Oct 5 2012

A short interview with Dave Skinner about the pogo connect

Benjamin Rabe

the pogo connect

I wrote a post about the pogo connect earlier this month. Now Dave Skinner of tenonedesign was so kind to answer some questions I had about the device.

The pressure response on the connect is great: can you tell us a little more about the underlying technology? How does the crescendo sensor work?

The Crescendo Sensor is a solid-state technology used for sensing pen pressure. Although the details are a tightly-held trade secret, we can tell you there are more surprises to come related to this sensor.

So far there’s only one button on the connect, but stylus on eg. wacom tablets use many buttons, and also direction sensors. is that a way to go?

In our testing, multiple buttons provided some benefits, but also caused mistakes for some users. We think our customers will appreciate the simplicity of a single button. Accelerometers, gyroscopes, secondary buttons, laser pointers, bottle openers, and secret compartments are all possible in the future!

Character sletch using the pogo connect and procreate

Character sletch using the pogo connect and procreate


What happens when the tip wears off/ gets punctured, will it break the functionality?

The tip is engineered to be as bulletproof as possible. If you are somehow able to puncture it, the pressure performance will not be reduced at all.

Can you tell us anything about your future plans?

We think accurate pressure sensitivity is a great first step for iPad artists. It has been a long time coming. We’re planning to show off what other things our Crescendo Sensor is capable of early next year. Beyond that, we will be closely listening to what our digital artist friends are telling us. If we can better the experience of digital art in any way, you can bet we will do it.

What are the main obstacles with implementations/SDK?

Our Pogo Connect has been graciously received by app developers. As of now integration is completed or nearly so for most of the top-tier artistic apps.
The largest challenge was making enough samples to send developers. The very first pens we sent out were made from plastic on our 3D printer. There was a comically large strip of copper tape running down the outside. They were quite possibly the ugliest thing you have ever seen.

What role played the community in developing the product?

We always enjoy hearing thoughts over email or on Twitter. In fact, the Locator Beacon feature of Pogo Connect was inspired by a Twitter comment. Ten One Design is a very small company. Every tweet is read by the designers. It is a opportunity to get inside their heads and inspire the next great feature.

Thx Dave for the interview! The pogo connect is now available for pre-ordering, expected to ship on October 31st.


Sep 24 2012

First look: the pogo connect

Benjamin Rabe

Pressure sensitivity has always been one of the most requested features amongst mobile artists. With the Adonit Jot Touch already on the market, it seemed like a logical step that tenonedesign, who were amongst the first to come out with a stylus for the iPad (the legendary pogo sketch, and later the pogo sketch pro), have been also working for a pressure sensitive stylus for a while now. Secretly named the BlueTiger Project, it is now scheduled for October for pre-order.

Thanks to Dave Skinner of tenonedesign, I was able to test-drive the pogo connect bluetootch 4.0 Smart Pen before its public appearance.

the pogo connect

The setup

I used the connect mainly with procreate so far, but it also works with ArtStudio, SketchBookPro and ZenBrush.
Surprisingly, the connect doesn’t have a power button. Using a standard AAA battery, the pogo is an always-on device. Other than the Adonit Jot Touch, which has a small rechargeable battery built-in, that means you don’t really have to care about power consumption much. I have been using the connect for a week now, and the battery indicator (it’s being shown in procreate) only went down one level so far.
The pogo connects via bluetooth and the connection dropped only occasionly in my case when using it a full day to do life illustrations during the mlove mobileXmusic event last week.

Live sketch done using the pogo connect and procreate

Sketching with the pogo connect

To put it right upfront: sketching with the pogo connect is pure fun. I was surprised how well the rubber tip seems to transmit the pressure data. You get a very constant distribution of pressure while sketching.

Where the Jot feels more like a wet brush, the pogo connect feels more like a crayon to me.

Here’s a very quick video shot from hand to give you a quick first impression:

In procreate, you can map the sensitivity to either size or opacity by switching the glaze button.

