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AutoDesk Sketchbook Copic Edition - Free


Do you own Copic markers? Do you need a simple, fast and easy to use sketching tool, which simulate in a realistic way the various marker tips, color wetness and offers the Copic color palette? Autodesk released a commercial full featured and and a limited and free Sketchbook Copic edition. The interface is very clean, non obtrusive, the drawing engine is fast. While the free edition only offers a basic set of colors and rudimentary drawing tools - this resembles also only what I would use in real life such as marker paper, markers and a straight edge.

The software works on OS X and Windows.



  1. @AutoDeskNation: Yes, Autdodesk probably does have their own news site, but for the most part their anouncements will have something to do with their crazy expensive software. Many of the Blendernation readers use Blender because it isn't crazy expensive, so we don't bother to read Autodesk's news. However, on a rare occasion, AD will release something for free, and cekhunen is nice enough to write a brief article to let us know about it. I for one am happy to find out about new pieces of free software, even if it doesn't directly relate to blender.

  2. this may not be directly aimed at blender, but what AutoDesk (or similar software giants in the industry) do can effect the community.

    If they are releasing a free utility that may be useful to people, it doesn't hurt to know about it. That and some people really like white boards :D

    On another note: stuff like this might be better suited if there's a more generalized "3d community" news branch, just my 2 cents on that

  3. @Surt: Do you ask the same question when your local newspaper prints national or international news? If you really can't stand to read non-blender news, you are more than welcome to take a look at the 8 other articles that have been posted today which do involve blender.

  4. Nicholas Rishel on

    There was an article like this at one time that similarly elicited a negative response from the readership.

    Through a very loose interpretation of the Blender Foundation's goal "To give the worldwide Internet community access to 3D technology in general, with Blender as a core" you could consider this acceptable, but AutoDesk's blatant attempts at horizontal monopoly have simply left individual's in our interest group disinterested in their offerings. They simply feels like a bait to get us to invest education time and resources into their products.

    I fully understand the first time AutoDesk news appeared on this blog, but the community spoke. We are not interested. There is enough news with Blender, especially as of late, to not bother with fluff like this.

  5. I downloaded it from the Mac App Store today. I'm not really impressed. The colors are very limited, not to mention you have to manually rotate the marker tip (there's no support for pen tilt). Autodesk also makes is Sketchbook Express which is also free. However, I prefer Corel Painter Sketch Pad because it does support pen tilt and rotation with the brushes, and it came free with my Intuos4 tablet.

  6. thatonejondude on

    it's free... the blender community is an open source community which means they rely on FREE software to make things you wouldn't think free software could handle... This software is free... That's why it's applicable to the blender community.

  7. I think its great to hear about autodesk products on BlenderNation. At the end of the day this is News about CG and Autodesk for better or worse is a major part of the CG industry.

    Reporting on the CG industry but excluding Autodesk would be like reporting on the Moon Landing and omitting the USA from the news article.

  8. Guys, bickering like this only makes the open-source community look bad and gives further substance to AutoDesk's professional corporate appearance.

  9. Sketchbook Pro is only £40 and a pretty effective sketching application, and way faster in its very specialised and focussed use than either P'shop or Gimp for this task. As a supportive concept development tool alongside Blender, it makes a very effective combination indeed. I'm not sure why open source and proprietary tools can't coexist.

  10. Interesting you guys like to speak for others?

    I highly agree with thehumbug - I sense a tea party like open-source attitude of radicals here more
    then open people who would be open to free tools.

    Good luck with Gimp on OS X ...

    Ah well ...

  11. I use a stripped down Droid version of this on my phone when I need to do a quick doodle and I NEVER look at the Autodesk website. I'm glad that they are expanding the usability of this software, I'm equally glad that my favorite news service was first to report it ;)

  12. I've read this play before, here's the synopsis:
    BlenderNation posts a non-blender, non-open-source, or non-free article.
    Someone comments negatively about it being non-blank.
    Someone defends BlenderNation.
    Someone defends the commenter.
    Someone says the debate makes us all look bad.

