Autodesk's SketchBook Pro app has become such a huge hit on tablets that it’s easy to forget it began its life as a desktop program. The latest version (£50 or £40 for an upgrade) reminds us that it’s still very much alive and well on large and unwieldy computers and, in fact, better than ever.
There's a bit of a learning curve, especially if you've never used SketchBook Pro before. The interface is a little simplistic, with no labels and lots of slightly confusing colour wheels and menus.
A slightly odd element for those new to SketchBook is the Lagoon, a quarter-circle menu that gives you quick access to essential functions and features.
Yet once you grasp its workings, SketchBook Pro 7 is revelatory. It looks and works like no other, and the minimalist approach means that it feels freeing.
New to version 7 are perspective grids and the nifty Flipbook feature that enables you to create flipbook-style animations. There are no tweens or skeletal animation systems here: instead, it's an introduction to proper old-school, frame-by-frame cel animations.
Despite our initial problems getting our heads around SketchBook, it's still one of the best pieces of art software out there.
Autodesk has even added a subscription plan - you can use the software for a very reasonable $25 a year, and there’s a stripped-back free version that you can try for as long as you like, before buying the full version. But, most importantly, it makes digital drawing plain ol' fashioned fun.
This article originally appeared in ImagineFX issue 115.