Surface Pro and Windows tablet PC users have an amazing array of great software at their disposal and most of it costs only a fraction of what you will pay for a license from Adobe or Corel.
An all new version of Autodesk SketchBook designed specifically for Windows 10 tablets. SketchBook for Tablets features optimized multi-touch gestures, 100K canvas sizes, streamlined UI elements, and a host of SketchBook tools that our users know and love.
EDITOR'S NOTE: I can't believe I haven't updated this post since September 2014. Spring 2015 brings the regular round of 3d application updates!
Many of you have asked, so I have noted where programs support multitouch gestures.
- Illustrator 18.0.0 x64 (CC 2014) - runs (intermittent pen with N-Trig Wintab R16, R17)
- Illustrator CC 17.1.0 x64 - runs (intermittent pen with N-Trig Wintab driver 14-17)
- Illustrator CS5 - runs
- Photoshop 15 (CC 2014) - runs, no Wintab driver required
- Photoshop 14.2.1 x64, CS6 Extended 13.0 x64, CS5 x64 - runs (requires N-Trig Wintab driver 14 or higher)
- Premiere Pro 8.0.0 (169) Build aka CC 2014.0, 7.2.2 (33) - runs
- After Effects 126.96.36.199 (CC 2014), 188.8.131.52 - runs
- Flash Professional 184.108.40.206 (CC 2014), CC 220.127.116.11 - runs
- Substance Painter 0.7.1, 0.5.0 - runs (UI does not scale)
- Substance Designer 4.3.1 - runs (UI does not scale)
- ArtRage 4.0.6, 4.0.5 - runs
- 3DS Max 2016, 2015 SP1 - runs (supports multi-touch)
- Sketchbook Pro 7, 6.2.5 - runs (recommended)
- Maya 2016, 2015 SP2 - runs (2016 supports multi-touch)
- Maya LT 2016 - runs, supports multi-touch
- Mudbox 2016, 2015 SP1 - runs (2016 supports multi-touch), (no multi-touch in 2015)
- Mudbox 2015- no pen or touch, works with mouse or touchpad
- Softimage 2015 - runs
- AZDrawing 1.13 - runs
- Blender 2.71, 2.70 - runs
- CorelDraw X7 18.104.22.1687 - RealTimeStylus support added, all prior versions - no pressure
- Painter 15 22.214.171.1245 - runs
- Painter X3 126.96.36.1990 - runs
- Photo-Paint X7 188.8.131.521 - no pressure
- Modo 801 SP4, SP3, SP2, SP1, 801 - runs
- FireAlpaca 1.0.51 - runs
- GIMP 2.8.10 - runs
- Sketchtime - runs, software not pressure sensitive
- Krita 2.8.3 x64 - runs
Krogh Mortensen Animation
- Plastic Animation Paper 4.0 - runs (can't configure pen buttons)
- Cinema 4D R15.057 - runs
- Fresh Paint - runs
- MyPaint 1.0.0 - runs
- Silo 2.3 - runs
- Chronosculpt 1.0.1 x64 - runs
- Lightwave 3D 11.6.3 x64 - runs
- openCanvas 6.0.02 (64bit) - runs
- 3D-Coat 4.1.04A - runs (DX64 only)
- Sculptris - runs
- ZBrush 4R6 - runs
- Howler 9 4.00.9.2 - runs
- DrawPlus X6 184.108.40.206 x64 - runs
- Houdini FX 14.0.291 - does not run. Program loads, but objects do not display. Touch not supported.
- Sketchable - runs
- Mischief 1.12 - runs
Smith Micro (Celsys)
- Manga Studio 5.0.4 (Clip Studio Paint 1.3.1) - runs
- Paint Tool SAI 1.2.0 - runs
- Verve Painter v0.99u.11 -runs
- Toon Boom Animate Pro 3 PLE - runs
Triple Squid Software
- Moment of Inspiration (MoI3D) 3.0 beta (June 27, March 24, 2014) - runs
- TVPaint 10.5.7 x64 - runs
- Unity 5.0.0f4 - runs
- Unity 4.60b9, 4.5 - runs (requires mouse or touchpad, no pen or touch response)
With no fanfare that I can detect anywhere, Autodesk has replaced its free Sketchbook Express app in the Windows Store with the new Autodesk Sketchbook for Windows Tablet app.