    I don't think this is a problem. What's wrong with a little discourse? Seems pretty civil here to me. Some people want to keep BlenderNation all Blender, some people want to mix it up. As it stands, BlenderNation has a good balance of posters so things equal out.

    So I say - Keep commenting! Keep disagreeing! What happens when we all fall silent just to appear united and professional? I don't want to find out.

  13. An artist uses tools to get the job done. The tools she uses do not matter, they are either useful or they are not. All that matters is the result. If you focus too much on the tool the art suffers. Tool makers are welcome, we thank them for creating our tools. Artists create works of art. Anything that hinders your art should be discarded. Anything that advances it should be welcomed with open arms.

  14. Nice marketing Autodesk, using a high end marker's name in your app- so these DO NOT act like prismacolors, right? I wonder if they bleed when you hold them on the tablet... This may be a nice alternative for mac users, but MyPaint can do this with a less clunky workflow to boot (and unlimited colors) for the rest of us. (I actually have the free AD sketch on my macbook, which I boot to Ubuntu when I need to paint).

  15. Noen SBP has a very good ellipse tool while I must say ARPs stencil tool is extremely good.

    Too bad there is no blend between both.

  16. It's alright I suppose but I'll have to stick with MyPaint.
    I can create the same brushes + have the versatility that goes with MP.

  17. it looks interesting how Autodesk is trying to get more customers: they ported this app to Android too. When I bought my Intuos4 I got Autodesk SketchBook Express 2011, Corel Painter Sketch Pad and a bunch of other things in the same package. I tried both and lot of people really enjoy this softwares but I didn't like it..... MyPaint + GIMP/paint studio works better for me. Plus I use Linux all the time now.

    I don't like Autodesk products but I admit the video looks nice not because Sketchbook Copic is Free but for the Wacom Cyntiq 21UX wich I'd love to buy someday :)

    PS: did I mention I hate Autodesk products? :P

  18. Has anybody used both Sketchbook Pro and Art Rage? I use the latter and love it. You can get the previous version for $20 or the current one for $40, but at £40 the Autodesk version isn't much more expensive. I prefer the Indie developer for obvious reasons, but can't help wondering how good Sketchbook is.

    Thanks for the article BN.

  19. I like how this marketing adv between Copic and Autodesk promote for both. On drawing community like Deviant Art, Copic are very popular. This present to give this 'lite' version of sketchbook for free is a good deal and worth a download , at least a try :)

    It work pretty well with Wine on Linux, but I will not use it a lot because most of it can be done with my workflow Gimp+Mypaint with a better ergonomy in my opinion ( just a matter of taste ) ; and the copic colors palette is easy to download and open with Gimp if I need this specially.

    Anyway, I prefer long-term vision with using/contributing to open-source softwares too, this thing is 'free' at the moment, but nothing can assure me it will stay free or be available later. This would be frustrating to learn something I can't reuse later , right ? But I guess it will be part of the marketing strategy at one moment to push user to buy the Pro version. So, not for me... I prefer to train my skill in Mypaint.

    Thanks for the link,
    and yep ; more 2D news are welcome :-P

  20. @thatonejondude
    "...the blender community is an open source community which means they rely on FREE software to make things you wouldn’t think free software could handle… This software is free… That’s why it’s applicable to the blender community..."

    Autodesk's Lawyers would be probably the first in say that's not true :). "Free of charge" closed software is not the same as Open Source Software.

  21. @Richard : About "having the same brush in Mypaint" :
    Not true at the moment. The marker brush of this Sketchbook Copic edition software act as a 'direct painting mode' with a blending mode like 'multiply' on each dab. This make the illusion of transparent marker ink and glazing. Witch is cool for shading a drawing. Mypaint don't have brush blending mode yet ( not in the main master branch ) but it will be for next version because the developpement is almost done with it. So, I guess in 6 month or a bit more Mypaint will have same looking brushes. For the moment, only normal mode... Btw ; those brush can be made in Gimp-painter or in Krita.

  22. I wrote and sold a painting programe aimed at watercolour artists who wanted to use a computer.In it you contolled the brushes and so in effect made them. It sold very well and people said they liked it because it was very like having paints and brushes in the computer.

