Entries in Phil (438)

Amazing iPad Art: Rabe (2012) by Roz Hall

If you follow us on Twitter then you may already have seen the beautiful painting below by Roz Hall, of fellow artist Benjamin Rabe, but we wanted to mention it here as it really stopped us in our tracks.

When you look at the brush strokes, colour, light and shade in this portrait it is hard to believe it was painted on an iPad, but it was! It just makes you say "Wow!".

Roz used Procreate (second time we've mentioned that app in as many days) and a healthy dose of talent to create this image, we are sure you'll love it too.

Be sure to check out the rest of Roz Hall's artwork on his Flickr stream.

Rabe (2012) - iPad portrait of the artist

Videos: Creative Teaching via iPads in Schools

Educators are always seeking the 'Holy Grail' of teaching - engaged learners. It's even better when students don't realise they are learning but do so through having fun and being creative. That's where the iPad comes in.

Children especially are naturals at wanting to interact through the touch interface, many computer owning Parents will testify to that after repeatedly cleaning smudgy fingerprints off their screens.

Here are a couple of videos demonstrating how the iPad is being used to engage and teach children through fun and creative learning.

iPad Pilot Project - RCEF

This video from the Redwood City Education Foundation (RCEF) shows how one elementary school is using the iPad to help children get involved and interactive with learning, mainly in Maths and Literacy lessons:

iPad Pilot Project Funded By The Redwood City Education Foundation from RCEF on Vimeo.

Using DoInk to envision the future

This video, one of many from the Clay Animation Network, shows what children from the Lawton Elementary school think the future will be like. Apparently in 50 years time the world will be full of aliens, robots, teleportation and floating people. Sounds about right to us (apart from the aliens probably).

The elementary school students used the brilliant iPad animation app DoInk to create their vision of the future:

At Lawton elementary 66 students are creating animations in groups of 2 and 3 students using the animation program called DOINK.  Each group will create a 10-15 second animation showing a scene that could happen in a school 50 years from now.

There are a lot of ideas in this video, it's quite a long one, but stick with it, we think you'll enjoy the animations:

Share your story

We love hearing about how the iPad is being used in the Education field, so if you have any good examples of creativity in the classroom with any age group, young or old, please let us know about it.

iPad Art: Treasure Trove by Dan Hoffman

Dip into our iPad Creative Flickr Group on any given day and you will find many examples of paintings, sketches, photographs and even some animations that have been created or edited with an iPad.

The painting below from Dan Hoffman was made with the stunning Procreate app. We loved the colour, light and style of Treasure Trove, it really stood out to us, we hope you like it too. Be sure to check out Dan's other paintings on his Flickr stream.

Treasure Trove

Photosmith 2 for iPad - Win 1 of 3 Copies

Read our recent post about today's release of Photosmith 2 and want to grab your own copy for free? Why wouldn't you? Read on...

Comment and win

All you have to do to be in with a chance of winning your very own copy of Photosmith 2 (a $19.99 app) is leave us a comment below stating the feature of Photosmith 2 you are most looking forward to using.

That's it!

Here are a few details about our giveaway: 

  • To be eligible for this giveaway you must leave a comment below stating the feature you are most looking forward to using in Photosmith 2
  • You must enter a valid e-mail address with your comment (it will not be made public). We will e-mail you your unique code if you are a winner
  • Your comment should be left before the closing date and time of this giveaway which is Monday 28th May 2012 at 1900 GMT

A big thank you to C² Enterprises, developers of Photosmith 2, for generously providing the 3 promo codes for this giveaway.

Photosmith Goes 2.0 - Lightroom Users Rejoice

We are very excited to let you know that Photosmith 2 has been released today.

Photosmith 2 is the essential Adobe Lightroom companion for the iPad from C2 Enterprises.

We went in-depth in our review of Photosmith when it was released last year (be sure to read that review to find out more about what Photosmith does).

Version 2 brings with it a raft of new features including a re-designed UI and under-the-hood programming feats that make this app an absolute necessity if you use Lightroom and an iPad.

More about those new features in a moment, but first take a look at the new promo video below:

After being on the beta program for the first version of Photosmith last year we were very happy to be invited onto the beta program this time around too and we have to say this update is just what the (Lightroom) Doctor ordered.

New Features

Here's a rundown of those new features, many of which have been requested by users of Photosmith V1 (links in this list go to articles about that feature on the Photosmith website - well worth reading):

Photosmith 2 also has many speed enhancements and optimisations, which should be welcome news for any users of the 'original iPad' out there.

If you are at all interested in Photosmith, we would encourage you to follow the links in the list above and explore the website to read more about the new features and how the app works.

