Sketchpad 5.0

Hot off the press! Introducing Sketchpad v5.0 (codename Fancy Fox)

Sketchpad’s exciting new features:

  • Thousands of new Clipart provided by OpenClipart!
  • Hundreds of new Fonts provided by Google Fonts!
  • Entirely new Sketchpad User Guide developed by Ryan Reece!
  • Paint into layers: You can now use any brush to draw into any Shape or Image layer!
  • Mirror Brush: A crowd favorite! The mirror brush, as it’s name suggests, allows you to easily draw symmetrical imagery, similar to a mandala. For example the image above was created with this brush! We find this tool to be especially effective art therapy.
  • Tile Brush: Perhaps the most versatile brush, the Tile Brush, allows you to stretch an image across any path that you draw. This can be a lot of fun! If you want, you can even drag an image from your Desktop onto the Stroke, and stretch that image along the path you draw. Experiment for joys abound.
  • Align layers: When using the Select tool you can now align layers in respect to other layers. The new methods supported are: top, left, right, bottom, horizontal, vertical
  • Distribute layers: When using the Select tool you can now distribute layers in respect to other layers. The new methods supported are: horizontal, vertical

We hope you enjoy Sketchpad v5.0!

As always feel free to drop us a message and let us know what you think 🙂


adminSketchpad 5.0

Sketchpad 4.1

Extra extra! There’s a new SketchPad in town! Here’s a rundown of the latest features:

Hope you enjoy! Btw, If you work with a school or non-profit education center contact me about getting a free license to use SketchPad with your students.

adminSketchpad 4.1

Sketchpad 4.0

I’m excited to announce Sketchpad 4.0! The focuses on this release has making the app more colorful, faster, and easier to use.

Here’s an overview of what’s new:

  • Stroke/Fill is available on all brushes.
  • VectorFill replaces Floodfill for crisper edges and much faster rendering! This can lead to some fun by importing an SVG into Sketchpad, re-coloring it, and download it back as an SVG (right click to download!).
  • Linear gradient editor
  • Radial gradient editor
  • Text updates with special thanks to OpenType.js & some inspiration from FitText! Editing text now feels very smooth. Additionally these new features are available:
    1. Font Size is automatically set based on textarea dimensions
    2. Bold, Italic, Underline & Stroke styles
    3. Align Left, Center, Right & Justify
    4. Line Height & Letter Spacing
  • Crop has been merged with the Resize tool making life simpler. What’s better the crop tool now automatically zooms your viewport to fit so you can see your entire document while cropping.
  • Your library view has been updated with a more robust & spacious interface, along with more obvious buttons for renaming, duplicating, and removing documents.
  • High-res export now works on all tool and style combinations!
  • New auto-save UI allows you to disable the ‘auto-saving’ feature. This is helpful especially on large documents with thousands of layers that may take awhile to autosave. Although, to that end, auto-saving is much faster in the new version.
  • And finally you’ll find an export button right on the toolbar for all those who requested it!
  • Special thanks to jsondiffpatch which is now used in Sketchpad’s history.

There are a couple things that could not be 100% converted to the new version Sketchpad. You may want to consider whether these matter to you before upgrading your files (you will be prompted). My apologies for any inconvenience these may cause you:

  • FloodFill was depreciated. It just did not make sense to keep in. It cost too much to maintain, it was notorious for crashing users browsers. Sketchpad is a vector app, so a bitmap FloodFill never made sense. The new VectorFill replaces the FloodFill, and the results are much nicer!
  • LinearGradient format needed to be upgraded in order support the new Gradient Editor, in doing so LinearGradients may shift slightly.

If for any reason you’d like to use the older version of Sketchpad you can find it at its new permanent URL:

Or better yet, check out the latest!

adminSketchpad 4.0

Sketchpad 3.7

Sketchpad v3.7 has arrived!

Here’s a list of new features:

  • High-Res export for print! 300DPI
  • Autosaving to library!
  • Document resizing.
  • Path smoothing on Pencil tool—no more shaky lines!
  • Path tool – curved path editor.
  • Polyline tool – straight line editor.
  • Arrow brush with curved path (or straight path)
  • More background styles! Colors, gradients and patterns, oh my.
  • Outline style on Shapes, Text, and various supported Brushes.
  • Angle control on Linear Gradient style.
  • Color Noise on Linear & Radial Gradients
  • Designed for Mobile/Desktop hybrid experience.
  • Improved speed of undoing multiple actions.
  • Text-box resizing without scaling by holding ShiftKey.

Play around with the latest version to see for yourself ?

adminSketchpad 3.7

Made with Code


I recently had the pleasure of working on Google’s Made with Code initiative with the Red & Co. creative studio and Mash a group of developers located in Portland Oregon.

My primary focuses were creating the renderer for the Bracelet Challenge along with the binary exporter that takes peoples rendered bracelets and sends them to Shapeways for 3D printing. I have to say this job was probably the most satisfying work that’s come my way! For three reasons: (1) The initiative of inspiring a more diverse range of people interested in programming at an early age is awesome (2) Red & Co and Mash were friendly, fun and altogether great team to work with (3) The work was challenging and allowed me time to work with more cutting edge technologies ?

The Bracelet renderer was developed with ThreeJS. My modest contribution back to the ThreeJS project can be found here: STLBinaryExporter

The letters were generated by Red & Co. and exported into STLs. Since STLs are huge uncompressed representations of 3D objects (made up of tons of triangles) the files from there were converted into CTMs using OpenCTM‘s ctmconv—this shaved 10’s of megabytes of the combined file-size of the entire alphabet. The letters were then mapped to a spiral like lego bricks as conceived by Ryan Reece of Mash. Here’s a screenshot of what that looked like:

Screen Shot 2014-06-05 at 11.33.53 AM

The app also needed to run in Java (on Google’s AppEngine) so the server could render the bracelets the users created. Although the app could very well send the STL files directly to Shapeways, we needed to control what was being sent so there was no unfortunate surprises! By rendering on the backend we could be sure what was being sent to Shapeways. Instead of re-writing the code from scratch I decided to keep as much as possible in Javascript. I first got the scripts running in Rhino but it was too slow. I ran across the project Jav8 and was quite happy with the results performing around 10x faster than Rhino. I ended up writing some of the matrix math in Java and exposing the function to Javascript to speed things up further.

From there, the bracelets are sent to Shapeways where they are printed with high-quality nylon plastic on 3D printers from EOS, a German printer manufacturer who provided P760 SLS 3D printers to support the initiative.

The Bracelet challenge has a limited print run, so get them while you can! After that there will still be a lot of other fun challenges on the Made with Code website.

Here’s a video from Shapeways:


adminMade with Code