Designers, architects, photographers, animators and all manner of visually creative folk welcomed the release of Morpholio’s Trace app just over a year ago. The app recreates the convenience and enjoyment of using ‘canary yellow’ tracing paper for iPad users while expanding critiques on renderings, drawings and photos into a social process, complete with analytics of who is viewing your work, and how. New versions added significant expansions of functionality, such as templates for a variety of industries, a ‘printable’ feature that brings the process into the actual world, and more sophisticated sharing features.
A new version released yesterday, however, promises to have meaning even for non-users of the app by analyzing tracings in a way that was previously perhaps only the domain of difficult-to-use desktop apps like Adobe Illustrator. The new version’s ‘filters’ allow the users to modify the tool with which their sketches appear to be drawn, after they are drawn. “Similar to the revolution in digital photography that allowed us to select the film after the photo was taken; trace 2.0 repositions the medium within the drawing process,” said co-creator Anna Kenoff. The thought or idea, recorded only as a series of hand movements and realized in a vector, can be re-realized in 12 different mediums, from a tile surface to a crosshatch on a grid. The point is to refresh your work without having to draw it all over again.
The new version also makes the app’s layers feature open and explorable, allowing you to go back through them – much like peeling back sheets of tracing paper – and add and remove information as necessary. If you do decide to redraw aspects of your project, a huge selection of curated sets of pen colors allow you to see it through the eyes – and tools – of dozens of different industries. Essentially, the app adapts the convergence between creative tools that the digital environment makes possible – your finger can instantly become a brush, pencil or perforator –to art’s inherently skeuomorphic demands. By forcing designers to think outside the conventions of their medium, however, it promises to bring sketching into the future.
See it in action below.
Image: Trace launch video