Well, as I was going to do some though sharing on the pixel based programs for the iPad (I don’t feel like enough of an artistic expert to do a full review), I had some money burning a hole in my pocket, and I decided that I would purchase an iTunes card, and in turn purchased some “sketching” programs.
First, I want to say that even though I really like the way these programs work, they almost feel like they are cheating a bit. Basically, each of these programs seem to use similar code to apply a mathematical algorithm (some sort of fancy process) to sketch/brush strokes to give a cool artsy look to a sketch.
The ones I purchased are:
Qvik Sketch ($.99 from iTunes)
OmniSketch ($1.99 from iTunes)
LiveSketch HD ($.99 from iTunes)
All of them seems to be similarly related to a HTML 5 based procedural drawing program called Harmony, which is free and can actually be used on the iPad and iPhone.
Here are a couple of images. By the way, the cork background is actually from a screen capture from a program called Corkulous for the iPad (which is REALLY cool).
Drawn using the three programs on the post it
(sorry about the really low res… it didn’t transfer over well)
And a Demon WIP from my Corkulous Board.
Drawn in Qvik Sketch and colored in Sketchbook Pro
My thoughts on these programs are pretty much the same across the board. They are very cool for creating really impressive looking sketches in a very short amount of time, but they really do feel like they’re cheating a bit. I think these types of sketching programs would be very useful for small studios and for idea generation. I’m not saying that I won’t be using them, because they do allow the user to put some really impressive sketches together very quick…
Now since they are all about the same, this is my thoughts on them. My favorite program is Qvik Sketch. Since it is a bit more friendly with the color wheel and allows you to create an easily accessible pallet. Just make sure you don’t lose your black and white settings (for any of these programs, because the color wheel is a pain to get to the exact color you want). Qvik sketch also has a “sketch reset” button, which starts the procedural doo-hicky all over again, and it has been very useful for getting close into the image for detail work. Plus, as of yesterday (things change so don’t quote me), it works for both the iPad and the iPhone.
Omnisketch is my second favorite since it has a mirror component and does some similar things (for idea generation purposes) to Alchemy (an art program for PC, Mac, and Linux that’s worth checking out).
Finally, I probably should have saved the dollar and skipped out on LiveSketch HD. I found it to be lacking in the options that the others have.
If anyone is interested in any of these programs, but is unsure if they would work for you, first try out the HTML 5 Harmony Program above, and see if you like what you have created.
I really think that each of these programs would be amazing when put in the hands of some really talented artists, and as a part of a workflow that includes many of the “traditional” digital art programs people are accustomed to.