ibis Paint X is a Photoshop-style art and photo editing app with some neat features for anime and manga artists.
Developer: ibis mobile, Inc.
Cost: Free (with ads, $4.99 premium)
ibis Paint X markets itself as a power drawing and sharing app for manga and anime fans. It offers some handy tools and settings geared directly towards artists who like to draw in that style and share it via social media or live stream.
The app, minus the specific features of anime and manga art, is like a “Photoshop lite” on your phone. It offers the essentials for photo editing and drawing such as layers, multiple brushes and drawing tools, and full RGB and HSB color palettes. There are a lot of different things you can do with Ibis Paint; unfortunately, I’m not much of an artist so I couldn’t use them to the best of their abilities. I do find that a lot of these features would benefit from a stylus or a tablet to have more precise and accurate strokes on the screen. Using your fingers on a small phone screen is just not that great for drawing especially if you want fine details.
The manga and anime specific features are pretty cool. They allow you to do things like add frames, import reference photos or sketches, and add commonly seen filters from manga and anime scenes to your pictures to complete the look that you want for your creation. Using this app doesn’t make you a great manga artist overnight, but it does help if you already have some experience. Other cool features include the ability to share your creations to the community and social media and download other users work as well. Some of the artwork featured on the app is impressive and definitely worth looking at for reference or just because it’s awesome. ibis Paint X also allows sharing of a video of your drawings, which allowing for some awesome time-lapse videos. This feature especially is a standout for me as I can imagine it would make artists’ lives easier when they want to share their process and creations online easily.
ibis Paint X is a fairly solid art and drawing app with some killer features, and one crazy name. It is not, however, free from issues. The user interface is a bit cluttered when used on a phone, which I can understand given the small amount of space available and the amount of tools at your disposal. Thankfully, it looks much better on a tablet. Also, the app could stand to have a tutorial on the specific tool icons since not all of them are clear on what they do to a novice artist like me. The biggest issue I have is the developer’s use of ads. The ads along the top are harmless enough, but there are also ads that lock certain brush types and other tools behind a video wall that require you to watch them in order to use the tool. There is a five dollar premium version that removes this, but it’s a fairly odd and frustrating way to force users to sit through ads.
Besdies the dubious ad policies, I’d say that ibis Paint X is a great tool for artists on the go. I certainly wouldn’t say use it as a primary art creation medium, however, as there are much better free options both on Android as well as on the computer. If you are an artist out and about or are interested in manga and anime styled art and want a cool app with some awesome community creations, I’d absolutely recommend this to you.