Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Drawing and blogging on the iPad, is it any good?

In this post I'll be testing Blogpress(BP)and Art Studio(AS) apps. I'll have more to report on Blogpress after I've posted a few more times so I'll focus on Art Studio for now. So consider this my short term review of drawing and blogging on the iPad which I hope to follow up with a long term update later on. I guess it's a first impression of the iPad as well since I just bought it. I should also mention the Evernote app as I've been using it quite a bit between my iPhone and iPad. So far I love Evernote, although I do see room for improvement.



Art on the go! Cool right? Not so much. I'll explain in a bit.

Oh the iPad.

When I first saw it I thought "ooh pretty, but why would I need one after already owning an iMac and an iPhone, not to mention a Cintiq 20wsx?" While I like Apple products a lot I wouldn't really consider myself one of the crazy Macheads that needs every iGadget, nano and pod they release. So why did I drop $600 on one?

Well for those that don't follow me on Twitter (@joverine) or watch the jogeetv show (live stream I do with D__Gee Friday nights http://livestream.com/jogeetv ), or don't 'watch' me on Deviantart shame on all of you! Er that and you would already know that I've been in Hong Kong for a month and will be here until mid to late April. Why is that important? Well it's the perfect excuse to buy an iPad that's why!

Yes I'm well aware of iPad 2's release a month after this purchase and yes it burns to swallow especially with the same price point... but I 'knew' it was coming and bought one anyway as I wanted to have the iPad for my 24hour journey.

The story:
I had visions of watching Netflix(not available outside North America apparently, so that didn't happen) playing some Infinity Blade(very pretty game-worth the purchase imho) and sketching digitally during my 24hour journey. I definitely used my iPad a lot on the plane but since I couldn't watch Netflix as planned and didn't have and iTunes credit I relied on the in flight movies/shows- not a big deal and this saved me a lot of battery life as a bonus. There wasnt any free wifi(bummer) so I played a lot of Angry Birds and Infinity Blade.

Art Studio app:
When I eventually got the itch to draw and give Art Studio a test run I of course chose to sketch out my favourite demon hunting brute. Balto is dodging an attack from an offscreen tentacled foe. Probably some form of miscommunication I presume...
PS...Please see my previous post if Balto conjures up images of an animated dog.




Above is the 'final' image. Approximately 2hours(?!) done in Art Studio on an iPad.

I find that I get a little excited every time I think about drawing on the iPad. I dream about creating sketches on the go whenever I have some dead time, like on the subway or sitting in a cafe for example. Being able to draw and paint digitally while away from the studio is a dream come true!...almost.

So why the buzz kill about Art Studio? I'm not exactly sure to be honest. I just find that whenever I have the chance to draw on the go I find myself getting frustrated after using it and end up smashing pigs in Angry Birds minutes later.

It might be the lack of pressure sensitivity with the stylus(or finger) or maybe it's the bugs in the software, or maybe it's just being spoiled by my Cintiq(probably the case here) or it may just take time to adjust to this new experience.




Above is an example of rage inducing Art Studio shambles in action. To reproduce this try using an opacity layer while you're creating your masterpiece. Everything is fine an' dandy initially but a few zooms and swipes later and you're blessed with a spontaneous artistic suggestion by the Art Studio coders. Some of you may think that it looks kind of neato like its some kind of spiffy under lighting effect, but you're wrong. It's annoying. There's a few other glitches here an' there but this one bugged me the most. Fortunately you can get rid of this strange effect by turning layers on and off or switching the layer effects back an' forth until AS gets it's act together. This is definitely better than permanently screwing your image but it's just one of those things that make me want to wait for a portable Cintiq.

If its starting to sound like all is doom and gloom hold up. There is some sweet sauce worth mentioning here.

I haven't given up on Art Studio yet. I am going to test things further as I get accustomed to the lack of 1024 levels of pressure sensitivity and drawing with my hand raised off the drawing surface. (the latter is apparently easily fixed by wearing a special glove, but that's not ideal for drawing in public in my opinion) I will allow for some adjustment time before casting this app away because in spite of it's flaws Art Studio is still pretty fun overall.

Blogging on iPad:
I think my favorite about this post is that I've composed it entirely on the go, in different locations over several days. Yes this was always possible with a laptop but since I don't own one I'm loving this option.

On a side note:
I love how my Artist Sketchbook app looks on the iPad with it's large beautiful screen. Everything is so vivid and juicy! For those that don't have it yet head over to iTunes and search 'Joe Vriens' in the app store or click the pic below.



I also have a few iPad cases available in my zazzle store featuring some of my artwork if you're interested. Follow the link in my sig below to find them.

Verdict:
So my overall initial impression of iPad blogging and arting on the go is a 3.5 out of 5. There are definitely some sore spots that dampen the experience but I feel that my long term review will prove more positive as I spend more time with my portable iSetup. I will share my thoughts about blogging remotely with the Blogger app and explain how I use Evernote in the process as well.

Feel free to share your thoughts on this post and/or the iPad in general.

Joverine outs
Snakt Snakt!

"good things may come to those who wait but GREAT things come to those who create!"

Like my art? Want it on a skateboard, mug, tshirt, print and much more? Browse my online store here http://tinyurl.com/4zx24eq
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