Overall I really like the device. If I had to criticize anything I would say it lacks good grip. Since you have you apply more pressure compared to the jot, I often accidentally pressed the button on the pogo. Eventually I held it a little more towards the top and used the app undo button. And even though I got to really like the precision disc of the jot, the wider rubber tip of the connect didn’t really degrade the overall experience for me.

I will post a more detailed review soon. The pogo connect is open for preorder beginning october 1st for a price of 79.95$.


Feb 23 2012

Sketchshare let’s you paint with others, wherever they are

Benjamin Rabe

Sketchshare has kept me (and many others) occupied during the last two nights, and it might be the collaborative painting app, many fingerpainters have been waiting for. So far it’s a fairly basic app (no layers, no undos) that let’s you connect with up to 3 other artists via game-center. It has a nice stroke quality already, and you can zoom and spin the canvas freely. And honestly there’s not much more you need, because the magic unfolds once you start a shared session. It’s hard to describe, but it again shows you the power of painting with data, instead of ‘stuff’. It feels like your invisible buddy is sitting next to you, only you don’t interfere or get in each other’s way during the process of painting.

Here’s two pieces from my last night’s session with Aardman’s Stefan Marjoram.

Sketchshare session w Stefan Marjoram


Feb 22 2012

An Interview with Hansol Huh, creator of SketchTime

Benjamin Rabe

In the past weeks, I was lucky to beta-test SketchTime on the iPad and the iPhone. Since I have been knowing Hansol Huh, the developer behind the app for a while, I asked him for a quick interview. Hansol lives and works in Seoul, South Korea.

Hansol, what do you see right now when you look outside your window?

That’s very saddening question. Seoul is packed with too many people, buildings and traffic. I hate this city.
I can see just cold winter from my office window.

Ok, next to something more warming 🙂 Tell us a little bit about the idea behind SketchTime.

SketchTime is an iOS app aiming to be handy for quick sketches and taking notes. I made this app for everyone who love scribbling and sketching often anywhere anytime.
I really like this quote by Antoine de Saint Exupéry:

“perfection is finally attained not when there is no longer anything to add, but when there is no longer anything to take away”

I just wanted to make the simplest sketch app in the world which has only the absolute necessary features and for the artists to use them easily and quickly.
In particular, I hope this app will become useful for designers, artists, architects, and cartoonists, and that it keeps evolving from their needs.


by Hansol Huh

What was your personal motivation to develop SketchTime?

I am a person who sketches and scribbles very often even in a bus and subway. So I think I need some sketch app which can replace my moleskine.
There are already plenty of painting and note-taking apps out there. But I couldn’t find the right app for quick sketches. Full featured painting apps have too many features and options to control. (For example, If I want to change the size of pen, I have to tap a pen option button, change the size in slide bar, close the option panel, then finally I can draw with a different pen size. This can be too tiresome sometimes for quick sketches.) And most note taking apps are focused on only taking notes. They have no zoom control or various pen size. Moreover, some of them are a bit sluggish.
With these reasons in mind, I wanted to make a simple and light-weight sketch app for myself and people just like me.

How important is community feedback for you during development?

It’s absolutely important to me. We designers and/or developers tend to think they do understand users, but it’s hard to play both roles.
3 guys (YongWoo, Simone, and Benjamin) have helped me to beta test this app.
They’ve told me what they feel uncomfortable with, and what they would need. And watched their using behavior through their drawings. For example, square pen tip and marker blend mode was requested by testers, and I added those features.

by Hansol Huh

You started working 100% as an IOS developer now, and you already have quite a range of art apps out now, can you share any next plans?

The next is “Typedrawing V3.0”.
I’ve been putting off the update of TypeDrawing for a long time. It’s time to update it now.
It will be not just a update. It will be a huge upgrade. You’ll see 🙂
I am planning to release V3.0 no later than this April.

by Hansol Huh

What do you think about the mobile art movement and do you know of any art.shows or meetings in the asian area?

I think It’s still in the beginning but it is growing fast. Anyone can start to draw and paint without real brushes and papers, and her paintings are saved as data. These are big merits compared to traditional fine art. Data could be copied, regenerated, and mixed. They can be evolved like live cells. And this movement and evolution keep motivating and inspiring users and developers.

