Tuesday, September 29, 2009


Scribbles ($20) is a very polished drawing application for Mac OS X. Scribbles contains many useful brushes, support for layers, and an amazing user interface. It has an unlimited drawing canvas, high resolution export, and it even supports drawing tablets. With Scribbles, you will never want to use another drawing application again!

First of all, let me talk about the user interface. The interface very smooth and polished from the animation to the way everything is laid out. The bottom left has the brush and color options and the bottom right has the layers button. The top right has the control for switching between painting, moving (and resizing and rotating) the layer, panning, and zooming. Through the menubar, you can turn on fullscreen mode and tracing paper mode, which makes the application window transparent.

Scribbles uses a infinite canvas, which allows you zoom in, out, and move around your canvas. There is no preset canvas size. Also, Scribbles re-renders the drawing so there won't be a jaggy edge when you zoom in. In addition, Scribbles has layers so you can draw different parts of the drawing in different layers so when you erase, you don't erase the other layers. You can also set the transparency of the different layers with the slider on the top right. With the combination of the infinite canvas, layers, and undo; you draw without worrying about messing up and making a mistake.
Scribbles includes many different brushes for you to choose from. They include:
Flat (Soft, Medium, and Hard)
Eraser (Soft, Medium, and Hard)

The flat brushes are just basic brushes. The soft brush has a soft edge. Bristles, my favorite brush, is like a paint brush. Charcoal has a cool texture. Goo is 3D. Shade lets you shade stuff in your paintings. Calligraphy is cool for signing your name.
When painting, you can use the color wheel or the eyedropper tool to choose color.

Scribbles has many different export features. You can send the picture in an email directly from the app. You can also publish it to the scribbles gallery to share your work with others. Lastly, you can export as a BMP, GIF, JPG, PDF, PICT, PNG, or TIFF. Scribbles can export at a high resolution. Oh, and of course you can save as Scribbles file format, PTN, to work on again later.

Last but not least, Scribbles supports drawing tablets. If fact, this is my favorite feature of Scribbles. When you draw with the pen, your pressure changes the thickness and opacity of the brush to produce a realistic drawing. You can of course turn either one or both of these off. Also, Scribbles supports the eraser on the back of the pen. Sadly though, it only does hard erase. You can't customize it to do a soft erase.

The developer has a trial version of Scribbles on their site. It has no time limit and lasts forever. The trial version has limited export capabilities.

Check out the user manual for more info about Scribbles.

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