This new version is free to download and use just like Express, but the app can be upgraded with a Sketchbook Pro membership ($3/month or $25/year).
With this release, Autodesk has now aligned the interfaces of its iOS, Android and Windows tablet offerings, known collectively as Sketchbook Mobile. The one Sketchbook Pro membership entitles you to unlock all the Pro features on all of your devices, regardless of platform. Curiously, the Sketchbook website has no mention of this new Windows Store version.
Here's the product description from Windows Store:
•Designed specifically for both pen and touch input on Windows tablets
•The entire screen is your canvas with a full screen workspace and unobtrusive user interface
•Open and Save layered PSD and TIFF files for easy interoperability with other applications, including SketchBook for desktop
•Control the finest details of your art with up to a 2500% zoom
•Choose from over 10 preset brushes, including pencils, pens, and markers that deliver a natural drawing experience
•Sign in with a free SketchBook account and unlock the Layer Editor, Symmetry Tools, and more
•Advanced Tools with a Pro membership
•Pro membership: Choose from a comprehensive brush library with pencils, pens, markers, and brushes, including new Synthetic and Smudge brushes
•Pro membership: Full layer controls, including rich layer blending modes; makes image manipulation easier than ever
•Pro membership: Other workflow improvements, including new ruler guides, flood fill, and much more
•Pro membership also unlocks complete access to SketchBook on Windows desktop, Mac, Android, and iOS, including all upgrades as long as your membership is active
Playing with the app briefly on the Surface Pro 3 and my desktop pc with a Monoprice 22" Smarttouch pen display, the experience is very nice. The app features a very minimal interface that is easy to hide, leaving a full screen blank canvas. If you use Sketchbook, this update is a no-brainer and you may find yourself needing to use the desktop program less often.
ONE IMPORTANT CAVEAT: With Windows 10 preview running on the Surface Pro 3, the app runs very poorly because of a bug in build 9926 that crippled hardware acceleration. Microsoft published a graphics driver update that fixes hardware acceleration for other apps, but now Sketchbook for Windows Tablet won't start on my device. I've sent a bug report to Autodesk, but I haven't seen the issue reported elsewhere.
Some eye candy to start your week: our friend and ArtDock collaborator Alex Cheparev has just posted a video demonstrating the performance of the 3d applications Autodesk Maya 2015, Autodesk Mudbox 2015 and Pixologic Zbrush 4r6 on a top of the line Surface Pro 3 with i7 processor, 8GB ram, 256gb ssd, and Intel HD 5000 video card.
SketchBook Pro 7 launches with much-requested perspective and flipbook animation features, alongside valuable new membership options
SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Autodesk, Inc. (NASDAQ:ADSK) today introduced SketchBook Pro 7 for Windows and Mac, as well as a new membership offering for Autodesk SketchBook, a family of digital painting and sketching apps with more than 25 million users.
An essential tool for any digital artist, from beginning hobbyist to professional illustrator or concept designer, SketchBook Pro 7 boasts new community-requested features including Perspective Guides with 1 point, 2 point, 3 point, and Fisheye modes; Flipbook mode with animation timeline; a new drawing engine; and workflow improvements including Distort Transform, Gradient Flood Fills, improved Selection, layer grouping, multi-layer selection, and Blending modes.
"SketchBook Pro is the perfect mix of digital drawing platform, useful tools, and the informality of plain, no stress sketching,” said Dave Gibbons, comic book artist. "Drawing comics means lots of backgrounds, quite often buildings, and I’ve spent years of my life setting guidelines up! With SketchBook Pro 7, I can stay loose in the application for longer and find that the perspective tools are easier and more instinctive to use for roughing out sketches."
New Membership Options Provide More Choice
Users have the option of purchasing a standalone license of SketchBook Pro 7 or selecting from monthly or annual SketchBook membership options.
New for 2014, 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.
Creating a free* SketchBook membership unlocks SketchBook Essentials, a more robust suite of tools to enhance the digital artist’s workflow. 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.
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. Included are all the new tools that are available with SketchBook Pro 7, including the Flipbook mode, Perspective Guides, and Distort Transform features, and enhanced tools such as the improved layer editor with blending modes and layer grouping and improved selection tools. A paid SketchBook membership unlocks SketchBook for all desktop platforms, including Windows, Mac, and will unlock features in future versions of the SketchBook app for iOS and Android.
