This is iPad Creative. We believe with every fibre of our being that Apple's magical machine is without equal. We believe that the iPad will spark a revolution in the creative arts not seen since the popularisation of the Internet at the end of the last millennium. What makes us so sure? In short, you do.
The potential for computers to assist artists in creating and performing art has been strikingly obvious for many years, but until now that potential has been – to the largest extent – only realised by those with a natural affinity for technology, those that because of their upbringing, their social location, or perhaps their age, just don't care for computers. The iPad changes all of that.
Now everyone, geek and non-geek alike, have a blank digital canvas, one which they can touch and hold, one which thanks to the creativity of Apple's finest engineers and the thousands of talented app designers requires almost no learning, no maintenance and certainly no prior experience with Microsoft Windows. Sure the iPad is a superb computer for consuming content, but we think its most natural vocation is for creating art.
Over the coming months we will be nurturing as many iPad focused creative communities as we can. Today we make a start by highlighting the phenomenal talent of iPad graphic artists. Using apps like Layers, ArtStudio, Brushes and SketchBook Pro, skilled artists like Corliss Blakely, Kevin Bee, Mike Dia and Suzi, have already begun to put together an impressive body of work.
As a testament to their skill and with the hope of encouraging other iPad artists to share their work we have set up the iPad Creative Art and Design group on Flickr. It's open to all and we sincerely hope that it will become a showcase of fine iPad art and a place to share ideas and voice opinions. We will be featuring the work of artists kind enough to contribute to the group, and as the group expands we shall run competitions based on the content of the group.
It's early days for the iPad creative scene, but already there is a strong sense of an important shift in the relationship between people and computers. If these early examples are an indication, human creativity has a powerful new canvas to play with.
Many thanks to all those that have contributed to the iPad Creative Art and Design Flickr group – spread the word. We have included a permanent link to the Flickr group in the 'Social' section on the right. We would love to hear from all iPad artists, whether you are creating content or creating apps, we are certain that you must have many great suggestions for how iPad Creative can nurture the creativity of all iPad owners. Please feel free to leave a comment below or email us directly if you prefer. Remember, this is just a small taste of what we have in store, so please be sure to bookmark the site and subscribe to our RSS feed.
Photo editing on the iPad is one of the things that appealed to our creative urges immediately when we saw the iPad announced, and if you have been here before you know how closely we have been watching the, now steady, stream of photography apps as they hit the App Store.
Übermind have released a product that seems simple at first, yet has a lot of power under the hood. The Masque app was developed specifically for the iPad, and one of its most unique features is the use of multi-touch gradients to apply effects using up to four fingers! From their website:
- One Finger — drag to see gradient applied from minimum to maximum intensity
- Two Fingers — expand or contract the gradient
- Three Fingers — adjust effect from minimum to max (and back!)
- Four Fingers — same as 3 points, but adds control for the size of the max effect
It is a bit hard to envision what this looks like in practice, so to see it in action have a look at the video below:
Editing in Masque seems to be based on filters, which when combined with adjustment brushes (with feathering and size options), give fine control over your image editing.
Another nice feature is the 'Reverse' button which allows you to switch or reverse the area affected by the adjustments you have made, much like the 'Invert selection' tool in Photoshop.
A more detailed run-through of the main features in realtime iPad use can be seen in this video from TNerd.
This looks like a very snappy and responsive app and with its Sharing options we think it is a nice example of photo editing done right in an iPad specific app. Masque is priced at £3.49 ($5.99) and available in the App Store now.
If you are one of those people that used to sketch spaceships and aliens in the corner of your text books at school, you will love this app from Engineous Games.
Sketch Nation Shooter has been developed for the iPhone primarily, but it is a game/engine that will run on the iPad too. It allows you to literally draw your own characters and then play with them in the game.
You have the choice of drawing something then capturing it with the iPhone camera, or using something from your image library (for those with just an iPad and scanner/digital camera). You sketch your main character, enemies and big boss (even the game background and layout if you want), adjust a few parameters, and off you go.
