1. mike160304's Avatar
    Ballpen sketches on cigarette packets are a pivotal part of our engineering tradition, and I would like to be able to do them on my Nokia Lumia 520.

    Which is the best App for fine-line sketches (simply black on white) on a Lumia 520? Is there a corresponding fine stylus, or would I have to make one, and if so, what with?

    Note - this is engineering, not art.

    Kevin Rush likes this.
    03-07-2014 12:32 PM
  2. mike160304's Avatar
    I've now read the descriptions of the various sketch/draw apps in the Windows Phone store and none of them mention freehand drawing with a thin stylus, just as one would naturally draw with a pencil - simply black lines on a white background. They sound more like kids' games, like Etch-a-Sketch, etc.
    Does line-drawing with a thin stylus not exist, on a Windows Phone?
    03-07-2014 05:40 PM
  3. steve_w_7's Avatar
    I agree with you. There really aren't any sketch apps that allow you to simply draw in a realistic manor. There are a lot of them out there, but most of them aren't very precise.
    The one that I have landed on - which I use for just taking quick notes - is Chalkboard.
    It seems to be the most precise that I have found, and it has a fine tip option, but the line isn't dependent on the size of the stylus if that makes sense.
    It's got a lot of customizable options, including a cool little straight edge tool. The UI isn't the most intuitive, but it doesn't take long to figure it out.
    Try it out and see if that works for you.
    03-07-2014 05:57 PM
  4. mike160304's Avatar
    Thanks Steve, I shall try that. I have written to the makers of Papyrus about this - Papyrus at least mentions "stylus" in the Shop description, and their website is less "kiddy" than most of them - sounds quite techie in fact.
    With Chalkboard, are you using a "passive" stylus, i.e. just a dumb mini-rubber-ball metal-mounted on a ballpen-like handle? I understand what you mean about the program ignoring the thickness of the stylus itself.
    03-08-2014 01:32 AM
  5. Ixia's Avatar
    I like Sketch Pro Lite, it does have a technical pen option for a fine line and isn't 'kiddy' . Not sure about stylus support though.
    03-08-2014 01:58 AM
  6. Ixia's Avatar
    Thinking about it, is there even a fine line stylus in existence for windows phones, have only ever seen the rubber ball type. Though I know I can use my keys to draw a line (!)
    03-08-2014 02:12 AM
  7. mike160304's Avatar
    Thanks Ixia, for both replies. I'll look at Sketch Pro Lite, sounds less kiddy than most!!! Re Stylus, the hollow-rubber-ball ones are a rip-off anyway, I shall play around with a craft knife, making pencil-shaped bits of rubber from an eraser or a door stop. Someone told me that the rubber has to be mounted in metal, but I don't know yet whether that is right.
    03-08-2014 02:30 AM
  8. Ixia's Avatar
    Would be interested in any results. I had read that the point has to be a quarter inch wide or the screen won't register the touch. I know I can draw with the handle of a steel fork, but if I try to turn it round and draw with one of the tines, then it doesn't work. Oddly the fork or key trick doesn't work on my OH's Iphone ( I have a Lumia 1020).
    03-08-2014 06:33 AM
  9. mike160304's Avatar
    Thanks, that is helpful. It is encouraging that the handle end of a fork will do the job. Others have commented that the actual drawn line thickness is not related to the thickness of the stylus point, but is set in the Program - I can understand that, but I feel that I need to see a thin stylus point anyway, because of my previous ballpen/pencil conditioning.
    03-08-2014 07:13 AM
  10. Kevin Rush's Avatar
    ArchiTech Sketchpad has an interesting user interface you should look at. I'm just learning it. I like that it can draw horizontal and vertical lines, like CAD does. So far, though, I haven't drawn anything other than very simple images.
    03-08-2014 09:02 AM
  11. mike160304's Avatar
    Thanks Kevin, I've added it to my things to look at. Sounds interesting, if it will do freehand sketching too.
    03-08-2014 11:23 AM
  12. Ixia's Avatar
    I've tried Architect, but it's not what I need. I love Autodesk Sketchbook pro on the Ipad, I use an ordinary rubber ball stylus and concentrate on the line, not the pen. But I would like a finer stylus for the phone.
    BTW I don't normally prod my phone with a fork, I was eating whilst reading your thread 😃
    03-08-2014 04:04 PM
  13. mike160304's Avatar
    I have downloaded Papyrus for a start. The interface is good and I could quickly select an 0.5mm (or whatever) thin line, simply black on white. The software is fine, but there is no way I can make a properly joined-up sketch with my finger. I tried all kinds of materials as a "passive" stylus - plastics, wood, rubber, various steel things, copper, brass - but they were very inconsistent. The finger must be an "active" stylus, somehow, as it never fails to draw a line. Is this because of electrical impulses in our body? I must try to find out what an "active" stylus consists of!!!
    03-08-2014 06:48 PM
  14. Ixia's Avatar
    Some of the styluses (styli??) that advertise as being fine point actually have a clear plastic disc around the fine point, to give the illusion of drawing with a fine point, but I assume the disc is to provide the quarter inch width for the screen to register the touch. That might be worth looking at?
    03-09-2014 12:17 AM
  15. mike160304's Avatar
    Some of the styluses (styli??) that advertise as being fine point actually have a clear plastic disc around the fine point . . .?
    Thanks - In theory that might be the solution, I'll look for one. Have you seen this, I wonder whether it would work, I have asked the question:
    03-09-2014 03:31 AM
  16. Ixia's Avatar
    I think that's a normal ended stylus, the 3.5 mm refers to the size of the other end?
    The stylus I was meaning is an Adonit Jot, but I don't know if it will work with WP8, i found a blog claiming that it worked with a WP8 app called InkNotes, but I can't find an app by that name.
    03-09-2014 03:38 PM
  17. mike160304's Avatar
    Adonit Jot - I'll definitely look at that. Thanks. I have had a reply re the plug, yes, the 3.5 mm is the shaft diameter, to fit a socket and keep dust out. They say the rubber ball "can be used as a stylus" but they have not told me the diameter or replied whether it will work on a WP. They are not interested. I'll forget it.
    03-10-2014 03:13 AM
  18. mike160304's Avatar
    OK, I have now understood that no active stylus works on Windows Phones, and that therefore we are limited to a passive stylus (no batteries). Also that the "magnet" mentioned with some passive styli has nothing to do with the writing, it is just for attaching the stylus to something.

    I have also learnt that there are dozens of sketching/handwriting programs, of which Papyrus is the only one I have had time to test, and it works fine, with fine lines too if desired.

    So the hardware is the problem, not the software

    I have now ordered an Adonit Jot Mini stylus from Amazon UK and I'll let y'all know how I get on with it.

    I may put a protective film on my screen
    03-12-2014 03:16 AM
  19. Kevin Rush's Avatar
    "Learnt" You taught me a new word.
    03-18-2014 08:14 AM

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