A Couple Observations about Paper by FiftyThree

Paper by FiftyThree

The sketching ipad app Paper by FiftyThree seemed to come out of nowhere with a vengeance Thursday morning on the interwebs. The app is free to download with one brush but costs a couple dollars to buy the entire toolkit of brushes. I spent the $8 bucks with no regrets.

Comparing it to Sketchbook Pro which I can create multiple layers was something that I thought originally was going to be a deal breaker. In Sketchbook Pro I can build a quick sketch with a number of layers to add different back ground colors. As it turns out after I spent some time working with the Paper app I’m not sure it’s such a big deal. Adding additional layers would be nice but I managed pretty well on one plane. What is frustrating is that new colors can’t be added and there isn’t a way to save an image to photos. I had to email myself the image to do that.

In terms of the Paper being an app for sketching, I found them a bit looser to use than Sketchbook Pro which in turn made it easier and faster to use. The killer feature is the paintbrush tool for watercolor. It’s much livelier than the airbrush tool in Sketchbook.

When I first noted how I was trying to evolve my sketching system with my new iPad I commented that it was still faster to whiteboard or use my MUJI notebook than with Sketchbook Pro. I don’t think that’s the case with Paper. The tools and system make it really easy by not giving many options in regards to opacity and size. I’ll have to give both apps a couple days before I can definitively say which will be the best option for me. With that said ill be spending a couple more hours with Paper which was something that I didn’t do when I first bought sketchbook.

Sketchbook Pro

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  • http://youngandbrilliant.net ninakix

    Hmm… I will have to try it (:
    I’ve never liked sketching on an iPad- the fidelity and the awkwardness of not having a place to rest my palm has just frustrated me, soo… we’ll see.

  • http://designnotes.info/ Michael Surtees

    I’ve never really liked sketching on an iPad either (:

    What I do like doing is sketching on an iPad for loose wireframes to get an understanding of potential spatial relationships. However I have noticed that I’m also starting to sketch other stuff to kickstart my brain when things start slowing up during the day in front of my computer. Of course any kind of sketching is worth doing but I like the ability to play with a couple different tools without having to worry about it becoming too messy.

  • http://youngandbrilliant.net ninakix

    Hmm, yeah, that makes sense. I tried it and it’s really not so bad when it’s the loose wireframes – and for whatever, the fidelity on this is really okay. Rendering lines I guess effects this a lot – too much and you end up with shaky, ugly lines, but too little and it’s not responsive enough. I could see using it for quick and dirty wireframes to share with the team… I wonder how much I’ll prefer it to my sketchbooks in general. For high-fidelity stuff, pen and paper seems better. Good find, though!