same thick dark rubber that one finds on traditional styluses and is magnetic for easy replacement. Ten One promises new tip designs in the future.
Pogo Connect doesn’t pair with the iPad in the usual way a Bluetooth device would. To assist in getting everything set up correctly, users can download the free Pogo Connect app to link the stylus and then each of the 19 compatible apps – up from the original 13 – goes its own way. Some apps like Procreate just find the pen, while others like Noteshelf require users to poke around in the settings. It’s easy.
Because the stylus uses Bluetooth 4.0 it is only compatible with 3rd and 4th gen iPads and the iPad mini. Ten One offers iPad 2 owners a less-than-elegant work-around: there is a Pogo Bridge app that connects to the iPhone 4S or 5 and then sends the signal to the iPad 2, but at present only one app – Procreate – has incorporated the feature.
One of the more glaring flaws when I first tested the Connect back in December was that it didn’t prevent palm marks, but recent updates have improved that functionality. How well it works seems to depend more upon the app than the stylus.
And what about pressure sensitivity? That’s the key selling point, but it’s very hit or miss. Some apps respond to pressure by varying line thickness, others opacity, and none respond to a light touch despite claims that the proprietary Crescendo Sensor technology requires “0 grams of activation force.” That said, the Connect outperforms captive models. It’s not transformative, but with the right app and practice, sketching feels more holistic.
There are a couple of neat features worth mentioning: the Pogo Connect app has a pen locator, the button on the stylus works as an undo command, and the LED light indicates the active ink color. Still, while somewhat more intuitive than capitative models, the Pogo Connect needs a lot of tweaking before it warrants the hefty price tag, much less turns the iPad into a device that can compete with a dedicated graphics tablet.
Posted by Rob LeFebvre on October 11th, 2012 + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Emanata is a new comics app focused just on independent comic creators. They can publish their graphic stories for free, then get a portion of the sales proceeds. For the first month, artists take all of the revenue from sales (after Apple’s 30% cut). After that, the artists will split revenues 50/50 with Emanata. The artists also retain all of the rights to their work, which lets them publish elsewhere.
With Emanata, users can browse all types of free comics as well as purchase premium stories within the app to directly support the artists they like. The app’s new built-in news feed makes it even easier to follow specific creators and keep up with their latest work. The reader can also use in-app social tools to share memorable works with friends via email, social networks, and on the Web.
“Tablet devices are the natural platform to showcase great art and storytelling. We want to provide a dedicated place where the independent artists can find new audiences, and for the connoisseur of comic books to discover something unexpected and edgy,” said George Chen, CEO of Emanata.
If you’re in the Los Angeles area this weekend, be sure to check out the LA Mobile Arts Festival in Santa Monica. Be sure to say hi to the rolling blue bus for us.
The first years of the growing mobile arts movement come to a culmination with the inaugural LA Mobile Arts Festival (LA-MAF), an eight-day event that will showcase the best in iPhoneography and other forms of mobile digital art. Hosted in Santa Monica, Calif., LA-MAF is the first-of-its-kind for the mobile arts and the largest mobile art event to date, featuring over 225 artists from over 30 countries and 25 U.S. states, exhibiting well over 600 images, sculptures, films and installations.
Where: Santa Monica Art Studios
3026 Airport Avenue, Santa Monica, CA 90405
When: August 18-25, 2012
Gallery hours: August 18: 7-10pm, August 19-25: 12-6pm
Steve Jobs was often quoted as saying “the best camera is the one you have with you.” Certainly with the last product launched under his eye, the iPhone 4S, that’s true. The advanced optics continue to hold up in test after test against even the most photo-centric smartphones out there. Coupled with the seemingly endless supply of quality camera replacement and photo editing apps iPhone photography has officially crossed the line, in the right hands, from casual snapping to art.There’s even a term used to denote the particular looks achieved with all models of iPhone: iPhoneography. Now comes an art show that turns its lens on the best of the best.
The LA Mobile Arts Festival, which takes place between August 18-25 in Santa Monica, California is hosting a week-long display of what they describe as: “art originated through the lens of an iPhone and celebrating what become [sic] known as iPhoneongraphy. Much more than citizen photography, iPhoneography is true and real art.” If you live in Southern California or will be there later this month be sure to check it out
Disney has released a tool to help make pixel art and animation easy. Pixel’d lets users make artwork that shows its pixelation and is proud of it! Users have a default 150×150 canvas to work with, though this can be shrunk to 4×4 or enlarged up to 1024×768. Users can freehand draw, generate lines or shapes, and use color fill to help make their creations. Artists looking for more advanced editing can use 3 modifiable layers to help them in their process.
Canvas backgrounds can be added and interacted with, featuring artwork from various Disney properties. A selection comes with the app for free, and others are available through in-app purchases. It’s possible to create more than just single-frame artwork, as animations up to 20 frames long can be created. Single frame artwork can be exported as PNG or GIF with animations exportable as either animated GIFs or MP4 video files. These can then be exported to the Camera Roll or shared to social networks directly from the app. Finally, it’s possible to team up with a friend using the Buddy Draw feature to collaborate on artwork via wifi.
Recently released from Holly Brown, a Hong Kong-based coffee and gelato company, HB Latteland lets users take a stab at latte art on their iPhones.
I have to admit that before I saw this app, I had no idea that latte art existed. I took a look at the app and wondered who was creatively strange enough to think of an app where players make art out of coffee. A few YouTube videos later and I’m entranced by how cool some people (latte artists?) can make a latte look.
HB Latteland starts a player in “Latte Art School” where the choose a mentor from the Holly Brown team of baristas to lead them through school. When users “graduate” from the art school, they’re faced with challengers from around the world in the Challenge stage. Featured in the challenge modes are World Latte Art Champion Scottie Callaghan and Taiwan Champion Van Lin. In addition, there’s an etching mode where players can basically draw and etch on a cup of latte.
Holly Brown is a Hong Kong-based coffee and gelato company with coffee from Italian master roaster Domenic Spadaccini and made-to-order gelato for customers.
In a strange mash-up between painting and music, developer LeafNotes has released Soundbrush. Soundbrush works by drawing lines or shapes. Those lines and shapes turn into corresponding sounds. Each paint color stands for a different instrument (for example, blue is a piano).
The artist-musicians using this app get to hear the notes as they’re drawn. Users can even go back and delete previously drawn notes by double tapping; so more refined and thought-out pieces are definitely possible with Soundbrush.
Soundbrush uses both major and minor and major and minor pentatonic scales as well as the blues scale. A musical grid can be displayed to help pay more attention to exactly which notes are being drawn on the canvas.
Users with no experience with either drawing or music can take a stab at the app and still have plenty of fun. While there are no templates for new users to play with, there is the video below posted by LeafNotes showing the creation of a song/painting and how it sounds.
PipeDream Labs, an app development company based out of India, has released its first interactive children’s book, The Perfect Shape. The book is a 30-page story with unique art, music, and interactivity.
The app mixes some traditional story-telling with animations (both subtle and flamboyant) to make for an interesting experience for children. The book describes the tale of Curiosity, the youngest son of the creator, and his goal to “redesign the world to make it a better place and rid it of all wrongs.” Curiosity is accompanied by his pet Bunny. The Perfect Shape follows Curiosity and his pet as they adventure to create the perfect world.
The Perfect Shape was released on March 23th and is available for $2.99. The Perfect Shape is an iPad-only app.
PipeDream Labs also creates digital comics, games, and designs toys. Check them out here.
It’s a little cliched to say but Starry Night Interactive Animation is utterly beautiful to look at and interact with.
Taking one of Vincent Van Gogh’s most famous pieces of art, Starry Night, iPad users can watch the creation move as well as interact with it themselves.
It’s positively delightful, both peaceful and wondrous with a similarly attractive musical score. Supporting multi touch, users can interact with Starry Night with up to ten fingers at once, making it an ideal app to use with others.
Using a finger to ripple through the artwork is a mesmerising experience, even despite the occassional moments of blurriness.
While I’ve yet to get a chance to see the real Starry Night, this app is a great substitution in the meantime. It’d be great to see other works of art implemented in a similar way in the future. It makes art accessible for the masses and brings it to life for children.
Check out Starry Night Interactive Animation now, priced at $1.99.