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Thread: A good app for linework?

  1. #1
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    Question A good app for linework?

    I'm trying to find a good iPad app that will let me do some linework and export it to email or flickr or whatever. It doesn't have to be amazingly complex, because the linework itself will get thrown into Photoshop, where I will do the coloring/shading/blending. I know it's probably not what most people use, but I've not the money at the moment to buy a USB drawing pad (though it's very high on my list). I also don't have a scanned, so drawing on paper isn't an option either. The app would only be used for a short while, but the linework is kind of what my current map is stuck on. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    To give some idea, the stuff I would make with it are things like border decorations, map icons such as towns, cities, ships. All pretty simple stuff, but I just can't do it with a mouse.

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      gilgamec is offline
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    I've tried out a few of these apps, and I eventually settled on Inkflow, which I've been pretty pleased with. My purposes are different, though; I've been using it to do initial design work for technical drawings, sketching out proportions, label positions, and stuff like that, with the final diagrams being done from scratch on the PC. If you need precision on the drawing itself, I'm not sure how useful Inkflow would be; I don't think there's a way to modify a stroke after placing it, for example, without exporting to some other program.

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    Thanks for the suggestion. I've looked at some videos for that app and it does look like it might fall slightly short of what I'm looking for. On that note, though, it seems almost all apps do so, as it seems rather overly hopeful that an app would perform the same way an actual drawing pad would. I will still give InkFlow a try, though. Like I said, I'm not trying to make anything too complex so it just might work out. Thanks again for the suggestion, of all the apps I have looked at, I hadn't seen this one yet.

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      xpian is offline
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    I have some recommendations.

    First, I use ProCreate on the iPad every day, often for hours at a time. It's a fantastic raster-based drawing/painting application. I've tried virtually all of the drawing and painting apps in the App Store, and it's by far the best. You can easily use it for just "line work"...check out the quality of the line work I do with it: ChristianStiehl.com You can also export your images as JPEG, PNG, and layered PSD with transparency and everything. It has great DropBox integration, and active developers who are working on new features all the time.

    If you want to do vector-based art, there are a few different options. Again, I've tried a bunch of the apps available. The one I kept coming back to, due to number of features and ease of use, is InkPad. You can save your artwork out as SVG vector files that you can open right up into Adobe Illustrator. You can even bring custom fonts into InkPad via DropBox so that you can do text on the iPad using typefaces that don't ship with it.

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    I prefer to use Xara Photo & Graphic Designer 9, a vector drawing application for all my maps, and is an excellent tool to create linework with options like diminishing line width, and the ability to convert lines to shapes to add unique color and shape filter options. That said, I generally create hand-drawn linework with pen to paper followed by digital scanning. Unlike most, because I run a graphic design/digital print studio I have access to a large format, roll type color scanner capable of scanning up to 36" wide by 6 feet or more. I scan as 300 dpi B/W TIF, then import that to Xara, though you can just as easily import this to Photoshop or GIMP, if you prefer to work with raster image editors, rather than vector.

    In Xara, I apply a "stain-glass" transparency filter that makes black 100% solid, and white 100% transparent, then use the linework scan as the top most layer of any hand-drawn hybrid maps I create. I then create vector shapes using the linework as a guide to match the shape, then apply bevels and shadows as needed.
    Last edited by Gamerprinter; 07-17-2014 at 06:06 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by xpian View Post
    I use ProCreate on the iPad every day, often for hours at a time.
    Checked it out and for the current cost, it looks very much worth it, especially if the maps on the main page of the website you linked were made with that program (or at least the linework). Favorited and will likely buy it later tonight!

    EDIT: Bought ProCreate. Only 4 pounds so I'm already happy with it. Will be playing with that for the rest of the night, thanks for the suggestion!!

    Quote Originally Posted by xpian View Post
    The one I kept coming back to, due to number of features and ease of use, is InkPad
    I'll admit I'm in a cheap mood at the moment, though I will also say that I'm by no means a professional and that this hobby is something that has only recently taken any significant root. This free app looks very interesting, and the fact that it creates vectors makes it that much more appealing for what I need it for. I keep trying to think of a technical way to describe what I'd make with it, but I keep coming back to 'squiggly stuff'. For example, on your Blood & Gold map, the actual title at the bottom of the map has two yellow/gold things on each side. That's the sort of stuff I can draw on paper, but have trouble with on the computer. Thanks a lot for suggesting both of these!

    Quote Originally Posted by Gamerprinter View Post
    I prefer to use Xara Photo & Graphic Designer 9
    That one looks amazing but it's sooo far beyond what I can afford at the moment. Definitely something to keep for the future though, thanks a lot! And I wish I had a scanner just for that reason, even if it's a mediocre one. I figure the cleanups from shabby scanners can be done in Photoshop, but free-hand linework just doesn't work with a mouse no matter how hard I try.
    Last edited by RazielKilsenhoek; 07-17-2014 at 09:30 PM. Reason: Purchased an app

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      xpian is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by RazielKilsenhoek View Post
    For example, on your Blood & Gold map, the actual title at the bottom of the map has two yellow/gold things on each side.
    The two yellow/gold things were loosely based on the shapes of an existing design that I scanned and then heavily modified through drawing. Then I added all of the stipple shading--one dot at a time--with my iPad stylus. I like stipple/pointillism effects, and wasn't sure it would work digitally (stochastic fills work some of the time, but usually the dots have to be laid down by hand to look right). But it did work, and I'll be using it again. It was all done in ProCreate, as was all the line-work, shading/highlights, and color tone for that map.

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