Flexible, feature-rich and easy to use, LayerDraw for Android is as comprehensive a drawing tool as they come. Equipped with a sizeable assortment of built-in brush presets and the option to create your own, a full color palette with additional tabs for adjusting RGB values and inputting hexadecimal color codes, the option to save work and resume at a later time and the ability to split the canvas into an unlimited number of layers, the app is perhaps already among the best virtual finger-painting tools out there. More after the break.
One can’t really compare LayerDraw’s layer system to that of Adobe Photoshop, but the concept is more or less the same. You can scale and/or adjust the position of each layer’s contents over the canvas, select a color to fill the entire layer, adjust the opacity of the fill, delete an entire layer or just its contents with a single tap, hide/unhide layers, import an image to a layer and alter the layer stacking order (move layers of your choice behind or in front of others). Said options can be accessed from within Menu > Layer.
Brushes are pressure sensitive. That is, the harder you press down on the screen, or rather, the greater the area of the screen that your finger covers, the thicker the stroke gets. The amount of pressure required to produce a certain stroke width varies with each built-in brush. You can alter said value and more for each brush from within Menu > Manage Brushes. Tap on an existing brush preset to edit its settings or select Menu > New Brush to create one from scratch. This feature of the app is perhaps the most flexible of the lot. It allows you to customize everything from the stroke width and pressure sensitivity of the brush to its shape and blending mode. You can even add effects (such as Shadow and Neon) to accompany each stroke made by the brush.
The color palette too, is as flexible as any we’ve ever seen. And because the palette takes up only a portion of the screen, matching colors with the ones on the canvas becomes much easier.
And that’s not all. In addition to exporting the current canvas as either a PNG or JPG image file, the app allows you to save the current state of a drawing to your SD card so that you may resume work from the same point at a later time.
Versus previously reviewed Fresco for Android, LayerDraw doesn’t exactly fare better. Fresco’s interface is a tad more refined than the one that governs LayerDraw and its flexibility far exceeds that of the latter in certain aspects. Still, we’d say it’s a tie. While Fresco’s full (paid) version provides filters, better layer functionality and the option to export in PSD format, its free version is severely limited feature-wise. LayerDraw’s free (ad-supported) variant, on the other hand, is much more than just a demo of the full version. Also, Fresco does not feature the option to create custom brushes and limits the maximum number of layers to 4 (full version).
Grab the free version from the Android Market via the provided link or QR code. The Market page for the app’s full version does not specify the features that come with the upgrade and we doubt that the developers would charge $2.99 for a mere ad-free variant.