“By introducing membership options, we’re enabling all digital artists, regardless of skill level, to choose their level of access to the award-winning, industry-standard tools that SketchBook offers,” said Samir Hanna, vice president of consumer products at Autodesk. “Artists now have more options with how they interact with the software and unlock their creativity.”
Autodesk helps people imagine, design and create a better world. Everyone—from design professionals, engineers and architects to digital artists, students and hobbyists—uses Autodesk software to unlock their creativity and solve important challenges. For more information visit autodesk.com or follow @autodesk.
Autodesk and SketchBook are registered trademarks of Autodesk, Inc., and/or its subsidiaries and/or affiliates in the USA and/or other countries. All other brand names, product names or trademarks belong to their respective holders. Autodesk reserves the right to alter product and services offerings, and specifications and pricing at any time without notice, and is not responsible for typographical or graphical errors that may appear in this document.
© 2014 Autodesk, Inc. All rights reserved.
*Free Autodesk software and/or cloud-based services are subject to acceptance of and compliance with the terms and conditions of the software license agreement or terms of service that accompany such software or cloud-based services.
So you're dying to max out your credit card on a new Surface Pro 2 but are worried your favorite won't run. Or you've got the Microsoft wonder tablet but don't want to plunk down a bunch of cash on a graphics app that will blow up your new machine.
Fear not. You've come to the right place. "What Run, What Doesn't V1" was the raison d'etre for this blog and we're proud to present the Surface Pro 2/Windows 8.1 version. Rather than update the original, we'll keep that one in place for anyone who chooses not to update to Windows 8.1. (Don't know why any of you would do that, but we know there are paranoid folks out there who fear change).
Important note: the list below contains only versions I've personally tested on my Surface Pro 2. It's very likely that older versions listed in the original feature will still operate, but we won't be able to re-test those older apps for Windows 8.1 compatibility.
Recommendations are based on UI suitability to pen and touch navigation.
The list below will grow as we install more software. Since most graphics apps limit the number of installations, we're have to be somewhat deliberate in how much we migrate at a time.
As always, if you've got a specific tool you'd like us to test, please let us know in the comments section below.
- Photoshop CC - runs, requires Wacom feel driver, recommend UI scaling hack
- Illustrator CC - runs, requires Wacom feel driver, recommend UI scaling hack
- Substance Painter 0.3.0 (beta) - runs
- ArtRage 4.0.6 - runs, recommended
- 3DS Max 2015, 2014 - runs, mouse strongly recommended
- Maya 2015, 2014 - runs, mouse strongly recommended
- Maya LT 2014 - runs
- Mudbox 2015 SP1 - runs, multi-touch rotation unresponsive. Requires May 21, 2014 Intel HD graphics driver or higher.
- Mudbox 2015*, 2014.5, 2014** - runs, *requires Intel HD display driver update, **crashes on several primitive objects
- Mudbox 2013, 2012 - incompatible, require discrete graphics
- Mudbox 2011 x64 - runs
- Sketchbook Pro 6.2.5, 6.2.4, 6.2.3 - runs, recommended
- Softimage 2015, 2014 - runs, three-button mouse required
- Blender 2.7, 2.69 - runs, mouse recommended
- Clip Studio Paint 1.2.8 (Japanese) - runs
- Clip Studio Paint 1.3.1, 1.2.7 (English) - runs, recommended
- Corel Painter X3 - runs
- DAZ Studio 4.6 - runs
- Shade 3D Professional 14 - runs
- Modo 801 SP1, 801, 701 SP5 - runs
- Inkscape 0.48.4 - runs
The Krita Foundation
- Krita Desktop 220.127.116.11 - runs
- Silo 2.3, 2.2 - runs
- TwistedBrush Pro Studio 20.06 - runs
- Sculptris Alpha 6 - runs, recommended
- ZBrush 4R6 - runs, not recommended due to small UI
- Comic Life 3.0b1 - runs
- DrawPlus X6 - runs
- Mischief 1.11, 1.10, 1.09 - runs, no multi-touch support
- Manga Studio 5.0.4, 5.0.3 - runs, recommended
- Paint Tool SAI 2 (beta), 1.1 - runs, pressure sensitivity works, but there is limited touch rejection. Very easy to leave stray marks. No touch pan, rotate or zoom.
