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Submitted on
August 31, 2012


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Sketchbook Pro 6

Journal Entry: Fri Aug 31, 2012, 12:04 AM

So most of you know that I'm a Sketchbook Pro user. 

A few days back, Autodesk released Sketchbook Pro 6, and I think this is the version that's going to make a lot of people who have YET to experience Sketchbook Pro in full, or haven't really given the past versions a chance, switch over to making it their digital drawing software of choice; heck, even their PAINTING software of choice.

We still have the cleverly-designed user interface, that makes it easy on the eyes and mind when we're brainstorming and sketching. With the handful of new tools introduced, we still have a clutter-free drawing environment, and man, there's some awesome tools this time around. I'll go down the list:

The Brush Library 

The main brush toolbar itself has a click-and-drag function, allowing you to store all your often-used brushes in each of the "lanes". You then can click the button on the upper-right and then a full cabinet of all your brushes, the ones that came with and the ones you create yourself, and you can pick between them. You can even make customize your own brush sets and name them however you like based on the project you're working on, style of drawing/painting, etc. And they're all accessible through that one "cabinet". GANGSTA.

The French Curve

My fellow Sketchbook Pro users, we all love the ruler and ellipse tools that made it easy for us to plot down perspective and draw circles and curves with ease. Autodesk took it a step forward and brought in the French Curve, which will allow you to plot down those tough curves and strokes and draw them with ease. Pretty self-explanatory.

Color Randomizer, Size Opacity Randomizer, Rotation/Spacing Randomizer

Now this one is pretty interesting. I always loved Sketchbook Pro's brush creation capabilities (I used it to create zipper brushes, chain brushes, etc. within seconds). There's now randomizers you can preset on each of your brushes. This helps big time with painting and strokes and can make your rendering sessions pretty interesting. You can now randomize Hue, Saturation, Brightness, as well as Size, Opacity, Rotation, and Spacing. All those strokes above were done with the same brush.

Steady Stroke

This one is the pinnacle feature for users who don't own Cintiqs and only have Intuos and regular graphic tablets. I know SAI had this for a while, as well as Manga Studio. It's a stroke stabilizer that you can control accordingly based on your strokes. It definitely makes drawing line art a cinch. Since Sketchbook Pro already has smooth and natural drawing algorithms built in, this feature makes it even better for those who are looking for smoother strokes. I won't say I find myself using this often since I use a Cintiq to draw and pretty much have good control over my strokes, but for those long curves and lines zoomed out super far, I may find myself using it. Again, it's a big help for regular tablet users.

Synthetic Paint

Now Sketchbook Pro has brushes where it emulates traditional media. Your "paint" can now fade as you stroke and blend between colors already plotted down. Combined with the ability of Sketchbook Pro's robust brush creation system, you can do some gnarly stuff now without switching between programs.

Smudge (Blender)

Now there's a smudge tool, but it isn't your standard smudge tool that just gives off ugly rendering, now it's own brush where you can blend between colors, so it's actually a Blender, a tool that I've been long wishing for on Sketchbook Pro. I'm definitely going to be digital painting a lot in Sketchbook Pro even moreso now. 


Sketchbook Pro is even more snappy than the previous iterations. It's still a lightweight program, not taking much RAM consumption at all. Little things like controlling layer opacity switches & zooming and resizing are all much more fluid in response. Even switching between layers is like switching layers on Photoshop. The UI design is even more sharper and classier. It's much faster. It also can handle larger files much easier now, whether before it would start chugging on 300 DPI, 11x17 images the more you put into it. Wonderful. 

You also have the updated Layer Box and the new Color Puck! The Layer Box now makes it easy to change Layer Blending modes and adding new layers, though I'm still used to doing the click-and-flick motions for adding layers and changing modes. For those familiar with Sketchbook Pro, the Brush Puck allows you to change the brush size or opacity on the fly, without opening cluttered menus and interfaces. Now you can do this with color, when you click and drag, you can range it between brightness. And when you click it, a small color picker pops up. GENIUS.

