Archive for the iPad Category

VGA out for iPad SBPro, finally!

Posted in iPad on June 6, 2010 by visualraccoon

Kudos to AutoDesk — they did it right.

The image you are creating appears live on the big screen as you draw it, but the SBPro menu does *not*. The control menu only appears on the iPad for you alone to see and use.

Thanks to Rachel Smith for tipping me off that SBPro for the iPad had been updated.

Now that graphic recorders can work live using the iPad, this brings up a dilemma. If you only work full size, then at any time the group can see the entire record of the discussion. But you are limited in how small your lettering can be.

Jonny Goldstein‘s image is a good example:
(image (CC) Jonny Goldstein)

*Or* if you zoom and pan to get more detail, then while you are doing that the group will not be able to see the big picture.

This image of Rachel’s has lots more detail:
(image (CC) Rachel Smith)

But, as Rachel says, she has “concerns about sensitive persons in the audience watching my mad panning and zooming as I work,” and concludes that, “I think this is a great process for personal recording, but not yet for group work.”

So bottom line, iPad SBPro is like Zeno’s Paradox — it may never quite get there, but it keeps making progress in the right direction, and may soon be close enough for most practical purposes.

Which in the meantime leaves plenty of time for some darkhorse like vmacs for the iPad to slip in. Stay tuned!

Content on Visual Raccoon is licensed under a Creative Commons by-nc-sa 3.0 United States License unless otherwise indicated. Comments, both text and graphics, are property of the commenters.


actual iPad-based graphic recording

Posted in iPad on May 10, 2010 by visualraccoon

Good News!

Graphic recording on the iPad is here. The screen has the resolution, and SBPro has the graphic richness. That’s great, since those things are hard to change.
(image (CC) Rachel Smith)

Needs Work:

1. Live output to big screen. Not yet, but this is a solvable technical problem. Autodesk *should* be working on VGA out for SBPro right now; the capability is available to third-party apps. Meanwhile, for the examples below, neither of the practitioners featured were working in view of the group.

2. Operating SBPro fast enough for live output. Well, at least it's very close, see below for comments from the pracitioners. And, hey folks, speed is *merely* a matter of practice, right? (raccoon said cavalierly).


More great examples, one set by Jonny Goldstein and the other set by Rachel Smith.

Rachel Smith

She describes her experience of doing visual recording on the iPad in wonderful detail on her blog.
(image and accompanying text (CC) Rachel Smith)

The above image is her representation of the keynote at the “Northern Voice 2010” conference (sounds^H^H^H^H^H looks like a good one!). And here is a link to the rest of her visual records from the conference.

Rachel comments:

How Does It Relate to Visual Practice? Well… I wouldn’t use it (yet) for visual facilitation, where I’m interacting with a group and helping them work through something. It’s not as natural as pens and paper yet so I would be too distracted, I think. What I was doing at Northern Voice was visual recording, where I’m just listening and making notes.

Then there’s the issue of the size; when you’re doing visual practice with a group, either recording or facilitating, you want the group to be able to see what you’re doing. I have not tried projecting the iPad onto a screen while working, so I don’t know how that would work, but I’ve heard that not all apps can be projected yet […] I think this is a great process for personal recording, but not yet for group work.

Software. I tried Autodesk SketchBook Pro ($7.99) and Adobe Ideas (free). All the notes in my Flickr stream were done with SketchBook Pro. The controls in SBPro are very easy to access while working […] The controls in Ideas are a little harder to master and are a little too fiddly for me to use quickly while recording.

Jonny Goldstein

Jonny made “SketchNotes” of the speakers at the “140 Conference NYC 2010,” as desribed in detail on his blog. Here’s his sketch of the talk by the guy from Kodak:

(image and accompanying text (CC) Jonny Goldstein)

Jonny reported to me:

I played with it on a friends iPad for a couple of hours prior to doing these images. That’s it on the mobile app. I have used the full featured version of SB pro on a laptop for a couple of projects.

Yes, I added the not-hand written text on the first page in Photoshop after I created them in SB pro.

To get the images off the iPad, I emailed myself the files from the iPad. That is an included option in the SBPro app. You can email them to yourself with layers intact as a PSD (photoshop file), or as a flattened jpg. In order to do this, I used the iPad’s included email app.

My workflow: generally I would do my text and drawing as thin black lines on one or more layers. Then I would come in afterward and lay down thick strokes of color on a layer underneath the black lines.

Hardware: 1st generation iPad, Pogo stylus Software: SketchBook Pro App

And here is a link to his set of SketchNotes.

Content on Visual Raccoon is licensed under a Creative Commons by-nc-sa 3.0 United States License unless otherwise indicated. Comments are property of the commenters.

Visual Darwinism: survival of the fittest graphical tools

Posted in iPad, performing graphics on April 10, 2010 by visualraccoon

Look, folks, the iPad ain’t the digital graphic recording tool of your dreams. So get over it. As Jonny Goldstein said in a comment on a previous post, the iPad’s got price and portability. Which means there will be tons and tons of ’em out there, and tons of people trying to use them to do live visual meeting support. Which will mean in turn that:

First, it’s going to bring public awareness to the visual practice of graphic recording like never before.

