This software is looking to make a big impact in the world of sketching, and the makers are confident it will boost the dying market. Mental Canvas is a sketching tool that allows the user to sketch freely in 3D, but without all the typical constraints you would get from CAD. Founder of the company, Julie Dorsey, call this a “graphical media”, where it’s not fully flat, but not fully 3D either.
Mental Canvas is expected to be released later this year on Microsoft Surface Devices. Here it will work with the hardware of the Surface computers and the Surface Dial to create a virtual canvas that is perfect for a natural sketching experience. What is different from using a pencil and paper to sketch is that with this software you can view the drawing from multiple angles which can sometimes give the illustration a whole new meaning.
The aim of this software is to give the user a platform that allows them to sketch naturally without the used of CAD. CAD is hard to edit, slow to use, computer controlled, and is very costly. With Mental Canvas the designer has the freedom to set the scale as to how they want it to be. As well as a version being released later this year, the team is also looking to release a research project version that will allow the adding of photographs of an architectural site, or the mapping of data to use as a background for sketching upon.
With a scene that is sketched on Mental Canvas, you can transform it into a series of scenes that can be played in whatever order you want. You can then share these tours with anyone who has access to a web browser. This software is great as it allows the user and others to see drawings in a whole new light helping everyone to understand the design. “You can show this to your clients, people who don’t understand two-dimensional drawings, and they can kind of feel it”, says Carol Hsiung, Senior Designer at FXFOWLE. So, is certainly something worth thinking about if you are an architect, designer, illustrator, or anyone else involved in this field who wants a smooth, easy to use platform for sketching in a natural way.
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