End Verdict: If you guys have hesitated to try it out in the past, I suggest giving it a whirl on this version. I believe there is something for every artist in the way they use it. It's now only 60 BUCKS so there should be no reason for peeps not to try it, ($30 for upgrades and if you own a Mac, you can currently get it starting for $30 as a deal). Personally speaking, Autodesk just re-solidified my choice in using Sketchbook Pro as my number one digital drawing tool of choice. I always loved the organic quality to using it, and this update keeps feeding that love. =)

Favs with comments by KaleidoKittlesChrono Trigger by ImFeelingStampityCintiq Stamp by sighthoundladyFinal Fantasy VI by darkdisciple-stampsfinal fantasy 7 stamp by Makt91STAMP - Simon -SPOILER- by Furuba-FangirlRival Schools -United by Fate- by IceVallejoPower Stone by IceVallejoFoX Hound II stamp by DeviantSithSkies of Arcadia stamp by StareonSonic Fan Stamp by XX-Midnightsf_stamp by KetsuoTategamiSSF4 Stamp by RobaatoMegaman X stamp. by RadioactivePopTartMarvel Stamp by CrimsonFlames86CAPCOM STAMP by neocargalphaSBP Stamp by KaitouHyuuga
  • Mood: Hungry
  • Listening to: Mighty Switch Force OST
  • Playing: Final Fantasy VII (PSX)
  • Eating: Nothing, Fridge's Empty LOL
  • Drinking: Lipton Half & Half
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Koricthegreat Featured By Owner Sep 21, 2014
Oh man! I see your on Mac! I use sketchbook pro on PC! I can't see a way to save brush presets at all! It suuucks! It would be so convenient to do that almost makes me....wanna buy a new laptop!...just to save brush sets! I've seen people doin it on YouTube...that is totally not on the PC version! Whyyyyyyyyyyy!!!!!
   Super awsome to hear that you use sketchbook pro by the way. So much photoshop in the world!!!!
Robaato Featured By Owner Sep 22, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
You could have a trial or basic version of Sketchbook Pro that doesn't allow you to save brush presets; which version do you have?
I have sketchbook pro 6! I don't know if that means it's basic or not. D:  but I wanna clarify what I mean by saving brush presets.
   I hope this isn't too much but.
im talking about using the window the way the guy in this video is doing.…

and because I was talking to someone else about this...I took these screenshots! To show what I mean.…
Robaato Featured By Owner Sep 23, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
That's because that Window at the top is from an older version of Sketchbook Pro. They got rid of that before SBP6. The new brush list is the one at the bottom of your screenshot.
Koricthegreat Featured By Owner Sep 23, 2014
Awww that's too bad. I thought that feature looked cool. I have some brush sets. But I can't switch between them like that.
  I like lagoons better though!...keeps my screen clean. They need to let me save a bunch of those! (And put custom colors in them!)
   Anyway, thanks for the responses!!
FeralDrive Featured By Owner Apr 26, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I can't find that Morrigan drawing in your gallery! It's awesome!
seraphicxlunatic Featured By Owner Mar 6, 2014  Student Traditional Artist
Ahhhh! Thank you! I've been searching forever for a tutorial, or quick run through. I got this over Christmas and I've been wondering how I can work it La la la la 
SydNight Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I'm a die-hard Corel Painter and Photoshop fan/user,but I've switched over to Sketchbook Pro 6.It doesn't hurt to be open-minded.This program is AMAZING!
Deckboy Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2014  Hobbyist Artist
This was so helpful, thank you laying out the new features.  I Didn't know they had finally added a smudge tool or the new paint stuff.  Exactly what I wanted thanks so much.
Noiu Featured By Owner Dec 11, 2013  Student General Artist
I have sketchbook pro 6 but i'm not entirely sure how to use it. I know that in paint tool sai(i had it on limited trail and expired) that i am ably to change hue and saturation of an already placed color but how do i do that on sketchbook? Also, my smug brush (when drawn under linert) makes a small messy rainbow-ish residue that drags it over... is their simply a water color brush i can use instead? One more question, how do i make brushes- like a lace design or somthing? Sorry for asking so many questions, your art just looks so pro. ^_^
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