IsoSketch ($2.99) by pixelrevision offers a fresh perspective on sketching for the iPad. In fact, it offers an isometric perspective, a la architectural drafting or M.C. Escher. The tools hidden in this three dollar gem work brilliantly, and though it’s not yet a complete package, it’s well on its way to being the best isometric drawing utility for iOS.
IsoSketch presents the would-be artist with an isometric grid. For those unfamiliar with this style of layout, it’s a safe bet that you haven’t been in high school for a while, or somehow avoided geometry entirely. Isometric grids are used to create perfectly square elements in a design, and are great for drawing houses, boxes, or Rubix cubes.
Users can pinch-to-zoom the grid as they please, and once they have it positioned just so, they’re allowed to paint away using IsoSketch’s basic brush. The brush lays on any color that’s been selected, filling each corner of the grid that’s slid over with a finger. Using the layers and included opacity tools, artists can then create complex square arrangements that look multi-storied and “pop off” the screen.
IsoSketch adds a few more elements to the mix, including the ability to import photos from your gallery for use as a background. There’s also an eraser for those less than fortunate brushstrokes, and a pencil for highlighting specific squares. Add in an undo button, as well as the option to export masterpieces to Mail, the gallery and Facebook, and you’re looking at one competent isometric sketching utility.
That being said, there are some odd omissions from IsoSketch. For instance, there’s currently no redo button, which is unfortunate if the undo is accidentally bumped.
The layers make creating complex images easy, but there’s no real way to resize the canvas, or fine-tune the resolution your pictures are exported in. However, this is certainly more of a drag for graphic designers looking to use their illustrations in a project than the casual user just looking to doodle.
In addition, it would be nice to move or resize created elements once they’ve been stuck on the page. Having the ability to relocate a square to another layer would be appreciated as well, as it would add a whole new level of editing to the mix.
IsoSketch is comfortably priced at $2.99, which means you won’t break the bank to experience its drawing capabilities. For that price, you’ll also get a slick interface (the virtual drawers holding all available functions is a nice touch) a wealth of exporting options, and an easy utility for creating detailed isometric illustrations.
IsoSketch may be less than ideal for industry professionals, but for the casual user looking to create grid-based drawings, it’s an absolute bargain.