Astropad Studio Draw with iPad Pro on Mac

Astropad Studio Draw with iPad Pro on Mac

Welcome to Stayf Draws, I am Stayf, an illustrator and animator. In this video I am going to do a review about Astropad Studio, the professional version of Astropad. I already used Astropad and the developers of Astropad have now launched a Pro version of the app. They were kind enough to send me a subscription so I can test Astropad Studio.

I did not like Astropad app that much for a few reasons. There is some latency while you are drawing and the refresh rate of your screen is slow resulting in some pixelated screens. And the red Brush cursor while you are drawing on your iPad.

I have been using the Wacom Cintiq for a long time now. This is a Wacom Cintiq 24 inch HD Touch and I use it when I draw in Photoshop, illustrator, Animate CC, Moho, and ClipStudio Paint.

In short you can draw and paint directly on your screen. It is great for doing animations. I see it as a very expensive light table. I also draw and paint a lot on my iPad and especially in my favourite drawing app Procreate. But what if you want to draw and paint on your iPad on your dekstop or laptop. With Astropad that is now a possibility.
In this review I am going to make a comparison between a Wacom Cintiq 13 Inch HD and the iPad Pro 12.9 inch. I think that is only fair, because they are around the same size.

The only difference is the aspect ratio. The Wacom Cintiq 13 inch HD is 16: 9 Widescreen and the iPad Pro is 4:3. So start out with opening the app.

Astropad Studio you can download for free in the AppStore. You also need to download Astropad Studio on your Mac. Astropad is actually not a free app to use. It comes with a subscription.
$ 5.00 a month or $ 60 a year.

Astropad Studio Mac Astropad Studio AppStore


Astropad Studio Features

You need to be connected on the same Wifi as your iPad other wise you can not mirror your screen. You can also use the lighting cable If your Wifi is slow. You can show your entire screen when you choose. So you first need to sync your Mac and iPad. That is very easy. You can then choose if you want to use the desktopscreen Fullscreen or a percentage of your screen. I choose the fullscreen option. Astropad has some menus you can choose from. Per software they have there own shortcuts. When you are in Photoshop you get options for choosing the eraser. Adjust the size of your brushes and zoom in and zoom out. You can also do that by squeezing your fingers outwards or inwards. You can adjust the pressure curve of your pressure sensitivity and there is also a  keyboard that you can acces by pressing on the keyboard icon. That is handy if you want to use the shortcuts you are use to while working in Photoshop. Or for naming your files. When working in Astropad Studio, you you don’t need to use the keyboard on your Mac.

Drawing and sketching
The Apple Pencil is very accurate. You can even customise the settings of your pressure sensitivity or choose between Soft and Hard.
The high resolution of the iPad Pro is a blessing, but here I find it hard to control the sliders. If you for instance want to change the transparency or fill. You need to hold your Apple Pencil straight up or you will get a parallax effect. Meaning the point of your Apple Pencil is not aligned with the screen. You can of course zoom in on your desktop screen. But for the workflow it slows you down.
The pressure sensitivity is much better than when you are drawing on a Wacom Cintiq. However if you sketch or draw fast, there is a bit of latency. On default the cursor trail is on. It is a redline that follows your strokes. That is the future I did not like in Astropad Standard. But in Astropad Studio you can change the color, or tun it off.

Use of the gestures you are familiar with on the iPad Pro
Fast setup
Best pressure sensitivity
Shortcuts for each software

There is a lag when you are drawing.
The extra options for Astropad get in the way
Subscription of a year
Not optimised for Adobe Animate

Buy Astropad Studio with iPad Pro or Wacom Cintiq?

iPad Pro Apple Pencil

If you already have an iPad Pro and Apple Pencil and do illustrations or animations professionally the choice is easy. Then I would recommend Astropad Studio. You can already paint and draw in apps like Sketchbook, Adobe Draw and Procreate and also use your iPad to draw on your desktop software. The cheapest Wacom Cintiq the 13 Inch HD costs around $ 800.00

iPad with stylus
If you have an iPad mini or iPad then you can always use Astropad Standard. It will cost you $29.99 once.
If you don’t have an iPad Pro and have to make a choice between buying an iPad Pro with Apple Pencil or a Wacom Cintiq 13 Inch HD you have take a few things in consideration. What kind of art do you create and do you work with software like Photoshop, Illustrator, Adobe Animate, Clip Studio paint and other drawing software? Or are you a traditional artist that wants to paint digital?

When I have to make choices like that I always make up a list of the pros and cons.

Wacom Cintiq 13 Inch HD
Wacom Cintiq 13 HD

Costs $ 800.00

Use with any computer
No latency
2 year guaranty
No charging of stylus

1920 x 1080 pixels
No computer inside
Parallax effect

iPad Pro/ Apple Pencil/Astropad Studio

Astropad Studio

Costs $1,019.00 + 100.00= $1,000,00 + $65.00 a year

Both of best worlds
Great apps to work with
Great sound
Better accuracy Apple Pencil
Better pressure sensitivity

1 year guaranty
No integration with Adobe Animate
A slight latency
charging Apple Pencil
2732 x 2048 pixels 4:3
Need a new Mac

If you are artist that wants to start out with drawing or painting digital. The iPad Pro with Apple Pencil is the best choice. It comes closets to drawing or painting on paper. Astropad Studio will be a great add on for using it as a drawing tablet for Desktop software.

If you use dekstop apps The Wacom Cintiq 13 Inch HD would be a better choice. It is better integrated with your Mac or Macbook and you can also use it on a PC.