Today at Apple: The Big Apple Sign Safari

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Apple’s products open up a whole universe of possibilities. To give useful tips and prevent fear of contact, the Group has come up with a special series of events: Today at Apple. We want to give you some insight into this, using the example of the “sign safari”, which introduces Apple users of iPad Pro and Apple Pencil to drawing with the device.

The Apple Pencil is an amazing instrument that offers a whole range of artistic possibilities in conjunction with the iPad Pro. The best way to familiarize yourself with the device is to follow a practical guide. Now, not everyone has a friend in their environment who has the time, the skill and the desire to introduce you to the secrets of technology. True to this realization, the company giant has launched the series “Today at Apple”, which includes, among other things, the so-called sign safaris. In two hours, a proficient student gets important tips and tricks for handling the digital pen and compatible programs. On a fresh winter day, we took part in such a safari in Berlin to get a picture of the event series. Starting point was a conference room in the Apple Store on KurfĂĽrstendamm, our tutor the architect and painter Omar Jaramillo (see box).

Fast Track

About 25 participants have gathered as one of the Apple Store’s employees gives a small welcome speech and introduces the tutor Jaramillo. The Ecuadorian himself gives further insights into his past life and shows on a large monitor on the wall using various iPad examples, why the choice of him as a teacher was not a coincidence. In order for everyone present to have the same prerequisites, an iPad Pro and an Apple Pencil will be distributed to those who came with empty hands. Since the time span of the course with two hours is quite tight, it is already after a few minutes in medias res. Jaramillo explains some of the key features of Apple Pencil and the Procreate program that will be used this afternoon. It’s about the different types of pencils from a simple digital pencil to ink effects and airbrushes. With examples and brief demonstrations, the architect and painter explains how to effectively use the strength, color and degree of coverage of one’s own strokes. The Ecuadorian also shows how the participants use different situations, how to avoid serious mistakes and how to achieve a large impact with just a few actions. Although all of this sounds like a lot of content, it’s mostly basics that are taught here in the first half hour. As far as everyone seems to be able to follow the course – not unimportant, because in the second part of the sign safari, the inquisitive should use their skills in the open field

Rising

The sign safari is not called that in vain. In the run-up, Apple has already pointed out that you should dress warmly and wear comfortable shoes on your feet. Although the group of characters, armed with iPads and Apple Pencils, only travel to Breitscheidplatz a few minutes away, all the participants stay in the cold for a good twenty minutes to draw either the Gedächtniskirche or a tall building of their choice. Once again, Jaramillo gives a few instructive tips, otherwise he leaves it up to each individual what is captured graphically in what form. He also makes a sketch on his iPad. When walking through the ranks, it quickly becomes clear that a colorful mix of short-term students has gathered here, from beginners to drawing talents to avangardists. Most of the newly acquired knowledge already seems to be able to be applied cheerfully, and the participants sometimes achieve astounding results.

It turns out that even as an unaided person, working with even minor instructions is a lot of fun and people with a prior knowledge or with graphic talent find out in no time how they enjoy the benefits of the Apple Pencil and the iPad Pro outstanding. Especially a participant, who unfortunately lacks the time to join the third stage, the return to the Apple Store and the evaluation, has created an impressive picture of the Memorial Church with three layers and a few strokes.

Return

In spite of the painting of temperatures that are not exactly favorable, all participants managed to create a presentable image, and so the group breaks up again to the Apple Store to watch the artistic products on the monitor. Once there, Omar Jaramillo first shows his result of the task he has set himself. With a few tricks he has enriched his picture in color, he shows how he can give his drawing a wintry atmosphere and how one achieves a great effect with shadows and light and simple effects.

The pictures are still running fast The safari participant shown and as Jaramillo a small tour also makes the most important questions answered. At the latest at this point in time you notice that two hours are too short for such a lesson, with another 60 minutes the course would certainly have had a more lasting effect.

Nevertheless the conclusion is positive: The tutor had perfect knowledge of the matter, the conditions in the Apple Store conference room were ideal, enough on-site personnel to quickly equip all adult students with equipment and clarify questions and the technology worked well – but that’s probably what everyone assumed.

Tobias Friedrich

“With a digital drawing block under your arm, you can find even new things in your hometown!”

Paperlike: Drawing like on paper

Besides the cost of an iPad Pro and an Apple Pencil, perhaps the biggest hurdle for all draftsmen and painters who want to try their hand at digital gaming is the Feeling like working on a cold, smooth screen. The typical, pleasant feeling to draw on a rough surface, does not want to adjust. Omar Jaramillo also stated on the sign safari that he needed some time before he had to think about it and painted on the screen like a block.

But as so often: where there is a problem, there is a solution. In this case, a man named Jan Sapper, who invented a foil called Paperlike (29 Euro) and put it on the market. This is just like a conventional protective film, simply glued to the iPad and guaranteed from now on a pleasantly authentic paper feel when painting. The haptics and, above all, the somewhat firmer resistance when writing and drawing are fun, and you can also use the Paperlike foil to avoid reflections and fingerprints. Disadvantage: The brilliance of the image suffers from the film, which is a pity with the high-quality display of the iPad Pro.

More info on the product: paperlike.com

Today at Apple: That’s behind the Series of events

Under the name “Today at Apple”, the technology group from Cupertino organizes daily instruction courses in its Apple stores where participants can learn how to use certain hardware and software from the company. Thematically, these short trainings are wide-ranging. You can learn details about photography and video, music or art and design, you can learn about the fundamentals of programming, how to use business tools, special courses for children and parents or even teachers. As a teacher, employees of the Apple stores as well as one-time invited professionals are at your disposal. The events are not only for connoisseurs, but are also offered especially for beginners.

Registration at: apple.com/en/today

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