Sketchbook Pro n00b questions...

Hi All,

I’m looking to make the leap from analog (pen/pencil) to digital. I’m well familiar with PS/Illustrator, but have never tried SBP before. I’m considering getting a wacom tablet to diversify and already have a copy of SBP.

After messing around in SBP for a bit just to get a feel for the interface/tools, I have a few questions-

  1. Is there some tool I’m not seeing to make a perfect circle/ellipse? if not, can this somehow be done with a custom brush?
  2. Is there something like the magic wand in PS to make a selection of a contained area? if not, how do you paint in areas in a controlled way?
  3. Is it possible to change the layer properties (ie. set to multiply) or only change the transparency of the layer?

sorry if these are pretty basic questions, but consider me a n00b when it comes to SBP.

as well, if there are any other good tutorial sites out there for SBP. I’ve of course already checked the great tutorials here on core77 by blaster and others.




Here are my points for you.

1- SBpro is digital paper (with undo). There are no tools to make shapes. What you draw is what you get. If you want something perfect, you need to use a traditional guide.

2- To me, SBpro works best with a tablet PC or wacom screen. If you are using a wacom tablet, then there is a disjoint feeling. Drawing directly on the screen is the key to SBpro.

3- Use layers just like you would in PS.


Hi jeff,

thanks for your replies. Your sketches are my greatest inspiration for going digital. Love your work.

when you speak about drawing on the screen I assume you are talking about using a cintiq tablet that has a screen in the tablet. I’m not looking at that currently because of the cost, but for sure i can see how it would be a lot easier to draw over what you see.

as for layers, as mentioned i dont see much option for layers other than opacity. is this true?

plus, another Q- is it possible to put a piece of paper over the tablet to draw over and still have the tablet register the pen? i doubt this would be possible, but doesnt hurt to ask, i suppose.


I’m not using the latest version of SBP so some of this might be outdated:

  1. For ellipses there’s no tool. Here is a technique that can be used for getting “perfect” elipses, but I have not been able to do this in a way where the ellipse looks like it “belongs” in the drawing. The line just isn’t right to me. Guess the ellipse can be used as an underlay though.

  1. No magic wand. I personally just do colouring in separate layers (constatly creating new layers and merging layers). I just add colour without beeing too concerned about staying within lines/areas and use the eraser to remove what should not be there. Sort of trimming the areas.

3)If you want more control over layer properties try Painter. Painter lets you set modes like in Photoshop. Another nice thing in painter is that you can rotate the canvas as many times as you desire without getting blurry lines like you do when rotating in SKB (is this still the case with the latest versions of SBP?).

Yes, you can but a paper on top of the tablet and it will register the pen. If you’re thinking about tracing drawings or using templates on the tablet keep in mind that the format of the tablet and your screen is not 1-to-1. A perfect circle drawn on the tablet (using a template) will be an ellipse on the screen. On my cheap Graphire it is not possible to fix this mismatch between screen and tablet with any adjustments. Widescreen tablets are as I understand not exactly the same format as a widescreen monitor either(!).

Correct, that is all you get with the layers. You have to think about SBpro as digital paper with layers. It is easier when you are drawing right on top of the work…