Pros / You can choose illustration tools in a variety of sizes and styles. You can custom-create your own, too.
Cons / This comic maker is very limited in its script tools.
Verdict / Creating like the professionals is easy with all the design tools and features of SketchBook Pro.
Editor's Note: A new version of SketchBook is now available, it is a subscription-based cloud program. Clicking on the buy button will lead you to the new version for purchase. We will review and rank this new program when we next update comic book software. For now, enjoy our review for SketchBook Pro 6.
SketchBook Pro by Autodesk is used by many professional creators—including I-Wei Huang, who uses this comic book software to create many of the popular Skylander characters, and Dave Gibbons, illustrator of Watchmen. This program comes with many illustration tool options, plus the ability to custom-create even more depending on the look and feel you want. These and many more are the reasons SketchBook Pro earns the Top Ten Reviews Silver Award and is recognized as one of the best comic book programs available.
The amount of options for creating impressive superheroes and comic book stories is extensive with SketchBook Pro. It has everything you will need to create beautiful images in both 2D and 3D. You have the option of using included shapes or opting for one of the many drawing tools to create shapes freehand.
SketchBook Pro lets you choose pencils in a variety of tips and sharpness, and pens with tips ranging from felt-tip to ballpoint to fountain. Each paintbrush creates true-to-life strokes based on its shape, size and the amount of paint you want to use. If you make a mistake, erasing is easy. You can also use a special eraser that lets you lighten your colors without completely taking away the mark.
You can choose pattern brushes to give depth and texture, including strokes that represent speed and focus lines. The shading tools let you include dramatic shadows and blend colors and lines to give each picture a more realistic look. If you can't find a drawing tool that gives you the effect you want, SketchBook Pro lets you create custom brushes.
Since this comic creator software is more illustration-centered, there aren't any script tools to speak of. It does have a basic text editor that lets you add simple text to your comic book. You will need to create word balloons freehand, since SketchBook Pro doesn't have them premade. Any text that you add will have to be run through a word processing program to double-check spelling and grammatical errors, since this program doesn't include spell check, a thesaurus or other specialty editing tools. If you want a few more script tools, you might want to consider Manga Studio.
SketchBook Pro includes features that are necessary for any graphic novel artist, such as the ability to use and edit layers individually and as a part of the whole illustration, mirror objects, and edit images that you import from other programs.
This comic book creator is compatible with pen tablet hardware, so you can create with natural hand and wrist movements. When you are done, you can integrate your images into an email and send it off to potential editors or friends.
One detail that is important to creators in comic book software is the formats the files can be saved and exported. SketchBook supports many of the most common files, including BMP, JPEG, PNG and TIFF. It doesn't support PDF or PICT files, though.
This comic book software is compatible with both Windows and Mac operating systems. It requires at least 1GB of RAM available on your system in order to install, operate and save files. You will also need internet access to download the program and to embed images and files into email.
Help & Support
SketchBook Pro is simple to download and run from your computer or laptop. However, support options are important just in case you hit a snag, and Autodesk has some great ones available. It is one of the few companies that offer telephone support, so you can speak to a live person if you need to. You can also get help through email if your question isn't too pressing and you don't mind waiting a little while for the answer.
On Autodesk's website you can find a decent FAQs section and a downloadable user manual. There is a help feature within the program itself that is useful for simple, quick answers.
SketchBook Pro makes it easy to create comic books and anime just like the professionals. Although it is limited, like most comic maker software, in its ability to include a true script, it is one of the best when it comes to illustration tools. The many drawing tool options and the ability to custom-create your own tools score high marks on our comic book software review.