I can’t see any strong activities yet in asia. (I don’t know exactly) I think it’s mainly because we asian don’t have common language, like english for american and european.
In Seoul, there are some small activities, but they are still in their infancy.

(This interview was done via mail. All artwork by Hansol Huh)


Dec 9 2011

ArtRage comes to the iPhone

Matthew Watkins

Mobile artist around the world can celebrate that the first full featured painting emulator for the iPad, ArtRage,has come to the iPhone.
It’s special introductory price is only $ 0.99. Click here for details and download.

Watch this space for reviews and artwork.
Whoohoo!


Nov 28 2011

Katana Jack. A video game fingerpainted on the iPad.

Matthew Watkins

Spanish artist Xoan Baltar, illustrator and fingerpainter par excellence, was one of the first to kick off the iPhone art revolution in 2008. Now he has pushed the curve again by releasing a game entirely fingerprinted on the iPad.

You can download it to your iPhone or iPad here

Way to go Xoan!


Apr 28 2011

Johnny Scribble – An iPad Animation

Mia Robinson

I recently discovered a really cool and fascinating animated series called Johnny Scribble. Its about a well dressed (ok, well, i like his tie!) stick figure who faces endless threats of of mobile digital mayhem orchestrated by his arch nemesis Bowtie Bibble. The series is drawn and animated on an iPad using Red-Software’s Animation Creator HD app . Continue reading


Apr 11 2011

First look at Adobe Eazel for Photoshop

Benjamin Rabe

Like we mentioned earlier, Adobe has just announced an update of Photoshop CS5 along with three iPad companion apps. One of those apps might be of particular interest for fingerpainters: Adobe Eazel. If you expected a photoshop-like paint experience in Adobes next iOS based painting app, be prepared to be surprised.

The interface that isn’t there

When you open up Eazel for the first time a short intro video shows up to introduce you to the interface. Which might be well needed, because Eazel doesn’t come with your well-known toolbars, popup menus and all. Instead it features two UI modes called up by a 5-finger-tap: the persistant and the ephemeral mode.

In the maybe more familiar persistent mode, you get 5 buttons to change size, color, opacity, to get to the settings and to undo/redo/clear. The buttons sit centered in the middle of the screen and get dismissed once you tap on the background.

The ephemeral mode in Eazel

The ephemeral mode in Eazel

Continue reading


Mar 24 2011

A look at Procreate, a new painting app for the iPad

fingerpainted

(This is a guest post by fellow fingerpainter Chris Menice, aka rebelpapa)

Procreate is simply one of the best painting apps I’ve used on the iPad. I didn’t realize this fact until after a couple days of digging into the app.

Continue reading


Mar 1 2011

Breaking News: Inkpad by Steve Sprang now in App Store

Matthew Watkins

The long awaited iPad vector app from Steve Sprang debuted at the last MobileArtCon has been released today  in the App Store.

Steve Sprang’s first app Brushes became an immediate sensation in 2008 triggering a fingerpainting revolution. Inkpad is a full feature vector software.

inkpad drawing

Here is the description from the app store:

 

Description

From the creators of Brushes! Inkpad is a professional vector illustration app designed from scratch for the iPad. It supports paths, compound paths, text, images, groups, masks, gradient fills, and an unlimited number of layers. Inkpad was designed with performance in mind – it can easily handle drawings with hundreds to thousands of shapes without bogging down.

To celebrate the launch, Inkpad will be available for $1.99 for a limited time. Get it now before the price goes up!

Features:

• Very high performance. Select, scale and rotate hundreds of objects with zero lag.
• Create arbitrary bezier paths with the Pen tool.
• Create compound paths, masks and groups.
• Create text objects.
• Place photos from your albums.
• Powerful scale and rotate tools.
• Gradient fills with interactive editing on canvas.
• Swatch library.
• Unlimited layers per drawing.
• Rename, rearrange, delete, hide and lock layers.
• Snap to grid, points, and path edges.
• Isolate the active layer for easy editing.
• Email drawings as SVG, PDF, PNG and JPEG.
• Send SVG, PDF, PNG, and JPEG directly to your Dropbox.