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Autodesk SketchBook Pro 2010

Platform : Windows Vista, Windows XP, Mac OS X

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1 new from CDN$ 69.00

There is a newer version of this item:

Autodesk Sketchbook Pro 7
CDN$ 99.61
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System Requirements

  • Platform:    Windows Vista / XP, Mac OS X
  • Media: DVD-ROM
  • Item Quantity: 1

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Product Details

  • Item Weight: 91 g
  • ASIN: B001W2Y5Q0
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,941 in Software (See Top 100 in Software)

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Martin Kirkley on Jan. 31 2010
I bought this product to compliment my Intuos 3 and it is fantastic! The interface is really smart and well designed for use with tablets. Tools such as the line and elipse are awesome. The use of layers really adds to the application as you can quickly sketch something out, then bring in another layer to build on your initial sketch.

SketchBook Pro is well worth the money.

Technical note: I installed this on my laptop running Vista Home Premium 32-bit and upgraded to Windows 7 Ultimate 32-bit and there were no issues with the software after performing the in-place upgrade.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 63 reviews
127 of 133 people found the following review helpful
Simple to use but exceptionally powerful April 21 2009
By Matthew K. Morgan - Published on Amazon.com
Vine Customer Review of Free Product
Drawing and sketching programs seem to fall into two general categories - very powerful but excessively complex, or simple to use but lacking in options and power. SketchBook Pro successfully combines power and simplicity into one package, such that even a weak artist can be productive and successful.

I ran into a problem when installing the application - the installer crashed, giving some odd internal error and number. I tried again immediately and the second try went without a hitch. I assume it is a configuration issue with my system as I have occasional strange issues when installing software.

When first launched, the application asks if you have your serial number and key handy. If you are new to SketchBook Pro, I encourage you NOT to enter them just yet but instead specify that you want a 15-day trial. The reason is that you get presented a quick pictoral tour of the feature set when you run in trial mode (which is really just a time-limited demo mode with everything enabled), which is a nice introduction. Afterward, registration information can be entered through the help menu.

Being new to SketchBook Pro myself, I was startled by the sparse interface when opening a new canvas. There was little on the screen other than the main menu up top and the lagoon in the lower left. Most drawing applications clutter the screen with an assortment of toolbars, palettes, wizards and other things that just get in the way. Autodesk keep their application simple instead, putting the essentials out there and leaving everything else off the screen until it's really needed.

Most elements of the application are available in radial menus, accessible either through clicking on icons on the lagoon or right-clicking on the canvas. All menu items have help tips to guide along the way so you know what option you're choosing. Radial menus can be a surprise to those who have never been exposed to them, but once used to them they are very powerful and easy to use.

Plunging into the various options available, I immediately discovered a couple of things I have never before used in drawing applications. First, I discovered the symmetry options, which makes creating mirror images easy. Using the axis, I was able to draw a crude figure of a person in about 10 seconds without even expending any real thought. Even more productive for me, though, was the ruler, especially in combination with the layering tool. The ruler is a slight misnomer, as it is actually more of a straight-edge against which to draw straight lines.

Another interesting surprise was the help system. When I launched the help system, rather than bring up a compiled help file, my default web browser launched and I was presented with one of the best help systems I have seen. The help is easy on the eyes and very straightforward to use. There is sufficient detail with pictures to address almost any conceivable question that might arise.

SketchBook Pro is very fast and very responsive on my system. I am running Vista with 3GB of ram and a dual-core 2.1G Intel processor, and there is only the slightest hint of hesitation on rare occasion.

Having never played with SketchBook Pro before and being a poor artist, I was shocked that I could create viable results in minutes. In the hands of a professional artist, this is a powerful and easy-to-use package. Emphasis was placed on productivity, but power was not taken away.
56 of 57 people found the following review helpful
The Ultimate Foundation April 18 2009
By David Guertin - Published on Amazon.com
About five years ago I had a tough decision to make--keep working traditionally with the occasional digital painting or make the jump to a fully digital workflow. Wacom's Cintiq line of tablets took care of the hardware but on the software side I had never been happy with Photoshop or Painter. Both programs, while sporting a broad range of tools for painting, lacked the fluidity and finesse for clean natural drawing.

Enter Sketchbook Pro.

From the first stroke within the program I knew an all digital workflow was possible in every way. Gone were the chunky stepping and unresponsive mark making of the other apps in the market. Sketchbook was silky smooth with every mark, every time. Years later, Sketchbook continues to serve as the rock solid foundation to my all digital workflow. Roughs, pencils, and inks are a joy to put together with the software. Coupled with the fantastic brush engine, 2010 incorporates some amazing new features including ruler and ellipse guides, symmetry tools, texture brushes, and fully customizable marking menus for seamless workflows.

So if you're looking to spend more time drawing rather than fighting with sluggish software, give Sketchbook a look. For responsive clean strokes and clutter free workflow, nothing can touch it.

Happy drawing,
Dave Guertin
[...]
38 of 41 people found the following review helpful
Worthy Award Winner April 29 2009
By Seanna - Published on Amazon.com
Vine Customer Review of Free Product
Autodesk SketchBook Pro 2010 is quality paint/drawing software designed for use with a graphic tablet and pen. However it will also work with a conventional mouse but getting quality results is more difficult that way.