- Metasequoia 4.1.2 (64-bit) - runs
- SketchUp Make 14.0.4900 - runs
Triple Squid Software Design
- Moments of Inspiration (MoI3D) 3.0 beta, 2.0 - runs, recommended
- TVPaint Animation 10 Pro - runs
Unity Pro 4.3.0b6 - runs, requires mouse
Web Technology Corp.
- Comipo! 1.81.00 - runs
Photoshop isn't the only major application getting a big facelift this summer. A release date for Autodesk's Sketchbook Pro update hasn't been announced yet, but several of its new features have been leaked in tutorial videos.
First up is the program's new Perspective Guides tool. In the video below, you'll see how the tool is used to work up this city block scene. And below that, the same artist provides a technical walkthrough of the perspective tool.
We're fans of Paris Christou's work and his entertaining tutorials for Sketchbook Pro 6, so it's nice to see him getting into the act. In the video below, he walks through the software's new blending modes.
And lastly, the new version will feature animation capabilities. Here is a walk-through of how to work with Flipbook.
UPDATE 6/10/14: And...no sooner do I publish this post but Microsoft decides to release a firmware update. Today's Patch Tuesday releases include a new display driver, but in my case, the updates offered were all security fixes. Windows Update promptly reverted my display driver with the March 11 Hardware Update and despite my repeated checks still hasn't offered the new firmware for download. So if you're using the latest Intel HD graphics driver, make sure to verify what Windows Update is installing. I'll update this post again once I confirm that the firmware does include the display driver Mudbox likes.
It's been a long time coming, but Autodesk Mudbox users can finally use the 3d sculpting and texturing application on the Surface Pro 1 and 2 thanks to a recently released display driver update from Intel.
Mudbox 2015, released in March, is the first multi-touch capable sculpting program to run on the Surface Pro. Unfortunately, Microsoft's official display drivers didn't work properly with the program's paintbrush tool, crippling its texture painting capabilities.
Although Mudbox runs a distant second to ZBrush and may even be outsold by upstart 3D-Coat, I've always thought it was a good choice for the Surface Pro and other small sized tablets because of its clean, orderly interface. Although Autodesk has sometimes seemed to neglect the software, it recently dramatically lowered its price to $495 or $10 per month subscription. http://www.autodesk.com/products/mudbox/buy This competitive pricing puts the software within reach of any artist.
The updated Intel HD driver can be found at the following link: https://downloadcenter.intel.com/Detail_Desc.aspx?agr=Y&DwnldID=23885&lang=eng It's likely that Microsoft will offer this or another compatible driver during an upcoming firmware update, but if you don't want to wait, you can follow the installation instructions below.
WARNING: This process is moderately advanced. If you're not accustomed to mucking around with your system, don't attempt this. You have been warned!
If you attempt to install the executable directly, you may not be able to do so. The installer will likely warn you that the driver is not certified for the Surface Pro.
To work around this, download the .zip version. Unzip the archive. In Device Manager, find the Display adapters >> Intel HD Graphics Family Properties. In the Driver tab, select Update Driver. Tap on "Browse my computer for driver software" and then point it to the Graphics folder you just unzipped.
This should work for most of you but it's possible that Windows will notify you that the best drivers are already installed. That was the case for me, so I went back to the Properties >> Driver tab and Uninstalled the current driver. On the confirmation, select Delete the driver software for this device.
I'm not sure about this next step, but it worked for me. Windows will want to reboot the system immediately after the device driver is deleted. Don't let it reboot because it may reinstall the old drivers upon restart (just because you told it to delete the old driver doesn't mean Windows won't call out and download the official driver upon reboot).
Instead of rebooting, run the new driver's installation program. When it's done installing, then you can reboot.
Performance is still not flawless on my Surface Pro 2. The pen doesn't register 100% of the time, especially when trying to target standard UI elements like the close button. Changing brushes with the pen is hit and miss. It's sometimes easier to use a finger to choose between sculpt and paint tools, though this is also sometimes hit and miss.
I had to rollback my Wacom driver to the official 7.2.0-4 release version. The unofficial update I published recently doesn't seem to be compatible.
But combined with the latest version of ArtDock (which I'll publish tomorrow), it's still a lot of fun to interactively sculpt and paint in Mudbox without the need for a keyboard. Even if you don't own it, I recommend having a go with the trial version. You may be hooked.
Thanks to Alex Cheparev for the tip regarding the new driver's availability.