Autodesk SketchBook Pro 2015
I’m not just a 3D and CG guy during the day. My degree is in fine arts with an emphasis in 2D media, which includes drawing. It’s something that I do all the time — or at least, something that I try to do all the time. Because of this, I have grown quite fond of Sketchbook – both in its Pro and Designer iterations – mainly because of its response and feel, especially if you throw a Wacom Cintiq in the mix.
In the 2015 version, Autodesk has thrown a few simple but powerful tools into the mix that should provide illustrators animators a source of enthusiasm.
The first major addition is inherited from Sketchbook Designer, and that is the Perspective Guides. How often are we drawing stuff out and we need a street scene, or building or huge books on a shelf? We wrestle with the perspective, and then it’s off, and your family says, “There’s something wrong with that. … It looks weird.” No one wants that. So Autodesk threw in some guide markers for one-, two-, and three-point perspectives. They even went above and beyond the call of duty and tossed in a fish-eye perspective. I’ve never even contemplated free-handing a fish-eye lens. Well, now you can. Your pencil strokes snap to the vanishing points as well as the horizontal and vertical, allowing you to swiftly block out your scene so that most of your valuable time is spent on creatively filling in the shot rather than worrying about the technicalities of the perspective. Renaissance artists would have been jealous.
The other major tool in Sketchbook Pro 2015 is a flipbook. Yes, you can use the same pencil and brush tools you use for sketching and apply them to a timeline to get animation. All the necessary bits are there. Onion skinning allows you to see previous and up-coming frames. You can move your key frames around to adjust timing. Copy and paste elements from one frame to another and scale them a bit to get that bit of squash and stretch.
While not as robust an animation tool as what ToonBoom Harmony or Anime Studio Pro offer, the Sketchbook flipbook gives you a super friendly interface to try out ideas without having to delve into a full animation production tool.
For more complete coverage of the rest of the bells and whistles, check out the review online at www.animationmagazine.net.