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Guest MKurban

What's Important In A Sketching Application?

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Guest MKurban

I'm a software developer that's designing a sketching application.

It's intended to be a (humble) competitor to SketchBook PRO and/or Painter Essentials, but with the essential features in it.

I need a bit of help. Essentially, I need you to tell me what is it that you value the most in this apps. Also, if any of you uses the sketching functionality in Alias' Design Studio, I'd like you to give me some words on how it compares to SBPro.


What I grasp from having used SBPro for a while is: It is a simulation of a peace of paper and paint-like tools like pencils, brushes, ink fountains and the like. All on a framework of raster-only graphics. Tools should be "tweakable" and the user should able to add new ones (on the base of a user-provided bit-map). Is my view correct? Annotate it at will please.


Some additional questions I'd like you to answer are: What kind of resolutions are mostly used (Computer display-oriented(72dpi) or printer oriented(300+ dpi))?; How important are fancy features like filters and the like, which are found in more expensive packages?; What are your export needs (file formats, specific packages)? Do you need vector drawing features (lines, polygons, text, etc.)?


I will appreciate any further comments or pointers, specially since I'm not an experienced user of this kind of tools (I have used some 3D CAD and Animation packages though).


Thanks in advance for any help. Cheers,



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Guest sixfish

One HUGE capability is to be able to rotate the canvas as you sketch, as in Painter. This mimics the way a designer rotates his paper while creating sketches.



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another big vote for the rotate screen function (not just the layer you're on) Not everyone is fortunate enough to have a cintiq or tablet pc. And it should be via a key or key combination. you should be able to do just about anything you'd need to during a sketch with a gesture or key combo.

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Smooth Gradients and airbrush strokes even at high resolution

Pinning up reference pics

Easy layer management

Bare minimum for design style sketching: Pen/Pencil, Airbrush, Eraser, and Marker/Blocking In Conte. Lasso selection would be nice. Hard or soft brushes.

Id like something that does a really good job for designers. It can be a relatively simple program with a relatively small number of functions.

Paper settings: Napkins, Marker Pad, Rough Sketch Pad

Perhaps even a digital sketch book that I can literally thumb through, sketching many views really quickly and then organizing later. One problem with digital sketching is that it is akward to save and also you dont have a paper trail to follow ideas.


Filters can be nice, but I rarely use them. Some I use are blur.. and noise maybe.

I use Photoshop for the following functiions very often:

Image resizing

Level and Contour Adjustment

Hue Adjustment

Layer Distort and Edit>Transfrm> Warp

THe jpg options in PS are also a whole lot better than other progs


It would be nice to have tighter integration with programs like Rhino, Solidworks or ProE(could be a great plugin IMHO) that dont have integrated sketch capabilities. Could be a great Markup tool for managers or a sketch tool that appeared as features in the history tree/Intent Manager.

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