We will repeat what we said in our review of the original release of Photosmith just over a year ago, only with even more conviction this time:

"If you use Adobe Lightroom you need this app on your iPad. It's that simple."


To further whet your appetite for this app, we thought you might like to see some screenshots of Photosmith V2 in action.

Keywording in Photosmith 2 - Image courtesy of C² Enterprises

The lovely Smart Groups in action - Image courtesy of C² Enterprises

Sharing options work very well - Image courtesy of C² Enterprises

Previewing RAW File & Histogram - Image courtesy of C² Enterprises

Easy Collection creation, just select, drag & drop - Image courtesy of C² Enterprises

Adding metadata to an image - Image courtesy of C² Enterprises

Win a copy of Photosmith 2

Photosmith usually retails for $19.99 and we think that is a fair price for the functionality and workflow enhancement it offers Lightroom using Photographers.

But you can win one of 3 copies of Photosmith 2 in our upcoming giveaway. Check out this post for details of how to win.

iPad Art: Social Media is the Key by Rick Shulman

Social Media is the Key

Every day there are plenty of images being added to the iPad Creative Flickr Group. We wish we had the time to show them all to you, even keeping up with the new images is a challenge for us, but we are going to try really hard to let you know about more of them in future with these short posts.

This one from iPad Junkie (aka Rick Shulman) caught our eye today because of the clever old school/new school social media idea and also great detail. Rick painted this image on his iPad with the excellent Procreate app.

Feel free to leave us a quick comment below and tell us what you think.

Tune-in Tuesday: New iOS Music Finds

More sounds from the cloud (SoundCloud of course) for your delectation, created using an iOS device and/or apps. No real theme this time, just tracks we heard and wanted to share, to get you thinking about having a go yourself.

Be My Queen by Li$H

Robotic vocoder (via VirSyn's iVoxel) mashed with GarageBand strings and some fantastic drum sounds? We love it! Nice one (again) Li$H.

It's Just the Lighting by Simplexity (Derek Mecca and Jeff Pritchett)

[Update: We have amended this bit of the post after Derek contacted us and let us know some more details about the Simplexity project.]

Odd but strangely compelling to listen to, this fairly spartan track was created by Derek Mecca and Jeff Pritchett under their collaborative project 'Simplexity'. They used Korg's iMS-20 and Addictive Synth (another VirSyn app) on a couple of iPads to put this song together. We hope you like it too.

Personality Disorder….System Failure by Michaelw

And finally, an amazing, disturbing and almost operatic piece from the brilliant Michaelw (Michael Wadlow from Wales). We liked this because, although uncomfortable to listen to in places, it is also totally entrancing in others. This track is a bit of a departure from some of Michael's other stuff, he really mixes things up here and makes you marvel.

Made using Animoog, iMS-20 and studio.HD, this track left us speechless and is a great way to round things up for this instalment. Awesome job Michael! 

Show us your stuff

We hope you enjoyed listening to our picks this week, but as always, we want to hear from you too. If you have your own iOS created sounds (preferably with the iPad, but not essential) here's how you can get them to us:

  • Join our iPad Creative SoundCloud group then click on the 'Share a Track' button on the group page
  • If you're on a computer, click 'Send us your sounds' at top of the sidebar to the right of your screen --->
  • Leave us a link to your track on SoundCloud in the comments below

We're looking forward to hearing from you soon. 

Thank your for taking the time to listen to our notable tracks, feel free to leave a comment below and let us know what you think of this week's picks.

Is it an iPad? Is it a laptop? No its a Brydge

Opinions vary on the need for iPad keyboards, but they do seem to be ever popular, although we haven't seen the perfect one yet. Or have we?

Build a Brydge

(Sorry, we couldn't resist that one) Brydge (pictured above) is a new Kickstarter backed keyboard, designed to "transform your iPad into a laptop worthy of Apple".

For a Kickstarter project it has done fantastically well. The team behind the Brydge were after $90,000 funding.

By the end of Tuesday this week, their first day, they had secured pledges of $100,000! At the time of writing, they still have 35 days to go and already have nearly $286,000 in Kickstarter pledges and rising quickly.

Apparently the demand for making your iPad look like a MacBook Air is very high.

To see what all the fuss is about check out the Kickstarter video from the Brydge team:

What we are curious about is if you want something like this for your iPad. What do you think?

Sensu Brush Review - Was it Worth the Wait?

Sensu- Artist Brush for iPad from Artist Hardware on Vimeo.

It took 6 months from the close of their successful Kickstarter campaign (it felt like a lot longer somehow), but the team at Artist Hardware finally started sending out the first Sensu brush production units earlier this month to their patiently waiting backers, including us.

So, was it worth the wait?

