Digital Display vs Print Color Gamut

gamutRGB Digital displays found in most PCs and tablets like the iPad are capable of producing colors outside the Pantone and even CMYK gamuts. This has to do with the fact that displays emit light. The color chart above illustrates this. A display calibrated for print will appear dimmer but closer to what you would expect to see from printed material. Without proper calibration, color will often be off when it comes time to print.

ArtStudio vs. ArtRage

The Loft

This is a review on ArtStudio and ArtRage, two popular painting apps for the the latest versions of the iphone and ipad.

Being an avid Photoshop user this review may be slightly biased but here goes. It took me all of three minutes to fiddle around with ArtRage to realize that it’s chalk and other 3d brushes couldn’t perform like you would expect them to as a painter. Aesthetically,  the color picker looks nice, but choosing colors with this type of color picker became more of a guessing game.

ArtStudio, on the other hand, allows users to build strokes quickly and accurately. It can do things even Photoshop CS5 can’t do. Omnidirectional brushstrokes perform more like traditional drawing or painting in that the brush tip shapes actually rotate with the direction of your brushstrokes as you paint. This results in a much more natural looking sketch or painting. Picking colors on the fly is fast and effective with this program. By pressing and holding your finger or a stylus on the canvas area you can bring up the color picker – brilliant. The undo and redo buttons at the corners of the workspace are perfect. Since there is no pressure sensitivity yet with the ipad or styluses for the ipad, having the brush size and opacity sliders at the top of the page is ideal. Much like the quick buttons or wheel on the Wacom Intuos 4 tablet. All in all ArtStudio is a great app capable of achieving subtle effects with less effort than one might expect.

There are some kinks in the ArtStudio program, for example the files are .dat files by default. When exporting to the ipad2 you have to convert the files into .psd files and for some reason the file names are not able to be edited from the export menu until you get them into a folder on your computer. Working with the lasso and layers was next to impossible. This could be much more intuitive. Painting on one layer is one solution. Also I thought there could be a more intuitive way to cut and paste. A “multiply” function like in Photoshop would also be nice for painting beneath line-work. The color gamut may be off? Not sure if it is the software or the ipad. It could be my Cinema display, though I color calibrated it about a week ago with a Pantone ColorMunki Design Spectrophotometer.

This color sketch was done on the iPad 2 just as the sun was peaking through the window at dawn on New Year’s Day. The shadows were changing fast but I managed to capture the mood and light pretty much exactly as I saw it. Of course this is an ipad not a Wacom tablet, so detailing does take some getting used to – but not much. I did this with my fingers. Detail was done by zooming in and out quickly. Writing a letter with finger paint isn’t quiet as nice as using a pen.

Excellent job guys at ArtStudio. Given the parameters of the ipad and the fact that Apple refuses to allow developers the framework to make pressure sensitive styluses, I give this program 5 stars. Looking forward to updates. We live in exciting times. Apple please if you are listening, we need pressure sensitive stylus capabilities. Software can only go so far. And seriously my ipad 2 was covered in finger grease after this was finished. Pretty gross. I have since picked up a stylus and have noticed improvements in accuracy already. Digital painting is only going to get better from here.