Let’s get back up to speed
In part one, I gave a brief introduction to my work in progress guide for deciding if Sketchbook Pro is for you. I went over a touch of what Sketchbook Pro is and is not, and I contrasted it with the current industry standard illustration go-to program (in mind share anyway), Adobe Photoshop.
In part two, I began to uncover the way that Sketchbook Pro prioritizes canvas space and bends the user interface around that priority, including tool economy and color selections.
This time, I will highlight the major tools you will be using in the program to rapidly develop drawings, storyboards, illustrations, and sketches. Familiarity with the software unleashes maximum creativity, as you’re not fumbling around trying to figure out how everything works.
Everything we are going to use that is a brush, pen, marker, or eraser, can be resized using the resize brush pad, seen here. You simply click and drag to resize the brush radius. Easy!
How many Tools are in that Toolbox?
Most of the following tools are going to be familiar to you, but the highlight in Sketchbook Pro, it could be argued, is the pencil tool. Using a tablet computer or Cintiq really emulates the feeling of sketching on paper, faster and more effectively than more resource heavy programs.
So the pencil tool functions not only as a useful pencil for sketching, but combined with the color palette it becomes a colored pencil box with unlimited selection. Prismacolors, eat your heart out!
Before I forget to address it, adjusting brush properties are pretty important if you want to have control over the density and varieties of your brushes. The fundamental properties of every tool are accessed from the top center of the brush palette, in the brush properties button.Once a tool is selected in the brush palette (highlighted by blue) you can open the brush properties and the brush settings can be changed. The optional settings vary from brush to brush. We will cover custom brushes later.
Now Stand Still, Dorian!
The next tool is the airbrush.
the airbrush works a little different than in Photoshop, functioning more like a proper airbrush. Using the eraser as your makeshift frisket (or the marquee) you can duplicate similar results as in traditional media.
In the brush properties, you will be able to adjust size and flow.
Next we have the marker, which shines here.
In the brush properties, you can adjust size and slant rotation.
The chisel tip is like a harder edged marker.
Brush properties that you can adjust include size and slant rotation.
The ballpoint pen is the least like it’s real world counterpart
Having used ballpoint pens in real life on bristol for years, by variation of pressure you can achieve a kind of feathering that doesn’t replicate here. However, separating your expectations from the versatility of a true ballpoint pen, and coupled with the brush properties gives you the precision you need that chisel tip and marker do not, with adequate similar expression.
Brush Properties that are adjustable are size and ink opacity.
The paintbrush is deceptively useful
One of the biggest advantages Photoshop has is the flexibility of their paintbrush for digital artists. When you first use Sketchbook Pro the paintbrush will seem unsatisfactory in comparison. I promise that when you adjust the brush properties and save it as a custom brush, you will be quite pleased.
You can adjust size and paint opacity (also kind of replicating hardness) in the brush properties.
Finally, we have the felt tip pen
The flexibility of the felt tip pen in Sketchbook Pro is pretty substantial. The ability to use it as a go between with all the other media tools is understated.
You can adjust size and tip hardness (also serves as opacity) in the brush properties.
The rest comes later
We will look at the rest of the tools in the next update, including both erasers (there’s two?) the smear, blur, and sharpen tools, as well as the ruler, symmetry x and y, the ellipse tool and line property tools.
As always, if I have overlooked anything in this post, drop a comment below and I will update it.
Where to try the Software for yourself:
If you haven’t given the trial a spin I recommend doing so.
For PC: autodesk.com/trysketchbookpro
For Mac users running 10.6 OS, you can get it from the Mac App Store
there’s also a free “express” version available