As­sem­bly

Dig­i­tal draw­ing that’s as easy as 1, 2, 3

Mac Format - - RATED -

Free De­vel­oper Pix­ite, as­sem­blyapp.co Works with iPhone, iPod touch, iPad Version 1.0

Vec­tor draw­ing is a pow­er­ful tech­nique, but learn­ing the tools is a right pain in the Bézier. Not with this app: you just ar­range shapes like fuzzy felt. Un­like fuzzy felt, shapes in As­sem­bly snap and align. You can flip and ro­tate them, and move them ‘for­ward’ or ‘back­ward’ to man­age over­laps. Neat pic­tures emerge in min­utes.

In the Styles tab, you set the colour and stroke for each shape and an op­tional soft shadow. Plenty of es­sen­tial shapes are pro­vided, in­clud­ing poly­gons, arcs and a moose. If you’re the kind of per­son who prefers Star Wars Lego to the proper kind, you can buy more shapes in themed packs (79p each, or £8.49 for the set).

The app is very thought­fully de­signed to make ev­ery­thing sim­ple, so build­ing up pic­tures is grat­i­fy­ingly easy. There are some lim­i­ta­tions, though. Re­siz­ing ob­jects is al­ways pro­por­tional; you can’t stretch a square into a rec­tan­gle or a cir­cle into an el­lipse. You can group shapes, but you can’t cut out one from an­other, which is a big miss.

The dot­ted stroke op­tions are a hid­den gem, ad­vanced enough to cre­ate some nice geo­met­ric pat­terns. It’s lovely that colours come in pre­set pal­ettes, but we kept los­ing track of those we’d al­ready used; you can’t copy them from ex­ist­ing shapes.

You can ex­port your art­work as a high-res­o­lu­tion JPG or PNG im­age or, if you don’t mind sac­ri­fic­ing shad­ows, a scal­able SVG. Editable projects can be emailed, which is good for backup as well as shar­ing. Adam Banks

Easy to get started

Snap­ping keeps it all neat

Get as com­plex as you like

Lim­ited shape ma­nip­u­la­tion

As­sem­bly is a bit fid­dly for small chil­dren, but cre­atively re­ward­ing for the rest of us, even on iPhone.

It’s fun and easy to build up your own draw­ings from the pre­set shapes.

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