Price When Reviewed: 114
Pros: Boasts a brilliant interface that is as close as you can get to real-world drawing on a computer. You can export to Photoshop to continue.
Cons: The tools are limited to basic pens and brushes, and there are no effects. It’s just for sketching.
The trouble with feature-rich applications is that they are invariably impossibly complicated. Most people barely even scratch the surface of Word’s functionality, so how developers keep really creative applications usable is a mystery.
However, the company that brought us Maya (a behemoth when it comes to complexity) also produces an application that doesn’t strive to be cleverer than the person sat in front of it. Sketchbook Pro gives artists a drawing environment not a million miles away from good old pen and paper.
Sketchbook Pro attempts to come close to the ideal interface – one that you don’t even notice is there. When you fire it up, the program presents a full screen view of a blank canvas with a top menu and a small widget at the bottom left corner of the screen. From here you can select most of the features of the application including colours, brush types, and file commands though pop-up, icon-based menus. These are arranged in compass-like arrays that disappear when not needed.