  23. @Deevad: "...It work pretty well with Wine on Linux,..."

    thx, I didn't try it before with wine ... it works fine... :) but I still don't like it

  24. I don`t like Sketchbook the default burshes of MyPaint are better. Combine default pen with round-wet brush and you got a good workflow with no limit on canvas or colors. Addin Gimp for crop , texture fx and color postpro and you have it final from sketch to paint.

    @Deevad i think it is more like the 123d program trick users to a lite version to get the pro , this is used in the music industry get Cubase , Abletone ...etc with your music hardware then when you are more advanced you are in need to buy full version.

    Even if it has Copic in his name , i used that tipe of marker in childhood and it leaked paint on my hands this version looks the same. Remember the driout ? When you needed to use alchool to make them work again ?

    This it is a MAC users battle , get the to use Sketchbook lite on IPAD , get them to use Artrage on IPAD (yes an Artrage exist) and so on.

    In the marketing some think IPAD/MAC users are stupid for buying same hardware at double price , that`s why they think will get free stuff then buy something that they don`t use so much.

    @Deevad if you see in the video that the basic brush part it is under MyPaint defaults and only that marker is well simulated. It is not good for advanced sketching or natural sketching. Looks to me more like using ball pen with markers. I admit it if i did not know about MyPaint and used it , i said ...that this is nice even then i dilike it cause of akward sensing on tablet pressure .

    So bottom line. For practice on the road looks good. When you don`t know about MyPaint and you don`t know about ArtRage that was on Microsoft Windows included at some time.

    Still Artrage it is better if it is to be compared without open source. Or Artweaver?

  25. MyPaint has too much more brushes, with a better UX. And if you want to sketch ,as brainstorming, is the best. Sketchbook has copied(maybe sub-consciously) many of it's features.

  26. What the hell is wrong with these little kids complaining about a simple news announcement?
    If you dont care about any kind of news IGNORE IT, dont come breaking our balls about not being interested. No one is interested in you not being interested.

    Besides: OF COURSE its interesting to hear that a company like autodesk ahas released something free, isnt one of the goals of the Blender movement to push big companies to open up to the concept of free and open?

  27. Not many people here can buy Cintiqs... What is the aim of this article? :) I like the video but it's not about Blender though.
    P.S. Do somebody knows how to draw (normally) on iPad 2 without pressure sensitivity? I don't want to buy a stylus before I'm not sure it will give me what I need. And my 5 cents - ArtRage seems to be really better!

  28. @GrandmasterB : +1
    @numarul7 : +1

    Again I liked to try it, so thanks Autodesk and Bn for the link and download ; it gives idea of what 'works' or not on a sketching application. This are useful info to contribute to Mypaint developement feedback (who share a bit the same dev target ) ; for exemple a good feature with this freeware : circle, lines, squares and other geometric shapes : very useful to draw perspectives, or for not freehand drawer users.

  29. I, for one, as a fan of Copic markers for years, am glad to see the company BENEFIT from digital coloring, whereas the user marker for traditional media like Copic markers has taken a significant plunge compared to, say, 15 years ago.

    Though, I think Autodesk's become a bit of a monopoly, I'm glad to see them give Copic some gain in the digital art world, and the program looks like it duplicates the markers' character pretty well. There'll always be physical Copic marker users, I think, because nothing digital quite touches the feel of the real markers (in my opinion), but I'm glad to see this option available.

    As for the many complaints here, might I suggest you guys just IGNORE those occasional news bits you don't like? It's not Blender news directly, but since MANY Blender users like to use other tools in CONJUNCTION with Blender, and since there is a free version of this software available, it DOES pertain to some Blender users here. I didn't even know about this program until now--now I do.

    Besides my 3D work, I in particular use Blender for my webcomics in development, believe it or not, and my current webcomic features an illustrative style. This program is right up the alley for someone like me--someone using a variety of tools to emulate traditional media and who loves Copic markers.

    If you don't like a bit of news, then why contribute negative comments about it? Skip it and make life easy for somebody else. Nothing more disappointing than seeing people complaining about a free service.

