iPhone/iPod Touch Drawing/Painting/Sketching Ap Comparison Chart

iPhone/iPod Touch Drawing/Painting/Sketching Ap Comparison Chart

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Program, Price & Summary Sample Pictures Line Types (ie softness of edge, transparency) Line Sizes Cursor Offset Drawing Method Drawing Colors Backgrounds Change Background Without Changing Drawing? Eyedropper Shapes and Clip Art Paper Size & Adjustability Zoom Undo/Redo Eraser Clear Screen Text Hide Menus/Full Screen Save Options            Interface                      
Brushes, V1.1

$4.99

This is an excellent program for general painting effects, of interest to serious and casual artists.

The interface is simple and clear, it has an excellent color picker and eyedropper, seemingly infinite undo and redos, three different line types (I'm looking forward to more in a future upgrade!), pinch to zoom in/out and sliders for line size and opacity. It does not have shapes or clip art, which I don't need.

The future features I would most like to see are line size slider in same dialog as color and opacity; higher resolution image; larger 'piece of paper', an implementation of cursor offset, don't need to go back to gallery to get new piece of paper, and change background color without erasing drawing.
Sample drawing made with Brushes
More Brushes Drawings
Three line types, with varying softness/blendiness at the edges, slider for opacity/transparency. Slider for line thickness. No. Draw with finger, no tilt effects. Millions of colors via standard circular color picker, with slider for light to dark, plus presets for white and black. Millions of colors via standard circular color picker, with slider for light to dark, plus presets for white and black. You can also start a picture based on any image in your photo library, but you have to know to do this when you are in the gallery, and click the top left icon of a stack of photos, instead of the top right "+" for new image. No. You can't change to a different photo once you've started, and changing the background color wipes out your image to fill the screen with the new color. Yes, use eyedropper icon or simply touch and hold, to switch to color under your finger. No. One paper size, the size of the screen. Use two fingers to move paper. Paper can be moved away from iPod Touch/iPhone edge but not turned. Yes, pinch to resize. Apparently unlimited undo-s and redo-s - separate button for each. No. You can use the eyedropper to pick up the background color and 'erase' with that, but you can't erase back to the original if you started with an image from your photo library. No. No. Single-tap. Can keep images in program library, or save .jpg to photo library. Jpgs are 4" X 6" at 80 dpi when saved to Photo Library. My only interface complaint is that the brush type and size are on a different screen than the brush color and opacity, as I often want to change the color and line size at the same time.
Colors!, V1.1

$4.99

This is an excellent program for general painting effects, of interest to serious and casual artists. However, the feature that makes it really stand out is being able to use tilt to control either line size or opacity. Of course having played with these goodies, I want more - for instance the ability to control hue, shade, or tone with tilt - but really it is fantastic fun the way it is. You can also turn off all tilt features; it depends which brush you choose.

Colors! also has the interesting feature of playing back your process of making your drawing, though it leaves out anything you've undone instead of showing it being added and then subtracted.
Sample drawing made with Colors!
More Colors! Drawings
Two levels of edge hardness/softness, slider for opacity/transparency, and 4 line types which control the tilt features. The four lines are normal line, line that becomes more transparent as you draw, line that varies transparency as you tilt, and line that varies thickness as you tilt. Slider for line thickness. When varying line thickness with tilt, this limits the upper range of thickness of the line. Yes, you can set a custom offset in the options panel. The problem is that there is no visual indicator of the offset before you put your finger down, so it's pretty much impossible to start drawing in an exact location. Since desire to exactly control where you draw without your finger blocking the view is one of the main reasons to have an offset, the purpose is sort of defeated. Draw with finger, set tilt to affect opacity or line thickness. Millions of colors via donut-shaped color picker, with internal triangle for degrees of saturation and shade (light to dark). There are no options for the background - it's white. Of course you can make a thick brush and paint in any color you want, but you can't import images as backgrounds. No, there is no background concept. Yes, use eyedropper icon or simply touch and hold, to switch to color under your finger. No. One paper size, the size of the screen. Use two fingers to move paper. Paper can be moved away from iPod Touch/iPhone edge but not turned. Yes, pinch to resize. However, there seem to be only 2-3 resize levels that it will jump to, resizing is not very continuous/fluid. Apparently unlimited undo-s and redo-s, however it is a multi-tap process. First tap the play icon, then tap undo, redo, or replay creation of drawing. Finally, tap the brush to go back to drawing. No. You can use the eyedropper to pick up the background color and 'erase' with that. No. No. No, toolbar is always there. Can save 24 images in program library, or export .jpg to photo library in three resolutions. Jpgs are 4" X 5" at 80 dpi (small) and 4" X 5.5" at 160 (medium) and 320 (large)dpi when saved to Photo Library. That's right, the three exports are not the same proportions. Although the dialog box says small will be 320 X 440 dpi, for me it was consistently 320 X 400 and cut off the bottom half inch. On close examination, the other two resolutions were also cutting off a very thin slice on all four sides, but this was not noticable until I started to write this review - losing the bottom half inch is quite noticable, so I recommend medium or large. The basics are good - color picker, line size and opacity sliders all on the same screen, there's an eyedropper, and of course the great tilt effects. However, there are some missing pieces such as setting background colors and some weird non-standard interface weirdness.

