Autodesk Sketchbook Pro 2011 Software Review by ChristineMM
My Star Rating: 5 stars out of 5 = I Love It
Summary Statement: Fun and Easy for This Amateur Artist to Use
SKETCHBOOK PRO 2011 contains DVD two discs that can be used on either a Windows or Mac based computer. You do need a DVD drive to use it (three of our home computers don't have a DVD drive). You also need a mouse, that's all you need.
This is a fun program in which you manipulate the mouse to make art. Since I own and use Adobe Photoshop Elements 7 I note some of the controls are quite similar such as selecting the tool and opacity and working with layers.
To start, you just click on the type of medium you want to use (i.e. marker, pencil, paintbrush) then select the thickness, color, and opacity and you are off and running. The menu bar is in the corner and you can expand some of them if you find that easier.
I started fooling around with this without directions, since none came in a paper form and I'm a book person. However there are tutorial documents on the disc to help you. On a whim I used an internet search engine and found video tutorials from the manufacturer on YouTube. These helped me the most.
I am an amateur artist and enjoy this program. I let my kids test it out, they are aged 10 and 13 and both found it simple. They used the tools intuitively and found more features than I realized existed. They really liked the split screen mirror image tool and the one that repeats in the four quadrants what you do on the screen (imagine drawing with one line but seeing an image like a kaleidoscope).
Since I am new to making digital art, I realize there's a learning curve. While I can control a regular drawing pencil in my hand to sketch on paper, it's a completely different skill to use the mouse to replicate the same thing. It's an odd feeling to try to do something you know you can do with pencil and paper but struggle to make a smooth or straight line with the mouse as the tool. In the beginning it feels like a trick on the mind to use a mouse and see the medium you usually associate with a regular marker, paintbrush, or pencil making magic on the screen.
I have no compaints about this product.
As with any computer program or with any traditional art medium, what you get out of it depends both on what you want to do with it (translating your concept to reality) and also how much time you put into learning the skills, procedures and techniques necessary to get it to do what you want it to do. I'm a newbie and I find this program fun so far.
Disclosure: I received this item from the Amazon.com Vine program. I was not paid to write this review nor to blog it nor was I encouraged to write a favorable review. For my blog's full disclosure statement see the link at the top of my blog's sidebar.