Throwback Thursdays - Sketchbook Pro for Android

The Judges created using Sketchbook Pro on a Nexus 7 (2012 version).

This is a favorite from a few years ago created with a few key limitations in place. In this age of Wacom, Surface, iPad Pro, pressure sensitivity and larger screens there is much to be said about the maturity of current tools. The unfortunate side effect of this is it leaves a lot of people to assume incorrectly that it's only possible to produce quality work on popular technology (read: iPads, Adobe products etc). But this project was produced six years ago on a Nexus 7 which is a 7 inch tablet that doesn't support pressure sensitivity or have its own custom digital pen. Sketchbook Pro for Android was almost exactly like the desktop version even during that time. It and a Wacom Bamboo stylus were used to create this. The Wacom stylus is a capacitive stylus which features a fat, round, soft tip for sketching that has a tendency to wear thin and split open over time. During the time this was created, the personal test was not to digitally paint using Android tablets because initially, that was thought to be too easy. Of course Android devices can handle those duties. Even the Amiga computers back in the 80's could digitally paint, animate and handle production duties on a fraction of the resources of today's smartphones. No, the true test was to see if detailed sketch work could be produced using Android based tools using the exact same techniques used with pencil and paper. THAT'S a real challenge of one's talent and of the technology requiring a different type of control and focus than digitally painting.

For my personal development, if good results could be achieved using traditional drawing techniques on Android hardware, then the potential was clear. The results were good to extent that the next few years were spent using Android devices and apps to create. They were taken as far as they could have been under the circumstances. The end came when Google discontinued the Nexus line of devices and refused to release a quality Android tablet with its own dedicated pen (emphasis on quality). Google neglects this to this very day which made it easy to switch over to Surface devices a few years ago. As mentioned in a previous post, iPads were never seriously considered because iOS is too limited for my needs and there is no comparison to using desktop applications on Surface Pro devices as opposed to using mobile apps on a mobile device. Even the basics such as a robust file manager, a detailed gallery and intuitive multi-tasking inspire greater appreciation on Surface devices after using limited mobile devices to create. Surface changed the creative game for me. But the Android creative development days will be remembered fondly, not that different from the Amiga creative days of long ago. Good times...