In particular, when you zoom in and out your brush size unexpectedly changes, and there is no way for you to reset it to exactly what you had while still zooming. The interface for saving, exporting, and loading pictures is also very clunky. For instance, if you save an image and then click on new, it asks you if you want to discard changes. Well, there should be no changes to discard as you just saved. Also, there doesn't seem to be a way to view what's in your program library except by requesting to load one of those images. I would prefer export and save to be on the same screen. And load shows me 23 images to choose from, but save gives me 24 slots - and either number seems far too few.
No. 2, V1.3

$4.99

The concept of this program is that it is like using a basic No. 2 pencil, and therefore it does not have colors, line thicknesses, etc. It is really for professional artists as it doesn't have alot of features for the general user and the interface is a little cumbersome so you have to have motivation to master it. The highlight of this program is the precision with which one can draw. Because of the pencil icon, it is very easy to see exactly where you are drawing, and this is especially useful if you want to continue a line, or join one line with another without crossing. It is best for making precise, detailed line drawings.
Sample drawing made with No. 2
More No. 2 Drawings
One hard-edged, opaque line. One very fine (pencil) line. Yes. You draw by dragging an icon of a pencil, so you can see where the point will draw. I think it is the best implementation of an offset as it is always clear where the drawn line will begin and end. Draw with finger, no tilt effects. Black. White. No - no options at all for changing background from white. No, but not needed since no color. No. One paper size, 4 times the size of the screen. Use two fingers to move paper, or pinch to shrink whole page onto screen. Paper cannot be moved away from iPod Touch/iPhone edge or turned. Yes, pinch to resize. One button toggles for one undo, and one redo. Yes. Tap pencil to flip it over and use eraser. No. No. Single-tap. Can keep images organized in Books (folders) in program library, or save .jpg to photo library. If you just use as much of the page as initially visible on screen, jpgs are 4" X 6" at 80 dpi when saved to the Photo Library. If you zoom out or drag the page around and use the full available page, jpgs are 8" X 12" at 80 dpi. It is very awkward to have to tap with another finger to put the pencil down to start drawing. You used to have to do the same thing to stop drawing, but the pencil now comes off the page automatically when you lift your finger, which has pros and cons, depending on what you are doing.
Sketches, V1.6

$4.99

This is an excellent basic drawing program, suitable for everyone from kids to professional artists. For the most part the interface is easy and intuitive, so anyone can pick it up and start drawing. Although there is no arbitrary color picker, there is a good selection of preset colors, and I find myself using it whenever I want to draw something quickly without alot of messing around.
Sample drawing made with Sketches
More Sketches Drawings
One hard-edged line, 3 preset levels of opacity. Slider No Draw with finger, no tilt effects. 24 presets, no color picker. 24 preset background colors (no color picker), camera, maps, photo library, website screen shots, and included library of overlays such as graph or note paper. Yes No, but not critical since all colors are presets. Included library of re-sizable geometric and clip-art shapes including speech bubbles. One paper size, size of screen. Paper cannot be moved away from iPod Touch/iPhone edge or turned. Yes, but have to use unintuitive zoom icon; pinching gets you last chosen shape, clipart, or text. Apparently unlimited undo-s, no redo-s. Yes. Erases down to selected background image/color, which remains unchanged. By shaking (a la etch-a-sketch of old). No option to turn this off or have a dialog box. Cannot undo. Do not move the device quickly when putting it down or you may unintentionally clear your drawing! 3 fonts, 24 preset colors (choose color before going into font menu), can't move text after initial placement. Double-tap. Can keep 30 images in program library, save .jpg to photo library, send directly to twitter, email picture or share on web. Jpgs are 4" X 6" at 80 dpi when saved to Photo Library. My only complaint is with the zoom controls, which don't use standard pinching. Instead, you have to click a button and then drag a frame to zoom in, click the button again to zoom back out.