Introducing SketchBook Motion: an App for Adding Movement to Your Art

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sketchbook motion animation app

Today, we’re happy to introduce a new app called SketchBook Motion. As its name suggests, it’s all about creating movement, but it’s a little different than your typical animation app. It’s about adding specific elements of motion to otherwise static drawings. It works best as a companion app for SketchBook Pro members, but even if you’re not a regular member we encourage you to download it, try it out, and expand what you normally draw. You can download SketchBook Motion for iPad and get started right now.

If you’ve used Flipbook in SketchBook, you are probably already familiar with the concept of a timeline and animation, but this app has some neat tools that let you create movement based on a few easy and handy rules that don’t require a complex timeline or hours of work. It’s less about animation and more about adding movement. Here are some examples of how it works and what you can make.



The Beeline tool lets you move disparate objects along a path. You draw the path, and the objects you choose will follow it.

The Beeline tool lets you make disparate objects move as one in a specific direction.

You can move everything in one direction, or you can use the Pivot option to move objects along a radial axis. This is great for making wheels turn, for example.




The Particle tool is a spectacular way to add subtle movement to your drawings. You can use the Wind option to add motes of dust or light to a static drawing to give it a magical look.


Or, use the Rain option to add continuous rain movements, which you can also mask out of specific areas if needed.




The Grow tool is great for having effects multiply. It also lets you animate specific elements to Bend them in a specific direction.


Those are the basics, but there are a lot more options. We have a whole support section for SketchBook Motion where you can learn more about all the details.

What should you make first?

We’re certain you can imagine lots of rich uses based on the kind of art you create. A few tips to help get your creative ideas flowing:

  • Logo treatments: The app will accept images that aren’t illustrations, so why not take a graphic design treatment and add a bit of sparkle or pizazz?
  • Cinemagraph-style art: You can load photographs into SketchBook Motion and add subtle or surprising details that seem to make the photos move. Or, simply draw on photos or images to make an important/beautiful/silly point. We fully expect someone to add a mustache to the Mona Lisa. (You could be the first if you get cracking at it.)
  • Animate old art: You undoubtedly have a few favorites among your collection of drawings and sketches. This is a great way to give them new life.
  • Custom GIFs: GIFs have grown into their own form of art, so consider applying your artistic skills to this looping art form.
  • Animated emoticons: If you like to draw Kawaii illustrations — or any kind of cute icon-like art — this is a great way to animate your cuteness.
  • iMessage integration: With Apple’s release of iOS 10 and an updated iMessage, you can draw your own animated emoticons and share them with friends. You can even sell the stickers you make in the iMessage store. (Look for a special tutorial for making iMessage stickers tomorrow on the blog!)


At its root, SketchBook Motion is designed for you to add emotion and feeling to your art and help you tell stories in new ways. It doesn’t require you to learn how to use complicated and expensive animation software, and it works very well with the SketchBook Pro tools you already know and love. You can do it on your iPad with the art you already make from scratch.

Share what you make

You can export your animated scenes as GIFs or share them as embeds, and we simply can’t wait to see what you make. Check out our growing online SketchBook Motion Gallery and see what’s going on in this whole new movement of art. Please share what you make with us on your social space of choice — FacebookTwitterInstagram, or DeviantArt.