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iPad apps for Production Designers

The iPad has evolved into a useful tool for production designers: easy to carry around during scouts and on location, great resolution to display photos on the go, and a convenient storage place for all production documents. Most importantly, as the iPad stylus has improved over the last few years, the iPad transformed into a digital sketchpad, able to record notes and drawings while offering the extra benefit of immediate sharing capabilities.

Here are some apps that are especially beneficial to production designers:


Adobe is one of the pioneers in the field of cloud technology, and has made sure to incorporate the iPad into its vast network of design tools. With Adobe's family of mobile apps you can sketch, draw, paint, create layouts and edit photos. Most important, with Adobe CreativeSync, all your apps and assets are connected across your desktop and mobile devices, so you could integrate anything made on the iPad into the software you use on your desktop in the art department office!

Some highlights:

- with Adobe Capture, you can photograph any font you see in the world, and immediately receive suggestions for visually similar fonts, which you can then save as character styles to use in Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator, and XD.

- with Adobe Photoshop Mix, you can create and share multilayered images (think of it as an on-the-road version of photoshop). Seamless integration with Adobe Creative Cloud means you can use the elements you created with other desktop apps like Photoshop and Lightroom.

- with Adobe Illustrator Draw, you can create vector-based designs, either free-form or with perspective grids, and then with one tap your layered files are sent right to Adobe Illustrator CC, or as a flat image to Adobe Photoshop CC.

Cost: Free (offers In-App Purchases)


Procreate is one of the most popular apps for sketching, painting and illustration. This complete artist’s toolbox helps you create beautiful sketches, inspiring paintings, and stunning illustrations anywhere you are. Procreate brush library includes over a hundred handcrafted tools, from pencils and paint brushes to spray paints and pastels. You can make your very own Procreate brush, and organize your brushes into sets. Thanks to the graphically accelerated Silica M painting engine, Procreate always paints in 64-bit color (that's equivalent to 16-bit for desktop artists), and can create high-resolution canvases, up to an 16K.

Some highlights:

- digital brushes like the Light Brush, which paints with a radiant glow; or Triangulum brush, with twisted shading.

- with Procreate's Drawing Assist, your strokes automatically snap to your guide (2D, Isometric, or Perspective guide). If you create a Symmetry guide, Drawing Assist will immediately start mirroring your strokes, to create liver symmetrical designs.

Check out Procreate here:

Cost: $9.99


Concepts is an advanced sketching and design app for professional creators. It features a large amount of brushes, fluid and responsive vector drawing engine, and intuitive precision tools, so that the design process feels as natural as using pencil and paper.

Some highlights:

- An attractive and unusual color wheel is a joy to work with!

- Brush market where one can find hundreds of possibilities.

- Great tutorial section with plenty of user-friendly information.

Check out Concepts here:

Cost: Free (offers In-App Purchases)


Morpholio's Trace is an architecture and design app which allows you to easily develop ideas in layers, communicate via drawing markup, and work fluidly through all phases of the design process. You can draw on top of PDFs, maps, photos, and images, so it's especially helpful while figuring out design kinks and making adjustments through the design process.

Some highlights:

- the stencil tool lets you turn almost anything into a stencil! You can then use it in your design (think custom entourage).

- the AR perspective finder sets a grid into real space via your camera - you can see the world in 3D on your ipad, and then draw it in real time.

Cost: Free (offers In-App Purchases)


Scriptation is an app created by industry professionals for script note-taking. It is specifically designed to tackle the problem of consistency through various drafts. Scriptation’s proprietary note-transferring algorithm, Transcription, analyzes script changes and transfers every note to its corresponding location in the next draft, so the information is conserved and kept relevant.

Some highlights:

- the app lets you annotate with an array of features such as drawings, notes, free text and images.

- you can email, text, or airdrop your annotations to members of your production team, choosing to send individual pages or full drafts of the script with your notes. You can also connect your Dropbox account to the Scriptation App and import files into custom folders on Scriptation.

Check out Scriptation here:

Cost: $9.99


This interior design app allows designers to lay out mood boards, design ideas and collages easily. The app includes smart tools to create mood boards using “Pins,” furniture, photos, images, sketches, and more. It draws primarily from a curated gallery of thousands of top-notch design products, but also lets users upload images from cloud libraries and Pinterest. Images and text are organized into minimalists work canvases, and are also automatically translated into cut sheets and spreadsheets with specific information about each product, which can be shared with the rest of the team.

Some highlights:

- the AR color capture tool lets users virtually sample, experience and record colors from the world around them. By using the iPad's camera, the user captures a color, which then gets translated to true RGB values.

- you can use your color matches to search thousands of contemporary products by color, from such companies as Knoll, Herman Miller, Design Within Reach and others.

Cost: Free (offers In-App Purchases)

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