My best new thing in the world is Sketchbook Pro. SketchBook Pro by Autodesk feels like actually drawing on paper. It takes a little time to get used to it if you’re coming from PhotoShop because the UI doesn’t work like Adobe has trained us it should. Once you get passed that, I’ve found that it’s much easier to sketch in then Photoshop. With Photoshop to get a nice looking natural line takes a little bit of work (playing with the brushes panel) but SBP sketching felt great right out of the box. I use both a Wacom Intuos4 and Cintiq and it works seamlessly with all my drawing inputs. The pencil tool feels identical to the lines you would get with a regular pencil if you’re using a pressure sensitive input.
I first learned about SBP from watching the guys over at Creature Box do their digital painting videos. I was amazed at how fast and responsive it looked when they were drawing. The trick that SketchBook uses is that all new documents open at 100dpi, so you get the snappy lines with what ever tool you’re using. That is great when just doing low resolution drawings but something to keep in mind after doing your initial sketch you need to bump up to a higher resolution. After finishing my artwork SBP can output to all the standard formats – BMP, JPG, PNG, TIF and PSD. The last file type, PSD, is a big one. I now do almost all my digital sketching in SBP but I still use Photoshop to put the finishing touches on my drawings. PS still has the extra features like masks and adjustment layers that have not been added to SketchBook Pro.
The bottom line is I love drawing with this program! It’s the best digital sketchpad I’ve ever used! If you just need a drawing program this is a great alternative especially at 10% of the price of PhotoShop.
Download the 30 day free trial version and see what I’m talking about.