Concepts 5.1 for iOS | 1.0 for Windows

Brushes and Tools

Brush Gestures

To use a tool, just tap on it and start sketching. Tilt and pressure are supported with some styli (like Apple Pencil) and with some tools (each tool is a bit different), and will happen naturally as you tilt or press on the screen. Try them out and see which you like best.

As mentioned in the Tool Wheel section, the middle ring allows you to adjust the active brush’s size (how big it is), opacity (how transparent it is), and smoothing (how bumpy or smooth you want your line to appear once it’s drawn. Tap on one of these options to bring up your presets.

To access the Brushes menu, tap again on an active tool, or double-tap on an inactive tool.

Brush Gestures

In the Brushes menu, you can select a tool from the basic set of sketching tools or from the brush market.

Up at the top of the menu is your brush viewer, which changes to preview the brush you choose.

Below the viewer you can find your basic tools, where you can select from a variety of organic or engineering brushes.

Scroll down further and you’ll find the Brush Market, with different types of artistic brush libraries that you can unlock a-la-carte, or enjoy open access to if you’ve subscribed.

Basic Brushes and Tools

Pens

Pens are most widely used in sketching when you want to make a statement or reflect permanence. Our Pen and Fountain Pen tools react to velocity to vary their line width - draw fast to get a thicker stroke. Our Dynamic Pen reacts to pressure. The Fixed Width Pen does what it says on the tin - it maintains a constant width from cap to cap.

Soft & Hard Pencils

Slightly different in texture and feel, these traditional sketching tools are modeled on real pencils. They react naturally to tilt, pressure and velocity with a supported active stylus like Apple Pencil. For great shading, tilt your stylus like you would a real pencil.

Airbrush

The airbrush flows onto the screen with subtle texture and soft edges like the real medium. Popular with sketchnoters, for highlights and for painting, give your design some sheen.

Filled Stroke

Not to be confused with Bucket Fill (which we’re currently working on - lots of definitional bits to think about with the interactive parameters of vector strokes), the Filled Stroke tool is a brush unique to Concepts. It allows you to draw any type of shape - simple, wriggly, complex - with a stylus or finger, and fill the positive space inside.

"Positive space" refers to any area inside your drawn line between start and end point that is original to the stroke - as in, the area hasn’t been drawn over a second time during the same stroke. This crossing over of filled area causes it to become “negative space” and remain empty. Of course, if you draw over the area a third time within the same stroke, it becomes positive again and is filled.

Your resulting fill is a smooth, clean finish, customizable with opacity. Excellent for shadows, light, and complex figures, we think you’ll appreciate the possibilities this brush offers your design + art toolkit.

Troubleshooting. Since Fill takes into account the start and end points of your line, make sure Line Smoothing is set below 100%. Otherwise your shape will disappear into a line or a point as though the rest of the stroke never happened. Also check that your transparency is above 0%, or like all strokes it may disappear, only to be found when Selecting in the area.

Soft Eraser

In a traditional pixel-based world, erasers delete things permanently. But vectors aren’t pixels, they behave and remember data differently, and if you're comfortable with programs like Adobe Photoshop or Autodesk Sketchbook Pro, it may be easier to think of the Concepts eraser as a masking tool. It visually removes anything underneath it like a lovely soft eraser, but the data isn't actually gone. You can still retrieve old strokes later, or adjust your mask as your drawings progress.

If you want to remove strokes completely, try selecting them with a tap+hold and then use Delete.

The eraser stays the same size regardless of your zoom level. This means the further you zoom inward, the smaller its effects will be - very useful for working with the details. You can also change the size of the eraser using the Size slider, and its effects will scale the same way.

Selection

The Selection tool can be added to any of your tool slots and has two modes: a single-select Item Picker and a multi-select Lasso. Toggle between these two options using the popup at the bottom of your canvas, or put a second finger down anywhere to temporarily toggle the mode.

The Selection tool can also be activated via tap+hold anywhere on the canvas - helpful for when you’re in sketching flow and don’t want to change tools. It can also be assigned as your finger gesture in Stylus settings. To learn more more about this tool, see Selection.

Pan

Whether you want to showcase your work to your client or just pan through your infinite canvas, you can use the Pan tool. It allows you to pan and zoom without accidentally selecting or changing anything in your drawing.

Brush Market Tools

The texture-rich, artistic tools in the brush market are made from image-based stamps created from their actual physical counterparts. Strokes made with these brushes (as well as the Dynamic Pen) are movable and adjustable like all of our other vector-based tools, but they are limited when it comes to zoom. As they are made from pixel-based images, they will pixellate if you zoom in too far, depending on the brush. Try them out and see which ones you like best, or try changing the look of existing drawings by selecting your strokes and switching to a new tool.