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iOS App Review: Adobe Has A Bright Idea

Adobe IdeasAdobe Ideas is an incredibly fun digital art app. While it’s certainly not a professional level digital art tool, it makes it easy to download and instantly begin creating cool art. It’s a very intuitive program with a pretty impressive toolkit, but it would definitely benefit from a few simple tweaks.

Lets take a look at the good, the bad, and my deeply insightful suggestions to improve the program.

The Good

There is a lot to like here. First of all, it’s easy to dive right in and start drawing. Adobe Ideas is a great app for anybody looking for a cost-free introduction to digital drawing and painting. As soon as you download it, you can start creating, no matter what your skill level is.

The color palate is very impressive, offering a complete rainbow of RGB and HSB colors. There is also a convenient eyedropper tool so you don’t have to worry about picking the exact same color you used previously if you need it again. Just point the eyedropper at the desired color, click and you will have the color you need to get the job done.

Adobe Ideas is compatible with the NewerTech NuScribe 2-in-1 Touch Screen Stylus & Pen, which was very convenient for me. Digital drawing is especially fun when you have a stylus that allows you to simulate drawing with a pen and pencil. It really is the best of both worlds.

What makes this app especially impressive is that it allows you to use up to 10 layers to build your creation. It’s a great way for newbies to get a feel for how layering in digital art works. It also makes it very easy to add the details you need to really express yourself. That you can merge and duplicate layers is icing on the cake.

I especially love how easy Adobe Ideas makes it to add a photo layer, which can easily be traced over in a drawing layer. It took me about 15 minutes to find a picture of a pit bull puppy, trace it and ink it. The results were pretty freaking cute, as you can see.

… See, told you it was adorable.

Finally, this app is just plain fun. No, it doesn’t have all the bells and whistles you find in a Photoshop or Illustrator. But art is all about expressing your creativity with whatever tools you have at hand. Adobe Ideas provides plenty of opportunity for that.

The Bad

It can be a bit tough to control your lines and fit details into tight nooks and crannies. To be fair, I am new to the iPad in general, and I stupidly did not utilize its zoom feature when I was working on the two paintings for this post. Thanks to OWC Lance for providing me with that “duh” moment when I complained to him that I was having a hard time getting into small places and he zoomed in for me. That said, it’s still a bit too difficult to control your line. You shouldn’t have to do an extreme zoom to draw a nose, for instance.

Honestly, considering it’s a free program, that is my only criticism. And that is probably as much a reflection of my limitations as an artist as it is a shortcoming of the app itself.

My Suggestions

Some kind of selection tool for isolating specific areas and cutting and pasting would be awesome. That really is something that is expected in a digital art program, in my not at all humble opinion.

If only there was a way to know what they were thinking...
If only there was a way to know what they were thinking…

It would also be cool if there were a simple way to create word/thought bubbles and fill them with text. If you could do that, the app could actually be used to bust out some high quality comic strip-style cartooning. It really hurts me that in the painting of Captain Kirk romancing Princess Leia I was unable to attach thought bubbles that read “She doesn’t have green skin, but, meh, I really don’t have anything else to do right now” and “Han who?” respectively.

Rating-Bar4The Verdict

Adobe Ideas is fun, easy to use, and best of all, it’s free. While it isn’t equipped to tackle more serious projects, it’s still a winner because it instantly transforms your iPad into a modern digital sketch pad.

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