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August 6, 2014

New Sketchbook Pro on Surface

For the past months I have had the privilege of getting to use SketchBook Pro on my Surface Pro 3.  Today, SketchBook Pro releases globally.  I wanted to take a few minutes and share my thoughts with you on this latest release of SketchBook.

SketchBook Pro has found millions of fans ranging from professionals to hobbyists.  My own use of SketchBook firmly falls into the hobbyist category.  I wish I were artistically talented like the many artists whose work you can check out on the SketchBook deviantART group. I mostly stick to doodling when bored –which is also great with the SketchBook Express from the Windows Store.

In the last couple of months I have turned repeatedly to SketchBook to help me with projects where I am brainstorming problems.  Being able to draw completely unrestrained, annotate my own thoughts as the ideas start flowing allows me to connect new dots.



I have tackled a couple of personal projects where the new features of SketchBook Pro came in handy.  It sounds silly, but I have been working on my “dream home” for years.  When I have downtime and want to doodle it typically will involve planning floor plans, landscaping, building structures, and more.  In the past I have used a 9×12 sketch pad and pencil.  SketchBook Pro running on my Surface Pro 3 has allowed me to go digital.  First off, the 12” display on Surface Pro 3 is perfect for creative pursuits on the go.  SketchBook runs great on the latest Surface Pro and having a fully pressure sensitive drawing/sketching experience out of the box is awesome.  By far my favorite feature of SketchBook Pro for sketching is the new Perspective Tool.  The team at Autodesk did a fantastic job in working with Concept Designer Scott Robertson and developed a tool that makes drawing in 1-point, 2-point, 3-point, and even fisheye perspective super easy.  Now I can take my sketches of my dream home to a whole new level.

The other big feature I want to call out is Flipbook– you can now create simple animations right in SketchBook.  The Flipbook Timeline makes it super easy to add/remove frames, duplicate frames which creates ghost layers, and set playback controls.



Several other features are available, including a new gradient flood fill, simplified layer workflow, increased canvas size, and a distort transformation mode.

Anyone can start using SketchBook for desktop completely free. This starter edition provides core tools to create basic drawings and enables artists to become familiar with the natural drawing experience and power of SketchBook. A paid membership of either $24.99 per year or $2.99 per month unlocks the latest SketchBook Pro 7, the complete digital artist’s toolkit.  Now you get layer management, a full color palette, brush customization, dynamic symmetry, and ruler tools are added to the toolbox to give artists more precise control over their art, enabling more complex drawings and illustrations.

I encourage you to check out SketchBook Pro 7 today and see for yourself how mobile creativity is taken to the next level by Surface Pro 3 and the great work of our friends at Autodesk.


Markus Weickenmeier

Manager – Surface