Oh yes - we have a new love in our lives!

Industrial design

The Sensu has been designed as both a stylus and an artist brush for your iPad (and other capacitive screen devices).

It performs this dual function using a very carefully thought out design that incorporates the brush handle as a protective cap when in 'stylus mode' and it works really well.

Sensu brush stages - Image courtesy of sensubrush.com

As a Stylus

When the Sensu arrives (complete with a nice little felt slip case for Kickstarter backers) it is in stylus mode (top of the picture above). We were really impressed by the way the Sensu Brush works as a stylus or pointing device.

How it feels

The chrome-plated brass body feels light but stable in hand. The length of the stylus means it fits perfectly in the crook of our hands between thumb and index finger when used in pen/pointer mode. The smooth sculpted shape of the stylus body/brush cover is simply lovely. 

We felt it was one of the most natural and balanced styli we have used. It seems just about perfect for long sessions writing, sketching, or painting. Of course, everyone's hands are different, but we think the Sensu is spot-on as a stylus.

Sensu brush stylus - Image courtesy of sensubrush.com

Stylus tip

Artist Hardware have gone for the soft, malleable rubber 'ball' approach that many other stylus makers have used, which does seem to best emulate a human digit. The construction is solid though and we had no worries about possibly tearing the material or mushing it out of shape like some of the cheaper styli we have tested.

As with many new styli, it takes a short while to get used to the amount of pressure needed, but once you have worked it out you don't think about it again.

As a Brush

It is when it is in brush mode, though, that the Sensu really shines. Slip the protective cap away from the stylus tip and you reveal the brush, cosseted inside.

Flipping the cap round and putting it back on over the stylus tip creates a handle for the Sensu Brush which is only a little shorter than the handle found on another favourite of ours from last year, the Nomad Brush.

Sensu in Brush mode - Image courtesy of sensubrush.com

Again, the team at Artist Hardware have thought very carefully about the design here and we don't have any complaints about the balance or feel of the brush in use. As with the stylus mode, the brush sits nicely in the crook of our hand and, with fingers on the rubberised barrel grip, feels perfectly natural to use. 

Similar to the Nomad Brush but with a more tightly bunched cluster, the hairs of the brush are synthetic, conductive, fibres.

In use, the brush felt very responsive and tracked precisely across the iPad's screen. Like the Nomad Brush, it is possible to use the brush as a pointing device on the iPad screen if you really wanted to (though it is not always as accurate or reliable as your finger would be for these tasks).

You can see Matt Lynaugh from Artist Hardware doing just this in his video below, where he demonstrates using the Sensu to paint a portrait in ArtRage on his iPad. It is well worth a watch if you're keen to see the Sensu brush in action.

Painting a Portrait with the Sensu brush and Artrage from Artist Hardware on Vimeo.

Tried, tested, loved!

We tried the brush with ArtRage, procreate, Inspire Pro, SketchBook Pro, Paper, and the stylus with Penultimate, Notability, Skitch, Bamboo Paper, even (perhaps especially) Draw Something, as well as other apps that we had sat on our iPads. The Sensu worked faultlessly with all of them.

But we're not the only ones who have been using the Sensu, check out some of the images below from Matt Lynaugh (the first one being the end result of his video above) plus a few other Sensu users who have shared their work:

Sam-3.17.12 © Matt Lynaugh

Assorted Veggies © Matt LynaughImage © Raul Allen

Image © Margi Laurin

Final Thoughts

Whilst individual user style and personal preference always come into play with devices like the Sensu, we have to say we have loved using the Sensu Brush. In fact, it is now a permanent companion to our iPad and taken everywhere with it.

The iPad Creative kids (ages 6 and 4) took to the Sensu with total ease as well and began painting with the brush immediately after it was unwrapped. In fact, for a while, it was a struggle to get it off of them.

If you are looking for a great stylus or brush for your iPad, but especially if you are looking for both, our recommendation is that you order the Sensu as soon as it becomes available.

We got our Sensu by backing the Kickstarter project and we are very happy we did.

Sensu will be available for purchase in May 2012 from sensubrush.com at a price of $39.99.

Video: James Cobb Shares An Original iPad Made Song

James Cobb created 'Proud', an original track, entirely on his iPad using Apple's brilliant Garageband for iOS. James used Smart Instruments to lay down his track (although he says he plays Guitar and Piano anyway) and recorded the vocals using his iPad's built in mic.

This is the first track James has shared on YouTube but it sounds like he has more in store as he says in his profile:

"All of my music is created on iPad, mainly GarageBand at the moment but I'm excited to use other apps like nanostudio and iKaossilator in my future songs."

Sounds like a good start to us, nice one James:

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