So you make art? Hmmm

The thing that an Apple product excels in is "Graphic Rendering", the way the rendering engine is architectured, it is a pleasure to work with and some really amazing effects can be created in the easiest of ways. Still, Ironically none of the Apple products come with software to create raster or vector art.

Sketch from Bohemian Coding is a Vector illustration software. On starting it up, it offers a blank infinite canvas with the top left corner being 0,0 (For those that have/are developing for Apple using the MAC OS X SDK, would immediately recognise this as the standard UI orientation of a NSView). There are buttons on the interface that allow for inserting elements onto the canvas, they can be Vector, Pencil, Brush, a Stencil shape, Text, Image or Symbol (a combination object created in Sketch). The other buttons are to work with one of these elements in context, so the width of the stroke can be changed, it can be distorted, transformed, rotated, grouped/ungrouped, joined, split the usual set of operations that make up any editing software.

In the mid 90's when I was with a Publication, we would manage our page setting in Quark Xpress 4.0 and we had Corel Draw which was used by our part-time artist who would come in late after his FT job, and he would make some of the best illustrations using vectors, which allowed us to scale the images in contrast to raster images using Photoshop. Illustrator was not a very popular software at the time and there were practically no other offerings, so the uncrowned king was Corel Draw.

In this age of apps and consumers demanding quality for a fraction of the cost, where the pressure is felt by Adobe, which led them to offer an alternative method of a subscription model. This was mainly prompted by the competition it is facing by new developers that have quality products that cater for the requirements of the consumers at prices that are highly competitive to the High Priced Adobe solutions.

There are alternative options like Inkscape that run on all platforms, and are used by a wide varsity of users, some are even using it as an IDE to generate code visually.

Sketch is not offering all the extra unnecessary Jazz, it is aimed at solving the need of Vector Art and it does that well. In fact the moment an element is started to be drawn on the canvas, a popup appears providing hints. Connect a Tablet (Drawing Pad) and using the Pencil tool, one can hand draw *Vector* art. It allows raster effects to be applied and then save then results as a vector object. This is perhaps one of the strongest points that sketch bring and offers above a lot of other tools available at the moment.

Sketch is easy to use but there are moments when it is a bit confusing and it is recommended that the user clicks the Inspector button often, as it holds all the context options to work with the object like stroke colour, fill colour, shadow, etc. It has layers, so objects can be layered atop one another. One slightly irritating element is the popout window that sticks to the object specially in case of the text object, but to change the text or select the font, it is integrated into the system font dialog.

Strokes can be joined as a single vector object with the Join Command which is kind of neat. Sketch looks like a wannabe software when compared to the Industry Giants, but the reality is that Sketch is in self a fully contained, no distraction software that offers all the functionality that one would require from a vector drawing software.

and in the hands of an accomplished artist, one can create stuff like

Sketch can read vectors from drawit and svg files and images of type png, jpg, gif, tif and others and it can export to pdf, svg, eps, jpg, tif, png, gif to name a few.

As an Indie, software developer or a Game Developer, it is sometimes beyond the means to work with *expensive* software to generate casual art for the app/icons, etc. With Sketch it is an investment that is well worth trying and given that it is easy to use, one cannot go wrong.

Software : Sketch
Version : 1.1
Publisher : Bohemian Coding
Website :
Platform : Mac OS X (10.6.x or higher)
Demo : 30 days
Price : $39.99
Mac App Store :

And we have a copy of Sketch for one lucky winner, all you need to do
1. Follow @whatsin4me
2. Retweet the message "Read, follow @whatsin4me and RT this msg. You might win a copy of #Sketch from #BohemianCoding"
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