As an added feature, you can submit your design to the Facebook group from within the app, and download other users' designs to play on your device for free.
If you are stuck for something to do this weekend, or you're trying to entertain irritable children, get creative and then blow up your designs with Sketch Nation Shooter. We think it is a great device for integrating creativity in drawing and digital content creation for all ages.
For an idea of what can be done with this game, check out the videos below. At just 59p in the App Store you can't go wrong.
Chase Jarvis is an inspirational pro photographer and visual artist who has a really great attitude to sharing his knowledge and experience with other Creatives to form a community spirit around creating art, especially in the fields of photography, and more recently, video.
Chase has just launched a venture in conjunction with CreativeTechs which they are calling CreativeLIVE. CreativeTechs have already established themselves as providers of free, live streaming, software and skills instruction in the creative field, and we have recently benefitted from some of their free courses including Lightrooom, iPhone application programming, and Photography instruction.
Now they have upped their game by including free instruction from some of the leading names in the creative fields, and the list is impressive. From Chase's blog:
On the photography side of things, we excited to announce in quarter one featuring Vincent LaForet, David DuChemin, Zack Arias, Scott Bourne, Art Wolfe, and many others. Wanna learn how to have vision in photography? We've got the instructor. HD Dslr Cinema, we've got it. Lighting? We've got it. Software? We've got that too. And if we don't have it? Tell us and if there's demand, we'll create it for you.
There are some great photographers featured here, but other areas will be covered too, there is a Watercolor 101 class starting on 28th May for example. This is something we are really excited about and we wanted to let you know about it too. The live streaming courses use WebEx Webinar software, and we usually join the webinar on our Macs, but the release of the WebEx client for the iPad has us wondering if we can join these classes from our iPads.
We know you can watch the paid-for course downloads, which are great value, on the iPhone or iPad, but the iPad seems the perfect device to watch and learn on whilst sat on the sofa instead of having to get the laptop out and plug it all in.
Chase Jarvis has made an introductory video which you can see below, and the iPad makes a brief appearance at 1:07. We recommend you definitely check out the new CreativeLIVE website.
A few days ago we wrote about the Photo editing apps hitting the iPad store, and one of the apps we were really keen to see in action was Filterstorm. Early indications were that the iPad hardware wasn't quite up to the challenge of editing larger files, e.g. 5MP JPEGs. But developer and photographer Tai Shimuzu has been working hard on improving things and has now got an update in the app store, which he says improves performance, but by downsizing the photo. And it is still free.
More interestingly for us, he has posted a video tutorial on the Filterstorm site of him actually editing a photo and completing the process, from selecting the photo in Filterstorm through to the final version.
It is really interesting to see the enhancements that Filterstorm can apply to a photo. Watching Tai specify the curve adjustment and then selectively brushing it on to the photo reminds us of the same process in Lightroom or Aperture, and the results are impressive. The app still looks a little bit slow, but until we see it for real, operating on our own photos, we cannot say if that is just because of the video, the app itself or the iPad struggling to keep up.
We are sure Tai is continuing to improve the app and optimise it further, but if you are curious to see the iPad in action editing photos for real, check out the video below.
This is the review that we've been waiting for. Now one does hardware reviews quite like Arstechnica, in their own words, "Six Ars staffers, four days, one new Apple product—inside is everything you wanted to know about the iPad, plus a whole bunch of stuff you didn't know that you wanted to know. We did everything: watching, listening, reading, gaming, and working with the iPad. Here's what we learned."
This 18 page epic is a must read, especially for those of us that will have to wait just a little bit longer to experience the device first hand.
If like us you live outside North America what can you do to satisfy your iPad cravings. Obviously, we'll do our best to distract with all the latest and greatest iPad apps, and then there's that certain little iPhone OS 4 announcement on the 8th April that will give us plenty to mull over until the iPad UK launch. Here's another suggestion, why not prepare a small collection of HD films and TV shows ready to sync over to your brand new iPad on launch day. Here in the UK the new series of Doctor Who has just kicked off and Apple are offering a Series Pass in HD for £24.99. It should look splendid on the iPad screen.