  30. Chrome Monkey on

    @Luca: This is a case of a professional company whose "free" offerings are very deficient when compared with existing products which are open-source and truly free. "No one is interested in you [collectively-speaking 'you'] not being interested"? The criticisms of this particular Autodesk offering have been legitimate, and explained clearly and in great detail. Such feedback *should* be of interest to anyone in the process of picking the right tool for the right job.

  31. @chrome comment was criticizing the people complaining about the news post, not about people criticizing the software.

    If you want to criticize the software in whatever way that is good information, instead if you want to complain about a news post informing about software, just because its not directly Blender related...well that is incredibly stupid.

  32. Chrome Monkey

    isn't it common sense that free versions of a professional / commercial application are always limited in functionality.

    So what? Does this mean you cannot use it at all? SB has actually a very fast draw engine which enables speed
    sketching where I noticed other applications sometimes drag when you draw too fast.

    The text also says that this is a very basic drawing program which is fast and offers mainly only the tools you would
    use in real life. I did not state this is a replacement for Photoshop, Gimp, or anything else. This is a small sketching tool.

    Nothing more nothing less.

    I have all Adobe products but you know what I mainly use Pixelmator when I need to do quick image edits or sketches because the app starts faster and feels snappier than Photoshop. Is it equal to PS, no not at all - but it just fits a specific need for me.
    Sometimes a simple less powerful sketching app is more productive when you focus only on few tools than having all bells and whistles.

    Take it for what it is. This AD bashing is silly and pointless.

    Moolah you do not need a Cintiqs you can also use a normal tablet or a mouse.

  33. Chrome Monkey on

    @cekhunen: I never stated it was a replacement for Photoshop of Gimp either. The appropriate comparisons that I have read in the responses here have been against simple programs like MyPaint. And I don't think anyone was arguing that they don't have the right to lock certain features based on license type. That is fully their right to do so.

    Autodesk is a fine company. Individual products may or may not hit the mark. That's just the world of development. With regard to this particular offering, opinion appears split about evenly, with valid points being made as to where it hits and misses.

    But as far as what the peanut gallery here does... well, we really can't control them. Best to just ignore the platform zealots if they want to turn it into a Our-Development-Nerds-Are-Better-Than-You-Development-Nerds argument. Those aren't all that useful, and I will agree that we don't really need those types.

  34. A quick search shows there has never been a mypaint release announcement on Blendernation- that's kind of sad. And for me, it's not about platform zealotry, it's about workflow. I've tried many apps, and none allow you to keep the mouse on the canvas while working like mypaint- all the others force the user to the perimeters of the screen.

    Seeing the way AD is expanding and buying up companies: that's really bad for technological freedom and advancement. If you've ever worked for a corporate entity you know what I mean- innovation frequently comes from the outside, where risk taking is allowed. You can have tech driven by either free thinking, crazy, creative entrepreneurs or by MBAs, your choice.

  35. well, as a ilustrator and animator is always a pleasure to hear something not always blender directly related( although, it is, graphic creation software for free), the guys that make the news are great guys who want the community to be in touch with the huge world of content creation.

    Don´t flame their news.

    It really doesn´t matter if it´s from Autodesk or Maxon or whatever. it´s about knowing that there are other software, paid or not that, may become useful to someone.
    So, thanks for the news, I´d entirely skip it if not for you men.

    I have tried it, looks pretty, but a little weak... I prefer MyPaint, but anyway I use Opencanvas 5+ (cheap and great) for my sketching and ilustration needs. Gimp, Alchemy, etc for anything else.

  36. Thanks for the link, this app is perfect for my needs, to me it's simplicity that matters and this suits the bill nicely.

  37. Any new tools I learn must be open source because i don't like software patents. I still use some old programs that are not open source but it just seems stupid to learn programs that you can't even fix if they are broken and that you can't modify because someone else said that you can't use their math. Math should not be able to be patented.
    Mypaint is an awesome program that simulates all sorts of real life mediums.

  38. Mypaint is great but especially on a lower grade computers some brushes tend to lag, whereas Sketchbook does not. Therein lies the value for me - this ideologic BS is getting really tired.

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