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This image describes the interface of SketchBook Pro 2. The upper right contains the colour wheel, RGB values and a colour picker tool. Beneath is the layer list, a cool feature allowing you to hand write the names of the layers. Each layer can be moved in the list, have the opacity changed, as well as merged down. Those familiar with Alias Autostudio's "marking menu" feature will appreciate its use in this software. In the layer list pressing the stylus on a layer brings up a floating menu of actions, you can move the stylus to select a particular action like toggle visibility, or trash the layer. Once you memorize where the function is direction-wise, all you need to do is "flick" the stylus and the action is performed. In the lower left are the toolsets (with their own marking menus) arranged in an arc. The upper left shows the brush list, with the top half being presets and the bottom being custom brushes I created. The circle to the right of the brush list is another way to change the brush size on the fly.
This is more promising. This is the sketch after several layers of "build up", erasing, CTRL+Z, deleting old layers, and fine tuning. At this point in the sketch I have the linework pretty well roughed in, and have begun to add details like the seat and steering wheel.
Added some shading to the rear wheel, and further darkened the area under the instrument panel. The IP is shaded to help show form.
Starting to add value, SPB2 allows the user to quickly add colour under a sketch merging and erasing as necessary to keep the focal point clear.
All finished! Added more details like the steering wheel column, gauge cluster in the centre of the IP, and detailing / mesh texture in the engine area. Adding some value shift to the roll bar helps define form and give it a strong appearance.
Moving to inside the circle, I've begun to add areas of high light and low light. Value change is the easiest way to push and pull elements in your rendering.
Adding still more detail like the engine cover and wheels. I've decided to use a rendering trick that helps focus the viewer's attention on a certain area. In this example I've drawn a circle (music CD's make handy circle guides!) so that my rendering will have a focal point.
What's this? Two lines. Not impressive I know, but every drawing I do starts with two lines. These will be the axles and really come in handy when it's time to draw ellipses.  Setting up the basic perspective in this way early in the sketch really helps you work out things later on.
A bit about the hardware before we get to the software and on to the tutorial itself. I am running Alias SketchbookPro2 on a Toshiba TecraM4 TabletPC running Windows XP for TabletPC. This is a convertible style tablet which means the screen rotates and flips down to cover the keyboard, the other style of TabletPC on the market is the slate style which has no keyboard attached. The screen area works out to be the size of an 8.5 x 11 inch sheet of paper, and since that was the size of paper I sketched on in school, I found the transition to be an easy one. The "tooth" of the screen is very similar to using a traditional Wacom digitizer. The Tecra has a joystick type "hat switch" located in the upper right bezel area that can have custom key combinations assigned to the four directions of the switch. As shown I have mapped everyone's favourite digital eraser CTRL+Z to the left direction, modify brush size, scale rotate and move, and finally straight line snap.

Michael graduated from the College for Creative Studies in Detroit MI in 1999.  His tutorial shows us a technique he uses for sketching in Autodesk SketchBook Pro.  First here he tells us his well as his reasons for writing a tutorial,

    "I have worked in the Truck Design Studio for nearly all the 8+ years of my employment at the Ford Motor Company. I was the lead exterior designer on the 2007 F-250 Super Duty, the yet to be released F-150, and the 2006 Super Chief Concept truck. I wanted to do this demo because I appreciate very much what Allan is doing for all the aspiring young designers. When I decided that I wanted to be a car designer back in high school, the internet as we know it did not exist yet. Car magazines were a primary source of futuristic car sketches, but in no way represented a "How To" approach to learning how to draw cars. I had a lot of fun sketching for this tutorial, I hope you find value in it."

You can contact Michael at,  [email protected] 
page last updated; 2014-06-15
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