New drawing app aims to bridge the gap between 2D and 3D designs

The past few weeks have seen a shake-up in the way artists and creative directors work, with the launch of Microsoft's iMac rival, Surface Studio, offering innovative ways to create and share. To tie into the release of Surface Studio, software company Mental Canvas has unveiled a new graphic and media design system that allows artists to draw in 3D.

With core technology developed by a research team at Yale, lead by the company's founder, CEO, and computer science professor Julie Dorsey, Mental Canvas is the first app of its kind to truly give creatives the chance to realise their ideas freely in virtual space without compromising their individuality or style.

The upshot of Mental Canvas is that sketches drawn by hand with the app become an interactive and animated scene which users can manipulate and edit intuitively. Basically, if you can imagine and sketch a concept, you can bring it to life virtually with Mental Canvas.

"Technology has revolutionised text, photography and music, but drawing has largely remained unchanged since the Renaissance as today's illustration tools merely simulate drawing on paper," said Julie Dorsey.

"Mental Canvas reimagines the sketch and brings it into the digital age with an entirely new set of capabilities to accelerate the creative process and enhance idea sharing."

The possibilities on offer with Mental Canvas are a brilliant example of how hardware and software can further the potential of traditional drawing tools, as well as providing a glimpse at how the Surface Dial can be used effectively.

Offering new ways to work for architects, illustrators, engineers and teachers, Mental Canvas is expected to launch later in 2016.

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Dom Carter

Dom Carter is a freelance writer who specialises in art and design. Formerly a staff writer for Creative Bloq, his work has also appeared on Creative Boom and in the pages of ImagineFX, Computer Arts, 3D World, and .net. He has been a D&AD New Blood judge, and has a particular interest in picture books.