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
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.
So how does it feel?
The iPad 2 “feels” like a much smaller tablet. It’s lighter and thinner. The thing that surprised me the most about the iPad 2 was the weight. It’s much more comfortable to hold. If you lay it on a table it doesn’t wobble like the original iPad.
How fast is it?
Just swiping screens around you won’t notice much of a speed bump. No big deal.
I decided to give Artrage a try. I did a memory wipe restart on both iPads so they started with a clean slate.
I sat with both iPads on my lap and launched Artrage in unison. Artrage started some seconds faster on the iPad 2. I should have timed it, but it was more than noticeable.
On new canvases, I selected the largest watercolor brush with the wet on wet setting. I applied a large red triangle with a fast stroke on both iPads. The iPad 2 finished the three triangle sides before the original iPad finished the first side. The iPad 2 is quite a bit faster, but not fast enough to remove the lag of the watercolor brush. I changed colors (blue) and brushed again making sure to do some round circles to mix the colors. The original iPad had barely started the stroke by the time the iPad 2 finished. Not impressive, but almost.
Next, I opened up the Artree app. The purpose of this app is to auto generate trees. I never thought anything about the speed or growth of the tree. The original iPad seemed fine, growing the tree in a relaxing way. Artree on the iPad 2 grew much much faster, it was a little shocking.
Last, I tested the Brushes app. On new canvases, I just made some fast strokes. Brushes is already really fast and neither iPad lagged. Not a very good test.
I exited the painting to the gallery and highlighted a painting I did a few weeks ago. The painting has a good number of strokes. I timed the playback on the original iPad. The movie of the painting played back in 3 minutes, 4 seconds. That same painting on iPad 2? 2 minutes and 2 seconds. Damn fast in comparison.
Those were just a few quick tests.
Should you upgrade?
It depends on a couple of things. If you feel like the apps you use are slow, then you could certainly benefit with an upgrade. For instance, I love Artrage, but some of the tools are really slow. For me that was a deal breaker. Artrage on the iPad 2, while not lag free, seems much more up to the challenge. But it’s not as good as my iMac.
If you think that painting on the iPad has been revolutionary and you are happy with how it’s going, I wouldn’t recommend the upgrade. If you have the spare cash, I think it’s worth the upgrade. I obviously made it myself and doubt I will regret it. I’m painting more than I ever did before and now it will be faster.
The iPad 2 is a step in the evolution of the tablet genre, but it’s not in my opinion a new product.
iPad 2 has been unveiled with a fast approaching worldwide release date (March 11, 2011). Looks like its got some cool new features. But are they enough? Does it meet the mark for the mobile artist?
I had a wishlist for only a couple new features–MORE memory (to minimize crashing) and video-out–for ALL apps. Though I have to say, the thinner, lighter in white does draw me a bit.