Second, it’s going to put the burden of proof on established practitioners with fancy tools to show they can do better than some kid with an iPad.

It will be great for all concerned, practitioners and clients alike.

Visual Darwinism, you gotta love it. Competition improves the breed, etc.

In the early Seventies motorcycle road racing was dominated by two very talented factory riders on incredibly expensive machines made by MV Agusta in Italy and Honda in Japan. Then along came Yamaha with revolutionary and far cheaper equipment. Suddenly everything changed and once again “privateers” like Jarno Saarinen had a chance.

The new technology, along with incredible drive and talent, allowed Jarno to “… intimidate the factory riders on the GP circuit by clinching the 1972 championship as a privateer, and in the process broke lap-records practically everywhere he went. Jarno was also his own mechanic and helped modify and develop the bikes according to his style of riding.” (Peer Landa).

Prediction: for the great digital graphic recorders of the future, this last sentence will describe their ongoing relation with their rig (rig = hardware/software instrument for performing graphics).

No, Virgina, it’s not like a guitar — one size does not fit all.


Postscript: since this post was originally made, a lot of great group graphics have been done on the iPad. See some of the images here.

Content on Visual Raccoon is licensed under a Creative Commons by-nc-sa 3.0 United States License unless otherwise indicated. Comments are property of the commenters.

graphic recording on the iPad, not that bad

Posted in iPad, tools on April 8, 2010 by visualraccoon

(click here or on image to see full 1024×768 size, make sure browser is stretched wide)

Stark but usable. And, with tweaking, could be good. Further testing needed (note that I was in a hurry, and, frankly I’m just not that good a letterer (erer), even in leisure).

I think graphic recording on the iPad is over the threshhold. At this point in time, not far over, but clearly over. With further tuning of styli and software aimed at our particular needs, it could *really* take off.

Here is a log of my first test, results of which you see above.

5:15pm — Drove South and arrived at my local Apple reseller, Computer Works (who closes at 6:00pm).

5:28pm — Purchased “Pogo Sketch” stylus.

5:35pm — Using *my* iTunes account, purchased SBPro for $7.99 and installed on store’s demo iPad.

5:40pm — Started learning SBPro on iPad, but tutorial taking too long so punted rest of it.

5:45pm — Figured out opacity 1.0 with thinnest line, pencil brush, then started lettering. Hey, not bad, but took getting used to.

5:50pm — Erased first 3 tries, started “final” which you see. Two finger zoom to magnify, then letter, then shrink again worked fine. Seems like a good riff, *even when* a group is watching you work live (or maybe especially when — there’s a lot of showmanship possibilities I think).

5:55pm — Finished, saved pict to SBPro Gallery.

5:58pm — Matt Wilson, sales manager at the store, was kind enough to use his gmail account to send the pict you see (from iPhoto, which can access the Gallery).


0. 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.

1. SBPro save to Gallery to iPhoto to email is clumsy, but worked right out of the box (not how well the elephant does the tango, but that it can at all). Means I could have been in a meeting, whole group seeing graphics via projector, and then the images are available very quickly on the net. I bet with a little scripting and you could have a robot email reader post jpgs automatically to a web page as you sent them …

2. The most disconcerting thing was that the tip hides the line as it “comes out of the pen,” i.e. when first appears on screen. After I learned to trust that the line was there and simply letter by feel, things got better. Trimming the fuzzy tip might help, but presumably it’s as small as possible and still work right now. What would be nice is a transparent capacitive tip — why not?

3. Apparently there is no way of doing text input for SBPro via keyboard, either on this “mobile” version or the desktop one.

4. Don’t get the “Pogo Stylus” I recommended previously. It’s only 3.5″ long, not enuff for the back end to rest in the crook between your thumb and forefinger, which makes a big difference in the feel of the thing as a drawing tool. Instead, get the “Pogo Sketch,” which at 4.25″ is long enuff.

5. Buying SBPro to install on the iPad at the store was cool; once purchased I can then download again at no additional cost and install on my iPad when I get it (said Matt at the store and I believe him). Update 4/16/10 It works. Logged into iTunes on my comuter at home and clicked to buy the app and got the msg “This update is free because you own a previous version of this item.” Note this is *not* like music from iTunes! Pretty un-DRM-like for Apple.

6. With more time, other SBPro features like, I dunno, color and varying line width and airbrushing etc (etc, etc) could be brought to bear.

7. Yes, the amount of information, text plus graphics, that can be fit into one 1024×768 screen is less than optimal. But SBPro seems to support speedy creation of new screens, and agile navigation among existing screens, which somewhat offsets the size limitation of a single screen.

8. For $7.99 plus cost of Pogo Sketch stylus (varies, $10 on Amazon), any of you can run this experiment yourself. Remember, you only have to buy SBPro once (so cool). Requires friendly store staff. Dunno if most Apple stores are that friendly. Mail me results and I’ll try to post them, omnivore at visualraccoon dot com .


Content on Visual Raccoon is licensed under a Creative Commons by-nc-sa 3.0 United States License unless otherwise indicated. Comments are property of the commenters.

graphic recording on the iPad?

Posted in iPad on April 4, 2010 by visualraccoon

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 …