Autodesk SketchBook: the differences between subscription vs free

Administrator/ May 10, 2017/ Feature Comparisons

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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 features  Pro subscription
Canvas size
Custom Canvas Size
up to 64 Megapixel
Brushes 16 Preset brushes Full Brush Library
Custom brushes

Synthetic and Blending brush types
Color options
36 Copic Colors 300+ Copic Colors
Layer Stack
3 layers Unlimited layers (based on your device)
Layer Grouping
Layer Blending Modes
Selection Persistent Selections
Fills Flood Fill Flood Fill
Gradient Fill
Guides Straight & Circle Ruler Straight & Circle Ruler
French Curve
Dynamic Perspective Guides
Transform Quick Transform (limited features) Quick Transform
Symmetry Movable Symmetry (limited features) Movable Symmetry
Animation FlipBook
Gallery Image Adjustments
UI Steady Stroke
Distort
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.

More information is available at sketchbook.com or check out SketchBook in the Mac App Store.

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

Image in the mobile version of SketchBook to show the differences between free and Pro Tools

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!

Click any of these links to watch videos showing the free basic toolset, Pro subscription toolset, and some tips and tricks.

Now, for the differences:

  Free version Pro features  Pro subscription
Canvas size
Fixed Canvas size Customizable canvas sizes
Brushes 10 Brushes
130+ Preset Brushes
Synthetic Brush Set
Smudge Brush Set
Inking brush
Color options
Color Palette
(swatches)
Color Wheel
Randomize Color
Color Picker
Color Palette (swatches)
Color Wheel
Randomize Color

Color Picker 
Full Copic Library
Layer Stack
Layer Editor
Background Color
All Layer Actions
(Opacity, Show/Hide,
Add/Delete,
Merge Down,
Layer Reordering,
Lock/Unlock, Lock Transparency, etc.)
Blending Modes
Maximum 3 layers
Layer Editor
Background Color
All Layer Actions
(Opacity, Show/Hide,
Add/Delete,
Merge Down,
Layer Reordering,
Lock/Unlock, Lock Transparency, etc.)
Blending Modes
Layers (max # of layers is device dependent)
Selection   Marquee selection (rectangle, oval)
Lasso tools (Basic Lasso)
Magic Wand
Selection Mode (Replace, Add, Subtract, Intersect)
Move/Nudge Selection
Quick Mask
Transform Selection
Copy/Paste Selection
Guides   Straight ruler
Circle (only) ruler
Fills Flood fill
Gradient fill (Linear, Radial)
Transform Proportional transform
Proportional transform
Symmetry Vertical
Horizontal
Hide Symmetry line

Stop at center
Vertical
Horizontal
Hide Symmetry line

Stop at center
Navigation Free canvas navigation (Pan, Zoom, Rotate)
Lock/Unlock navigation

Canvas navigator
Free canvas navigation (Pan, Zoom, Rotate)
Lock/Unlock navigation

Canvas navigator
Animation   Timelapse (iOS and Android 4.3 or later)
Gallery Full Gallery access  Full Gallery access 
UI Hide UI (Full Canvas Mode)
Split-screen multi-tasking (iOS 9 users)
Hide UI (Full Canvas Mode)
Split-screen multi-tasking (iOS 9 users)
Stylus support Pen ModeApple Pencil, S-Pen, Wacom Intuos Creative StylusTilt presets Pen ModeApple Pencil, S-Pen, Wacom Intuos Creative StylusTilt presets
Importing Scan Sketches (max size of 1280 x 1280) Scan Sketches (unlimited size)

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 File icon in the SketchBook for mobile version and select Store icon in the SketchBook for mobile version 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 SketchBook Mobile v3: File icon in the SketchBook for mobile version and select Store icon in the SketchBook for mobile version 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?

SketchBook on a Windows 10 deviceIf 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:

  Windows 10 version (download from Windows Store) Windows Desktop version (download from www.sketchbook.com
Canvas and Canvas size
100MP canvas
Multi-touch enabled
High-Definition display support
Surface Dial
64MP canvas
Multi-touch enabled
Brushes Preset Brushes
Synthetic and Blending brush types (Pro)
Texture Brushes (Pro)
Brush Sets (Pro)
Preset Brushes
Synthetic and Blending brush types (Pro)
Texture Brushes (Pro)
Brush Sets (Pro)
Custom Brushes (Pro)
Color options
Color Editor
Color Puck
Transparent Color
Color Editor
Copic Color Library
Color Palette (Pro)
Color Puck
Transparent Color
Color Correction (Pro)
Layers
Unlimited layers
Layer Editor
Layer Blending modes (Pro)
Unlimited layers
Layer Editor
Layer Blending modes (Pro)
Layer Grouping
Selection Persistent Selection tools
Fills Fill tools Fill tools
Drawing tools Guide tools (Pro)
Shape tools (Pro)
Stroke stabilizer (Pro)
Guide tools
Draw Style tools (Pro)
Dynamic Perspective Guides (Pro)
French Curve
Text tool
Transform Quick Transform
Transform tools (Pro)
Quick Transform
Transform tools (Pro)
Symmetry Movable Symmetry Tools (Pro) Movable Symmetry Tools
Radial symmetry
Animation FlipBook
Editing tools Crop tool (Pro)
Image Adjustments
Distort (Pro)
Undo/Redo Unlimited 75 max
Stylus support Optimized pen-based workflow
Stylus tilt and stamp scaling
Optimized pen-based workflow
Stylus tilt and stamp scaling
Importing Import/Export common image files Import/Export common image files
UI UI display modes UI customization
Custom brush icons

NOTE  The UI is different for both versions.

SketchBook for Windows 10  Free version Subscription
Layers Unlimited
Layer Stack
Layer Blending modes
Layer Grouping
Undo/Redo capability 75 max
Multi-touch enabled
Preset Brushes
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
Stroke stabilizer
High-Definition display support
Pixel-preview support
Pen Mode and gesture support
Synthetic and Blending brush types
Enhanced customizeable brush texture and stamp
Canvas size 64MP canvas
Quick Transform
Movable Symmetry Tools
Fill tools
Guide 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
Custom Brushes
Drawing tools: Dynamic Perspective Guides, French Curve, & Text tool
FlipBook

See Windows 10 help for SketchBook to access the help for this version of SketchBook and for what’s new in the latest release. To purchase a subscription, click here.

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:

Free basic toolset


Pro features Pro subscription toolset


Mobile Tips and Tricks