The newest addition to the Creative Cloud family is here! Adobe Fresco is a digital art app for stylus and touch devices, and the iPad version is available to download right now. What's more, Adobe is promising more Fresco news will be revealed at Adobe MAX 2019 (opens in new tab) in early November.
Fresco was first announced in November 2018 and looks to be Adobe's answer to the hugely popular Procreate. Could Fresco join the rankings of our best iPad apps for designers? Let's take a closer look at what's on offer.
How much is Adobe Fresco?
Fresco for iPad is available on its own for $9.99 per month (opens in new tab). The monthly fee has come as a surprise for many designers, especially given that it's going up against Procreate's one-time purchase model. More likely, you'll be using Fresco as part of an Adobe Creative Cloud plan (not signed up yet? Designers in Europe, the Middle East and Africa can currently get 39% off a subscription (opens in new tab) – take a look at our roundup of the best Adobe deals (opens in new tab) if you're based elsewhere). There's also a freemium version which offers a pared-back selection of professional tools, but will provide a good way to try the app out before you commit.
What does Adobe Fresco do?
Originally codenamed Project Gemini, the app aims to recreate the feeling of drawing and painting with traditional tools. It's aimed at professionals, but promises to be easy enough for anyone to use.
That starts with the brush library – Fresco claims to offer the world's largest brush collection. This includes infinitely scalable vector brushes and versatile Photoshop brushes (opens in new tab) that realistically mimic different traditional art tools, from watercolour to oils. Users have the option to combine vector and raster brushes together on the same canvas.
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Intriguingly, there's also a selection of Live Brushes powered by Sensei – Adobe's AI and machine learning platform. Adobe promises this will make the digital paint on your brushes act just like the real thing. That means watercolours that bloom and bleed like real watercolour, and oil paints you can smudge and blend like real oils.
Adobe says Fresco is designed specifically with touch and stylus in mind, including the ability to customise your UI for left- or right-handed use, and a fullscreen mode for when you want to clear your canvas of distractions.
While it's only available on iPad at the moment, Adobe says versions for other stylus and touch devices will follow (explore our guide to the best tablets with a stylus for drawing here (opens in new tab)). We've been waiting for Photoshop for iPad for approximately 87 years now, so we're not sure quite how quickly those other Fresco options will arrive. There is some good news here though: apparently Fresco works with regular Photoshop, so you'll be able to switch between the two while working on the same files.
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