I installed in on a Windows XP SP3 computer along with a Bamboo Tablet/Pen and it works smoothly and with no problems. I also tried it on a Vista Laptop but unfortunately Vista 64 bit is not supported yet so please take note.

The program is excellent, the interface is easy to use and with a flick of your pen you can access the many features including pencils, brushes, markers, layers and pan/zoom tools.

This software is so good that even people who have little drawing ability can soon get great results. I would claim to be average at drawing but this program is so versatile and intuitive that I can get excellent results at times. It also increases my workflow because of the processing speed and easy accessibility of all the features.

It is difficult to compare it to other programs. Sure there are other paint programs like Photoshop or Painter but nothing compares to the ease and flexibility of using this program and at $100 it is a fraction of the price of other drawing programs.

If you still want to use Photoshop, then draw with this one and enhance your picture with Photoshop. This will save in most formats; it uses layered TIF images but it will also open/save BMP, GIF, JPG, PNG files and PSD files for use in Adobe Photoshop.

I highly recommend this software, it doesn't need much selling because it is already award winning and used by a stream of respectable computer artists and designers. All I can say is that if you have artistic ambitions and want a good program to enhance them then it is well worth a look at.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Great Program with Narrow Focus May 1 2009
By M. Terry - Published on Amazon.com
Sketchbook Pro is a fantastic program for artists and designers. It is uncluttered and designed entirely for a pen interface. If you don't have a tablet, you might find the interface a bit awkward.

If you do have a pen, you'll soon be wishing that every program was designed this way. The design lineage goes back to Alias, who created Sketchbook from the ground up to be an intuitive and extremely fast way for artists to communicate visually. Eschewing the cluttered interfaces of typical paint and photo programs, they focused on the bare bones of what the artist needs to put "ink" to "paper" and get the job done. To this end, those looking for full-featured painting programs might find Sketchbook lacking. The key word here, is "sketch".

Sketchbook Pro is fast. Pen responsiveness is top notch, giving you the most drawing bang for your buck. Without the enormous overhead of other digital graphics programs, Sketchbook Pro wrangles the most performance from even slightly older machines. You'll find that the software is easily able to keep pace with even your quickest or most subtle pen movements. Tool selection is equally easy, with "flickable" radial menus popping open instantly. While the austere interface can seem disappointing or shocking at first, it provides maximum ease of workflow, letting you make easy use of the entire page with less panning and zooming.

My problem with Sketchbook Pro extends to its Autodesk foster parent. Alias was swallowed up by Autodesk, and Sketchbook became somehting of a forgotten child. It received minimal attention with the Sketchbook Pro 2009 edition, which gave little extra to an already solid program. The Autodesk website, likewise, gives little indication that Autodesk even supports it, making it difficult for the new user to ge tinformation, check for updates, or engage in community forums with other Sketchbook users. This has improved, somewhat, over time. But, going to the Autodesk Technical Support page and looking at the list of products in the drop-down menu still finds Sketchbook Pro missing. This seemingly apparent lack of support isn't a deal breaker though, and there are Autodesk community forums with Sketchbook support, if you dig around. Autodesk does need to step up with their "old school" site design and make these changes more obvious.

For the price, nothing in the world beats Sketchbook Pro at what it does best: sketching and rapid drawing. With the 2010 version, some new tools add extra value, but perhaps not enough to make upgrading a necessity for longtime 2009 users. I use Sketchbook Pro 2009 to do rapid sketching and then port my roughs into Portalgraphics.net's "openCanvas" which I find to be a perfect companion. It supports all the same formats and has nearly as robust an interface, designs for pen use. It would seem that Autodesk took a page from Portalgraphics' openCanvas design, which has already supported canvas rotation for a long time.

Note: If you're looking for a good blend between rapid sketching and paint, with PSD support check both products, you may find both aren't necessary, with openCanvas being nearly as speedy and robust, and also offering a bevy of natural media pen and brush options, to boot.

I rate Sketchbook Pro at 4 Stars because it excels at everything it promises. The lacking 5th star is because Autodesk seems not to care very much. This program is clearly not their bread & butter, and as such, it seems to be constantly on the back burner, and receives minimal attention.

For the very small pricetag, you can't go wrong. Speed, ease of use and stability are the hallmarks of this program, and any artist with a tablet should have it in their arsenal. However, non-tablet artists are encouraged to stay away. The interface and design will, quite simply, make drawing even more cumbersome with a mouse, as it has no vector tools, and minimal "stamping" ability.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Unstable - Disappointment April 6 2010
By Extra_Images - Published on Amazon.com
The interface is ideal for a quick workflow, but it is extremely unstable. It crashes once or twice each night and I typically work for 4-8 hours each night. My new system exceeds the system requirements.

There are also issue with a number of the tools, that appear to be fine when you use them, but when you reopen your file there is a big problem - all of your negative space is now black! BEWARE OF THE PAINTBUCKET TOOL AND THE SHARPEN TOOL - they will ruin your artwork beyond repair (and it wont be initially apparent).

I have written Autodesk several times about the bugs and get no response. There have not been any product updates. There seems to be no way to get support.

I continue to use the product despite the instability because it is ideal for quick sketching and rendering for Industrial Design. I save my files every minute or so and avoid the paint bucket and sharpen tool like the plague! Hopefully next version will improve.

This is for the MAC version of the software.

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