Apply visual effects to photos with Sketch Guru

Taking photos with your Android device can be fun, but adding a bit of extra creativity to your photos and sharing them via your favorite social networks can make it even more fun. Sketch Guru allows you to add some great-looking effects to your photos. It is easy to install and has a very neat and user-friendly layout.

Once downloaded, Sketch Guru will quickly and easily allow any user to apply creative effects to their images. The installation process is supereasy. Although some of the effects are slow to apply, the software is fairly quick. The sheer number of effects … Read more

Draw stunning images and share them with others using Paper by FiftyThree

Paper by FiftyThree is an app that lets you sketch drawings and diagrams on your iPhone and iPad and share them with others. A free app from iTunes, Paper by FiftyThree installs easily.

There's barely an interface with Paper by FiftyThree. You can touch the screen of your device and draw anything you want, just as if you had a stylus and paper in front of you. There's a selection of tools available, but it pops out of the way when you don't need them. Paper by FiftyThree claims that its engine reacts to touch-screen pressure in … Read more

3D modeling and printing with a clean interface

SketchUp for Mac is a 3D design app that allows you to create 3D models and, using an online service, get those models built. SketchUp for Mac installs easily but was not available from the App Store when we tested the software, instead requiring a download from the publisher. SketchUp for Mac is a free app, but there's a Pro version for additional cost with more features and capabilities.

SketchUp for Mac lets you create surprisingly complex and detailed 3D models, but there's a learning curve to doing so. The interface is surprisingly clean and easy to work … Read more

Turn photos into sketches on iOS

Everyone who uses Instagram, EyeEm, or other photo-sharing apps knows how easy it can be to add effects to photos and make them look even better than the original. But there's another group of apps at the iTunes App Store that add something more to your images, taking a mostly mundane photo and turning it into a work of art.

This week's collection of iOS apps turns your photos into hand-drawn works of art. The first offers one-of-a-kind effects to make your photos look like sketches. The second is an old favorite of mine for the incredibly realistic line drawings you can create. The third takes a different tack, turning your photos into super-realistic paintings in the style of some of the greatest painters ever.… Read more

'Etcher' turns iPad into Etch A Sketch -- real knobs and all

When we first landed on the Kickstarter page for "Etcher," a project that bills itself as "Etch A Sketch for iPad," we looked at the initial frame of the not-yet-playing promo video and thought, "OK, there's the Etch A Sketch, but what's Etcher? Just some silly app that pops a virtual Etch A Sketch onto your touch screen and lets you twiddle the dials with your fingertips? Show us the product."

D'oh (and wow): we were looking right at it.

Etcher's not some sort of digital-only re-creation. As you'll see once you hit Play on the video (embedded below), Etcher gobbles up the iPad and converts it into the classic Ohio Arts dial-and-draw toy, real knobs and all. But it also takes advantage of the iPad's 21st century technological magic to bring features to the Etch A Sketch that were pretty much unimaginable with the original toy.… Read more

Monty Python app brings 'Flying Circus' sketches to iOS

The handful of Monty Python apps released to date have been of mixed value. The Angry Birds ripoff Cow Tossing was amusing but not fulfilling, while the "Holy Grail" companion The Holy Book of Days offered a fantastic behind-the-scenes look at everyone's favorite Python movie.

Now comes Python Bytes, a collection of 22 sketches from the first season (or "series," to use Brit-speak) of the "Monty Python's Flying Circus" TV show.

Among the highlights: "Albatross," "Dead Parrot," and "Lumberjack Song." In other words, there's ample comedy gold to be mined here.… Read more

Paper brings your sketches to life (hands-on)

As CNET's Mary Jo Foley reported earlier today, former execs associated with the nixed Courier dual-screen tablet from Microsoft have joined together to make an elegant sketchpad and ideas app.

Paper, by developer FiftyThree, is free and offers only a handful of features initially, but it's just enough to make you want to sample some of the in-app purchases for more tools.

Upon launch you're presented with a welcome screen that outlines the simple set of tools. A tap opens a book, and swiping horizontally lets you turn the 3D pages. The feel of the app is very fluid, and it even accounts for your swipe momentum, so a stronger flick turns several pages until they slow to a stop. Details like these make the simple interface impressive, even without many bells and whistles. From there you simply tap on a page to start editing.… Read more

Skitch can sketch with the best of them

It may not be a mobile version of Adobe Illustrator, but Skitch can handle basic image annotations and sketches exceptionally well. It's easy to learn, its tools work well, and it can even export your work to Evernote.

Getting started with Skitch is simple. From the Home screen, you can open up a blank canvas, import an image from your gallery, or take a new photo with your mobile device's camera. Also new to Skitch is a feature that lets you pull up and add annotations directly onto a Google Map, which is perfect for giving detailed or … Read more

Pogo Sketch Plus helps blur iPad's user-interface boundaries

The digital world has plenty of accessories that aren't strictly necessary, but Ten One Design's Pogo Sketch Plus caught my eye today.

It's a stylus for iOS devices that replaces your finger with something a bit more precise. I've been interested in the user-interface convergence between tablets, laptops, and drawing tablets. Such devices today are quite separate, but I foresee a future where they get closer together--and devices like the Pogo Sketch line could help.

The $15 stylus updates the two-year-old Pogo Sketch with a tip with "more consistent and smoother operation," the … Read more

How one app introduced AutoDesk to consumers (Inside Apps)

When Autodesk's SketchBook Mobile application launched two years ago, it garnered more than 1 million downloads within the first two months, propelling the company into a completely new business.

So it's surprising that Chief Executive Carl Bass didn't know about the application--which lets you make an array of sketches with your finger--until a week before the launch.

"We definitely didn't have the attention of the company," said Christopher Cheung, project manager in charge of SketchBook. "It was a small isolated project."

SketchBook's success was partly born of the extreme hands-off approach … Read more