Transferring the complex nature of a vector-drawing app to the iPad isn’t an easy task. Apps like Adobe Illustrator CS6 are packed with rich features and complex tools that illustrators need in order to create complex artwork. Fortunately, TouchDraw (opens in new tab) manages to take almost all of these complex elements and combine them with the hands-on useability of an app.
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Polygon shape tool
For starters, it balances a rich feature set with a clean and simple interface. Vector apps are all about creating and manipulating paths and shapes, and the palette on the left hand side contains familiar tools like the Pen along with various shape-drawing tools.
For example, the polygon shape tool allows you to choose the number of sides on the shape you are about to draw. This means you don’t have to hunt through the rich (but dense) Info menu to find the settings you need.
There are advanced features as well the full array of basic shape-drawing tools in the tool palette. Gradients, box shadows and layer effects, along with incredibly rich grid creation settings, all help elevate TouchDraw above being a basic drawing app. You can also use a seemingly infinite number of moveable, lockable layers, and it has a rich text editing tool.
TouchDraw comes into its own with shape manipulation. You can get incredible accuracy in your drawings thanks to a contextual measuring tool that appears on screen when you’re manipulating a path.
TouchDraw also manages to simplify the process of creating shapes by using colour-coded points. For example, those used for scaling are blue, whilst adjusting the curve of a line are green, and those for rotating are red.
Unfortunately in order to do this, it seems as if some basic path manipulation tools have had to be sacrificed; the main ones being the ability to pick up a path and continue drawing it, and not being able to add extra points to a path as you draw.
These are features that many illustrators will rely on, and is something that rival InkPad does very well.
- Works with: iPad
- Price: £5.99 / $8.99
- Universal: No
- Version: 1.8
- App size: 19.8MB
- Developer: Elevenworks LLC (opens in new tab)
- Age rating: 4+
This review originally featured in Tap! Magazine issue Sept/Oct.