Autodesk SketchBook: the differences between subscription vs free
If you are curious about the differences between the SketchBook versions (free and subscription, and for mobile, Pro Tools), select a platform:
Desktop: Differences between the free and subscription
Do you want to know what the differences are between the SketchBook desktop versions? What do you get with the free version and with the subscription? The table will help you with this.
|Free version||Pro subscription|
||Custom Canvas Size
up to 64 Megapixel
|Brushes||16 Preset brushes||
Full Brush Library
Synthetic and Blending brush types
||36 Copic Colors||300+ Copic Colors|
||3 layers||Unlimited layers (based on your device)
Layer Blending Modes
|Fills||Flood Fill||Flood Fill
|Guides||Straight & Circle Ruler||Straight & Circle Ruler
Dynamic Perspective Guides
|Transform||Quick Transform (limited features)||Quick Transform|
|Symmetry||Movable Symmetry (limited features)||Movable Symmetry|
|Stylus support||Optimized pen-based workflow
Multi-touch enabled (Wacom devices)
|Optimized pen-based workflow
Stylus tilt and stamp scaling
Multi-touch enabled (Wacom devices)
|Importing||Import/Export common image files||Import/Export common image files|
Click here for a more detailed description of features and improvements in SketchBook.
The free version provides a basic set of tools to get you started drawing. For those of you who want more tools, Pro (paid) subscription is the way to go. You unlock the complete Pro toolset on any supported desktop computer or mobile device (Windows, Mac, Android, iOS) using your Autodesk account. You can also upload the free brushes that appear on the blog every Monday. Also, for users with a later model iPad, you get SketchBook Motion.
*NOTE SketchBook mobile does not have all the same features as the desktop version. See here for a comparative list for the mobile version of the app.
Click here on how to download and log into SketchBook after you have purchased your subscription.
Mobile: Difference between the free, Pro Tools, and subscription
Before we get into what’s the difference between the features in the free version and the Pro tools, there are a couple important things you should know:
- If you use SketchBook on a laptop or desktop computer, and don’t have a subscription already, I’d recommend downloading it (see below for more details), since it comes with free versions for all your machines and DEVICES! Also, if you have a newer version iPad, you get SketchBook Motion! And, finally, did you know you get free upgrades for all platforms, as long as you have a subscription?
- If you already have a subscription, then you already have access to the Pro version of SketchBook Mobile. Click here (go to the bottom of the page) for how to enable it. And, don’t forget, if you have a newer version iPad, you also get SketchBook Motion!
Now, for the differences:
Which is better for me: subscription or Pro Tools?
If you would like to run SketchBook v3 – you have a few choices:
- Autodesk SketchBook – When you download it, you’re running the free version (which is a subset of the full version). If you want to purchase a subscription and get:
NOTE The SketchBook mobile version does not have all the same features as the desktop. It does not include FlipBook animation, perspective guides, or many of the custom brush options. See here for a comparative list for the desktop version of the app (subscription vs free).
Sign up and purchase a subscription at:
You will need to download the subscription installer from the website: https://www.sketchbook.com/desktop – click on the Download button or if you already have an Autodesk account, from the SketchBook homepage, log into your Account Settings, tap Downloads from the menu along the left side, then tap the version of SketchBook you want.
- Pro Tools – Once you’ve downloaded the app, in the toolbar of the mobile version, tap and select to make an in-app purchase. This gives you the current Pro toolset for the mobile version of SketchBook. This is ideal for someone who uses SketchBook only on one device. If you want to use it on other devices and on your laptop or desktop computer, get a subscription so you can run it on all of them.
- For iPhone and iPad users, Autodesk SketchBook is now available for free download on the iTunes App Store. There’s a Pro Tools pack available for purchase inside the application (tap and select to make an in-App purchase), which contains a list of advanced tools for $6.99 (CDN). You can make an in-app purchase using your Apple ID.
- For Android users, the app is available for download via Google Play and Samsung Apps. Similar to the iOS version, you can purchase the Pro Tools pack inside the app via your Google Play account.
Windows 10: Which version of SketchBook is for me?
If you have a multi-touch Windows 10 device, there are three SketchBook options to choose from. Before you make a decision, take a look at the chart below. It will list the features for both the free and subscription (paid) version of each.
Before we begin, look at the descriptions below to get a better idea of what each version is for:
SketchBook for Mobile
This light version of SketchBook was optimized for touch and pen input devices, such as phones and tablets. Sign in to expose more tools. Buy the **subscription version for additional brushes, pens, and pencils, layer blending, rulers and guides, fills, symmetry, and more (see chart).
SketchBook for Desktop
It can be installed on either 32- or 64-bit Windows machines. If you have a subscription, you will run the full desktop version of SketchBook and get it on all your devices (iOS and Android). This version was created for desktop systems and designed for stylus and mouse input. It has all the SketchBook tools (in the **subscription version). What it lacks for Windows Tablet users is the touch (gesture) optimization.
SketchBook for Windows Tablet (Windows 10)
It can be installed ONLY on a 64-bit Windows machine/device. It is specifically designed for stylus and touch-input and was optimized for Windows 10 and takes advantage of the device’s performance and processing power (something the phones and other tablets lack). The interface has been updated with larger high-definition icons. To improve the touch experience, we’ve included bigger hit-zones. The canvas size is up to 100MP. There are unlimited layers and undos.
**A subscription entitles you to the Pro SketchBook tools on all your devices and machines for one price. You also get free weekly brushes, plus tutorials, through the SketchBook Blog, and the full version of our animation app, SketchBook Motion.
For a comparison of features, check out the chart below:
NOTE The UI is different for both versions.
|SketchBook for Windows 10||Free version||Subscription|
|Layer Blending modes||✓|
|Undo/Redo capability||✓||75 max|
|Brush editing (properties and color)||✓||✓|
|SketchBook Extras with free brushes||✓|
|Brush management features (add custom icons, brushes, and groups)||✓|
|Adding/deleting brushes and
groups to/from the Brush Palette
|Color Palette (swatches), Color Wheel, Color Puck, and Color Picker||✓||✓|
|High-Definition display support||✓||✓|
|Pen Mode and gesture support||✓||✓|
|Synthetic and Blending brush types||✓|
|Enhanced customizeable brush texture and stamp||✓|
|Canvas size||64MP canvas|
|Movable Symmetry Tools||✓|
|Persistent Selection tools||✓|
|Optimized pen-based workflow||✓||✓|
|Stylus tilt and stamp scaling||✓|
|Import/Export common image files||✓ (flattened tifs)||✓|
|Editing tools: Crop tool, Image Adjustments, & Distort||✓|
|Drawing tools: Dynamic Perspective Guides, French Curve, & Text tool||✓|
For another resources, see SketchBook for Windows 10.
How do I use the app with a subscription?
Click here for instructions on how to run the app on desktop, iOS, and Android.
Toolset and feature videos
Do you want to see SketchBook in action and which tools are available? If so, check out these videos: