Sketching is an important part of the whole fashion designing process because it helps you visualise what you want to do. As a designer you can either do your sketches on paper or use an app for it, Autodesk Sketchbook is one such app.
Autodesk Sketchbook is a painting and drawing app that can be used by a variety of creative people, including fashion designers, for a wide range of things. For fashion designers, the app can be used for your fashion sketching and illustration to capture your design inspirations and ideas.
I downloaded this app to have a feel of the environment so you can have a glimpse of what to expect in it. Here is what I found;
Autodesk Sketchbook is Free
Firstly, Autodesk Sketch is free and suitable for both iOS and Android users. It can be used on mobile phones, tablets, and desktops. Android users can download it from Google Play Store while iOS users can download it from the Apple App Store.
For users who wish to use Autodesk Sketchbook between multiple users, a paid version called Autodesk Sketchbook Enterprise is available. Students can also get free access to Autodesk Sketchbook and other Autodesk apps with Autodesk Sketchbook Educational.
Autodesk Sketchbook Features
On opening the Autodesk Sketchbook app after you have downloaded and installed it on your device, a clean and new canvas awaits you. Depending on the device you are using, the interface will vary. I used an Android phone for this test.
At the top of the screen, there is a menu that has 6 items displayed on it. Each of the items on this menu has different functionalities and uses.
1. The Main Menu Button
The first icon on the menu at the top is the main menu button. When I clicked on this button, a menu which contains items like ‘New Sketch’, ‘Gallery’, ‘Share’, and ‘Preferences’ appeared on the screen. From this list, you can do all sorts of things with Autodesk Sketchbook.
As the name implies, the New Sketch button is used to display a new canvas for fresh designs. Under this, there are options to either use the default size for Sketchbook canvas or to make a custom size for your design. This list also has different size options for the use on a mobile device, the web or for a video and film.
On clicking the Gallery button, it took me to my Sketchbook gallery that contains all my already created designs and sketches. In this gallery, I noticed a ‘+’ sign at the bottom of the screen, clicking this button gave me the option to import an image from my phone’s gallery into Sketchbook, take a new photo with my phone’s camera, or scan a sketch I have made on paper to import it into my Sketchbook workspace.
At the bottom right corner of the gallery is another button. When I clicked this button, a list appeared. This list provided me with the option of sharing my designs, doing a slideshow of my designs, rotating my designs clockwise or counterclockwise, duplicating my designs, exporting them, or deleting them.
The Share button, from the main menu, gave me the option of saving my design on my device or sharing it using other means like WhatsApp, Instagram, Gmail, Messages, and the likes.
The Preferences button works like a settings button. On clicking it, a screen that gave me customisation options for my Sketchbook appeared. It contains the ‘General Settings’, ‘Factory Defaults’, and ‘About’ columns.
2. The Precision Tools Button
This button has 11 items under it. I’ll talk about a few.
The Fill button is used to fill out shapes with whatever colour you choose.
The Guides button has 3 different shapes of rulers in it to help you make perfectly straight or curved lines in your drawing. I found that it is also possible to change the shape of the curve you want to draw by using one of the 3 dots on it.
Personally, I really liked the Symmetry button. On clicking this button I realised that I could pick 1 from the 4 different symmetry options to make symmetric designs on my designs. This symmetry can either be top and bottom, left and right, or in 4 ways.
The Draw Styles button has a line, a circle and a square shape in it so you can put one or all of these shapes in your design.
The Predictive Stroke button helps you make freehand shapes perfect by predicting what you want to draw and helping you out.
With the Text button, I realised that I can add text to my designs in different fonts, colours, and so on.
3. The Brushes Button
Autodesk Sketchbook has a wide range of pencils, brushes, erasers, shapes, splatter designs, and so on in the brushes library. Each of these items has different functionality from the next to suit your every sketching need.
On clicking the Setting section under the brushes button, I found out that I could dictate the size, opacity, flow, strength, and density of the different items in the brushes library.
For fashion designers, this means that almost any outfit or accessory design you can think of can be drawn and designed on the Sketchbook app. The feel of the different brushes is really great and the diversity they offer is very welcome.
4. The Colour Picker Button
If you are a colour lover like I am then this button will excite you. Through the colour picker button, I found that any colour I could think of was available for me to use in different shades.
Under this button is a Hue, Saturation, and Lightness (HSL) button which, as the name implies, allowed me to determine the hue, saturation and lightness of my colours.
There is also the Red, Green, and Blue (RGB) button which allowed me to change the amount of red, green, and blue component in each colour. This simply means that through that button I could determine the shade of each colour I picked.
Beside the RGB button is a button that looks like a menu button and in it are various colours
Lastly is a button that looks like two arrows crossed over each other. It allows you to pick a range of colours to use as a kind of colour splash on your design.
5. The Layer Button
This button allows you to add different layers to your design.
6. The Hide Menu Button
The last button on the menu list at the top of the screen is used to hide the menu icons so there are no distractions on the screen while creating your designs. I think it is a great button for when you want to see the totality your design with only the features you put on it.
At the bottom of the screen is a small circular button. It is a shortcut button to access the last brush you used, pick a transparent colour, use the colour picker, select the last colour you used, or flip the Canvas.
The 4 buttons at the 4 corners of the screen are the shortcut options I chose from the Preferences screen.
The Autodesk Sketchbook app is a great app for fashion designers looking to take fashion illustration to the next level. It is easy to use, has great features, and best of all, is completely free of charge.
If you find that you are having difficulties with using the app, there are loads of videos on how to use Autodesk Sketchbook on YouTube.