There is quite a number of virtual aquarium/diving experiences for iPhone OS devices, but Com2us' Ocean Blue for the iPad is unique. We can't wait to see the sumptuous 3D visuals for ourselves (come on Apple, where is that UK launch date?!), but if this video is any indicator, Ocean Blue seems to be in a league of its own. The big surprise is the ability to double the size of the virtual window by syncing a couple of iPad's together via Bluetooth. A great idea, that we hope to see replicated in other apps. Ocean Blue is available via the App Store for just £5.99
We believe that the iPad is for everyone, from grandchildren to grandparents and everyone in between. Sadly, some industry commentators aren't happy about this. The core of their disgust seems to centre around two separate issues. The first is Apple's 'walled garden' approach to application creation and distribution, and second is that the hardware is missing – what they consider to be – some key features. In a world were only Apple made computers, phones and tablet devices we might be inclined to take their rantings a little more seriously.
When you come across iPad apps like 'Toy Story' Read-Along from Disney Digital Books, a free interactive book for children, it's hard not to get excited by what the future holds for the iPad platform. Sure, this level of interaction and richness should be made available to all on open platforms via open web standards, but the truth is it's simply not possible yet. If a 'walled garden' is the only safe way to bring these kind of applications to their intended audience then surely it's a very good thing indeed?
We believe it is, and if the weekend sales estimates of 600,000 to 700,000 are correct, it would seem that a great many people agree.
If you are without an iPad at the moment but keen to see what it looks like in real life under operation, Jason Snell of MacWorld gives us a brief tour around the iPad and a few of Apple's accessories in the video below. In it Jason runs through a few of the apps too, including browsing with Safari, Marvel's comic reader, and Apple's own Keynote, Pages and Numbers.
Overall, the iPad seems really snappy and responds instantly to a press of the Home button and launches apps extremely fast, all this seems great and we are currently biting our own arms here in the UK waiting for the official launch date to be announced.
Check out the video now!
If you are running iTunes 9.1 on your Mac, have a look at your apps section. Has it changed? We have just noticed that our apps section when viewed as a grid is now split into three areas:
- iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad apps (we are guessing these are 'Universal' apps
- iPhone and iPod Touch apps (non-iPad apps?)
- iPad apps (designed for the iPad only - if you have any downloaded)
This is interesting because it is really not clear which apps are iPad only or Universal in the App Store in our opinion. Although this categorisation will only show on apps you have on your computer, it is at least a start to making sense of the (in our case) hundreds of apps kicking about on our hard drives for testing purposes, or just in case we need them some day.
Adobe have been a fundamental part of the Mac experience for most Creatives since the early 1990's. We're hoping that Adobe can bring a full creative suite to the iPad, but in the meantime, Ideas, Adobe's new vector sketch application will do very nicely thank you.
We love print. There is something about that high resolution type, that gloss laminated cover that makes it so hard to beat. But this is 2010, Jupiter is about to collapse into a star, we should be moving on from ink on wood pulp by now!
The web was a false start for magazine publishers, though reproduction and distribution costs become almost meaningless something was lost, that something was good design.
The iPad is here to save the publishing industry, or so the story goes. If the brand new Mag+ version of Popular Science magazine is any indicator, not only will it save the industry but it might just propel it into an entirely new orbit. Be sure to snag yourself a copy of the future, this is it folks!
Thanks to Matt from All About iPhone for the heads up.
If you are the owner of a shiny new iPad today we want to know what you think.
What are you happy about? Are there any nice surprises? Is there anything you are not loving at the moment? What apps are you using?
Whatever your thoughts we want to know. Just leave us a comment below.
In our series, 'Apps we cannot wait to see on the iPad' we picked Sonoma Wire Works' Four Track as our music creation favourite. Now the same company has announced their iPad version of this app called StudioTrack.
This app created especially for the iPad now allows the recording of 8 tracks instead of the four available on the iPhone (one of the features we were hoping for in our post).
