Sunday, May 31, 2009

No. 2 for the iPhone/iPod Touch : Feature Report

No. 2 : $4.99

No. 2 may have been the very first drawing program to come out for the iPhone/iPod Touch, if not, it was certainly one of the first, and in any event, it was the first one I got my hands on. Or should I say, my finger.

The concept of this program is that it is like using a basic No. 2 pencil, and therefore it does not have colors, line thicknesses, etc. It is really for professional artists as it doesn't have alot of features for the general user and the interface is a little cumbersome so you have to have motivation to master it. The highlight of this program is the precision with which one can draw. Because of the pencil icon, it is very easy to see exactly where you are drawing, and this is especially useful if you want to continue a line, or join one line with another without crossing. It is best for making precise, detailed line drawings.

Line Types (ie softness of edge, transparency): One hard-edged, opaque line.

Line Sizes: One very fine (pencil) line.

Drawing Method: Draw with finger, no tilt effects.

Cursor Offset: Yes. You draw by dragging an icon of a pencil, so you can see where the point will draw. I think it is the best implementation of an offset as it is always clear where the drawn line will begin and end..

Drawing Colors: Black (no color).

Backgrounds: White.

Change Background Without Changing Drawing?:No - no options at all for changing background from white..

Shapes and Clip Art: None.

Paper Size & Adjustability: One paper size, 4 times the size of the screen. Use two fingers to move paper, or pinch to shrink whole page onto screen. Paper cannot be moved away from iPod Touch/iPhone edge or turned.

Zoom: Yes, pinch to resize.

Undo/Redo: One button toggles for one undo, and one redo.

Eraser: Yes. Tap pencil icon to flip it over and use eraser, tap again to flip back to pencil.

Clear Screen: No. You can delete your drawing, but then you need to start a new drawing.

Text: No.

Hide Menus/Full Screen: Single-tap.

Save Options: Can keep images organized in Books (folders) in program library, or save .jpg to photo library. If you just use as much of the page as initially visible on screen, jpgs are 4" X 6" at 80 dpi when saved to the Photo Library. If you zoom out or drag the page around and use the full available page, jpgs are 8" X 12" at 80 dpi.

Appropriate for: Those who are willing to struggle a little with the interface for the payoff of the most exacting control over placement of fine lines, for instance joining lines without overlapping. This will mostly be for artists who are not easily frustrated by technology.

Interface: It is very awkward to have to tap with another finger to put the pencil down to start drawing. You used to have to do the same thing to stop drawing, but the pencil now comes off the page automatically when you lift your finger, which has pros and cons, depending on what you are doing. The interface takes some getting used to but as you can see at all times exactly where your line will start, continue, and end, you are able to have greater control than in most of the other programs.

Here's the beginning of the Big Chart comparing all the art programs I've reviewed so far.

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