graphic recording on the iPad?

iPad + Sketchbook Pro + stylus => bingo?!

iPad $500

+ Sketchbook Pro for iPad $7.99

+ iPad stylus $10.76

This could very well change the landscape of graphic recording.

Of course, the scheme depends on the agility and *input* resolution of SBPro with iPad stylus. The latter point is crucial. According to one developer, the input resolution on the iPad does allow you to select individual pixels. Whether this enables a performer to do fast small hand lettering remains to be seen. My local Apple reseller reports signing his name using a stylus in the default drawing app that comes with the iPad. And another user reports that AutoDesk has been creative with zooming for fine grain input in the SBPro iPad app. Both good signs for the usability of SBPro for graphic recording!

So, all you early adopters out there — adopt, adapt, and then let me know.

Oh yeah, one more thing: how does the group itself see your graphic recording?

Oops! 4/16/10: apparently VGA out support is on a per-application basis, not simply screen sharing of whatever you see! And apparently SBPro mobile doesn’t have it (yet). I posted the question to the appropriate Autodesk forum. Stay tuned.

Well, first, there is the VGA Adapter for the iPad ($29) which “lets you connect your iPad to a TV, monitor, projector, or LCD display.” That’s when you and all your viewers are in the same room.

But what about when you’re not all in the same room? — i.e. graphic recording for remote groups? Well, looks like that will happen too …

Any remote viewing capability depends on some provider like Gotomeeting or Webex supporting a content broadcast application for the iPad.

Right now both Gotomeeting and Webex have meeting *attendee* (content receving) iPad clients, but not meeting *organizer* (content broadcast) clients.

However, I think it’s only a matter of time.

Webex says this:

Can I schedule or start a WebEx meeting and invite people to my meeting from Apple iPad?

This is not supported on Apple iPad with this release.

Gotomeeting has no comment, but if their main competitor is working on it …



15 Responses to “graphic recording on the iPad?”

  1. I’ve tried using the Ten-Design pogo stylus on an iphone and macbook (trackpad) and unfortunately was disappointed. It was very clunky. Night and day when compared with my Wacom Cintiq. The issues are speed, and detail. The Wacom stylus is relatively fine-point and if you look at the Pogo it’s more like drawing with a mushy cigarette butt. My sense was that you couldn’t pick individual pixels…but perhaps with more screen real-estate…?

    • visualraccoon Says:

      Good points. The iPad will never be a Cintiq. But apparently using either the built-in zoom or SBPro zoom, small writing can be done and individual pixels addressed. And, the tip of the Pogo could be trimmed. Whether all these work together to make a *usable* tool with enough agility for graphic recording remains to be seen. I’ll try one tomorrow.

      • My understanding is that the pogo, at least for ipod/iphone, hits on the minimum diamater the device will recognize. It wouldn’t do to put it in a pencil sharpener. For drawing with the vellum app it’s WAY better than your finger, but still clunky.

        Also, as pros we need to allow that, while this might not meet our minimum specs or open up our horizons, it may allow a huge new public to draw, spontaneouslly, anywhere and contribute to each others lives.

  2. Roy Blumenthal has been using a tablet PC for quite some time to do graphic recording, with good results.

    I played around with a friend’s iPad, but did not have a stylus. Very fun.

    One limitation of the iPad—it is not pressure sensitive—so you won’t be able to vary your line thickness in real time. Not necessarily a deal breaker, but for now, a tablet PC is superior in this respect.

    As Rick noted, the pogo is a fairly blunt drawing instrument.

    The iPad input screen is also a little bit small for my taste.

    Advantages of the iPad—price and portability. The price for the SketchBook Pro app is also part of the appeal. At 7.99$ it’s a steal.

    • visualraccoon Says:

      I like Roy’s stuff, thanks for the ptr. I would put his “live paintings” toward the visual interpretation end of the facilitation continuum, as opposed to the graphic recording end, which I see as more focued on capturing fine grain moment by moment content — and which requires very agile text manipulation.

      As for the iPad, you have nailed it: price and portability. Then, given those two, add ubiquity. Take all three together, things might get interesting. If you can’t afford the tool you love, love the tool you’ve got. Back in the day, modifying the heck out of VW bugs to make them faster and handle better never produced a Porsche, but it sure gave a lot of people cars that were much more responsive and fun to drive.

      And in the process, raised general consciousness about high performance vehicles.

  3. I’d be curious to hear how this works from people actually trying the process out on the i-Pad. So far, the i-Pad strikes me as a glorified i-Touch, but if it would work for real-time graphic recording, then I’ve got something new to think about! : )

    • visualraccoon Says:

      The main point of my post — get people thinking and experimenting, then share results. Let’s push those old VW bugs to the limit!

      As always, ignore manufacturer’s recommended usage. Make the iPad do what you want whether it wants to or not (paraphrasing Paul Graham).

  4. […] As [the author who, despite my best efforts, I can only identify as Visual Raccoon] points out in this post on graphic recording, it will depend on the resolution of the software, but if it does turn out to be possible, I could […]

    • visualraccoon Says:

      Ninmah makes many good points in her post on the iPad and what it could be and mean; I recommend it.

      I especially liked “The iPad, and devices like it, may make it possible to do impromptu visual facilitation on the go.”

      Right now, laptop plus Cintiq (new school) or butcher paper and markers (old school) are neither one the kinds of equipment you would just happen to have on your person when unexpectedly the need for visual facilitation arises

      • Thanks, Visual Raccoon! :-) I am really looking forward to exploring whether the iPad works for visual recording. I ordered mine today (yay) but it’s the kind that won’t ship for another three weeks… patience… patience…

        I’ll let you know what I think once I’ve had a chance to try it. I’m looking forward to hearing your thoughts on it, too, and I think you will be getting your paws on one even sooner..?

  5. visualraccoon Says:

    Well, my personal iPad won’t ship for another three weeks either …

    Wait, paws? Oh crap, I have paws?!

    Guess I didn’t think this whole identity thing through very carefully. Fortunately I don’t need opposing thumbs to type. And according to Wikipedia, my front paws are “extremely dexterous.” Whew! ‘Cause I’ll need them tomorrow when I visit my local Apple reseller to try out the stylus. And whilst I’m there, I’ll also endeavor to get them to install SketchBook Pro on their demo unit.

  6. Here in Canada we won’t be getting iPads til the end of April, but I’m picking one up for a friend on a road-trip to NJ this weekend. I’ll have my pogo with me and I’m keen to try it out…I suspect the stylus was optimized for the iPhone/iPod touch, but it will be fun to experiment with more real-estate,and to see if zooming helps. I’m hoping that 2nd generation units have a camera – because I often use my iPhone as cheap-portable scanner, i.e. I’ll do a quick sketch, snap-it, send it to my macbook, import into photoshop, clean it up, maybe dress it up (color, layers, etc), and then if I really want to do some in-depth editing, hooking the Cintiq up to it… I’d love to do that all with one unit – and I’m sure that eventually the iPad will be able to take me there…so, I’ll let you know how close I get to that this coming week…of course I could always get a Modbook…

    • Rick, have you seen the iPhone app “White” by qipit? It takes a photo of a whiteboard, paper, or graphic chart and automatically cleans it up. It does a pretty good job — I’ve used it for my charts before. Not super hi-res, so if you’re making a retrospective for print it’s probably not suitable, but if you just want to email yourself a document or chart, it’s great.

  7. […] and said I’d talk about how to do graphic recording on an iPad. I had recently talked to Fred Lakin about visual recording on iPads, and he had tried it, so it was almost like I knew what I was talking about. At the time, I […]

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