Autodesk has released SketchBook Pro 6, the latest update to its desktop concepting and sketching software. (Actually, it came out a week ago, but we only spotted it when Autodesk UK issued a press release.)
Key features in SketchBook Pro 6 include a new, customisable brush palette and additional brush settings; plus new smudge brushes and a ‘Speedy Stroke’ drawing style.
The UI also gets a revamp, including the addition of the Color Puck – a kind of glorified on-screen colour swatch, with options to change luminance and saturation of the selected colour by dragging on the screen.
There is also a new French curve guide for technical illustration, and some neat new options, such as the power to randomise colours per stroke.
Pricing and version numbering
SketchBook Pro is available for Windows XP, 7 and Mac OS X 10.6+ via the Mac App Store or Autodesk’s own online store, price $59.99. Upgrade pricing is available from Autodesk itself, but not from the App Store.
Side note: the release marks a move back to conventional version numbering, following SketchBook Pro 2009 to 2011. Oddly, its big brother, SketchBook Designer, keeps the old system, and is now on version 2013.
PRESS RELEASE (Excerpts)
Autodesk, Inc. launched Autodesk SketchBook Pro 6 for Windows and Mac, the latest release from the company’s popular SketchBook family, which has more than 11 million downloads to date. This new version of the award-winning SketchBook Pro software features a streamlined interface, multi-touch navigation, French curves, synthetic paint and smudge brushes, plus even more brush controls to customize.
“The latest SketchBook Pro really builds on the qualities that have made the product so adored,” said Chris Cheung, product line manager, Autodesk. “The new brushes bring a more traditional feel and versatility to the application, but equally important are the enhancements we’ve made to performance and user interface. SketchBook Pro 6 is going to be exciting for new both new and experienced users!”
The new streamlined user interface in SketchBook Pro 6 delivers an unobstructed and discoverable environment, increasing productivity by keeping artists focused on their creative process. Updates include a new Brush Palette, Color Editor, Layer Editor, pucks, and Toolbar to create an easier and more efficient work flow. Also added are a number of Guide tools, including new French curves to help artists draw smoother and more precise lines.
SketchBook Pro 6 includes more than 100 preset brushes, featuring familiar tools, such as pencils, paintbrushes, markers, airbrushes, erasers, flood fill tools, and smudge brushes. Brushes can be further adjusted and customized to produce a wide variety of character. Settings to randomize spacing, rotation, size, and opacity can be used to provide a myriad of options for the artist.
The new synthetic paint brushes included in SketchBook Pro 6 behave more like traditional paint mediums. These brushes allow artists to adjust the paint load on the brush at the beginning of each stroke and dynamically blend the colors on the canvas. The new smudge brush allows artists to brush over existing colors to blend them. Additional brush settings allow artists to control the variation of color, hue, saturation, and brightness of each stroke they make.
“For several years, SketchBook Pro has served as part of the foundation for our digital workflow. From the elegant interface to the robust drawing toolset, SketchBook has allowed us to stay focused on what matters most: crazy monsters!” said Greg Baldwin, CreatureBox. “SketchBook Pro continues to serve as the critical transition between traditional and digital workflow and we’re excited about the new features offered in SketchBook Pro 6. The remarkably responsive brush engine paired with French curves, ellipse guides, and symmetry tools has allowed us to elevate our design process to new levels.”
Autodesk SketchBook Pro 6 is available for $59.99 through the online Autodesk store or through any Autodesk Authorized Reseller.