Sonoma have made a number of other improvements too. See the video for a preview and get ready with your $39.99!
StudioTrack is available now in the App Store.
We want this because clearly life isn't stressful enough. Come on UK iPad launch date, where are you?!!!
In the last few days a number of photo editing apps have gone live in the app store ready for the iPad launch. You are not going to be editing your RAW files yet on the iPad, it doesn't seem to have the processing power for that at the moment, although we would like to see just how slow it is as processing RAW files.
But if you have JPEG files in your iPhoto library, or presumably on a camera/SD card although we haven't confirmed this yet, then you can have a go at editing them on your brand spanking new iPad. Here are a couple of notable mentions.
The best looking app and the one that got us most excited is Filterstorm. The interface looks really nice and the app is FREE for a limited time after launch day tomorrow, so if you are getting an iPad, go and get it now and let us know what you think. The app takes the approach of having three Image Editing modes: 1) affecting the whole image, 2) brushing on colour and effects to selected areas, or 3) applying filters to a specific colour range.
The ability to use an adjustment brush on your photos, much like you can in Aperture or Lightroom, really appeals to us and makes this app stand out from some of the others. Do check out the Filterstorm site and have a look at the screenshots. The developer, himself an accomplished photographer, is honest about why he is giving the app away for free, basically because there are some features that he has not had time to put in, such as image rotate and cloning/healing tools, and he has not tested how fast it runs on a real iPad! There is a work-through tutorial on the developer's site too, which helps you see in practical terms how useful this app will be.
Photogene is an app we have been using on the iPhone for a while, and which now has its own iPad optimised version out in the app store for £3.49. In our opinion the iPhone version of this app is quite powerful but the interface and interaction is not as well refined as some apps. When you get used to the interface for the app though, and discover where all the key tools are hidden, it provides a lot of useful features. Nothing out of the ordinary really, but it is good to see Photogene on the app store and being developed for the iPad platform.
Another little heart flutter came upon us when we saw that Nevercenter had announced a version of their wonderful retro-filter app Camera Bag for the iPad. It is a firm favourite of ours on the iPhone, but it has always felt a little cramped at that screen size, so we are salivating over seeing this running at fullscreen on our iPads, and at a special launch price of £1.79, we think it is a bargain.
New for the iPad are interface optimisations and increased resolution, but also a new 'Vary' feature, which allows personalisation, maybe a little randomisation, of the filter effect that you have chosen, to give individual results for your images.
We can't wait to try it.
Over to you
If you have tried any of these apps on your iPad and can tell us how well they run, or you have used another photo editing app that you think we should be looking at, please let us know in the comments.
After it's fledgeling flights on the PC/Mac desktop and iPhone, TweetDeck finally comes home to roost. iPad Creative is thrilled to reveal that TweekDeck for iPad is available for free right now, just in time for tomorrow's launch. Doesn't it just look gorgeous?
As if the recent news of the decimation of Sony's PSP format at the hands of the iPhone and iPod touch weren't depressing enough, here comes Firemint with their swanky new Real Racing HD footage to really put a downer on Sony's portable gaming aspirations. Real Racing for the iPhone is one of our favourite games, it's certainly in the games-we-are-never-deleting category and if this video is anything to go by the HD version will have a permanent place on our iPads too.
If you live outside the US you'll have to make do with playing this video back at full screen on your laptop display whilst clutching the edges of the screen and pretending. For those in the US you have less than 24 hours before all this is yours. Grab yourself a copy now.
For comparison we present a video from yesterday's gaming format, Grand Turismo for the Sony PSP. There's plenty of detail, but the frame rate is quite pedestrian.
Check back tomorrow for further analysis on how the iPad could become the dominant portable gaming format in the very near future.
It is a Public Holiday here in the UK so we are in a light hearted mood on iPad-eve. A lot of people have commented on the iPad looking like the tablet devices that are used in Sci-Fi TV and Films, and there is an app ready for the iPad launch which will make your iPad look like a Star Trek tablet device.
So to start the day off we give you video evidence of Steve Jobs' inspiration. Enjoy!