There’s nothing new about doing graphics, images, screenshots, and doodling on the Mac. It’s easy.
FlyingMeat’s FlySketch utility takes onscreen doodling to another level. Cool, interesting, not quite there yet, and facing competition.
FlySketch is a floating pad that lets you capture portions of your Mac’s screen, and, well, doodle around on what you capture, draw over images, trace images. Whatever shows up behind the FlySketch window, which is resizable, is fair game.
My first impression with FlySketch is that it’s a solution looking for a problem. What do you do with it? Yes, it floats on your Mac’s screen. Yes, you can capture parts of your screen. Yes, you can doodle on what you capture.
Doodle? Uh, yes. Mostly. Draw boxes and circles. Add text and color and add drop shadows. Draw arrows with pointers. Highlight with an onscreen highlighter in different colors. Uh, doodle.
FlyingMeat Software talks about a workflow so you can manage images via Photoshop or other applications. Though I’m hard pressed to figure out why. FlySketch’s preferences are straightforward.
Change the Hot Key to bring FlySketch to the screen. Change the pen highlighter color. Change the image format. Any Mac user can master FlySketch in minutes.
What will you do with it? Capture a screen image or a section of your Mac’s screen. Then, uh, um, doodle, annotate, add text over images, export in different file formats.
The tools in FlySketch are simple to understand and easy to use.
Unfortunately, FlySketch doesn’t come with the required dosage of imagination. Maybe it’s me. Elements created over the selected image can be moved, deleted, colored, aligned, brought to the front or the back.
Text can be manipulated, colored, resized. Add shadows. Highlight portions of the captured image. Am I repeating myself?
If PDF is your game, then you’ll like all you can do with FlySketch images. The PDF Workflow menu selection lets you save your doodled creation as a PDF, send it to Mail, save for iPhoto, Aperture and other applications.
The toolbar at the top of FlySketch is self explanatory, but I’ll explain parts of it anyway. I have the time.
In the upper right corner is a small camera. Click it, and whatever is showing behind FlySketch on your Mac’s screen gets captured and placed into the FlySketch window.
The eraser does what you expect thought not how you expect it. Click it, and whatever is in FlySketch is deleted. Strokes can be added and adjusted to some inserted elements, like lines.
Elements can be repositioned on the screen, and layered.
Text can receive the standard OS X Leopard functions; drop shadow, color, and so on.
After all this effort, I still have to consider the ‘why’ of FlySketch. Doodling is fun and all, the tools work as advertised, I’m just hard pressed to figure out what the primary reason for existence is.
Graphic professionals, doodling pros, chime in and let me know. FlySketch is a mere $25 and you can download it and try it out.
Assuming you think FlySketch is really cool, then check out Kate’s detailed review of Skitch. Cooler. Does more. Free.