iPad For Artists

By now you probably would be familiar about iPad. Its a new product line introduced by Apple in Tablet PC industry. Simply put, its a jumbo version of iPhone. It won’t fit inside your shirt pocket, but you can carry it where ever you carry a diary/notepad/journal/planner.  For a digital artist, how helpful this technological innovation can be? Let’s assess the possibilities:

There is no software comes bundled with the device to use it as a drawing tool. But there are few applications which can be downloaded from the iTunes app store. The iPad SDK being released already, we can expect more applications to come. There are some applications for iPhone like MotionInk, Brushes, Colors and Layers to name a few. As per Apple’s claim, these applications should work with iPad also. Let’s do some comparisons.

Classical Paper drawing vs iPad drawing:

Pros of iPad:

1. Won’t get clumsy with too many tools
2. Can undo if something goes wrong
3. Storage of the work is easy and safe
4. Share easily
5. If digital output is expected, iPad is productive as you don’t have to scan the drawing and give finishing touches seperately
6. Easily create wonderful effects
7. Save paper, go green 🙂
(… It may sound awful to compare paper drawing with a product like iPad. But its good to know the points anyway)

Cons of iPad:

1. Can’t feel the texture of paper or the tool
2. Though the display is bigger than iPhone, still its limited when compared to paper
3. If paper output is needed, its hard to determine the output

(…The pros out weigh the cons after all)

You may raise a concern like “The digital artists are saving paper already with other pointer devices like laser mouse, digital pen or digital pad etc. So what is the point?”. You’re absolutely right. We need to compare classical pointer devices with touch technology in iPad. Let’s see that now:

Classical pointing devices vs iPad touch:

Pros of iPad:

1. Like paper you get a perfect feedback on what you sketch
2. Few limitations on expressing your creativity can be lifted
3. The setup is simple
4. With an accelerometer the possibilities are more: you can put a drop of ink and shake the device to spread the ink in the paper… and more

Cons of iPad:

1. The display size is limited. With a classical pointing device you can use a bigger display
2. Processing power of the CPU is limited (1 GHz in iPad). So some complex filter may be slower.

I think in this case the pros may or may not out weigh the cons, depending upon the need of the artist. I believe if I get a chance to lay my hands on this device, I give more points.