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Dynamic drawings: a new medium for art, design & communication

Since ancient times, we have been using written language, pictures, scientific notations, & symbols for thinking and communication. However, these languages and representations are primarily invented for static media (such as paper), which is often incompatible with our powerful ways of thinking and understanding.

LRT Maintenance system by David Thorp, made with Sketchbook Motion


We are now seeing the start of dynamic media to represent our dynamic thoughts. Dynamic Drawings capture the mechanism, behaviors, and dynamics of the visual elements, and respond to user interaction. These capabilities make it a very powerful medium for science, engineering, design, art, and beyond.

Until now, creating dynamic graphics has not been easy. The complexity of animation, timelines, and scripting is a significant barrier to its widespread adoption and usability. Since Autodesk has a history of democratizing design, we challenged ourselves to solve these three issues-

Solving these three issues motivated our award winning research initiative – Project Draco, that aims to make animation as easy as sketching, and a powerful tool for visual art, design, and communication. Draco is now available in iPad as Sketchbook Motion, and recognised as the best iPad of the year 2016 by Apple. According to the Apple App Store editors – “Animation is anything but easy. That is, unless you’re using our 2016 iPad App of the Year. Sketchbook Motion’s first trick is ditching insider terms like ‘keyframing’ and ‘timeline’- instead opting for wonderfully natural words like ‘wind’ and ‘rain’. It’s SO much easier to wrap our head around… ”.

Now, who would benefit from the fluidity and communicative aspects of animation? Educators? Designers? Artists? Architects? Children? The answer is, ALL OF THEM! It already has! Our users have surprised us with their creativity. See some of the amazing and inspiring content created by our beta testers.


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